Register now to get rid of these ads!

Hot Rods Cool car that led to disappointment

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Zettle Bros., Oct 8, 2018.

  1. Gary Addcox
    Joined: Aug 28, 2009
    Posts: 2,509

    Gary Addcox

    I'm right behind you in age and drive a Deuce highboy roadster cross country. You have given me a boost to keep driving 'till I no longer can. Then I'll relinquish the roadster to my Son or Grandson. Thanks for the post and keep knockin' fire.
    Zettle Bros. likes this.
  2. Gosh that is awesome....I hope I am still doing stuff like that at 74...keep on diggin for sure...

    Zettle Bros. likes this.
  3. I'm almost 69 and at 5'2" tall I have trouble just reaching the pedals, forget the getting in and out! Lol!
    alanp561 and Zettle Bros. like this.
  4. Maicobreako
    Joined: Jun 25, 2018
    Posts: 144


    Right. When driving my Pete, just raising and/or lowering the air seat a few inches every now and then really helped on those long drives.
    alanp561, stanlow69 and Zettle Bros. like this.
  5. X-cpe
    Joined: Mar 9, 2018
    Posts: 1,900


    The fancy word for all of this is ergonomics. Each builder has to decide how much of esthetics he is willing to sacrifice for ergonomics and visa-versa. Seems like you always have to give something to get something. Being the same height and weight is fairly meaningless. Are you long legged or long waisted?
    Do you carry your weight in your chest, your belly or your ass and thighs? Do you have narrow shoulders and long arms or wide shoulders and shorter arms?

    My coupster is channeled 3" with a chopped windshield, 5" added between the deck lid and passenger compartment with a 3" recessed firewall. If I was 5'7" and 140 lbs. with a size 8 shoe this thing would be easy-peasy. But I'm not. Old age is starting to take care of the height thing. Shedding 40 or so pounds would definitely help but the size 12's aren't going anywhere. So I spend inordinate amounts of time looking for places to gain fractions of an inch and still maintain my esthetic.
  6. You need a traffic prism.

    Zettle Bros. likes this.
  7. jazz1
    Joined: Apr 30, 2011
    Posts: 1,529


    I would take seat out and template something, stack pieces of styrofoam until I had a comfortable level to determine how seat needs to be moved or altered. My feet adjusted to the odd position of pedals but those as well can be relocated to some degree. None of these old vehicles seem to fit right if you are over 5'6".
  8. paul philliup
    Joined: Oct 3, 2013
    Posts: 213

    paul philliup
    from ohio

    I had a fit problem with this HOT ROD and sold it after have problems with my legs. Bought a 39 Plymouth coupe to have room without folding up to fit. IMG_20161211_080837215.jpg IMG_20161211_081440677.jpg
    40FORDPU and Zettle Bros. like this.
  9. One thing many here may not realize or remember, but old school/vintage (traditional ?) hot rods were "traditionally" built & driven by guys (kids ?) in their teens & early(?) twenties, not by their (great ?) grandfathers trying to capture the youthful experience they never had. ;)

    Other than how to position themselves or their companion when engaging in physical intimacy within confines of their ride, creature comforts were probably one of the least considered aspects in the minds of those original hot rod builders/drivers/owners. :rolleyes:
    Bugguts, alanp561, 40FORDPU and 4 others like this.
  10. moparjimd60
    Joined: Jan 22, 2018
    Posts: 71


    I am 6’2 and 280 I have a 31ford pickup with 3” chop. I built my rod with manual brakes, manual rack and pinion steering. I have to fold up to get in and out and bend down to look at a red
    Light. I built it to have fun not really with total comfort in mind. I wanted a real Hotrod feel and I got it. It’s loud,fast, and makes me smile every time I drive it. It has taken 6 years of my life to get it done and I am going to enjoy every minute of it if it kills me

    Sent from my iPad using H.A.M.B.
  11. Cliff Ramsdell
    Joined: Dec 27, 2004
    Posts: 1,341

    Cliff Ramsdell

    My 28 Tudor has a 3” chop, no channel. I’m 6’2”, 250 lbs. flathead, top shift, F1 pedals and steering. Minivan seats front and back.

    I spent time mocking things up for a good fit for me and my passengers. I can sit in the back with reasonable comfort. Position and incline of the seat base in the front for good leg support and I can stretch out pretty good.

    Getting in the car is key, right leg, slide my butt in and left leg works good for me. Nice and comfortable and the minivan seat will recline for some additional room/comfort.

    I wasn’t going to chop but the small chop cleaned up the look some and I just dropped the seat a like amount for head clearance.

    Good luck on your search, I myself am glad I went with the Tudor as it gave me the best seat position choices.

    Cliff Ramsdell
    3D7F164A-B582-4D76-9B7A-FF9A1A89DE16.jpeg 8EE38D1D-D700-47BB-9B33-D93A9950A02C.jpeg
    Tim, treb11, olscrounger and 3 others like this.
  12. Zettle Bros.
    Joined: Oct 17, 2004
    Posts: 1,358

    Zettle Bros.

    I found that pedal position is also a big factor on how comfort is. The car had the gas and brake pedals way to close together for my foot.
    loudbang and Cliff Ramsdell like this.
  13. F&J
    Joined: Apr 5, 2007
    Posts: 13,222


    There is so much involved when building or modifying an existing "skinny cowl" hotrod (Model A or a 32), when it gets down to pedals, steering column placement, steering wheel size and where it can be.

    Take some study time with page one and two of this 32 Ford build thread.
    ...then go to his last two pics on the bottom of the last page, (page number 4.) He did a good job by keeping the floor tunnel smaller, by not having his SBC bellhousing come too far into the car.

    Many of us use larger vintage motors that simply have to use up more pedal we have to really plan for everything as far as placement of "everything".

    The one driving force behind getting these tight cars to be user friendly, is "wanting it SO bad!". Don't give up your feeling the day that you said "It would be so cool to cruise my town in a badass hotrod".

    Zettle Bros. likes this.
  14. dirty old man
    Joined: Feb 2, 2008
    Posts: 8,910

    dirty old man
    Member Emeritus

    In 2 weeks I'll be 81, and I started building my '31 Hiboy "A" roadster about 10-11 years ago. At 6'3" and 225# I had to pay a good deal of attention to ergonomics and it being a roadster with no top does help with entry and exit. Seats are Triumph TR6 buckets and they help a lot.
    I had to move the steering wheel 3" to the right of original and slant the column, using U joints to the Vega steering. This allowed my left knee to come up between the steering wheel and the door so I could get my size 14 on the clutch pedal!
    If I had built a '28/29 I think I would have to build it with an auto trans. as there wouldn't have been enough toe board room for clutch, brake ,gas pedal and steering column plus my 2 size 14s!
    Atwater Mike and Zettle Bros. like this.
  15. Atwater Mike
    Joined: May 31, 2002
    Posts: 11,625

    Atwater Mike

    I've always used a MOON gas pedal...even in my '55 F100, there's not enough 'disposable room' for that monster. (that, and the fact that I no longer wear a 10-1/2 to 11 size shoe...) I do have some pairs of Sperry Topsiders (boat shoes, very stylish with shorts...) that fit in the big MOON, but 'tightly'...
    I have had that (and 2 others, identical, all official MOON) in nearly all my 'hot rods', (from T's thru A's, my '32 Five window, three '34s, my '40 Coupe, and three '46es.
    My '36, '32 (at first) and one '34 (the 5 window) had Spoons, liked 'em around town, but hated 'em on the way to L.A. (used to go there a lot, from San Jose...400 miles)
    UNTIL! I spotted a '33 in a wreckers, and it had a foot rest knob next to the spoon.
    I joked that it must be to keep the door from slamming open, (not poss., it was on the floor next to the spoon) then said it was a personal governor.
    Actually, once I grabbed it and installed it in my '34 Five window ("the Red Devil!") I saw the error of my ways. Comfort at last. (1959)
    My F100 is down right now, frame repairs and new engine mounts, where the F100 tried to spit that SBC out! Er, maybe the Chevy was tryin' ta get away...
    New spoon pedal, and a nicely machined 'bathroom doorstop' type foot rest, along with all new gauges, wiring, (finally! Wiring was what I did for everybody, and mine was pieced together like patchwork....)
    Blue One and Zettle Bros. like this.
  16. Zettle Bros.
    Joined: Oct 17, 2004
    Posts: 1,358

    Zettle Bros.

    Any pics of the foot rest?
    Blue One likes this.
  17. Cliff Ramsdell
    Joined: Dec 27, 2004
    Posts: 1,341

    Cliff Ramsdell

    Here are pics of mine. It’s a stainless steel mount for an outside mirror, Volvo VN tractor and the pad is another brake/clutch pedal pad.

    It has an adjustable threaded rod to a welded but inside the mount to adjust up and down.

    Driving with it is like night and day, total comfort and no more “holding” you foot and leg to keep from bouncing on the pedal.

    Cliff Ramsdell
    22D2C4BC-2DE2-4608-A49D-D7265591A5D5.jpeg 4BEE40CD-B0FC-4E26-ACA2-2648EEE6CC7B.jpeg
  18. dudley32
    Joined: Jan 2, 2008
    Posts: 2,160


    ^^^nice job^^^
    loudbang likes this.
  19. Zettle Bros.
    Joined: Oct 17, 2004
    Posts: 1,358

    Zettle Bros.

    Very cool.
    loudbang likes this.
  20. Just the shape of the seat can affect your comfort level, too.

    I had a couple of O/T conversion vans and the one was very comfortable, it had a seat with some back support behind my spine and no side lumbar stuff.

    The next one had the side lumbar supports and after a couple long drives I about threw my back out the one day, got where I was going and unloaded my swap setup and bam! all of a sudden I could hardly bend. Wasn't sure what the problem was at first but after a second long drive and it hurt I drove up where the old one was stashed and swapped in a seat from that.

    The problem went away after that. I wish I could put one of those seats in the van I'm driving now, but the base is a little different.
    loudbang and Zettle Bros. like this.
  21. Dixon Bastie
    Joined: Apr 7, 2017
    Posts: 175

    Dixon Bastie

  22. Dixon Bastie
    Joined: Apr 7, 2017
    Posts: 175

    Dixon Bastie

    Yeah .... I wanted 57 T- Bird for years. Finally found a very nice original for restoration. Went to look at and drive it, and fell in love with it immediately. The owner gave me the key and said, "you break it, you bought it." He was selling a 56 T- Bird to another guy at the same time, so I was left on my own with the 57.
    After a quick walk-around and check, I opened the driver's door to take it for a spin.
    I'm 6-2, 200, and I broke my right knee cap on the steering wheel, then my left femur on the driver's side knee-knocker front door post. My left ankle snapped when I jammed my left foot under the clutch pedal. As I enjoyed the pain, I realized the flat seat had put my ass into a deep sleep, and my big lug left leg would make shifting the 3 speed a matter of using second and third only.
    Then, as I tried to lift my broken limbs high enough to work the brake and clutch pedals, I noted it would be imposdible for me to steer it. because the bottom of the steering wheel made three inch deep troughs in the tops of my meaty thighs.
    I sat there for a few minutes and decided I either needed to go on starvation diet, or find a different car. I dragged myself out if it and crawled over to the owner to give him his key, saying, "I love the car, but I just don't fit in it."
    He chuckled and said, "Hell, I knew you wouldn't - that's why I gave you the key. Knew you couldn't steal it."
    So what did I do ?? Bought myself a 58 Edsel Citation two door hardtop with room enough for six of me.
    Smart boy, huh?
  23. partsdawg
    Joined: Feb 12, 2006
    Posts: 3,437

    from Minnesota

    Had a chance to trad a ‘55 Chevy even up for a ‘63 Corvette. We had driven 3-1/2 to get to the show so there were no issues with either car.
    The couple either the Corvette took off in the ‘55 and the wife and I were take the Corvette for a spin.
    Hoped in the car and immediately hated the way I felt in it. Didn’t like the seat and it felt cramped. Tried adjusting everything from the seat to the steering wheel and it all felt wrong.
    Never even fired it up.
    The couple came back and wanted to trade . No way.
    Same thing happened in a ‘40 Willy’s coupe I could have bought and a Model A roadster I owned for 2 hours. Cramped and uncomfortable.
    loudbang and Zettle Bros. like this.
  24. jnaki
    Joined: Jan 1, 2015
    Posts: 8,896



    Our 1940 Ford Sedan Delivery was very cool to drive and show up at various functions. I was a teenager that was bitten by the "surf bug" so, I had to have a cool car/wagon to get to and from the beach. Daily drives to high school, the drive-ins, surf movies, neighboring hot rod cities for cruises were all part of owning a cool form of transportation.

    I already had a great looking, fast, 1958 Impala that was pretty much the fastest car around, in this time slot of high school. We even tried driving the Impala to our surf sessions with the longboards sticking out of the trunk, at several popular beach breaks. The bad vibes we got from the people at the beaches, then, from our surfer friends was a little over the top. So, it necessitated a change of vehicles for our surf journeys all up and down the So Cal coast.
    People always said nice things about us driving around in that “Old Car.” Even my mom was happy when my wife was driving the 2nd 40 Sedan Delivery away from her house in Long Beach, after a dinner visit. When my wife drove the 40 Sedan Delivery around for shopping or going to the store, it drew more attention than if I were driving the Ford. It was something about a girl/woman driving a cool hot rod instead of a present day, Chevy sedan.
    upload_2018-11-19_4-10-54.png As a teenager in his first Flathead powered, 40 Sedan Delivery, it was just drive and get places. It was a form of transportation and a cool one at that. No problems, as long as it starts and goes.

    But, the more we drove the 2ND, sedan delivery, day and night, one thing kept creeping up and making it difficult to like the experience. We were still driving down the coast, up into the local mountains, and over to friend’s houses. But each time, that darn blind spot in the right rear quarter area kept getting bothersome. It got to the point that we found ourselves driving our red 65 El Camino instead of the 1940 Sedan Delivery to places, especially at night.

    We just could not see who or what was there, despite the outside rear view mirror. By this time, there were larger mirrors from bigger trucks and vans, but that was out of the question, plus they looked awful on the 40 Sedan Delivery. Slow lane driving made it a little better, but now it was the silent bicyclists creeping up the right side.

    “Convex mirrors are preferred in vehicles because they give an upright, though diminished, image and because they provide a wider field of view as they are curved outwards.”

    Those convex mirrors were tried, but it just did not get the clear vision necessary to enjoy driving. Today, we all have those convex mirrors in the cars/wagons we drive. They do make life/surrounding vision, a lot easier. But, with the swing of the head, the openness of newer cars (not sedan deliveries) gives the open vision feeling of being able to see all around the car, and see who/what is creeping up your right rear blind side.

    This is what was bothering, first, my wife back in the 40 Ford Sedan Delivery, then, eventually, me. When I was driving longer distances at night, it got to me, too, not to be able to see over on the right rear side. Those darn filled in side panels look cool, are cool, but gave us a blind spot we could not overcome.


    So, after owning the 2ND 1940 Ford Sedan Delivery with a 327/auto/A/C and full upholstery for 4 years, it was time to sell and move on in our hectic lives. So Cal was full of cool looking hot rods, so the search was on for another partial build or a complete car.

    But, as luck would have it, some little guy popped up creating havoc in our family. That called for some parental reasoning about car safety and such. Our twenty somethings, free flowing lives were being channeled into a pair of compliant, reliable, caring young parents with different goals coming up fast.

    Plus, how were we going to put a car seat in the Sedan Delivery that had two bucket seats and no room in between? A baby car seat in the dark rear compartment, bolted to the floor with custom seat belts and harnesses? Whew… a newer A/C, El Camino was used as the baby car seat could fit between the two of us. (back then, it was S.O.P. to fit the child seat in the front, between the parents and not in the back, out of reach…times have changed for sure.)

    It was disappointing, but a new aspect of our young lives was beginning and we had to adapt to the situation. It was a 16 year experience with 2 separate 1940 Ford Sedan Deliveries. The 2nd Sedan Delivery sold quickly and we moved on with the new addition to our lives.
    47ragtop, Rolleiflex and Zettle Bros. like this.
  25. 31 Chopped Coupe
    Joined: Aug 24, 2014
    Posts: 110

    31 Chopped Coupe

    So is that a Chrysler mini van middle seat? The one that I used in my 31 coupe looks very similar but I can't get enough room to get it to slide for and aft. Had to remove the plastic trim off both sides to get it to fit with out contact on the sides. Maybe the coupe is a little narrower than your tudor. Do you know if all of their middle seats are the same widths? When I went to the local Pick n Pull there was only one Chrysler mini van that had seats still in it so I grabbed it. The seat is comfy even with top chopped 4 " but the traffic light vision is a little tough, gotta get a prism. Removed the package tray to get enough leg room as I'm 6'3" but with the backrest laid back a little its comfy to drive for long runs.
    Zettle Bros. likes this.
  26. Zettle Bros.
    Joined: Oct 17, 2004
    Posts: 1,358

    Zettle Bros.

    No sure what the seat is or even if it is from anything.
    loudbang likes this.
  27. Stock Racer
    Joined: Feb 28, 2010
    Posts: 1,035

    Stock Racer

    I am 6'2", 230 lbs. When I was in High School, I wanted to buy a Sunbeam Tiger. 302 with a Tunnel Ram, Candy Purple, killer little car! My Father said no and I MF'd him up one side and down the other. Man was I pissed. Thank God for Fathers!
    loudbang and Zettle Bros. like this.
  28. gasser-a-go-go
    Joined: Dec 14, 2012
    Posts: 167


    Sometimes you just don't fit.
    one day my friend who has a 38 willys pickup called me and told me that he would like me to do some work on it while he's out of town. I said sure when is all this going down and he explained it and he said that I was too come over and drive it to my shop which was just down the street from his house. Now I know there's limited room in this little truck but I had no idea that I could not shut the door at all. I'm 6'5" and I weigh about 240-250 at this time and I wear anywhere from size 16-18 shoes and boots depending on the maker and I'm driving this thing down the street with the door half way open and half my body sticking out. So needless to say he laughed his ass off when I told him all this cuz he already knew that it was going to happen that way. I felt like Harry Henderson. What are friends for, right.

    Sent from my Pixel 2 using Tapatalk
  29. jimmy six
    Joined: Mar 21, 2006
    Posts: 14,220

    jimmy six

    Don't ever drive a real Cobra. the foot tunnel is pushed to the left and the seat is aimed at them. Your upper body want to sit straight forward which puts a strain on your hip/pelvis......pain in the ass to drive any distance..
    loudbang and Zettle Bros. like this.

Share This Page

Register now to get rid of these ads!


Copyright © 1995-2021 The Jalopy Journal: Steal our stuff, we'll kick your teeth in. Terms of Service. Privacy Policy.

Atomic Industry
Forum software by XenForo™ ©2010-2014 XenForo Ltd.