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Hot Rods Cars with a soul

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Model A Gomez, Dec 5, 2022.

  1. Model A Gomez
    Joined: Aug 26, 2006
    Posts: 1,558

    Model A Gomez

    Reading my new issue of Ol' Skool Rodz and came across the editorial about cars having a soul and it made me think about my 30 Sport Coupe build. It seems to have a soul and fall on the evil side, some of the problems I caused but it seems to have a mind of its own.
    Second Model A I've built with a flathead using the Bishop book with the same basic modifications and different results. Built my avatar in the mid 90's and was a fairly trouble free car and the results on my 30 Sport Coupe look good but it has been a fight.
    Bought the body in 2000 at an auction and set it aside since I was in the middle of building my banger powered 30 pickup. Finished the pickup and mocked the Coupe up and then bought a 60 T-Bird and built a mild custom. Finally decided to finish the Coupe and spent about three years on it.
    Got it up and running and drove it a little over hundred miles and made arrangements to get the top put on it. On the way to Wichita to get the top done 2nd gear synchronizer failed, partly my fault since a friend gave me the transmission and said it was good so I opened the top did a visual and re-gasketed it. To pull the trans on an early Ford drive train you either pull the engine or rear end so I pulled the rear end and rebuilt the trans.
    Then I noticed it was bottoming out on some bumps so changed the length of the rear shocks, still bottomed out. Noticed the rear wishbones were hitting the frame ahead of the step in the frame so pulled the rear spring and added a couple of leaves back to get enough clearance.
    Next I decided to put the hood on it and discovered it didn't fit right, hadn't pre-fitted it since you adjust the doors with shims under the body and would change the hood fit. Did some checking and discovered the frame sagged on the left side so had a friend in a body shop put it on the frame table and straighten it. While pushing the frame something popped, didn't see any damage so decided to quit, hood fit better but still not right.
    Then was returning from a car show and the rear end failed, was rebuilt before installation with all new ring and pinion and bearings. Had it towed home and started trying to find out what happened, pulled the hubcaps off and the left axle had a sheared cotter key which happened when the rear end locked up. Pulled it out and found low oil and the pinion bearings had failed, discovered the low oil was caused by the torque tube ran downhill toward the trans causing the gear oil to run forward. Rebuilt the rear end with a new bearings and discovered when the key sheared it twisted the axle so had to replace both of them.
    To fix the angle of the torque tube I needed to raise the rear of the trans about an inch, while under the car to see what that would take I discovered a crack in the frame at the front body mount bolt.
    Well I found what the popping noise when we straightened the frame, to repair the crack I needed to pull the body and fenders off. To be able to lift the body I needed to get the steering column and had to pull the engine to have enough room to pull the steering. At this point I decided to build another frame. Changed a couple of things and built a new trans crossmember and it's finally back together.
    I think this car has an evil soul but hasn't beat me yet

    002.JPG C motor 012.JPG fh2.jpg sp3.jpeg image0.jpeg image1 (2).jpeg apart.jpeg sp1.jpeg
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2022
  2. alanp561
    Joined: Oct 1, 2017
    Posts: 2,965


    Don't know what happened but none of your pics showed up.:(
  3. 2935ford
    Joined: Jan 6, 2006
    Posts: 3,796


    Well, to me, sounds just like plain ol' Hot Rodding! :)
    Primered Forever likes this.
  4. Pass The Torch
    Joined: May 18, 2018
    Posts: 1,141

    Pass The Torch

    Me and my Plymouth have "an understanding"....
    Budget36 and GordonC like this.

  5. AldeanFan
    Joined: Dec 12, 2014
    Posts: 829


    The Woody needs to be treated with respect, if you don’t respect her she won’t respect you and you’ll be waking.
  6. GordonC
    Joined: Mar 6, 2006
    Posts: 2,783


    I think if you build a car from scratch you put your soul into it. If you buy a car and then do stuff to it to make it yours you put your soul into it. Cars are just metal and glass and rubber until someone gives them the attention and love that makes them yours, and that gives them soul.
  7. choptop40
    Joined: Dec 23, 2009
    Posts: 4,580


    thats says it all right there...they are just inanimate till we give them life....this one has a soul and its an original one owner woman car till i bought it and now it has 2 souls so to speak...would of loved to have known the owner.... IMG_2492.jpg
  8. 327Eric
    Joined: May 9, 2008
    Posts: 1,859

    from Diablo Ca.

    You aren't talking about soul, but possession. To me the soul of my car lives in the internal combustion engine, bellowing and screaming like a banshee to be free, to be seen and heard, while fighting the demons that try to restrain her, to destroy hear, to rip her to pieces.
  9. I have to agree that cars can have a "soul". It comes out differently in each car. Like old hot rods/customs/race cars just give off a vibe. Especially when its a unrestored or "barn find" car. They just give off something that makes you hair stand up and put a feeling in your gut. Old cars, steam locomotives and old houses all give off that vibe.
  10. Hemi Joel
    Joined: May 4, 2007
    Posts: 1,402

    Hemi Joel
    from Minnesota

    I don't know if I'd call it a soul, but my 48 Plymouth convert has something. I drove it to work one fine summer day back in '84. Parked it in the driveway when I got home. After dinner, a severe weather alert sounded on the radio. So I went to put the Plymouth in the little one car garage out back where I normally kept it. But it wouldn't start. I tried for 20+ minutes until it was raining and blowing, so I left it out there and went in the house. It got real black outside, and blew crazy hard. When it was over I went outside, and the little garage had blown down into a pile of rubble. I figured I better put the Plymouth in the main garage, and it started right up! How did it know?

    Joined: Dec 19, 2015
    Posts: 288

    from Canada

    Old cars are like a long time marriage.....sort of a love hate relationship!
    mad mikey, hotrodjack33 and indyjps like this.
  12. partsdawg
    Joined: Feb 12, 2006
    Posts: 3,300

    from Minnesota

    Not sure I would call it a soul but some have a aura.
    I've looked at a few cars and felt a weird vibe about them and passed on buying them.
    Some were bought by buddies after I passed and they had no issues.
    mad mikey likes this.
  13. indyjps
    Joined: Feb 21, 2007
    Posts: 5,257


    I think so. Definitely reminds you of people with the "personalities"
    I've had cars that fought everything, running or work being done.
    Had cars that just wanted to run, seemed much faster than the combo of parts that were there.
    Had cars that were dead on reliable, would run and drive no matter what, always get you there.
    mad mikey likes this.
  14. guthriesmith
    Joined: Aug 17, 2006
    Posts: 7,795

    1. H.A.M.B. Chapel

    I think that cars have a "soul", but would define it differently. To me, old survivor hot rods or kustoms just have so much story to tell which is what gives them "soul". I don't think they have a mind of their own or even fight me at times...that can just be my own fight and they happen to be the object. But, what I do know is that some of the survivor cars that I have been fortunate enough to be the caretaker of sure do have what I might define as a "soul"...just not the same as I would define as a human soul. Anyway, the most recent car with soul that I watched someone kill was my brother's 54 Belair hardtop. It was a survivor car that spent most of it's life in Texas under one families care. My brother cleaned it up, got it running, added all the period correct hot rod parts, lowered it, and drove it. He recently sold it and the new owner ripped out its guts and molested it to the point that it now can't even be talked about here. It still looks the same, but the "soul" is gone... :(
    mad mikey and Primered Forever like this.
  15. Budget36
    Joined: Nov 29, 2014
    Posts: 10,394


    I’d bet a clean car that got street rodded, etc?
    Not a lot of difference between what happened to it, and anyone here who bought a clean, near perfect Model A and went to chopping and hot rodding it;).
    I do get what you’re saying though.
  16. Model A Gomez
    Joined: Aug 26, 2006
    Posts: 1,558

    Model A Gomez

    Yeah that's this car, looks great, flathead runs great but always seems to have a problem. Only about 100 miles since I put the other frame under it and not a single problem yet.
    Lloyd's paint & glass likes this.
  17. Rickybop
    Joined: May 23, 2008
    Posts: 8,525

    from Michigan

    Well... they all have a face.

    And they say the eyes are the windows to the soul.

    "Look deeply into my headlights."
    partsdawg and hotrodjack33 like this.
  18. Illustrious Hector
    Joined: Jun 15, 2020
    Posts: 266

    Illustrious Hector
    from Alberta

    Ok, good, not just me.... I seem to have empathetic reception to the aura described above, be it vehicles ,houses railroad equipment, etc. The first time I was digging some bikes at a local shop, I walked over to a wild 900 Sportster with long forks & custom paint. As I drew near something told me "This shit could kill ya"
    A month later a rich kid bought it in an attempt to play a role unsuited to him. 3 weeks later, he crashed into a parked
    1/2 ton truck at an estimated 60-70 mph. I later found out a year before it being sold, a passenger on it panicked and
    jumped off into the path of a gravel truck. Some of 'em are just bad 'uns.
    mad mikey and hotrodjack33 like this.
  19. stubbsrodandcustom
    Joined: Dec 28, 2010
    Posts: 1,892

    from Spring tx

    Essence, soul, etc...
    My dads 58 Fairlane hates me, its tried to kill me twice, and if anything will go wrong with the car, its when he wants me to drive it. I wont touch it anymore due to our mutual hate relationship. When my dad passes on that car will be gone fast, I probably wont drive it at all. I saved that car, gave it life and it just hates me, loves my parents but hates me.

    I agree though that survivor cars have a feeling, and I think that with that you also get the guys who orig built the car riding with you sometimes also. My fleet right now are very easy going, the banger coupe loves to go for drives and has been very reliable. The 56 Dodge has been around the lower 48 and has been great to me.
    hotrodjack33 and guthriesmith like this.
  20. hotrodjack33
    Joined: Aug 19, 2019
    Posts: 3,940


    LOL. I'll take it even a step farther I believe EVERY inanimate object in the world is out to kill rods, tools, my house etc. I've spent my whole life trying to not let them "get me" far so good
    mad mikey likes this.
  21. My car is my buddy, I always talk to him and put my hand on him when I walk by him. Sounds gay or weird, but he was a long time in the making. Took years to find, buy, etc. He's thankful that I drug him out and gave him a new lease on life. Not a day goes by that I don't walk by and say "what's up ruckus"
  22. Yep I agree. My Model A (Barb) runs like a top and I talk to her as well. She seems to love my wife and daughter as well. Betty on the other hand(57 ford country sedan) fights me every step of the way. I just want to rewire/weld in new floor pans/ fis the door windows so I can get her running for the first time in 40+ years. But nope, had to pull the tail gate to redo the brake light wiring. If it’s t one thing it will be another thing that slows me down.
    Lloyd's paint & glass likes this.
  23. The drag coupe definitely has a soul and a personality. Sometimes happy, or grouchy, or content, and sometimes extremely pissed off. Most of the time, just craves constant attention.;):)
    Lloyd's paint & glass likes this.
  24. dana barlow
    Joined: May 30, 2006
    Posts: 4,870

    dana barlow
    from Miami Fla.
    1. Y-blocks

    Maybe,I talk too much too things I build,have a lot of time with,and seems they sometimes talk back in odd ways.
    So,yup,if ya want to call it soul,I'll ride with that.:D
    I build a lot of cars,mostly racecars,one custom and a number of hotrods.
    I still have may first baby,I did for highschool;; got running in 1959.
    I did a lot of talking to my 28A Bobtail Roadster,seems I got out talked a few times.

    PS; I did the same with most of my cars,even a few old boats.:rolleyes:
    Lloyd's paint & glass likes this.
  25. 327Eric
    Joined: May 9, 2008
    Posts: 1,859

    from Diablo Ca.

    I can't help but think of this as a 59 El Camino owner. I think of cats eyes, but still laugh. Is it soul, who knows, but they all have drawn blood at some point Me-Where-did-you-park-Wife-Next-to-the-car-that-looks-like-suspicious-stoned-vampire-meme-4889.jpg
  26. jim snow
    Joined: Feb 16, 2007
    Posts: 1,648

    jim snow

    X2. Snowman ⛄️
    Joined: Jun 3, 2005
    Posts: 9,246


    Soul? Maybe, maybe it's you. I had long term jobs go south in some ways, no matter what you touch it takes a shit and a do over. A product goes bad or they sent the wrong shit. FUUCKK!!! How do you fix that? 1st, walk away. A day, a week, whatever. When you come back it might get better, in fact usually does. 2nd move, relocate it. If it's backed in turn it around or vice versa. Put it outside and clean up, let the sun purge the bad juju out. Last, be smarter and more powerful than the problems. Truth is all the answers are in you. They're inanimate objects, the soul spoken of was the guys with the pencil before it was real. Sometimes we just miss the forest for the trees. And sometimes there's just shit in the way of needed outside product and service. Be smarter than that too and don't roll over. My take FWIW.
  28. jnaki
    Joined: Jan 1, 2015
    Posts: 7,776



    For us, all of our cars had soul. It depends on how you see what is happening on a regular basis. For example, my first real car wiped out my meager bank account. But, it ended up one heck of a ride for thousands of happy miles all over So Cal coastline to see and ride the waves in our surfing adventures. Not once did we get stopped for any mechanical problems.
    Depsite the little things, the Flathead started up with the first crank and ran like a top. It just did not have a lot of power (200 hp less than the 58 Impala) to make it easier to drive up hill or those steep grades on the coastal highways. It knew how it wanted to run and I had to adjust to make it work.

    The Flathead motor did not leak oil, no excessive smoke coming out of the exhaust pipe, the motor was always clean and it took the least expensive gas to make it run well. But, I did have to put in quarts of oil for a mysterious lack of it after long road trips. The whole time, there was no evidence of any oil burning, leaking or jamming up anything. It started in any weather, ran every time well, and for our local Flathead mechanic, it was a puzzling thing. Where did the oil go?

    We even left the Flathead Sedan Delivery in Los Angeles for a couple of days for our dad’s expert mechanic to go over the whole Sedan Delivery. His final result was that it needed a complete overhaul. But he could not pinpoint why it took a quart of oil to two quarts sometimes, but showed no evidence of any leak or burning. It was just one of those things we “could have stopped” with a possible full rebuild.

    The lack of money was the key to not getting the full rebuild. So, the Flathead continued to roll to the next adventure without giving us any complaints or faults so we could have a pleasant experience. Soul? What soul? It had a mind of its own and we went right along with it until we sold it 5 years later.

    “You'll see with a clarity beyond anything you've ever seen or known and when you do, you'll know exactly what to do, who to do it with, and where to do it. And you will.”


    Our other teenage car was the 58 Impala 348 c.i. 280+ hp at the final build. It had a C&O Stick Hydro and again, ran like a top with minimal adjustments and gave me the best hot rod cruising/racing experience during our teenage years. It had the idea of if we kept it clean, shined and well serviced, then the result was or would be thousands of powerful miles of full acceleration and even keeled cruising around town. Secretly, it led us to drive it well and take care of it to get back a high performance result.

    The one thing that Soul or lack of plays into the whole scene, a rare event at the local surf spots of an old out of commission hearse. It had plenty of room in the back for storage of all things camping or beach activities and it even had a sliding rack to move “heavy stuff” in/out of the rear door. But, there were plenty of family station wagons, individual station wagons, old coupes/sedans and a sedan delivery populating the parking lots of the So Cal local beaches.

    But, for all of the amenities of the hearse had to offer, where were they? We had known an older guy that had purchased an old hearse and drove it to the local popular beach. We all “oohed and awed” upon seeing it. It was a funny thing, but no one wanted to go for a ride in it or put their surfboards on top or inside, especially, inside.

    That was a big NO… weary souls still evident? Who knows, but it just gave us a funny feeling inside that said that was no place for our teenage activities or longboards. So, the guy always drove to the beach alone…

    A sample of a clean good looking Cadillac Hearse as a push/tow truck for a super powerful modified roadster back in 1964. Soul(s) or not… that was the question. YRMV
  29. mixerman
    Joined: Jun 23, 2021
    Posts: 67


    A car is not truly bonded to you until you drop blood on the concrete from working on her. (and I've dropped a lot of blood on cars) Kinda like having a blood brother.

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