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Customs Are customs lost on our youth?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by borderboy1971, Sep 6, 2016.

  1. CAL
    Joined: May 5, 2005
    Posts: 385

    from Neosho Mo.

    I can't stand posts like this. I was gonna be nice a keep my opinions to myself, but what the hell. Your a young kid nowdays, if you have a job, it most likely does not pay shit. You like cars, but you spend all your money surviving, and drive/work on what every you can afford. Let's see, you need money, tools, a place to work. How many young kids can do this? Instead of bitching about it, why don't you offer your help/tools/shop to a kid that is truly interested in cars? I'm not interested in the fast and furious type cars, but I can appreciate anybody's work on any type of car. Some day, this young person might be in the position to buy/work on something else. If the seed is planted early, it will most likely grow. Ok, off the soapbox.
    jeffd1988, wicarnut and DSmoke like this.
  2. Atwater Mike
    Joined: May 31, 2002
    Posts: 9,866

    Atwater Mike

    To plant the seed of traditional hot rodding in someone, they must have peers.
    I've seen a couple of young guys (under 20) start on projects, one a 'glass T bucket with bare frame, front end, rear end, he was gifted a 327 and 350 T.H., but burned out as his rice-tuners came over, razzed him, and burned rubber in front of his house.
    He sold his project, bought a Honda, and is now accepted in the crowd.
    Ramsay Lewis syndrome. "In with the in crowd..."

    The other had an F-1, running truck. Working on it, dropped axle, tires, sanded down body, fenders, bed.
    Very clean, got tired of 'low performance', "nobody dug it, so I sold it on Craigslist."

    I sold my cool channeled Model A roadster in '63, 'cause "hot rods were dead". Two months later, I was back into it. My bud Al came back with his channeled 'A' Coupe and we went on a cruise to Hayward. (East 14th St. was jammed with rods & customs! Bumper to bumper, from Karl's Drive In to the turn around in San Lorenzo! My '36 Five window got re-energized with big flathead and cool underpinnings!)
    But for awhile there, it really seemed to go away in favor of Fremont Drags!
    wicarnut likes this.
  3. David Gersic
    Joined: Feb 15, 2015
    Posts: 2,070

    David Gersic
    from DeKalb, IL

    Remember, these old cars were once the epitome of 'new' with all of the fancy gadgets. Adding 'new' to old cars is as old as hot rodding.

    Sent from my iPad using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
  4. _justakid_
    Joined: Sep 16, 2014
    Posts: 108


    DSmoke and Squablow like this.
  5. Raiman1959
    Joined: May 2, 2014
    Posts: 1,428


    That's a good point!;)
  6. borderboy1971
    Joined: Oct 20, 2008
    Posts: 635

    from Canada

    Alot of replies have missed my intentions with the thread. I didn't mean to ask if they can afford to build a custom, or whether they are gear heads in the import tuner world. I only meant to inquire if the youngsters can see an old custom, spot the mods and fall in love with a car. The extent of my exposure to customs has been magazines really and since an early age I can say I love most of the mods done to the right car. I do know some youngsters that really dig the custom/ hot rod world so I feel there is hope. I just fear there is alot of youngsters that might like customs but have ZERO idea of what it took to turn it into rolling art.
  7. Squablow
    Joined: Apr 26, 2005
    Posts: 14,140


    I'm 35 and I have been into customs since grade school, have had my '53 Ford since I was 11 years old. I know quite a few people my age +/- 10 years (and not just guys either) that have or are into custom cars of the 50's and 60's.

    As for prices, I see lots of dirt-cheap affordable starting point type projects around that the average person could easily afford, and I see very few nice finished cars selling cheaply due to a lack of interest in them.

    From my perspective, the future of custom cars is bright.
    chopper99 likes this.
  8. borderboy1971
    Joined: Oct 20, 2008
    Posts: 635

    from Canada

    I'll also add that as we mature some of us get wiser (although outwardly seems backwards). I'll admit that I've always loved old styled hot rods but never understood why anybody would want to run a banger or flatty when small block Chevys are so much more plenty full and far more powerful. As I've got older and wiser, I've learned it's not always about the power or ease of availability. Now I'd love to have a banger. My current project which will run a 394 olds has actually been alot of fun finding only vintage speed parts for. It's been a challenge and more costly than picking up a catalogue and ordering parts.....lots of fun in it this way though. And regarding me wanting a banger, what could speak history more than throwing a model a sideways on the dirt with a banger ? My kind of fun.
  9. DSmoke
    Joined: Sep 2, 2016
    Posts: 54


    Very interesting replies. Do I think it is lost on the youth, I hope not, but I would venture a guess that most don't know what they are looking at. Some might be able to tell work was done to it, but to what extent, probably not. All the little things are only noticed by people "in the know", those in the scene. I say this because as I recently (finally) put my first project car in the garage. I am now gaining quiet the education on the customs, which I have loved most of my 42 years. I will also say, it is hard to go to shows and drool over cars that wish you could build, but life (money, time, space, kids, etc) prevents you from having. I am glad I finally jumped that hurdle that's been in front of me all my life. I remember sitting at my desk (which I still have) as a kid in the 80's building "custom" models. I chopped tops, switched parts around, took old models apart, different wheels, smoothed get the picture.
  10. wicarnut
    Joined: Oct 29, 2009
    Posts: 3,403


    Agree w/ OP, The newest generation of "car guys/girls" Live in a different world that us Old Timers grew up in, Hot Rods/Kustoms are going to be Plentiful and Very Reasonably Priced in the next 10/20 years IMO. Here's an observation I've made, when younger kids come to shows as participants, majority of old-timers disrespect their rides, usually Tuners/Compacts. Personally, I make it a point to speak w/ them and show them some respect for their efforts, being a Wi. Resident all my life, Kustoms are a very small percentage of cars in the big picture here (I like ALL cars). Another observation, we purchased a restored 1951 Buick Roadmaster Sedan (Wife's choice, Pic's in my album) Black and chrome is always a eye catcher, This car has received more attention, recognition, that any car I/We have ever owned from Old Timers to youngsters, everyone seems to have a memory about it and all the young people Say, WOW look at the size(car/sraight8) chrome, back seat, you could go camp in it.
  11. mblgjr
    Joined: Sep 8, 2016
    Posts: 2


    I dont want to say that they'll be lost; but as a whole there still isn't a lot of old-school automotive interest in the under 35 age group.

    But, there does seem to be resurgence of people wanting to learn how to work with their hands and make things again. Which is excellent. With that, I'm sure there will always be an interest in customized rides no matter the genre.
    Joined: Jun 3, 2005
    Posts: 7,902


    So by some of the logic posted, and tell me where I'm wrong, the generations ahead of me are heading underground for good. They loved those big American Classics, some of those guys had a dozen or more. Now there's no interest because they've died off and the next few generations could care less. I guess the Hirohata Merc is only worth $10K now, right? I know it's current owner is still around and it's not for sale. What about those cars I mentioned? How about a 41 Packard Darrin? Who gives a shit today, right? Why is it that they trade in excess of $250K? Let's jump right to the top, the mighty Duesenberg. Pick one that's relatively easy to get, say a conventional Murphy roadster, not the one with the disappearing top. Why do they trade at an average $1.5+ million? The real enthusiast group that drove interest is gone in many cases. Ok, ok, I'll get real and hit something we like. What's a 32 Ford 3W worth? Say a real "Henry" body, restored back in 76 by someone that's now long gone. Is $50K too high? Too low? Let's go back to customs, and tell me what a fair price would be for the Sam Barris Merc. How about the beloved late Dick Dean's last Merc chop? Skip the Mercurys, what's The Polynesian worth?

    Ya see, I don't buy it that this stuff will ever be LESS MONEY than in times past. Maybe that rotten 36 Plymouth 4dr sedan that uncle Herb left rusting away in the shed because who really wanted it, well, ever? Pick something even slightly significant and tell me how much LESS it is today. Why is a 69 GTO Judge in concours condition $100K to start? Something more in line with 'us', how about a 61 409 Super Sport? 62 Belair 409 spt cpe (bubble top)? 63 427 Galaxie? This conversation has and always will come up, how the youth among us have little more than a casual "fuck off" for our stuff. I didn't when I was a kid, the kids that were my age that were there? Still at it too, sometimes more than 1 because their pals decided they like it, and now their kids are helping out in many cases and will follow them (us). Suck it up ladies n gents, in sheer numbers WE AIN'T SHIT. We're a rare breed that's determined to embrace the original ways, colors, style, hell some even in their dress and use of surviving products (Meguire's, Pabst, Levis). Some of us stayed the course, some are all tech'd up and think we're foolish or missing out, the group of "greasers" in work clothes fresh out the garage at 11:00 pm on a Friday night. Not always, but you get the idea, right? Customs? They never have been for everyone, never as popular as the hot rod, those who "get it" seem to gravitate toward all of it as well and many times got the respect of their peers, mild or full boat sled, no matter.

    wicarnut, Squablow and denis4x4 like this.
  13. Fuel to burn
    Joined: Jul 17, 2009
    Posts: 270

    Fuel to burn

    I think what is lost on young people is the difference between custom and stock, and I think the reason is that they see so few of either. Kids love my bone stock 59 Mercury, they would love it just as much if it were customized but they wouldn't know the difference. Either way they just think it's a cool old car.
    Another thing is that customs were most popular in the time when automotive styling was king. Cars were already spectacular coming off the line, if you wanted your car to stand out you had to customize.
    Now it seems like most young people are into performance, the only ones into customizing are the lowriders and slabs.
  14. Mr48chev
    Joined: Dec 28, 2007
    Posts: 26,270


    I'd have to believe that there are plenty of young car freaks out there just not that many into the traditional customs but many are still customizing. There will be enough of them who figure out that there are only so many things you can do to later model rigs and gravitate to the older rigs over time.
    I would agree that a lot of the younger folks aren't interested in the car hobby and even between my own kids age 32 and 37 My 37 year old daughter is the car freak of the pair while my son is pretty well content to drive an off the shelf rig as it comes off the shelf. Part of that may be because my daughter grew up at rod runs from five weeks old on. She has plans to put her twist on the 51 1-1/2 ton I have sitting out here that came with the parts donor for my rebuild on my truck.
  15. Zykotec
    Joined: May 30, 2011
    Posts: 141


    I think customs aren't all lost on young people, but I'd like to ask the same question back. I like almost all kinds of cars as long as they're modified. And I wonder how many of the older guys, or people who are into older cars, can recognize the mods done to modern 'customs'?
    The hot rods are usually easy to recognize, just like they have always been, with their loud exhaust, oversized wheels, unfinished paint, and general attitudes of the drivers, but customs have always been about improving the stance and style of a reasonably affordable car, often to make it look newer than it is.
    Making a '50 Chevy look more like a '53 Caddy, is similar to making a cheap Honda look more like a newer Acura, or more like a 'JDM' Honda. People put a lot of work into getting specific parts from Japan or Europe to make their cars just a little bit different from the crowd. The modified Honda and modified VW crowds are huge, but maybe not so much with 'American'(Mexican or Korean) cars.
    As for customizing an actual old car, spending a 5 figure amount on a rare classic car, to then modify it in a way that has been tried and tested for 60 years, and end up looking exactly like another car that was already customized in '55 doesn't make sense to everybody. And trying to be different from all other custom cars is not easy if you still want a good looking car. When was the last time someone did something that no one had done before on a '50 Merc, while still staying HAMB legal?
    And since customizing is all about making a car more 'your own' it usually doesn't make sense to buy a car that is already modified to someone elses taste.
    CowboyTed likes this.
    Joined: Jun 3, 2005
    Posts: 7,902


    Zyko, good point within your reply. The custom as we know it will always be tailored to the taste of the builder/owner. The very definition speaks "individual" rather than for the masses. In very broad terms you'll seldom see a custom sell for big money, especially at an auction that's mostly catering to the mainstream enthusiast. Over time the best in the game have hit some home runs. Cars that anyone would be proud to own. Back in their hayday several broke new ground with mods that simply "work". And as I've been never too shy to mention, there's been some real mangy dogs built over time as well. Too many ideas piled onto 1 car, excess amounts of excess, interiors that would make a New Orleans pimp jealous (no intended dissin to pimps :eek: ). Something else I've said before, the inspiration that helped push the era right after WWII toward heavy body mods came from specials that were built by the OEMs. The 1st Lincoln Continental was chopped, channeled and sectioned. It was also welded to the frame for a more rigid platform. "Dutch" Darrin chopped and sectioned his creations and added the flair of the Euro-inspired cut down door as seen in the more racy versions of select models from overseas. Maybe it's not justified to critique similar, even identical mods on certain cars. It's done for the same reason that the grille/headlight/front axle placement of a Duece Hiboy "should be" in certain positions. It works. It pleases the eye. Function is right on. A 40 Mercury really only looks better if done like the beloved "Mantranga" from back in the day. Color, engine, interior, all can change on a fresh example but the overall profile and mods are the money shot.

    If we were to inform the youthful ones among us about things it should be why certain things work and why others don't, why some ideas should be avoided. The monster chop on the Pierson Bros. 33-4 coupe looks awesome, sinister, fast. Either them or Chrisman bent the rules 1st and still had a legal 7" minimum windshield as well as a monster areodynamic advantage over their competitors. On the street? As a custom? Looks a little silly, no? Makes a nice "shock rod" but I wouldn't want to drive it very far in traffic. Even slight mods to the early 60s cars can make or break the end result. It's nice to remove select trim and badging, it looks cheap if you take it all off and paint everything one color. back in the 80s when the monochromatic look was supposed to be "hi tech" it still looked cheap, unfinished, maybe even lazy. I didn't care if those cars were sitting on a $100K chassis and drivetrain, my 1st impression was cheap n lazy. Like using all tweed in an interior, makes it look like the material was on sale so it got used everywhere. Don't think it through, use some imagination, mix it up with vinyl or leather, just cover it all like granny's sofa slip covers. Those youthful ones reading this, are you getting even a minor take-away? If so I'm properly and respectfully spreading the gospel. That is what we're about, no?
    CowboyTed likes this.
  17. chopolds
    Joined: Oct 22, 2001
    Posts: 5,681

    from howell, nj
    1. Kustom Painters

    Are you kidding? Customs are lost on most of the guys on the HAMB!!!!!!!!! If you don't believe me, look up any thread about customs, skirts, or 60's show customs.
    chopper99, 57JoeFoMoPar and Sancho like this.

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