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Projects Build or buy

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by 51504bat, Jan 2, 2018.

  1. 51504bat
    Joined: May 22, 2010
    Posts: 767


    I've been thinking about a flathead powered T or A roadster or coupe now that my p/u is a reliable daily driver. I've seen some nice complete or almost complete roadsters for sale at a price for less than I think I could build the same vehicle for. My fab skills aren't as good as a lot of the guys (and gals) here on the HAMB but what I can't do myself I have buds who'll point me in the right direction so I won't have to farm out too much stuff. The question is even if I make changes/additions it seems like I'll always be driving someone else's car. I'd certainly give credit to the original builder(s) but for those of you who have bought a complete car does or did it bother you that someone else did the original build. Just wondering. Thanks.
  2. upspirate
    Joined: Apr 15, 2012
    Posts: 1,800


    Not a problem if you like what the others did. In other words, buy something that you would have built with the idea that anything you don't like, (minor changes) you can change to make it yours.
    I wouldn't buy something that you need to blow all apart and change the fundamental stuff like chassis design etc
    , in that case , you might as well start from scratch
    weps and Hot Rod Nut like this.
  3. If you can afford it and it's what you want or close to what you want go for it. HRP
    weps likes this.
  4. Jalopy Joker
    Joined: Sep 3, 2006
    Posts: 20,832

    Jalopy Joker

    building you can truly do it your way. others have their ride built to their specifications - not their car because of this? as you said skill & dollars & time enters into the picture. have built & bought - all we're mine.
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  5. 1946caddy
    Joined: Dec 18, 2013
    Posts: 1,127

    from washington

    You could also lie and say you built it like some guys do. Kind of like the same guys that refer to their ride as a roadster wither it's a sedan or coupe.
    P.S. Henry originally build all the T's and A's so you will never be the original builder.
    Joined: Nov 7, 2008
    Posts: 80


    Inspect it, test it, buy it -save money. Dream it , build it, sell it -lose money. The fun for me is the build process. I really don't want it after I finish.
    bchctybob likes this.
  7. Well, not exactly,Murry was responsible for the Vickys & the A-400's. HRP
  8. stude54ht
    Joined: Dec 30, 2007
    Posts: 243

    from Spokane WA

    If you buy art you are a patron, if you make art you are an artist. Buy or build?
  9. 1946caddy
    Joined: Dec 18, 2013
    Posts: 1,127

    from washington

    I was guessing since I'm not that old.
    Both Briggs and Murry supplied bodies for Ford, They didn't build the car.
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2018
  10. fordflambe
    Joined: Apr 9, 2007
    Posts: 276

    from Houston

    If you like to tinker and search painlessly for "just the right piece" it can be very rewarding to build your own. However, I have several buddies interested in hot rods but do not have the resources (shop or tools) or knowledge to get past putting air in the tires.....If you build, you have to be able to resolve misfitting parts, fabricate your own parts, you have to be able to plan a logical course of action, and have tremendous patience.....having buddies that want to help or buddies to bounce ideas off of helps too.......building one takes time while buying one is almost instantaneous.............Along with building one goes a tremendous amount of pride in being able to say "I built it"............I think each perspective has its just have to decide how you want to get on the road.
    Doctorterry and chevyfordman like this.
  11. anthony myrick
    Joined: Sep 4, 2009
    Posts: 3,440

    anthony myrick
    from al

    Building is fun
    people have hobbies they lose money on
    Hunting fishing golf.....
    I chose to lose on cars
    It saves me money on shrinks though.
    Doctorterry and fordflambe like this.
  12. mr.chevrolet
    Joined: Jul 19, 2006
    Posts: 6,143


    who cares?, as long as You enjoy it.
  13. chevyfordman
    Joined: Oct 4, 2008
    Posts: 681


    I couldn't have said it any better. It doesn't bother me to say that I didn't build the car but I know that I have made a lot of detail changes that only the builder would recognize, maybe.
    i.rant and fordflambe like this.
  14. gimpyshotrods
    Joined: May 20, 2009
    Posts: 15,434


    If you have the coin, find something that is as close to what you want as a final outcome as you can get, and take it the rest of the way yourself.

    There is so much of a build that does need to be built by you. Put your efforts into the areas that really make it yours.
    bchctybob, 49ratfink and belair like this.
  15. Slopok
    Joined: Jan 30, 2012
    Posts: 2,008


    In most cases you can't build em for what you can buy em for!
    fordflambe and Poh like this.
  16. I've built a bunch and bought a bunch, too. The problem with buying one is that they are "off" just enough to require some changes. Next thing I know I've got something completely disassembled and have a pile of part boxes on the floor.

    I had an off topic British roadster some years ago. The dash lights were fairly dim and I pulled the dash out to clean up the little reflectors and rattle can some silver on them. As long as I had the dash disassembled and was working on the slight leak in the heater core when I discovered that the heater hoses needed to be replaced. Now the funky heater shut-off which, when it leaks, drips right onto the distributor cap was suspect. "As long as I was doing" something struck and within three days the feekin thing was on a rotisserie.
  17. gimpyshotrods
    Joined: May 20, 2009
    Posts: 15,434


    There are medications for that.
    chevyfordman likes this.
  18. Well, this support group has only made it worse.
  19. Squablow
    Joined: Apr 26, 2005
    Posts: 13,435


    Keeping a "done" one on the road is a fair amount of work in itself. I wouldn't have any shame driving a car someone else built, I often wish I could afford to do it that way. My T had all of what I consider the "hard work" done when I got it, chassis and suspension all done, engine in and running, all very well done by the previous owner, all it really needed was bodywork/paint and details and really that's all I like to do myself anyway. It's pretty much unrecognizeable at this point but I definitely don't have any issue giving credit where credit is due even if no one would know.

    Owners of historic hot rods take great pride in cars built by others, I see no reason anyone couldn't take that kind of pride in a car, even if the build date was much more recent.
    slim38 likes this.
  20. belair
    Joined: Jul 10, 2006
    Posts: 7,662

    1. H.A.M.B. Chapel

    Gimpy is right on the money. Buy what you like and then build it suit yourself.
    bchctybob and gimpyshotrods like this.
  21. LM14
    Joined: Dec 18, 2009
    Posts: 1,161

    from Iowa

    I just went thru this myself. Shopped for cars that were close to what I wanted. Didn't expect to find exactly what I like. Once I started shopping I found cars I liked...but didn't like a lot of things on them. Maybe stance was right, or engine, or wheels or interior but they all had a ton of things I didn't like. When I started to look at what I didn't like about other people's work, I decided to build my own from the start. Why spend money on things you don't want, can't live with and don't like? I don't care if it's cheaper, costs more, etc. I don't plan to sell it, let my estate worry about that. I don't build cars to sell. I will order, built and install exactly what I want. My vision, not somebody else's.
  22. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 40,867


    I know of one car I would consider buying.....most of them are way too far from what I want.
  23. LM14
    Joined: Dec 18, 2009
    Posts: 1,161

    from Iowa

    Another thought. Buying somebody's stalled/abandoned project that hasn't got a lot of work done you will have to re-do is a good option, too.
  24. jailbar joe
    Joined: Nov 21, 2014
    Posts: 237

    jailbar joe

    i'm in the buy a rod camp and while you enjoy driving it to events/places you can build the car of your dreams
    as quickly or slowly as you please
    my first car took me 10 years to build (yeah i'm slow) and in all that time i went to hotrod events in a hyundai...
    after completing it i realise that had i bought a "cheap" finished car i could have done both at the same time...
    then on completion of my build just sell the bought car.
  25. Mr48chev
    Joined: Dec 28, 2007
    Posts: 23,825


    Well having built a T bucket starting by hauling body parts out of a field and hauling them home in the trunk of a 62 Impala and cutting the tubing for the frame by hand with a hack saw I'd say find a stalled project or one that is to the point where you can make it your own.
    Since you have already done the truck you should know what to look for as far as quality of workmanship as far as welding and fabrication go plus be able to see that the car has the major components you want. Plus unless the car is too low priced to pass up don't buy one with a bunch of stuff on it that you will have to pay extra for and then take off and try to sell to put what you want on it. Things like headers and wheels and tires that don't fit into your build plan.
  26. 49ratfink
    Joined: Feb 8, 2004
    Posts: 16,913

    from California

    I feel your pain. rotisseries are dangerous to have around. they should be locked up with two keys like a safe deposit box, so you can't start some idiot project without approval of at least one person. I accidentally put a 65 Mustang on one I built for another project. a better idea would have been to go to the toilet and flush 100 dollar bills until the feeling went away.
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2018
    belair and Texas Webb like this.
  27. 49ratfink
    Joined: Feb 8, 2004
    Posts: 16,913

    from California

    what was the question?o_O
    kidcampbell71 and Ron Funkhouser like this.
  28. If you have mechanic's blood flowing in your veins, nothing will be as satisfying as building a car yourself. But that can leave you with an unfinished project while everyone else is having fun with their driving cars! In a perfect world a guy could have a finished car [built by somebody else] AND a project car. My world is not perfect but being able to build my own car makes it almost perfect.
    Still, there's not a thing wrong with driving a hot rod someone else built unless you're me. I'm one of those guys who would have that car torn down to make some "small personal changes". Right.
    bchctybob likes this.
  29. continentaljohn
    Joined: Jul 24, 2002
    Posts: 3,965


    I think it depends on your time line , budget and sources to gather parts. Buying a project may not be the build you seek but may have the parts you need to move you farther to building your car. The old body's and parts are getting harder to find and cool ones even harder. It depend on what year you want a Model A or 1932 ford . It could take many years to find the parts you need for a project . I have some items I have been searching for 20 years with no luck.
    Buying a running rod could be great or a nightmare but is usually cheaper then doing a full build... Just be carful and look for the most solid car that you can find . You can always build off solid but rot boxes will nickel and dime you to death
  30. oldolds
    Joined: Oct 18, 2010
    Posts: 2,551


    I think I have more fun with the cars I bought that were 70% done or more. I drove them more. They were just cars! Cars I built were "too good" to get dirty! That is funny because I only ever build nice drivers. I never was a trophy hunter.
    bchctybob likes this.

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