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History 2 doors vs 4 doors

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by bobg1951chevy, Oct 21, 2016.

  1. I grew up when used muscle cars were still affordable for a kid in HS. I am in the 2 doors are the only real cool cars camp, but do appreciate some of the 4 door older cars. Especially hardtop versions. In my youth, 4 door cars were generally donors.

    I think what has changed is that 4 door cars are much more accepted now as normal driver cars. Just look at most auto lots, the std family car is a 4 door sedan now. Of course for older cars, the affordability factor has made 4 doors more acceptable as well.
    bobg1951chevy and Ron Funkhouser like this.
  2. Gotgas
    Joined: Jul 22, 2004
    Posts: 6,928

    from DFW USA

    Cadillacs, Imperials, and other "big cars" of the '50s and '60s look very nice as four doors. Several manufacturers had four door hardtops with unique rooflines that were really good looking.

    With rare exceptions, most other cars look much better as two doors.


  3. This thread seems really simple to a simple guy
    like me. Do what you do for yourself. If the next guy
    likes it you will be lucky. If not you will be stuck with it.
    If you are building, don't bother with a 4 door because
    unless it is exotic in some way, chances are nobody else
    will like it as much as you do, assuming you like it in the first place.
    on the plus side, 4 doors tend to be in better condition,
    therfore the are usually in not in a great need of work to be drivers.
    Here is one current example.
    I have been watching 2 Ford sedans. Both 1940, and both
    are really nice drivers. The prices were about the same.
    The 2 door sold in a week, the fordor, which was more original,
    is still out there
    Just my $.02
  4. jamesgs4
    Joined: Aug 22, 2007
    Posts: 253

    from denver

    sounds like 4 doors are for the really old guys, and young guys, and only old guys scoff at them.
    scotty t likes this.
  5. BigDogSS
    Joined: Jan 8, 2009
    Posts: 893

    from SoCal

    I always find it funny when people say they have a 4-door classic because they have kids. I'm not sure what one has to do with the other, unless the kid is an infant/toddler and the parent has to buckle in the kid. And still, that was never an issue for me. My kids never had an issue getting into the back seat of a 2-door car.
    BTW, I'm OK with ANY classic car, no matter how many doors.
    Ron Funkhouser and bobg1951chevy like this.
  6. belair
    Joined: Jul 10, 2006
    Posts: 8,637


    I had a nice 56 Chevy 4 door hard top for sale. Lucked into selling it to some Germans. I don't think they cared, but if I had a dollar for every time I heard "Yeah, but its a 4 door", I would be rich. The four door sedans at least can often be made into a 2 door sedan, so there is some value in them. The 54-57 GM 4 door hardtops were some of the prettiest cars made, no matter how many doors. But they have little value. I learned a long time ago it doesn't have to make sense to be true.
    bobg1951chevy likes this.
  7. A car doesn't make one Cool. You can be the coolest person on the planet without even having a car. And I'll bet your a very cool person. But some cars are cooler than others cars. lol Ron...
  8. Or you have no friends, just sayin'....
    milwscruffy and bobg1951chevy like this.
  9. Gman0046
    Joined: Jul 24, 2005
    Posts: 6,260


    Its plain and simple four doors just don't have resale value of two doors. Thats why I don't mess with them.
    Sorry clunker, a 61 stock American Motors six cylinder four door sedan does not meet the definition of a hot rod and never will. Once that becomes a hot rod, I'll take up quilting or scrap booking.
    The definition of a hot rod is a vehicle thats been modified for speed and performance.

    Last edited: Oct 24, 2016
    Ron Funkhouser and clunker like this.
  10. clunker
    Joined: Feb 23, 2011
    Posts: 1,612

    from Boston MA

    True. By the time a stock Rambler is a hot rod we all are gonna be really old and grey living in old folks-homes...quilting and scrapbooking may be a great way to meet chicks then. Count me in.
    DSmoke and Ron Funkhouser like this.
  11. Yeah... If you have a 4 door, you might as well build it the way you want... cause no-one else will want it.
    bobg1951chevy and Tony Martino like this.
  12. low budget
    Joined: Nov 15, 2006
    Posts: 5,564

    low budget
    from Central Ky

    I will agree that its safer to do whats more popular or common for resale etc but if you can afford it, ego and moneywise to take a chance and stray away from the norm to show your creative talents (if one has any) to try and make even a lowly 4 door cool???
    Hotdoggin DaddyO and Raiman1959 like this.
  13. Raiman1959
    Joined: May 2, 2014
    Posts: 1,427


    Quirky....but, look how Edsel was ignored for so long before it became ''accepted''....I can see someone building a different kind of ride, and as a 4 door model to boot ....and most everyone would come and take a look if done right!...stigma's are evident everywhere, but that is what hot rodding is all about...breaking those ''common'' barriers down....It's different, but I think it's cool in it's own right...simply because it isn't seen as ''run of the mill'' and thinking outside the box ...I like the idea myself! 44c6c06718689b5206d14b11429f8143.jpg 509885-1395493270-b27c69268690018ec93b7c1653e58bfd.jpg stolenAmabassador_01_2500.jpg
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2016
  14. When I was about 19 I went to the auto parts store with my next door neighbor, who was my mentor and hot rod hero. Vietnam veteran and a cool guy who always had cool cars. While we were in the auto parts store he started hitting on this rather unattractive young lady who worked there. I thought, "what the hell is he doing?". When we left the store and were getting in the car, I remember he said "Ugly girls need love too."

    I'm not exactly sure how that applies to this thread but I get a sense it belongs here somewhere. :)
  15. chevy57dude
    Joined: Dec 10, 2007
    Posts: 6,107


    [​IMG] [​IMG]A
    A 4 door that's always been a looker IMO. Even when
    bobg1951chevy and saltflats like this.
  16. Here's another one I wouldn't throw out of the garage.
    HAMB friendly 1963 Factory 421 Super Duty Tempast
  17. flux capacitor
    Joined: Sep 18, 2014
    Posts: 669

    flux capacitor

    Barely out of the realm of Hamb friendly but I seen this beast in the mid 1990s at Garlits place, on a rainy Wednesday afternoon he took me & 2 pals on a guided tour. I'd own this beauty in a heartbeat just for its sleeper aspect..... under hood pic of 67 FBI Hemi Head Coronet, all in a no options 4 door car, Save the top driveline boxes all checked off. What a cool cool steakout car..... Flux
    chevy57dude likes this.
  18. Devin
    Joined: Dec 28, 2004
    Posts: 2,352

    from Napa, CA

    Saw this merc at the Sac Autorama this year. Built by Bill Gahnal. Pretty damn slick![​IMG]

    Sent from my iPhone using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
    Hotdoggin DaddyO and patmanta like this.
  19. You can tell me how your 4 dr is more practical with a family and I'll agree.
    You can tell me how your 4dr is has a lower entry price point and I'll agree then tell you it's value is capped, that's why it's cheaper.
    You can tell me how it's worth building a 4dr and I'll agree that they are great for practice.
    You can tell me how your 4 dr is just as much fun and I'll agree as most beaters are.
    You can tell me how or why you love your 4dr and I'll be happy for you.

    Don't try to tell me your 4dr is "cool" because it ain't.
    Don't tell me your 4 dr has the same value as any 2dr because it ain't. But if you insist it is true, bring you and your like minded friends and I will sell you any 4dr you want for 2dr money and capitalize on your opinions. You can become the important part of unfair enrichment if you choose. ,,,, oh wait a minute here. Just forget everything I said.

    (In my best used car salesman voice)
    4drs are way better than any 2dr. I'll make you a great deal on this 4dr and sell it to you for the same money as that 2dr. My manager will probably have fit but I'll do it for you.

    Propaganda is not a movement of a few straw brains, but rather a movement that can conquer the broad masses. Propaganda should be popular, not intellectually pleasing. It is not the task of propaganda to discover intellectual truths.
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2016
    squirrel and bobg1951chevy like this.
  20. autobilly
    Joined: May 23, 2007
    Posts: 3,094


    Thanks Ron but I was being kind of sarcastic. My sedan has served it's daily duties as the family car while having the vintage aesthetic I like for about thirteen years.
    In Oz, although a coupe will always be more desirable, there's no shame building/driving a cool four door.
    patmanta and Ron Funkhouser like this.
  21. patmanta
    Joined: May 10, 2011
    Posts: 3,648

    from Woburn, MA

    I'm going to have to interject with, yes, it is cool, cooler than a Camry or any other kid hauling commuter appliance you see day to day for sure.

    Seeing vintage sedans always makes me smile be they survivors, restos, or rods (not common).

    But I'm not sure I'd put a lot of money and effort into one either unless I planned to keep it forever.

    THough a 50 Hudson, Nash, or Merc might be enough to my own personal taste to hold on to.

    Last edited: Oct 25, 2016
  22. Dave Mc
    Joined: Mar 8, 2011
    Posts: 2,108

    Dave Mc

    I spent a few years dreaming about my 33 Fordor , tried to imagine what would be the ultimate 33 4 Door , I sketched drawings , manipulated , erased and re-sketched making what I hoped would be a masterpiece ,1933 Fordor Victoria Convertible Sedan ( with a Trunk ) Fuel Injected 5 Liter with AOD Trans, Full Leather Interior, Mercedes Convertible Top Material etc. etc. talked about it so often with friends until one day someone said , time to stop planning and start cutting and building , after a few more years ,January 2004 Project completed I proudly went to Goodguys @ Pleasanton Ca. the car was totally ignored and I have been taking it to shows in Northern Calif. and Nevada ever since, still seems to be transparent. I can't help but wonder if it would have attracted attention if I had started with a Tudor ? or if the people who would've realized Ford never built one like mine have all passed on ? Just the Curse of the 4 Door.... I am not snivvlin , very happy with my car as it is . just insures that it will most likely be the only one .
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2016
    31Vicky with a hemi likes this.
  23. You've built a very nice car with much in the unique idea realm and at a high level of finish. You built it for yourself exactly the way you wanted with every detail well cared for. Any time we do that for the approval of others it is in vain.
    clunker, Dave Mc, Saxman and 2 others like this.
  24. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 47,823


    Although...if you do all that, but start with a car that others also can find beauty in, then you might find that others appreciate your work.

    Strange how that works.
  25. Are you really trying to make a comparison between late model foreign OT cars to those that are on topic for the HAMB?

    It's not my cup of tea, but you have to admire the kids on a bubble gum budget who screw a 4cyl shit box together and put a expensive BBC back on the trailer. I can't bring myself to root for the fart can and feel for the guy loading up. However That mindset is exactly the same as those that built traditional hot rods but the canvas is different, the medium and knowledge is different so the resulting product is different.
    Crazy Steve and Tony Martino like this.
  26. Your happiness and contentment with your build is the bottom line here!
  27. Ah Yes-The age old debate of the 2dr vs the 4dr. I have had a 4dr and had plenty of inexpensive fun. If the car is what you want-spend away-BUT, don't expect everyone else in the hobby to share your vision or value estimation.
    40's through 60's 4 drs make great cruisers, highway cars, tow vehicles for your camper-you name it. They can be a lot of fun-pile your family or buddies in and have fun.
    If you are building for resale-don't over spend or you could wait a long time to realize your profit margin.
    bobg1951chevy likes this.
  28. patmanta
    Joined: May 10, 2011
    Posts: 3,648

    from Woburn, MA

    Not so much as far as specifics or even getting into the tuner-hooners, what I'm getting at as far as perceptions seeming to be a bit softer towards 4-doors now vs. eras past is that there's so few of these old cars around now as compared to the abundance of the rolling dishwashers their steel was scrapped to export and make that ANY car from an era of beauty stands out to garner some appreciation and has an elevated COOL now, that it did not have in its day, IMO.
  29. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 47,823


    To the eyes of the general public, old 4 doors are cool cars. But to the old, experienced eyes of the traditional hot rodder, not so much.
    MO_JUNK, scotty t, slowmotion and 3 others like this.
  30. ^ I think this is right. They have a little more cool than they did back in the day simply because of the rarity of seeing them.

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