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Hot Rods Better Hot Rod?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by travj31, Jun 26, 2022.

  1. What makes a better Hot Rod, 46-48 Ford Coupe or 49-51 Shoebox Ford and why? If both cars are Flathead powered in similar shape and with a total build budget of say 5-8k not counting initial price of the cars what would you do?
     
    chryslerfan55 likes this.
  2. Both make great hot rods, what makes one better over the other is personal taste.

    I prefer the 49-51 Ford coupes. HRP [​IMG]
     
  3. clem
    Joined: Dec 20, 2006
    Posts: 4,157

    clem
    Member

    ‘49 - ‘51 can’t really be called a hot rod can it ? ( definitely doesn’t fit the pre ‘49 criteria either ).
    Maybe suitable for a custom of some description.
    Final answer must be ‘46 - ‘48……….…:)
     
  4. 57Fury440
    Joined: Nov 2, 2020
    Posts: 236

    57Fury440
    Member

    I like the 49-51 Fords. The coupes have nice clean lines. Since when does a car have to be a certain age to be a hot rod? I was always told a hot rod would be any car modified to go faster, handle better, etc. Nascar drivers have referred to their cars as hot rods since Petty was still racing.
     

  5. This didn't take long. :rolleyes:
     
  6. both make killer customs.

    you’ll get the pre 49 debate. Lol. But there is no set definition of a “hot rod”(only maybe for this forum)

    but personal opinion the 46-48 body looks better as a “hot rod” than the 49-51 body.
     
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2022
  7. Tim
    Joined: Mar 2, 2001
    Posts: 16,932

    Tim
    Member
    from KCMO

    Either works but they are different animals.

    outside of fat fenders or slab sides you have the last of the transverse spring banjo cars or the first independent front end, over drive manuals trans, open drive shaft parallel leaf cars.

    both probably weight about the same and take up about the same amount of space in your garage.

    both easy to work on.

    plenty examples of both as hot rods or customs.

    Chocolate or Strawberry , it’s your scoop man ;)
     
    tierod, osage orange, brEad and 8 others like this.
  8. The shoebox Ford might just be easier to modify the drivetrain if you want to later. I like the distributor on the 49-53 flathead better than the front mount on the earlier version. The shoebox sits lower stock so it might be more comfortable to drive.
    But to me, the 46-48 coupe just says "hot rod" more than the later version.
     
  9. bill gruendeman
    Joined: Jun 18, 2019
    Posts: 788

    bill gruendeman
    Member

    I like both cars but here in Minnesota the shoeboxes are more common so the used part are cheaper. I just helped a buddy get his shoebox going after being parked for more than 40 years, ez to work on and lots of parts out there. The 46 48 looks more like a hot rod to me, but the shoebox could be more family friendly.
     
  10. BamaMav
    Joined: Jun 19, 2011
    Posts: 6,644

    BamaMav
    Member
    from Berry, AL

    The pre 48 cut off deal came from NSRA's definition of a street rod years ago. Probably chosen because 48 was the last year for the buggy spring suspension which dated back to pioneer wagons. 49 IFS was considered "modern".

    As to being a hot rod, John Force calls his funny cars a hot rod. It's all just words, a hot rod is what you make of it. When you add a descriptive word, such as traditional in front of hot rod, then you limit it to that style hot rod. We all know what goes on a traditional hot rod, and what doesn't, such as big wheels and tiny sidewall tires are a no go. We all have our likes and dislikes, and label things as such. Nothing wrong with that. A shoebox like HRP's pic above is just as much a hot rod to me as any pre 48 can be. It's all in how you look at them. Too many labels in society now, just enjoy what you like and don't worry about what somebody wants to call it.
     
  11. 26Troadster
    Joined: Nov 20, 2010
    Posts: 783

    26Troadster
    Member

    46-48 for me, the 49-51 make a great looking custom.
     
  12. 210superair
    Joined: Jun 23, 2020
    Posts: 1,952

    210superair
    Member
    from Michigan

    Can't go wrong with either! Lots of shoebox parts available tho, and the coupes sure look good dropped...
     
  13. Kelly Burns
    Joined: May 22, 2009
    Posts: 1,430

    Kelly Burns
    Member

    Wow! This thread hits, not close to home, but on our front porch! We have a '50 Ford two door sedan that we bought about 2 years ago to build with the kids, that she wants to build as a custom and one of my dream cars is a '46-'48 Ford hot rod, which I've wanted one since I was 15 and am looking for now.

    I'm not a custom fan at all, regardless of make or model, I respect the craftsmanship of a custom build, but not my bag, I'm a hot rodder! We found a '46 the other night and my first words were "If we got rid of the wide whites and put on a set magnesium wheels, its perfect!" I can visualize our '50 with a set of TTOs or Halibrands, we've lowered the stock suspension about 1/2" too low already (so that means its perfect!:D). The picture is before we lowered it. I wanted to louver the hood and decklid and maybe dash, but that is not a popular touch around our place. I'll pick on @HOTRODPRIMER because he has posted in this thread, and his isn't much different looking than ours at a glance. I like his car, but to me its the wheels! 5 spokes vs. white walls, that I prefer over the two.

    I said all that to show, that even though one of my dream cars is a '46-'48 Ford, and a '49-'51 Ford isn't on that short list, I know what I would like to do to make it a "Hot Rod". I think your can build either one as a "Hot Rod", depending on which one you like better. "Hot Rod" to me is a style of a feel.

    Your budget isn't out of line for either, I think that depends on what you find to start with and what you want to do, shiny paint, wheels and tires, if you find one that is 6 or 12 volt etc.

    Google search both and see what you like in each car and each style. Don't settle, like I mentioned, I've wanted a '46-'48 Ford since I saw an orange one in Hot Rod at 15 years old. I have had a bunch of other cars that have been really nice, and every time I've sold one I was going to buy a '46-'48 Ford, but the next one will be!

    IMG_9565.JPG
     
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2022
  14. ekimneirbo
    Joined: Apr 29, 2017
    Posts: 4,114

    ekimneirbo

    I think the 50/51 Hardtops make really nice drivers when done. Costs a little more and harder to find........but way nicer when done.:)
     
  15. DO you need more interior space or not? I believe the 48 and older will be narrower inside a bit. Something to consider.
    Also consider that there is Business coupe on both, but won't have the back seat. Also the 46-48 have a long door and a short door.
    Also if you want front axle, then '48 and older.
    If you want IFS, then go newer.

    This is for EVERYONE, when budgeting a car with new period white white walls, figure about another 1500.00 just in tires, min. Yeah you can get used tires, but still even those close in on 800-1000.00.

    another word of caution, watch out for really bas basket case, other peoples problem projects. dont get stuck with those unless they are near fre.

    IF you going to un custom mags and new tires, well there goes some money also.

    I would recommend taking about 3k-5K and seeing what is the most complete version you can find. Maybe even higher to find something running and driving.

    This one is prob the best deal, this ford info sent. at this price I would STUF and just drive it.
    [​IMG]

    '41 is very similar to '46-48
    https://cnj.craigslist.org/cto/d/garwood-1941-ford-coupe-convertible/7496093446.html
    https://hartford.craigslist.org/cto/d/enfield-1941-ford-convertible-project/7497515517.html
     
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2022
  16. 210superair
    Joined: Jun 23, 2020
    Posts: 1,952

    210superair
    Member
    from Michigan

    20220412_141917.jpg
    Gratuitous coupe moment....
     
  17. Kelly Burns
    Joined: May 22, 2009
    Posts: 1,430

    Kelly Burns
    Member

    Hamtown Al likes this.
  18. Mr48chev
    Joined: Dec 28, 2007
    Posts: 33,738

    Mr48chev
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    There were a number of fast shoebox Fords around this area in the late 50's and early 60's. They could be bought dirt cheap and you could run a Y block and keep it six volt if you ran a 55 starter and generator.
    My step father had a 52 Ford Vicky that he had traded a 53 Merc for that had a 56 Thunderbird special with a 3 speed overdrive in it. The car held the C/gas track record at Ellensburg drag strip in the mid 50's. It was lowered a bunch to boot. EX step sister's boyfriend around 1960 had a shoebox with a Pontiac V8 in it that was said to be seriously fast.
    Anymore it may come down to which one is the best buy and most complete with the least repair work before you start modifying it. Along with liking one better than the other.
     
  19. Thanks everyone for the responses… I’d say for the most part, I can pretty much agree to just about everything posted other than that a shoebox Ford can’t be a Hot Rod because it’s newer than 1948! My initial thought when I originally posted was that the 46-48 coupes make better Hot Rods, while the shoebox sedans make better customs.
     
  20. Amen brother
     
  21. Tim
    Joined: Mar 2, 2001
    Posts: 16,932

    Tim
    Member
    from KCMO

    Front/ back seat width is comparable. I’ve had both and my current 46’ Tudor I can fit 6 adults with a little elbow rubbing. With the right choices I can fit 3 car seats in the back no trouble.

    end of the day just buy what does it for you.
     
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2022
  22. Kelly Burns
    Joined: May 22, 2009
    Posts: 1,430

    Kelly Burns
    Member

    I went to see if I my message went through and it says its been deleted, do you happen to know if it was relisted?
     
    chryslerfan55 likes this.
  23. That was sold. ;)
     
    Kelly Burns likes this.
  24. Kelly Burns
    Joined: May 22, 2009
    Posts: 1,430

    Kelly Burns
    Member

    @abe lugo I was afraid you would say that, but I had to ask!
     
  25. Blues4U
    Joined: Oct 1, 2015
    Posts: 7,590

    Blues4U
    Member
    from So Cal

    I can't really argue with what's already been said above. I have a 47 long door coupe, I really enjoy it. Compared to my 30 pickup the suspension action of the 47 is light years advanced. If I get back from a good run in the 30, and then jump into the 47, which I have done, the 47 is like driving the living room couch down the road compared to the 30. While I do really like the shoeboxes, I prefer the fat fender look of the 46-48 Fords. But I think I might like the IFS of the shoebox even more than the straight axle of the 46-48; as nice as it rides compared to the 30, it's still pretty primitive. As far as calling either a hot rod, eh, I'm not so sure about that. You can call anything whatever you want to call it. But if I'm talking to my wife about a car, if I'm talking about the hot rod, she knows which one I'm referring to. The 47 is "the coupe". I don't think of it as a hot rod, it's not. It's an old car, it's been hot rodded compared to stock, but it's not a hot rod. You all can live whatever fantasy you want to. ;)
    [​IMG]
     
  26. Well to give somewhat of an update… I guess my final answer was BOTH! I already had a 50 Shoebox project that is a really solid foundation, but is a full-on project. It’s a original paint car from New Mexico with a rebuilt flatty and 5 speed. It’s all there, but it’s been blown apart and will require full assembly/build. And ironically enough, the 46 that Abe had posted that I should check out… I had already had a deal in place well before I even made this original post. Kind of crazy that he literally posted the car that I had already bought. It was a local car to me (only about 20 minutes away) and when I saw the ad posted, I jumped on it.

    The real reason for my post was, I have two young boys (7 and 4) who are turning into gear heads. I originally told them that the 50 was going to be our father-son project over the next few years and when the time came, that it would be theirs to cruise. However, when I came across this running and driving 46 I thought it might end up being a more financial sound move and more enjoyable experience for them as they would be able to drive/enjoy it quicker and spend less time working and more time driving! Either way, both the 46 and 50 have found there way to my garage for the time being.
     

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  27. Tim
    Joined: Mar 2, 2001
    Posts: 16,932

    Tim
    Member
    from KCMO

    Nice!
     
    210superair and travj31 like this.
  28. Tim
    Joined: Mar 2, 2001
    Posts: 16,932

    Tim
    Member
    from KCMO

    Maybe I should go buy a shoebox… got this 394 in the corner…
     
  29. tomcat11
    Joined: Mar 31, 2010
    Posts: 801

    tomcat11
    Member

    46 by a country mile.
    [​IMG]
     
    tr_rodder likes this.
  30. Roothawg
    Joined: Mar 14, 2001
    Posts: 24,448

    Roothawg
    Member

    I think the 46-48 Ford is the most undervalued car out there. I really dig the 46 trim.

    I would look at a business coupe if you plan on chopping it. They look awesome.

    The cheapest is the sedan, which I have a soft spot for. Look for a good restored original to start with.
     
    The ideaman likes this.

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