Register now to get rid of these ads!

Technical Achievable Pre-War Build

Discussion in 'Traditional Hot Rods' started by RyanAK, Nov 8, 2020.

  1. evintho
    Joined: May 28, 2007
    Posts: 2,016

    evintho
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    It can be done. As stated, learn how to weld. I built mine for $5k. Started with an $800 rusty rotted mess and learned to weld by trial and error. Judicious horse-trading and modification to every single piece on the car. Didn't buy anything new, always rebuilt or refurbished parts. I probably have 20 different cars incorporated into my roadster. Scan the build thread to note my frugalness (cheapness)!
    https://www.killbillet.com/forum/20...-27-roadster-with-force-fed-4-build-has-begun

    PA040017.jpg
     
  2. RyanAK
    Joined: Sep 7, 2019
    Posts: 212

    RyanAK
    Member

    Thanks for the input! My mind is wide open, brother. And an 'organic' build is a good way to describe what I'm imagining number one will be. TROG is definitely an inspiration for the build, though entering the car isn't a consideration. (But ya never know!) It just happens that I've liked the early stuff that the Race is organized around for a long time. It's fabulous that that event has inspired so many traditional builds.

    This build has been an inspiration to me for quite a while. Simple, straight forward, and most importantly... fun!

    This is a new build thread for me... I'm gonna have to spend some time going through it...

    Your whole journey with these cars pretty much follows my ideal... build something simple and fun, build another using what you learned, build another, and another...

    Again... your approach just seems to resonate with my thinking. I really appreciate the insight! Thank you!

    I'll take you up on that! I'll drop a PM a bit later today. Thanks again!
     
  3. RyanAK
    Joined: Sep 7, 2019
    Posts: 212

    RyanAK
    Member

    Good on ya, Chappy! It's encouraging to see the various approaches to guys getting cars built. And I'd say that the money spent on the flathead is money well spent!
     
  4. RyanAK
    Joined: Sep 7, 2019
    Posts: 212

    RyanAK
    Member

    Absolutely... 'achievable' means different things to different people. I have some advantages working for me... like mechanical acumen, a can-do attitude, a well-tooled shop, understanding family, and a 'reasonable' budget. And my challenges can certainly be overcome... like learning to weld. Biggest hurdle might be working in a vacuum... I'm not plugged into the 'scene' so I'm kind of a one-man show... but I'm sure that will change as I meet guys in the region.

    I'm no body and paint man either... At least not for 'show' cars. One of the charms of these early builds is that I feel confident I can get an appropriately straight body with my skills and 'nice' paint is a secondary consideration. I can brush good enough to keep my '54 Ferguson 35 tractor presentable. :)

    Thanks for the thoughts and encouragement. It's truly appreciated!
     
    TrailerTrashToo likes this.
  5. RyanAK
    Joined: Sep 7, 2019
    Posts: 212

    RyanAK
    Member

    Page 2 needs a pic...
    [​IMG]
     
    48fordnut, brEad, Elcohaulic and 4 others like this.
  6. RyanAK
    Joined: Sep 7, 2019
    Posts: 212

    RyanAK
    Member

    A couple more...
    Clayton's @MrModelT roadster. I love everything about his approach and the car that resulted.
    [​IMG]

    This guy...
    [​IMG]

    Pennsylvania, c.1934... what would a guy build to have some fun in otherwise tough times? I'm having fun researching, planning and dreaming. Motivation is high.
     
    eldiablooxidado and tb33anda3rd like this.
  7. RyanAK
    Joined: Sep 7, 2019
    Posts: 212

    RyanAK
    Member

    Here’s a question... Is building a non-Ford prewar car a serious challenge to getting something built given my situation? There are a ton of cool options... Early Chevys and Dodge Brothers have always been interesting to me. However, it seems like early Fords are better supported with vintage and repro parts and hot rod knowledge. Is a non-Ford build fraught with too many challenges in terms of availability of cars and parts, cost, and collective knowledge to be achievable for a first attempt? Maybe I’m overlooking something...

    Anyway, thanks for the support and interest!
     
  8. panhead_pete
    Joined: Feb 22, 2006
    Posts: 2,951

    panhead_pete
    Member

    Early ford parts are everywhere thus cheap and when you go to sell it the car will be worth more. Only way I would go.
     
  9. cfmvw
    Joined: Aug 24, 2015
    Posts: 917

    cfmvw
    Member

    See if you can find a local Makerspace to spend some time in or a vocational program that offers metal working classes. That would give you a good head start so you can better gauge a project when you start hunting for one. It's also a great way to meet some very talented people!
     
  10. SR100
    Joined: Nov 26, 2013
    Posts: 1,005

    SR100
    Member

    For the Chev, unless you find a one with 80+ year-old sound wood (not likely in your price range), you'll have to replace it all. Plenty of people have done it, but it is more likely to get mired down in your situation than a Ford. Dodges are less common, and neither have the parts available for a Ford.
     
  11. burl
    Joined: Nov 28, 2007
    Posts: 770

    burl
    Member
    from Minnesota

    Not going to have to worry much about wood on the Dodge Brothers.Very little wood.Try sitting in a ford t roadster,not much room.I have and know several that have them and they complain about not much room.Theres more parts around for Dodge Brothers than most assume.Im building my db roadster on a A frame so not much to worry about on parts availability.Example of Dodge Brothers hotrod attached. 4a05c813e60a3547ff8357ef1ef0fc1b.jpg
     
    48fordnut, brEad, das858 and 3 others like this.
  12. 57JoeFoMoPar
    Joined: Sep 14, 2004
    Posts: 5,282

    57JoeFoMoPar
    Member

    I'll let the guys who are more versed in this style of build opine on details, but for myself, I can't comprehend how you can build much of anything without the ability to weld. I'm not talking about stacking dimes like some of these IG hot shots can do, but just to securely put two pieces of metal together with a strong and safe weld. In terms of car building, it's one of the core, fundamental skills upon which the entire process is predicated.

    If I were you, I'd immediately go buy a welder, and get to work practicing. First MIG. Then TIG. In the last several years, the quality of offshore machines has greatly increased and prices have come way down, making some very decent welders accessible, and certainly for non-commercial hobby use. Even the Vulcan machines from HF. I was in a pinch at the track one day and had to weld together a busted pipe in the pits, and a team I was friendly with had a Vulcan TIG, which worked just fine. Dive in and practice. You CAN do it.
     
    bill gruendeman likes this.
  13. RyanAK
    Joined: Sep 7, 2019
    Posts: 212

    RyanAK
    Member

    Thanks, fellas! I think to keep the first real build achievable, I'll stick with a Ford. The next one can be a little bit more of a challenge with regards to parts search, fabrication, backwoods engineering, etc.

    Still lots to consider. Model T or A... or T on an A chassis... Roadster, pickup, touring... A or B banger... Transmission...

    To be achievable, we gotta avoid mire at all costs. I assumed the wood in a Chevy would be an issue, thanks for confirming!

    I had actually been leaning towards a T roadster on an A chassis, but this is something to consider. I'm 5'10" and 200 beautiful pounds... I'm not worried about being a little cramped for what this car will be, but I want to actually be able to make it function!

    Great photo! Do you have a build thread I can snoop around on and see what you're up to with your DB on an A frame?
     
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2020
  14. JB401
    Joined: Aug 30, 2020
    Posts: 177

    JB401
    Member

    I say go for it. Whatever it may be. I’ve had a hankering to build a hot rod for quite a few years now and have always had a “reason” to push it off. Money, time, space, skill set...you name it. Well I finally pulled the trigger on a 28/29 Model A pickup I stumbled upon for what I thought was a fair price. It’s almost a complete truck, but in pieces. Everything is fairly solid for the east coast but not show quality by any means. Goal is to have it on the road in some fashion by next spring. I plan to keep it basic for now and keeping it under the 5k budget mark is also a goal for me.

    Does looking at my pile of tasks ahead give me slight anxiety and doubt? You bet. I’ve never tackled anything of this magnitude. But I plan to attack the build piece by piece and walk away for the night when frustration sets in on a difficult task. I want to enjoy every step of the process. Ask questions, ask for help. This forum has already been a lifesaver for me and I just started the build. Affordable stuff is out there but you have to put in the time hunting for it. Good luck! I hope you get after it
     
    slv63, J.Ukrop and TrailerTrashToo like this.
  15. RyanAK
    Joined: Sep 7, 2019
    Posts: 212

    RyanAK
    Member

    I like your approach and attitude, JB. Where are you located and do you have a build thread? I hope you enjoy the journey! I’ll be cheering for you!

    I think I will. Gonna get a welding lesson Monday at work and I think I can work around not having a garage.
     
  16. JB401
    Joined: Aug 30, 2020
    Posts: 177

    JB401
    Member

    I’m up in Rhode Island. And yes I did start a build thread in here to track my progress and gain advice from the folks here on the hamb!

    Good start on the welding lessons. I like it
     
  17. RyanAK
    Joined: Sep 7, 2019
    Posts: 212

    RyanAK
    Member

    NOT Providence Plantations, eh? I tracked down your thread. Good on ya, brother! Must have felt good to get the banger to bang!
     
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2020
  18. eldiablooxidado
    Joined: Jan 11, 2019
    Posts: 45

    eldiablooxidado
    Member

    Hey Ryan, as another PA guy (NorthEast) in a similar situation in life (two young children) what you're looking to do is more than doable. First definitely pick yourself up a welder and start playing around with some scrap metal. Find yourself a model A chassis since that will be the foundation for whatever body you decide to run. Non running but decently complete I've paid between $800-$1500. and they are quick to break down and store if you're limited on space. Get that running and gone thru while you're looking for a body for it!

    Nick
     
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2020
  19. RyanAK
    Joined: Sep 7, 2019
    Posts: 212

    RyanAK
    Member

    Hey, man. Thanks for the encouragement! I'm setting up to start welding and definitely keeping an eye out for a chassis. I feel like the chassis/banger work will be a less steep hill for me to climb than working with a body, so it's always been my planned first step.
     
  20. 5window
    Joined: Jan 29, 2005
    Posts: 8,743

    5window
    Member

    You're going to need a spark proof beard cover! :)
     
  21. RyanAK
    Joined: Sep 7, 2019
    Posts: 212

    RyanAK
    Member

    Beard is 100% asbestos. :cool:
     
  22. I've kinda held off on commenting in this thread, as really this is a rabbit hole discussion for me.

    I started out in my early 20's when I bought a rough A coupe body with a messy chop and had a lot of ambition, but not ample funds. I pieced this car together from many different cars, got it to a mocked up roller stage, but never completed it...I eventually sold it and bought my running and driving stock A truck. The coupe is somewhere in Germany now. I basically learned a bunch from this car, and now had a much better understanding of early Fords, refined skills and even managed to make some money on the "build"

    So next is my 1931 pickup. It's a complete stocker. I did some... what I consider "very minor" modifications to this thing. I drilled 6 holes in it for all the modifications. It has given me many fun miles. I paid what I consider a fair price for it, but certainly market value...but it had everything I knew I needed to pull off a cool build. I'm currently about 10k into it with purchase and modifications, including new Firestone tires. 20200508_231112.jpg

    Over the years I've played with a lot of stuff. I had a decent stock T coupe on A chassis, basically bolted a stock body down. Heated and bent the pedals to fit and sold it after driving it around the block a few times...I think I had about 2.5k in that one.

    Currently I am building a 34 pickup. Mostly stock, no fenders. I'm just about ready to start assembly. I think I have about 7k in that one and 5 or 6 years hunting parts.

    Then I have a channeled 31 roadster project. This is an old hot rod that was parted out in the 60's I've gotten really lucky with this one, I'm at about 2k in it with most of the major components, it's built from many different cars with lots left to spend....and lots of work to do. This is probably my most complicated project to date. It needs everything. Again another 5 or 6 years on this one looking for parts.

    Then I also have another roadster project. This one is kinda insane, and more along the lines of what you want to build. I basically bought a stock roadster with no engine or trans installed but otherwise complete and the main reason I bought it was the cragar ohv engine that came with it. This car was $5.500 dollars with the engine. I probably have another grand in it so far. I'm trying to keep this one simple and cheap as well. 20201113_171402.jpg

    The reason I point at the time and money involved with all of these. Is that there are lots of ways to skin a cat, but time seems to be a pretty big factor in building a car from scratch, before I had a huge stash of parts at my disposal, I sometimes spent years looking for what I needed. Budget or no budget, sometimes you just can't find what you're looking for. Anyways...I suggest buying the nicest and most complete car that you can find, and building from there. You can thank me later.
     
    brEad, 31Apickup, 72yenkonova and 3 others like this.
  23. RyanAK
    Joined: Sep 7, 2019
    Posts: 212

    RyanAK
    Member

    Oh man! I’ll write more when I can, but just wanted to say I appreciate the feedback. AND that your ‘31 pickup “DAILY DRIVER PERIOD CORRECT TRADITIONAL HOT ROD TIME MACHINE” was a longtime favorite thread of mine and is damn big part of why I’m looking to do a build like this. I appreciate the idea to buy the nicest and most complete car I can. That’s exactly what I did with the Olds. Not sure I’ll be able to swing that financially on this build, but I would if I could.

    And yeah... the roadster with the Cragar is right along the lines of what I’d like to do.

    But that ‘31 truck you drove... that speaks to me in a big way. I never owned a car until I bought the ‘63 Cutlass. Always a truck. So... yeah. Food for thought all around. I really appreciate that you took the time to post. Thank you. I may drop you a PM when I get the kids to bed.

    This stuff is fun, eh?!
     
    Hitchhiker likes this.
  24. bill gruendeman
    Joined: Jun 18, 2019
    Posts: 610

    bill gruendeman
    Member

    I know you want a traditional hot rod, but unfortunately flatheads or nailhead don’t come cheap. With 5000$ and limited time it’s going to be hard. A 1000$ model a body is a lot of work.You could build a “starter car” for example a later 30’s to 40’s non Ford with the non traditional sbc for cost and help speed the build. Then when your skills get better and you have more time and money build your bad ass hot rod.
     
  25. RyanAK
    Joined: Sep 7, 2019
    Posts: 212

    RyanAK
    Member

    Appreciate the thought, Bill. And that’s certainly a reasonable approach. I’m just afraid that the day when I have more time and money will never come. I’m 42 and my kids are 4 and 5. I’m really looking to do a pre-war banger this time around. Flatheads and nailheads aren’t really in the recipe for this (unless I trip over an early Ford V8 for pennies on the dollar...) and I’ve had a few OT trucks with SBCs. Just looking to do something different with this and I’m interested in ‘20s and ‘30s history. I’m in all sorts of ‘different’ with the ‘63 Olds running a Buick 215... so a pre-war 4-banger may actually be ‘easier’ by comparison. Ha!
     
    slv63 likes this.
  26. Mr48chev
    Joined: Dec 28, 2007
    Posts: 30,839

    Mr48chev
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    A true pre WWII build would first mean that every part on the car had to be available before 1941.
    I do like the idea of buying a running and driving A chassis out from under a car that someone else bought for the body though. A guy could clean that up a bit then find a body to stick on it and maybe even drive it for a while before he started hunting appropriate speed parts for it. That might be a case of "Hershey will provide" but doesn't have to be a panic driven gotta get the goodies now spending frenzie.

    Still a lot of homework in the what did they do and more important what didn't they do build ideas should be in the plan.
     
  27. RyanAK
    Joined: Sep 7, 2019
    Posts: 212

    RyanAK
    Member

    Hey, man... thanks for the thoughts and yup... all 1941 and earlier. If I can reasonably do it, I’d prefer getting it to pre-‘35ish, but we’ll see!

    Ya know... I’m only a little more than an hour from Hershey. Hee! But I’m not in a hurry for speed parts. I’m interested in getting a chassis running/driving with a ‘stock-ish’ mill, getting the right stance, adding a body, and driving it. Then hopping up the banger as time, money, interest and serendipity allow. Or starting with a second block and building up a second motor while I enjoy driving the mild stocker. I think this approach is reasonable and achievable, but I’m still open to suggestions. That’s sorta what I’m doing with the Olds.

    That’s where I’m at now. I’m that obnoxious kid that enjoyed homework and did extra credit. I enjoy the learning as much as wrenching. You should see some of the rabbit hole research I’ve done on some obscure narrow gauge and shortline railroads in the area!
     
    TrailerTrashToo likes this.
  28. I know you guys are correct that BUILDING a flathead can be very expensive, but if you are dedicatedand look everyday you can come up with good deals. I have 2 good runners with what appear to be low mileage rebuilds for $300 each, sitting and waiting.

    Just saying. This stuff isn't rare. You just gotta get tuned into the guys with the huge stashes of parts. I'm 37....and no matter how old I get, I'm still a "kid" to those guys in there 70's and 80's and most of them really like passing on their stuff for fair prices when they know it's going to a good home that will use it.
     
    slv63 likes this.
  29. Pre-war around here is pre'39...
    My builds tend towards pre-'32 - except the '32 wheels on my Fordor, and '35 brakes on the Coupe.
    With only 30-odd ponies in a banger to begin with, it doesn't take much to add a few more. Head and a carb should get a 30% jump - easy 50-60% increase with a cam too. Y'kinda notice that.
    Couple of mine are around 70-80hp - double stock. That gives you enough to be hopping down the road surprising traffic.
    Gearing is your friend - high as y'can and add the horsepower to cope.

    Flexibility on body style has saved a few coins for myself I guess. Everyone wants a roadster so you pay the premium and or start with soul destroying cast-off frilly edged pieces...
    Nobody wants a Fordor. But behind the wheel of the 7-window Coupe and the view is just the same.
    Same with my Tourer. They're both handy for the trips laden with camping gear or people though.
    Lucked out with the Coupe body through some horse trading. 11709541_10153445093964257_2746213674965275105_n_zpshsj0hmxk.jpg 11e9a443.jpg T-coupe-at-pendine.jpg
     
    osage orange and S1B like this.
  30. Always had a low budget, and a family too. Time again? I'd improve my carpentry and maybe try an early Chevy?
    I built a lovely late 235 to go in a '50 I once had. With a bit of swapping of factory engine mounts they're a bolt in place of the early pre-war babbit inliners.
     

Share This Page

Register now to get rid of these ads!

Archive

Copyright © 1995-2021 The Jalopy Journal: Steal our stuff, we'll kick your teeth in. Terms of Service. Privacy Policy.

Atomic Industry
Forum software by XenForo™ ©2010-2014 XenForo Ltd.