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Technical Desicions, desicions... Thoughts needed

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Mikko_, Aug 8, 2018.

  1. Mikko_
    Joined: Aug 3, 2018
    Posts: 362

    Mikko_
    Member
    from Sweden

    As I mentioned in my presentation here: https://www.jalopyjournal.com/forum/threads/hello-from-sweden.1116864/ I'm about to buy my first american made car next year.
    (Next year because I have to sell some other cars and set up my new workshop first, in case you were wondering).

    Looking at Model A's and Shoeboxes which are totally different creatures.
    I'm only gonna use the car as a weekend cruiser with maybe an occasional longer road trip.

    As I see it the Shoebox is probably better at keeping up with todays traffic while the A will require some hop ups before it does the same, meaning that I can start to really enjoy the Shoebox from day 1 without having to spend a lot of money and work on it first.
    On the other hand I really like the idea of owning a pre-WW2 car, with their beautiful fenders and simple engineering.

    So, let's discuss how you would reason about this "problem" of mine.

    Thank you
     
  2. bct
    Joined: Apr 4, 2005
    Posts: 3,098

    bct
    Member

    If you have to ask...better get the shoebox.
     
    Shutter Speed likes this.
  3. I can't answer that for you. But it would be easy for me. I love Hot Rods, and I like Kustoms. A model ,{Hot Rod = fast and loud }! Shoebox, {Kustom= slow and low}. There's NOTHING more fun than a MODEL A! But hay, that's just me. I have seen people pull both off, in one though. :rolleyes: Ron....
     
    Bandit Billy likes this.
  4. Petejoe
    Joined: Nov 27, 2002
    Posts: 10,960

    Petejoe
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Zoar, Ohio

    Mikko_ and Ron Funkhouser like this.

  5. pitman
    Joined: May 14, 2006
    Posts: 5,078

    pitman

    The A was the last, or 'end' of the carriage era. Henry made enough of them, 30-40 years later even a kid could get started building a rod!
    (Oh yeah, get wind-wings for the windshield)
     
  6. badvolvo
    Joined: Jul 25, 2011
    Posts: 472

    badvolvo
    Member

    I don't fit into model A's too well, and I'm only 6' tall. I could do it when I was younger and more flexible. Tried to move Dad's roadster pickup a while back, forgot how small they were.
     
  7. Mikko_
    Joined: Aug 3, 2018
    Posts: 362

    Mikko_
    Member
    from Sweden

    I'm only 5'10" so the size won't be an issue I think.
     
  8. Mikko_
    Joined: Aug 3, 2018
    Posts: 362

    Mikko_
    Member
    from Sweden

    No at the end of the day I'm the only one who can answer this.
    Just interesting to hear other peoples opinions on what's best for a first timer.:)
     
  9. 2935ford
    Joined: Jan 6, 2006
    Posts: 3,635

    2935ford
    Member

    Model A's as mention, and I don't care what version of the A, are narrow, smaller cabin cars. Once the running boards disappeared the car cabins got wider and more comfortable.
    Also, left foot space is cramped and you may find longer road trips a little tiring.

    May I suggest, if you know of anyone with an A and someone with a shoebox, ask to sit in each and not just for a minute or two but a good 15 minutes or so. If you have already done this, then, the choice is yours to make.

    As far as power goes, an A can have as much as you build into it just like the shoebox and long trips are not out of the question.
     
    mammyjammer likes this.
  10. Baumi
    Joined: Jan 28, 2003
    Posts: 2,765

    Baumi
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    If it´s your first old American car and you want to take it on occasional long distance trips, I´d recommend you to look at anything late 30s and up OHV powered. Mopar flat sixes are dead reliable and a decent construction too. If 45-50 mph is fast enough you could go with a Model A, if you can deal with the flaws a Ford Flatty can give you, go shoebox. But if you just want to go cruising at todays speeds I´d recommed something ohv and later. You could also put a later ohv into each, a shoebox and the A, but I don´t know if that´s what you want to do.

    That said, I lately drove a 30 Model A Coupe on a 1000 mile roundtrip and 55 Chevy with the 235 inline six 30000 miles in 3 years. It just depends how fast, how reliable and how comfortable you wish to travel.
     
  11. Baumi
    Joined: Jan 28, 2003
    Posts: 2,765

    Baumi
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    ... if you want to travel really comfortable, try a Buick, an early Cad. Two weeks ago I drove a really unmolested 40 Ford Coupe. That thing drove like a new car...probably better. All those cars drove well fresh from the factory.
     
  12. ol-nobull
    Joined: Oct 16, 2013
    Posts: 1,640

    ol-nobull
    Member

    -
    Hi. As you are asking about these well before purchasing I will offer the following -
    Model A is very narrow compared to what you are now used to so sit in one first and move around in a bit. If there is someone who will be travelling with you most of the time BOTH of you sit in one and try moving around a bit. How comfortable would that be for a several hour or all day drive? If two people in front they better be thin & skinny for a several hour drive.
    Do the same in a shoebox as it is much larger.
    Then consider speed. I have several local friends with model A's, some stock, some souped up or modified. A stock Model A easily cruises around 45 MPH but has problems at higher speeds when stock. Some hop up the engine as there are many hop up parts easily avalible. Some add an overdrive or change rear end ratio and can cruise with today's traffic but with this they are down shifting a lot on hills.
    Just realize that even with the Shoeboxes they were designed when speed limits in the U.S. still ranged mostly in the 45 to 55 MPH ranges with a few states having 60 MPH. I got my drivers license in 1953 in Louisiana and speed limit was still 55. An overdrive and or larger rear tires could solve the cruising speed issues. There are also many hop up parts still avalible for the flathead V8 engines.
    Mostly the big difference in cruiser comfort is going to be interior width.
    How bad is traffic where you will be cruising? Do you want to be moving around 45 when all the other traffic is going 70? Two months ago I was going home in my 46 Chevy Coupe doing a bit over 55 on the Hwy and a car running around 75 rear ended me & really made a mess of my car. Insurance totaled my Coupe. You do not need any of this kind of mess.
    I have not made up my mind whether to redo the coupe or just buy something else with the insurance money and purchase another car. I have a lot of money already tied up in the Coupe and do I really want to put $10,000 or more of that insurance money back into it? Big decisions I need to make soon.
    Good luck with whatever you decide. Jimmie
     
    jvo likes this.
  13. Mikko_
    Joined: Aug 3, 2018
    Posts: 362

    Mikko_
    Member
    from Sweden

    Don't know anyone with an A or a Shoebox but I have driven a '34 Ford tudor and a '49 Mercury.
    Both with flathead V8's and three speed manuals so I think I have some kind of idea what I'm getting into, although an A in stock form has less power and non-syncro trans compared to the '34.
     
  14. jvo
    Joined: Nov 11, 2008
    Posts: 228

    jvo
    Member

    As stated above, speed is a big issue. I saw a guy's shirt at a show last month, that stated,"You have no friends at 50 m.p.h.".
     
  15. Mikko_
    Joined: Aug 3, 2018
    Posts: 362

    Mikko_
    Member
    from Sweden

    I live in a small town and most roads here have a speed limit of 50-55 MPH or less and avoiding the higher speed limit highways won't be a problem.

    If going with an A I would like to have a V8 trans for the synchros and something like 7.50x16" rear tires and some bolt on performance parts for the engine.


    I'll have some serious thinking to do the coming winter, that's for sure.
     
  16. Mikko_
    Joined: Aug 3, 2018
    Posts: 362

    Mikko_
    Member
    from Sweden

    Well, I'm not against putting a later engine in a car as long as it's a somewhat traditional swap and not a SBC 350.
    And I wouldn't really mind having something like a 52-56 Ford with either a flathead or a Y-block if the right car pops up.

    But I'm pretty sure that I want a Ford, mainly because I think parts for them are more available than other manufacturers from the 30's to early/mid 50's but I might be wrong?
    And then we have the fact that I work at a local Ford dealership:D

    As stated above I have my mind set on a Ford.
    39-41 and 46-48 Fords are nice looking cars but more expensive than A's and Shoeboxes I think?
     
    HOTRODPRIMER likes this.
  17. If both cars are original and you hope to get instant gratification,go with the shoebox it will have juice brake instead of mechanical brake like the Model A.

    If modified it would be a flip of the coin, everything being equal, the Model A's with V8 power are just as good as the Shoebox.

    I have had a bunch of Model A's over the years and am just starting on my first 1950 Ford,

    When you travel for hours I can assure you the Shoebox will be the more comfortable then the Model A.

    I own a 1954 Ford now which is a pleasure to drive,both locally and long distance. HRP

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2018
    Mikko_ likes this.
  18. partsdawg
    Joined: Feb 12, 2006
    Posts: 2,969

    partsdawg
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Minnesota

    Family or no family?
    If not now will one be planned in the future.
    Those factors should be part of the equation.
     
  19. Mikko_
    Joined: Aug 3, 2018
    Posts: 362

    Mikko_
    Member
    from Sweden

    That is a very nice looking station wagon.:)
    I like cars that look almost original, right wheels and stance goes a long way.

    I would like to get a car that's mostly original to begin with, that way I don't have to deal with cleaning up other peoples mess the first thing I do and I get all the fun of making the car my own directly from start.
    If it's modified it better be properly done.

    No family or girlfriend.
    But stuff like that can always change when you least expect it so you have a good point there.
     
  20. Mikko_
    Joined: Aug 3, 2018
    Posts: 362

    Mikko_
    Member
    from Sweden

    Well, my new workshop is coming along nicely and after spending some time driving a 1934 Ford Tudor I've come to the conclusion that a Model A is the way to go for me.
    I'll just keep my non-HAMB-friendly old car I have at the moment for that occasional longer road trip.

    Thanks for all the advices and input.
     

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