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Technical Counting the Modifications on a Custom

Discussion in 'Traditional Customs' started by Doctor Detroit, Oct 15, 2013.

  1. Doctor Detroit
    Joined: Aug 12, 2010
    Posts: 1,004

    Doctor Detroit
    Member

    In another thread, there is a reference to 'how many modifications' a Custom has that determines if it is a mild/semi/full/radical custom. I have a few questions about how the modifications are counted, or what degree of difficulty then qualifies it as a modification. While this may seem like splitting hairs, I'm curious what is the acceptable way to count the modifications towards it being a Custom. Perhaps the Hamb wisdom can shed some light on this for me. It seems there is a lot of grey area.

    If the side trim, hood ornament, hood trim, gas door, trunk emblem, antenna hole are all shaved.... is that one modification? Or are those items listed separately?

    If the taillights are changed and moved down... is that one or two modifications?

    If the dash is painted a non-factory color, is that a modification?

    If I have teardrop dash knobs, is that a modification?

    If the seats are reupholstered different than factory, is that a modification?

    If I install different exterior mirrors, is that a modification?

    If the battery is moved to the trunk to clean up the engine bay, is that a modification?

    If I remove the bumper guards, is that a modification?

    If I change the bumper guards to another style, is that a modification?

    If I lower the car, is that a modification?

    If I change hub caps, is that a modification?

    If I have tinted glass, is that a modification?


    -----------------------------------------------------

    Conservative Custom: 0-3 modifications

    Mild Custom: 4-6 modifications

    Semi Custom: 7-10 modifications

    Full Custom: Over 10 modifications

    Radical Custom: Any number of modifications, at
    least one of which is chopping, channeling or sectioning


    --------------------------------------------------------


    .
     
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2013
  2. randy
    Joined: Nov 15, 2003
    Posts: 677

    randy
    Member

    Don't think too hard. Just enough is just enough. Too much is too much. The number of modifications that look like modifications should always be zero.
     
  3. Royalshifter
    Joined: May 29, 2005
    Posts: 15,344

    Royalshifter
    Moderator
    from California

    Mine has 3....chopped, frenched headlights and is lowered....I am asking you. What would you think it is?
     
  4. Royalshifter
    Joined: May 29, 2005
    Posts: 15,344

    Royalshifter
    Moderator
    from California

    Add 2 more...different hub caps and grille. So a total of 5. The only reason I am asking is I will tell you what the GNRS classified my car is after your answer.
     
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  5. Royalshifter
    Joined: May 29, 2005
    Posts: 15,344

    Royalshifter
    Moderator
    from California

    Different steering wheel and interior also side trim. Total of 7. Different running gear and colors....how about 9.
     
  6. slddnmatt
    Joined: Mar 30, 2006
    Posts: 3,669

    slddnmatt
    Member

    Too much thinking!!

    Lowered and shaved in my book = mild custom
    Chopped = custom
    Too many bells and whistles just because = radical custom

    But I have seen very simple customs labled as a Radical custom..
    See that's just too much thinking for me..:rolleyes:
     
  7. RoyalShifter, using the ISCA rulebook, if a car is chopped, channeled or sectioned it will be a radical regardless of how many other modifications are done to it.
    Your 51 would be classified as a "radical hardtop" at the GNRS.

    Mick
     
  8. lucky
    Joined: Mar 3, 2001
    Posts: 583

    lucky
    Member

    counting mods is what ruined customs
     
  9. Doctor Detroit
    Joined: Aug 12, 2010
    Posts: 1,004

    Doctor Detroit
    Member

    Royalshifter,
    Thanks for responding. I could stare at your car for hours. It's absolutely stunning. I'm not sure if I associate the term "radical" custom with customs that I feel missed the mark or what, so that's why I would consider yours a 'full custom'. But, according to the definition I found in the other thread, it's a radical custom.
     
  10. Doctor Detroit
    Joined: Aug 12, 2010
    Posts: 1,004

    Doctor Detroit
    Member

    Ha. So I have read about customs in the sixties. This thread has taken a little bit of a turn than where I expected it to go.

    I feel that the 'bolt on' modifications like hub caps, mirrors, lowering, pinstripe, etc don't make a car a custom themselves. A car needs to have modifications that cannot be undone, such as frenched headlights, shaved trim, chopped, etc. Yes, technically you can drill new trim holes or cut off the frenched headlights. Those bolt on mods can be counted if something more substantial has been modified. I'm sure there will be differing opinions that disagree with this.
     
  11. Doctor Detroit
    Joined: Aug 12, 2010
    Posts: 1,004

    Doctor Detroit
    Member

    Matt,
    I already said I was splitting hairs! Ha!
    My definition of radical custom is extensive mods that take away from the car! That's probably wrong.
     
  12. Scratchbuilt
    Joined: Jul 19, 2010
    Posts: 155

    Scratchbuilt
    Member

    You obviously know what it is, so call it what you want. It's your ride.
     
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2013
  13. 56LINK
    Joined: Oct 14, 2013
    Posts: 2

    56LINK
    Member

    It is in the EYE of the Beholder I think
     
  14. True Dat!
     
  15. Doctor Detroit
    Joined: Aug 12, 2010
    Posts: 1,004

    Doctor Detroit
    Member

    I agree with this statement. My favorite customs look effortless, with sort of a minimalistic approach.

    For the record, the intent of this thread was just a little discussion over how modifications are counted/considered from other people's perspectives. I'm not wondering what my kind of custom my car is, or concerned it has 9 modifications while someone else thinks it only had 5 modifications. Some of you may think a mild custom, unchopped '51 Mercury coupe sucks no matter how many mods it has... and I'm perfectly fine with that.
     
  16. 40StudeDude
    Joined: Sep 19, 2002
    Posts: 9,373

    40StudeDude
    Member

    No, car shows and car show judges "counting mods" is what ruined "kustoms"...and that in turn influenced street driven kustoms. 'More' is always the huge influencer, in anything...look at "drag racing"-at one time an average man's pursuit- it changed when "sponsors and $$" got involved. Same with "street rodding," it changed when Boyd rolled out his first billet bomb... and an AMBR was awarded to one of his $$ cars. Look at NASCAR...money ($$ sponsors) got involved and the little guy got kicked to the curb..."more" is always better, counting mods was "more."

    To take it further, the average person sees only the glitz and glamour in the car scene and TV shows glamorize that...$30,000 for a thrown-together primered Model A on 'Gas Monkey garage"...c'mon...get real...!!! Barrett-Jackson and its "participants" continues that glitz and glamour by running up the prices on '60's muscle cars. Years ago, Rod & Custom Magazine tried to pass off a '62 Chevy Impala with huge wheels, as a kustom...it had no other body mods... it was not a 'kustom" and wheels alone do not a kustom make.

    But I digress...Royalshifter's gorgeous Ford is classified as a "radical kustom", simply because of the chopped top. IF there were no other mods to the car, it would still be a "radical kustom." My '55 Cadillac (below) is classified as a "full" kustom because of the number of "car show counted" mods...

    [​IMG]

    But then again, a "radical kustom" is only a label...and if you like labels, then "counting mods" is only part of it.

    R-
     
  17. porknbeaner
    Joined: Sep 12, 2003
    Posts: 41,124

    porknbeaner
    Member

    Rog,
    I think by modern terms a chopped or channeled car is considered a radical custom, at least a few years back R&C put that out there.

    Some mods are pretty obvious and others fall into a gray area. for example a chopped top or nosed and decked are pretty straight forward, but if you shave he stock trim to replace it with different trimm (think hrihata here) then you have to wonder if that is two mods or one.

    if it is for a show car thing and you are going to be class showing then your best bet is to get with the governing body and ask them. None of us can have any idea what is going through thier minds.
     
  18. dana barlow
    Joined: May 30, 2006
    Posts: 3,544

    dana barlow
    Member
    from Miami Fla.

    In the early 60's NHRA had a car show sheet of juging rules with class's that listed what and how many points each was. Be cool if anyone has one of those to post?
     
  19. thunderbirdesq
    Joined: Feb 15, 2006
    Posts: 6,649

    thunderbirdesq
    Member

    Ugh...

    ...but does it look BETTER than when it was stock....? Is what I constantly ask myself when customizing a car... Aside from using parts and techniques from the same particular era that fit the year of the car.... I think it's really the only question a customizer should be concerned with.

    I know that's quite subjective, but if you're not improving the design, what's the point!?
     
  20. 'Mo
    Joined: Sep 26, 2007
    Posts: 7,297

    'Mo
    Member

    'Scoopy Doo', famous Full Custom '58 Chevy. Customized when new by Bailon.
    Purpose built for show points. 20 or 30 scoops, all got counted.

    I think this car helped people finally see the light.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2013
  21. 40StudeDude
    Joined: Sep 19, 2002
    Posts: 9,373

    40StudeDude
    Member

    Dana, are you certain it was NHRA that had the rules...??? I cannot find anything about NHRA being in the car show business.

    Here's the current rules for "Customs" from the ISCA rule book.


    Custom Category

    Changes are minor alterations to a vehicle such as removing
    chrome, bolt-on bumpers and grilles, simple nosing or decking
    (which do not involve body work). Four or more changes
    constitute a modification. The number of modifications are
    counted in determining the classification of vehicles in the
    Custom Category.

    Ten or more brightwork items (including polished or brushfinished
    chrome, gold, aluminum, or brass plating) on
    undercarriage and on engine and engine compartment will count
    as one modification each area; does not include fasteners.

    Modifications include, but are not limited to, the following (one
    modification each): only special paints (the use of candy, pearl,
    flake, scallops, flames or any type of trick paint); shaved door
    handles, scoops, headlight alterations (involving body work); tail
    light alterations (involving body work); grille alterations (involving
    body work); rolled pans and wheel-well alterations (involving
    body work); engine conversions and interior alterations (no
    matter how extensive); independent rear-ends; conversions;
    ground or cherried block; lights or other items molded into a
    bolt-on spoiler; molded and/or filled frames, filled firewall and
    flat or padded vinyl tops that involve body work. Filled inside
    door edge seams and louvers do not count as modifications.

    Any major work to a chassis that requires cutting and welding,
    such as front suspension changes (I-Beam to independent, etc.);
    rear suspension changes, such a rear end housing changes
    (Ford to Chevy, coil over shocks instead of springs, Air ride type
    suspension); “C’ed” frames, etc., counts as one modification
    per occurrence front and rear. (The one modification per
    occurrence front and rear counts with regard to the above listed
    work, but is not limited to just that work.)


    P & B...I stated that Royalshifter's car is a "radical kustom" because of the chopped top.

    R-
     
  22. Typically,these are the most common modifications....

    Shaved-emblems,door handles,side trim,drip rails
    Nosed-removed hood ornament,trim,emblems
    Decked-removed emblems,handle,lock
    Slammed-lowered
    Frenched-sunk in headlights,moulded trim ring,antenna,tailights,side markers
    Chopped-chopped roof
    Channeled-body dropped over frame
    Rounded corners-hood,doors,trunk
    Sectioning(not as common as the rest)-removing a section from the middle of the body,horizontally

    Chrome and paint isnt considered a modofication. Same with the seats,unless they are modified,custom stuff like a Roth style or early Barris style Custom stuff.

    It doesn't really matter how many modifications it has to be considered a Custom. I think it matters more WHAT kind of modifications that are done.
    I asked john Denich what defines a "mild" Custom. He said it usually is Custom paint,interior,shaved door handles(but not necessarily),un-chopped,maybe lowered. Very few modifications.

    Full or radical Customs,to me,are cars that you usually can't tell what kind or car it is. Lots of modifications. Different fenders,roofs,bumpers and grills,sectioning,etc.

    This is just my observations....
     
  23. I didn't stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night but I did just read the ISCA rules online. I've tried to answer your original questions below. Feel free to correct me if I misinterpreted any of the rules.

    "If the side trim, hood ornament, hood trim, gas door, trunk emblem, antenna hole are all shaved.... is that one modification? Or are those items listed separately?" - ISCA lists this as changes which do not involve body work. Four or more changes constitute One modification.

    "If the taillights are changed and moved down... is that one or two modifications?" - I believe this is one change and one modification

    "If the dash is painted a non-factory color, is that a modification?" - The use of special paints (candy, pearl, flake, scallops, flames or any other trick paint) equals one modification

    "If I have teardrop dash knobs, is that a modification?" - no

    "If the seats are reupholstered different than factory, is that a modification?" - Interior alterations are considered a modification

    "If I install different exterior mirrors, is that a modification?" - If it doesn't require body work then it is just a change.

    "If the battery is moved to the trunk to clean up the engine bay, is that a modification?" - no mention of this in the rules that I could find

    "If I remove the bumper guards, is that a modification?" - Classified as a change

    "If I change the bumper guards to another style, is that a modification?" - If it doesn't require bodywork then it is just a change. If bodywork is required then it is a modification

    "If I lower the car, is that a modification?" - depends on how it was lowered. Any work to the suspension that requires cutting and welding such as front suspension changes (I-beam to independent) are considered a modification. Rear end housing changes are also considered a modification and are separate from the front modification. Basically, you can have one modification in the front and another in the rear.

    "If I change hub caps, is that a modification?" - nope just a change

    "If I have tinted glass, is that a modification?" - no specifications on that.

    Other areas you may have changed but didn't mention are engine conversions, shaved door handles, filled firewalls (involving bodywork) all count as separate modifications. Louvers do not count as a modification.

    Again, I may have misinterpreted the rules so please correct me if I'm wrong on any of these. Based solely on what you listed above I would count 4 modifications and possibly 7 depending on some clarification from you on how the mirrors and bumper guards were attached as well as how the car was lowered.

    My $0.02
     
  24. porknbeaner
    Joined: Sep 12, 2003
    Posts: 41,124

    porknbeaner
    Member

    Scoopy was modification for modification's sake. It was the show customs of the late '50s and early '60s that nearly killed custom cars in general. Some were OK enough but there were just a ton of them done in poor taste.

    granted everyone has their own opinion and mine stinks just like everone else's but when it comes to building a custom less is more as a rule. Look at 40StudeDudes caddy for an example, and tell me what has been done to it. Pretty hard to do but it is modified, all done in moderation and done in such a way that it is hard to tell what is has been done and what hasn't.
     
  25. If you talk to most guys today,they say their car is a Custom,just cause they changed a few things. I always say,"it's NOT a "Custom" just cause you bolted on some wheels and tinted your windows!".
    BOLT-ON never means it's customized! It means it personalized! Check out some ads on ebay or Craigs list....it's hilarious!!! haha
     
  26. I think many or the Barris cars were UGLY! The early cars were amazing though! Lots of the cars that were done just to compete,in the 60's were aweful...
     
  27. lucky
    Joined: Mar 3, 2001
    Posts: 583

    lucky
    Member

    This is what I was referring to. I suppose I should have been more "specific"
     
  28. Rory428
    Joined: Mar 30, 2011
    Posts: 73

    Rory428
    Member
    from BC Canada

    In my opinion, that brown 58 Impala looks like something that Scooby Doo would have left on the lawn!
     
  29. Exactly!
     
  30. That's a true story.....

    The ISCA rules were/are an attempt to quantify what are really esthetic decisions that the builder makes. Nobody sets out to build an ugly car, but chasing points definitely resulted in some.

    My 'personal' classification goes like this:

    Mild custom. Basically any essentially stock-bodied car. Dechromed, frenched stock lights, original bumpers (even if modified), shaved handles, different grill in a more-or-less stock opening, skirts, all of these are included. No chopped, sectioned, or channeled cars. A more-of-less bolt-on front clip swap would fall into this 'class', but swapped quarters wouldn't. Most customs would fall into this.

    Custom. This is where most chopped cars would end up, and even some sectioned ones (a lot of the early sectioned shoeboxes would fit here). Still easily recognizable as to what they are, basically a 'mild' custom with one major mod, or a heavily-modified car that's not chopped, channeled or sectioned. A car with new quarters would fall into this, or a car with reshaped OEM tin. The Adonis '60 Ford would also fit here, or a lot of the other early sixies customs.

    Radical custom. These are the cars with multiple major mods; chopped, sectioned, channeled, but also with serious reshaping of either existing panels or grafting of new/other panels. Think the Jade Idol or El Matador here.

    All of the above should also be fully-functioning, street legal cars or close to it. No weird stuff like single-stick steering.

    Show customs. This is the bubble-topped cars, or the ones with over-the-top, impractical features.

    An impossible classification system to judge, I know.... I'm not trying to take away anything from anybody, just the way I see it....
     

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