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Hot Rods Do People Really Spend like This?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by 5window, Dec 11, 2015.

  1. 5window
    Joined: Jan 29, 2005
    Posts: 6,822


    The cover car on the latest TRJ is a really nice hotrod. In the coverage, it says that 300-350 hours were spent shaping the grill grill shell and, presumably, the insert. First of all, that's two plus months of 8 hour days, 5 days a week just to shape a shell. Second, by my math, that is somewhere between $15000 and $35000 for grill shell metal work. ($50-100hr).

    I must confess that I find this to be a bit unrealistic and certainly a bit excessive, but perhaps I am just naive. Do y'all really have this kind of investment in a really nice car?
    michael knight, loudbang and hipster like this.
  2. 54monarch
    Joined: Feb 28, 2011
    Posts: 36

    from Calgary

    Can't see how that is possible unless there were a lot of big changes along the way.
  3. badshifter
    Joined: Apr 28, 2006
    Posts: 3,109


    They need to find a new fab shop. I made/rebuilt and fitted a 1937 Delahaye grille, insert, surround for pebble beach 2 years ago, and I was hard pressed to get 80 or so hours, including reshaping hood and fenders. That was metal finishing, ready for chrome. On second thought, they can keep the fab shop, and let me handle the checkbook.

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Dec 11, 2015
  4. flyboy89
    Joined: Oct 6, 2010
    Posts: 386

    from So. Cal.

    If you contract a hot rod shop to build your custom, its probably "time and material". Meaning what ever the shop rate is and however long it takes to fab some thing, the customer is going to pay. I talked to Gary Daegle once about it. If one of his fabricators was working on a car and was making a panel or something and it took him 8 hrs to do it, the customer got charged the 8 hrs at the shop rate. Hence, the cost of those cars can reach astronomical prices. He also told me he couldn't afford to have his own car worked on in his own shop at the hourly rate he had to charge to keep the doors open.
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  5. Jalopy Joker
    Joined: Sep 3, 2006
    Posts: 23,451

    Jalopy Joker

    it's only money - some got a lot, some got next to none
    H380, Donkey, yruhot and 2 others like this.
  6. I did wonder myself.

    Then in the back it says "...entire cars have been built in the time it took to massage the '37 truck grille."
    I don't know if that's really something to brag about. It looks good, but really?

    This is a commercial reality for all businesses. You can't stay in business and be a charity. Some people have difficulty understanding this, but I guess they have not been in business. There's more to it than just doing the work.

    Still, 300+ hours for a radiator shell?:eek:
    kbgreen, loudbang, hipster and 3 others like this.
  7. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 43,705


    look at a truck grille, look at the finished car...I doubt I could do that in 300 hours.
    Murphy32 likes this.
  8. Did the owner pay the shop in cash, or barter?
    I get some stuff I can't do, done by friends for swapping services.
    Makes things very cheap.
    Raiman1959 and lothiandon1940 like this.
  9. The37Kid
    Joined: Apr 30, 2004
    Posts: 26,024


    It wasn't done with a hammer and dolly by some old guy in a corner, there must be an hourly rate on specialty equipment. Pebble Beach quality workmanship gets Pebble Beach pricing, and we get to enjoy it for free, were is the problem? Bob
    belair, kidcampbell71 and kiwijeff like this.
  10. Ridler?
  11. I don't think there's a problem. I think the O.P. is just having a head scratch about the hours involved.
  12. hemi v8
    Joined: Jan 25, 2012
    Posts: 101

    hemi v8

    Seems a little extreme......300 hours spent on a grill. A little unrealistic if you ask me.
    michael knight and volvobrynk like this.
  13. That's probably a $500K car, $30K is only about 6% of the total.....

    The problem is even with all the 'traditional' parts and cues, this thing still screams 'billet' to me. Fabulous workmanship and exquisite detail? Check. Traditional? No way......
    slv63, Squablow, rtsidejohnny and 3 others like this.
  14. 7.5 weeks full time... I could have machined it from billet in 1/2 the time easily.
    Paint Guru and snopeks garage like this.
  15. exactly, a huge chunk of billet and programming time is still cheaper than the hand formed one and just as perfect if designed properly.
    kidcampbell71 likes this.
  16. I was kind of half kidding, but some projects are beyond what I'd ever spend on all I've built combined. Nice to have that kind of money... how much can I get for my spleen on the organ market...?
    czuch and turboroadster like this.
  17. pitman
    Joined: May 14, 2006
    Posts: 4,706

    from Hampsha

    Webb.jpg Dan & Ashley Webb's work: ~ 2005
  18. Fellas...I think the same thing all the time...when you see shop pics full of Brookvilles getting built up I scratch my head and think " how" do you finance a high end build? I hink many of those folks have much larger incomes than some of us. When you read many of those story's it's not the first go round for them having professionals built cars . The great thing is they keep good hardworking folks employed and building cars....and that's a good thing
  19. I will admit, it is a little hard for most of us to wrap our head around that much time and $. On the other hand, that's why we build and drive traditional Hot Rods.
  20. 40fordtudor
    Joined: Jan 3, 2010
    Posts: 2,503


    Some have the $$$$, others have talent. This didn't take place....way back then.
  21. LongLiveFlathead6
    Joined: Feb 20, 2015
    Posts: 49


    The only way I can personally justify spending that kind of money on a project is if it's an investment.

    If you spend $500k and the car is worth $650k, then you could have made a $150k profit. If you think of it that way than spending $35000 on a grill doesn't seam so crazy.

    However, I could never spend that kind of money, because I don't have it. And, if I did, I could think of other investments that might be a little easier to recover from, if it doesn't pan out.

    Then again, wealthy people who can spend that kind of money on a car don't really think like guys like me.
  22. The37Kid
    Joined: Apr 30, 2004
    Posts: 26,024


    In 1925 you could have Harry Miller build you a MILLER for $15,000 or buy yourself a new Model T Ford for under $300. It's just 90 years later. Bob
  23. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 43,705


    It's been this way for a long time....but the proportions of each seem to have changed. And the amount of money that folks with money are willing to spend, seems to have gone up.

    I like it.
    firstinsteele and kidcampbell71 like this.
  24. SicSpeed
    Joined: Apr 23, 2014
    Posts: 612

    from Idaho

    That Delahaye is awesome and the grille work is fantastic badshifter
  25. 350 hours ?
    Just For the grille ???
    That just seems like the job was getting milked like a cow. No not chromed , its painted and perfection in metal work gets a pass to fillers and block sanding.

    $35,000 for the grille, just boggles the mind. It's relative I guess, and

    I wish I was his relative :)
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2015
  26. I love these old cars and trucks.
    But I don't love them THAT much.
    belair likes this.
  27. bubba67
    Joined: Nov 26, 2008
    Posts: 1,783

    from NJ

    I think some guys are missing the point. I think the OP was most amazed, and trying to justify the hours it took to do it, the dollars were the second part. People are mostly just talking about the dollars that rich customers spend.
    31Vicky with a hemi likes this.
  28. 66gmc
    Joined: Dec 4, 2005
    Posts: 465


    I don't think its that far out of line. It was probably cut up and reworked 5 times before everyone was happy with the shape (customer, shop owner, ect.) Its more complicated and time consuming to try and make a 1 off part than it is to recreate something that already exists. The shaping principals are the same, but the one off part has to flow with the surrounding sheetmetal and fit the design of the overall car, that can burn up a lot of time.
    It probably would have been more expensive to make it out of billet. Someone still has to sit there and carve the general shape out of wood or foam. Once the dimensions are set another guy has to draw the whole thing up in autocad, plus the cost of a chunk of aluminum that size. Then once its been machined there is no finessing the final shape, your stuck with it.

    Personally I will spend more time looking at a simple well built traditional car than one of those high end pro built cars. My model A is a piece of crap, but when its finished I will have under 20k invested in it, but I bet its just as much fun to drive as that 33 in the magazine.
  29. I still can't imagine what kind of moron like me could do with that much time allocation. That's a lot of nap and re-dos. Maybe misprint ? Or course hours his Metal Working degree took? I dunno' if even that would help me. I'd probably died somewhere in/on the metal tooling really, or at least lost some digits. Time to pay someone some compliments. Nice car.
    loudbang and 31Vicky with a hemi like this.
  30. unkledaddy
    Joined: Jul 21, 2006
    Posts: 2,860


    Often times I suspect the expensive builds are a written-off as advertising (ie: WhataBuick).
    crashfarmer likes this.

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