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Budget hot rod build possible???

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by kein, Jul 5, 2010.

  1. kein
    Joined: Oct 28, 2007
    Posts: 199


    Opinions needed- I know, very broad topic but is buying and building a true hotrod within a working man's budget. I'm thinking of selling what I have which would get me about 10K and then throwing in some cash to start with a running project. Anything from mid 1930's on up. I know the older the more expensive so I have opened myself up to the 40's and even some 50's models. I'd really like to do a traditional hot rod but don't want to spent 25 years building it b/c of the cost. Any thoughts from those who have do it??? Thanks
  2. panhead_pete
    Joined: Feb 22, 2006
    Posts: 2,630


    Based on your post forget 32-24 Fords, well at least steel ones. A A Model Ford might be just what you need although its all about what you want.

    There is an awesome complete very original no rust model A Coupe on the ford barn right now for $10K it would be mine if cirumstances allowed.

    Whilst some would argue its too nice to mess with you could buy that go for an late 40s vibe, strip off all the stuff you dont want and sell it to those that crave great sheet metal etc buy some brakes and wheels (sell the old ones), and start with a banger highboy coupe and just do stuff as you go. Chop it later and redo the chassis with a V8 if thats the result you want.

    Not having to do any body work or paint initailly is a great start if you dont have those skills.

    Thats one of MANY ways. $10K should see you rolling a little A.
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2010
  3. tudorkeith
    Joined: May 10, 2009
    Posts: 454


    10k, easily can build a real hot rod safely. careful shopping and a lot of hours wrenching , welding and painting. I have less than 6k in mine so far, including paint. I need to take currant together pics with the new black steeliesa and WWW's. the paint will be flat copper pearl, already have it just need to do a little more bodywork. so yes 10K+ More cash should do it, less if you can do the work yourself

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  4. young'n'poor
    Joined: Jan 26, 2006
    Posts: 1,280

    from Anoka. MN

    I haven't built one yet but I have just decided to build a a-v8 myself and if you do a lot of the work on your own and pick up the right parts as you go its not as expensive as you think. I have a running 8ba I got out of a rusty 50 ford, a 36 banjo rearend and torque tube, stock A rear spring, and '34 wishbones I have been picking up over the years and have less then 2000 in these parts so far.

    I'm gonna start with a bare frame and build up, but if you have 10k you could buy a nice stocker and take it down like panhead pete said and sell what you don't want and use the money and a little cash to get all the right stuff at swapmeets and on craigslist with some careful buying.

  5. gnichols
    Joined: Mar 6, 2008
    Posts: 10,936

    from Tampa, FL

    Don't they all start out that way? Gary
  6. Francisco Plumbero
    Joined: May 6, 2010
    Posts: 2,531

    Francisco Plumbero
    from il.

    Save your money, 10 grand is not going to get you a car built that you are happy with. Sit down and plan the car out, you will see real fast that your budget is going to take a hit. This is why there are a lot of rat style cars around, you may be able to achieve that on that budget, I would say realistically 25 grand.
  7. Greezy
    Joined: May 11, 2002
    Posts: 1,436


    Do yourself a big favor and decide what you really want before you buy anything.
  8. oldcarfan
    Joined: Jan 7, 2010
    Posts: 315

    from missouri

    your an idiot.
  9. Sam Navarro
    Joined: Jul 16, 2009
    Posts: 758

    Sam Navarro

    IMO it depends on what you really want???? I spent 2K for my interior, alot of people would have been happy with Mexican blankets and beat up springs. I decided to go all out on mine. I put a great sound system in mine, but that's because I would rather drive slow with loud music than fast with nothing...... Point is, I wouldn't limit yourself to 5K 10K 15K if it's what YOU want do it. But buy something that is running and drive the shit out of it until you get your game plan!
  10. freeflynstl
    Joined: Jul 16, 2009
    Posts: 275


    If you're a car guy, and I assume you are, you must have car guy friends. Try trading out work, parts, whole engines...stuff like that. I have good pal that's a painter at a body shop. I helped dig a trench out to a detached garage, bury PVC and pull electric out there. Now he does side work at home and guess who's side work he does over some cold Miller Lites?

    That's right, your's truly.

    Do it like the Indians did, barter and trade. I'm not speaking for all but I like helping out other rodders. Oh, and food for thought...befriend some old time rodders. You'd learn a lot and get access to caches of parts that they just may help you out and sell/trade you something. Old rodders like to keep the spirit of rodding alive and if you're not a douche then they'll probably like you.

    Andy L. Kaempfer
    St. Louis, MO
  11. Really? 25K minimum? That seems crazy :confused:
  12. Now that's some good advise!!!
  13. Zombie Hot Rod
    Joined: Oct 22, 2006
    Posts: 2,453

    Zombie Hot Rod
    from New York

    The most expensive part of having a car built is paying for the labor. If you have the time and the skill to do all of the labor yourself, you should be able to build a Model A for $10k.
  14. metalman
    Joined: Dec 30, 2006
    Posts: 3,280


    I'm going to argue with Shawnsauto. All project cars need are TLC (time, labor, cash!). Other then the above mentioned 32/34 Fords and a few others that 10g buys a hulk I see it as very doable ONLY if you have time and skills to build it yourself. Once you start paying for someone else (pro shops) to build your hot rod 10g will go fast.
    Look for a project someone else is bailing on, you can often get a great head start that way.
    Example: I have a 27 Ford roadster PU (preety desirable body style for a traditional rod) that I picked up from a buddy that needed cash. Roller with a lot of work already done, frame was built, body has the patch panels all done, ect. I also picked up a 38 Ford flathead drivetrain from another guy doing the SBC thing. I have a little less then $4500 in it. I can do my own work so I'll bet for another $5500 I could be driving it finished and it won't be a rat rod. Might not have a lot of flash but things like chrome ect could be added later on as the budget allow. I decided I already have too many projects so I have it in the classifieds, just flipping it for what I have in it, too bad I'm on the wrong side of the country.
  15. metalman
    Joined: Dec 30, 2006
    Posts: 3,280


    Sorry, I ment to argue with Fransico's post, not Swansauto.
  16. panhead_pete
    Joined: Feb 22, 2006
    Posts: 2,630


    If you go to buy a hot rod partially or completly finished make sure you take some guy/s who know what to look for. LOTS of very poorly constructed cars are out there. Dont be shy about posting pics of anything you are looking at. SO MUCH experience here that will spot likely issues.

    A wanted ad here on the HAMB might throw up some likely candidates too, please though dont bump it until 3 days are gone.

    Really hope that in a month or two we will see your thread about your hot rod.
  17. $10K is enough, there's lots of pre-'48 stuff out there that's finished and running that you can score for <$10k. Keep an open mind on what you really want and wait for it. Loko on eBay, join a collector car association, try Hemmings. There's probably something local if you're not sold on one make, model, style. Some 80's/90's rods with bad stlying and billet all over can become decent "traditional" rods with a little work.

    good luck!
  18. The key question is if you have to pay someone to build it. If you do, then I guess 25K goes fast.
  19. mustangsix
    Joined: Mar 7, 2005
    Posts: 1,297


    I built this for just over $7500. I have all the receipts for everything on this car. I probably have thousands of manhours in the thing, though. :rolleyes:

    It took me three years to gather parts and about 9 months (full time) to build it, and yes, it is glass. It took a LOT of work to MAKE every little bracket. I even made the door hinges because I couldn't afford the repops.

    The engine and trans were a cast off 307/T350 and the rear is from some kind of S10. The windshield, radiator shell, grill, headers, and all the shiny things are swap meet parts that I polished up. I splurged for a radiator and it's the most expensive single thing of the car.

    The 48 Ford steering wheel and box were dumpster finds. The old lever shocks were gimmes from some old Triumph or MG. The lights came form a dune buggy. I made the wiring harness from wire I had lying around and an old fuse box.

    No, I won't win any prizes. And a lot of Hambers won't like the radials or are allergic to fiberglass.;) But it sure is alot of fun.

    It's a budget beater. I love it!

  20. X2 .cracked me up. 25 G's is gold chainer stuff. no really, I have $1300 in my avatar truck I like the searching and whoarding free and cheap parts

    the cost of a ride is based on your ability. at 40-160 bucks an hour for shop rates. 10 G/s won't take you very far. best route is buy a finished car someone is offing to build a new one
  21. MikeRose
    Joined: Oct 7, 2004
    Posts: 1,574

    from Yuma, AZ

    I think your best bet would be to buy a nearly done car for 10k. The prices of cars are down and I've seen some nice nearly done, or done cars for under 10k. Figure out what you want, find something driveable or close to it and make it your own.
  22. Francisco Plumbero
    Joined: May 6, 2010
    Posts: 2,531

    Francisco Plumbero
    from il.

    Read my post before you argue, its good advice, sit down and figure out what you want, do your budget, dont knock all kinds of stuff out till you get to your final number. How much to build the car you WANT, how much to build a respectable trad rod, trad is steel is it not, trad is a manual tranny is it not, trad is not a buick v6 is it. The guy has a nice little roadster there for 7500 but its not trad, very nice but not trad. This is the HAMB is it not, why would we want him to compromise, we will just tell him hes not a hot rod later, how did I get to be an idiot for being realistic and adhereing to the principals of the HAMB. Friend, budget your build out, do it on the Hamb, let these guys guide you, they will even find parts for you, see where it goes. Pick a car type and a direction and lets see where the numbers land. Personally Id be very surprised to see a steel rod 28-39 body worked, with a flatty, a manual trans, car painted nicely, not just rusted or patina'd ,with decent tires and rims, an interior, working glass. and able to pass a safety test come in at 10 K total, including all consumables. Lets mock up a ride boys and show me how wrong I am.
  23. bobjob55
    Joined: May 23, 2009
    Posts: 327


    I agree that 10 grand should be enough to build a car ....if you want to build it yourself ... first ,, find a project car that you absolutely love ,, then its time to start finding deals ... my latest project car ,, i paid $300.00 for with all mods to body and frame .... $50.00 for motor and trans ... and found a bunch of deals on most of my parts .. i only need a few items from a catalog .. and will come in at around 6 grand ...STAY AWAY from buying out of the eats up your cash way too quick is a picture of my $300.00 toy

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  24. Paul
    Joined: Aug 29, 2002
    Posts: 15,233


    the answer to this question, which comes up a lot here by the way, is...

    yes.. or no.

    if you have connections and the know how, then of course it is very possible.
    if you don't, (having to go on line to ask is an indication that maybe you don't)
    then give yourself a reasonable budget,
    but don't be surprised when it takes longer and costs more than you planned.
  25. Francisco Plumbero
    Joined: May 6, 2010
    Posts: 2,531

    Francisco Plumbero
    from il.

    I like Paul's answer the best, better than mine even.
  26. Blair
    Joined: Jul 28, 2005
    Posts: 361

    from xx

    I have a little under 8K in my A coupe. It has a 283 with a four speed, I also have a 4X2 that is ready to run that I need to put on it. It isn't registered yet, and needs some glass but it does run and drive. I will be right about 10K with it primered and if I decide to do the paint work only about another 1200 painted. It's pretty traditional (bias tires, 40 rear, 40 front brakes/spindles, 38 cross steer, 32 shell, etc).

    It is all about time. You get good deals when you have the time to spend at swap meets. If you want to order parts from catalogs you could probably spend 25K pretty easily. Also, if you have to have others do work for you (weld, paint, etc) you will spend a lot more money.

    It all depends on your ability to learn (if you don't already know, which I assume you don't since you are asking the question) and time.
  27. Hightone111
    Joined: Apr 5, 2007
    Posts: 323


    Safety test??? Trad??? WTF
    Joined: Dec 16, 2007
    Posts: 438


    Very nice!

    I'd gladly drive that!
  29. seventhirteen
    Joined: Sep 21, 2009
    Posts: 721

    from dago, ca

    seems folks are missing the obvious, if you have to ask the answer is probably NO. Certainly you can get into a car for 10k (look at the classifieds, craigslist, ebay... there are tons of cars)

    you can easily buy almost any car in this economy for under 10k, I picked up a 34 three window for $6000 here on the HAMB, but it's in pieces, it would cost me 3x that to have it put together by a good shop and painted. But, I'll be doing it myself, I'll probably have 15k in the car with me doing all the work. So sure it can be done, I've built a 30 coupe for $3000 before, had about $6000 in my last build and plan on spending around 12k in my current build

    what you need to do is first figure out what kind of car you want, then how much of the work will you be able to handle yourself or be able to afford to pay someone to do and that will let you know what you can build and afford. 10k is plenty to get started if your resourceful, if your not.... well 25k probably is a good goal

    on a side note "your an idiot" is a great comeback, but it should really be "you're an idiot" congratulations on adding a post count though!
  30. Francisco Plumbero
    Joined: May 6, 2010
    Posts: 2,531

    Francisco Plumbero
    from il.

    Words present: Traditional Hot Rod, Don't want to spend 25 years on it because of the cost, The guy sounds like a first time to build a rod guy, Id hate to see him run out of money and not finish it, I would only say that 25 would be a nice cushion. Dont have to spend it, maybe put a down stroke on a house and garage with the rest, or tools, Isnt this a traditional hot rod site? I could post a link to street rodders .com, we could argue about the subtle differences of Fushia and Lipstick Pink on our Fiberglass Willys with the 06 vette engine in it. We could bolt on some wheelie bars and put a wing on a 79 Monza. Or we could talk about hot rods.

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