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Hot Rods Do you think you could build a NEW deuce coupe for less than $50k?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by mikec4193, Dec 29, 2022.

  1. I have always loved the Deuce Coupes since the American Graffiti movie came out...

    So I got to thinking a bit about it...a brand new Union Pacific bodies are over $ frame rails appear to be around $1000.00

    So do think you could build a brand new traditional deuce coupe hot rod for less than $50k?

    Nothing crazy on it...just basic running and driving like it was back in the day...

    Thanks for any insight.

  2. I could. Send me the 50K and we will test your theory. You could buy one finished for that much.
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2022
  3. Not including any of my labour ?

    traditionally inspired 350/350/9”:cool:

    heck ya with money to spare !!

    the problem would arise with “ traditional speed parts”. Flatheads , superchargers etc etc etc where do you stop ?
    And final quality of the build .

    but a nice clean , driving example out of the hands of someone who could tackle most if not all the work themselves and sticking to a plan . Sure ya could .
  4. '29 Gizmo
    Joined: Nov 6, 2022
    Posts: 255

    '29 Gizmo
    from UK

    More than half the budget on the frame and body in bare metal.

    Now add motor, trans, axles, suspension, steering, interior, glass, electrics, wheels and tyres, paint, and hundreds of trim items.

    A good body shop will tell you the amount of work required to "fix" new steel bodies prior to paint.

    If its all new budget nearer 100k

    Then get it registered
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2022

  5. jimmy six
    Joined: Mar 21, 2006
    Posts: 12,688

    jimmy six

    ^^^^ More truth than anyone wants to hear..Find something close you can transfer to your ownership then make it your own.
  6. JimSibley
    Joined: Jan 21, 2004
    Posts: 3,671


    Yes, if you do all of the work yourself. We all know that the body shop and interior shop are the black holes of money suction when it comes to car building. With these two parts covered by the owner, builder I believe that you could build a nice car for a reasonable price.
  7. I know I could, all I need is cash. HRP
    ffr1222k, TomT, LOU WELLS and 4 others like this.
  8. 40FORDPU
    Joined: Mar 15, 2009
    Posts: 3,545

    from Yelm, Wa
    1. Northwest HAMBers

  9. Vics stuff
    Joined: May 24, 2014
    Posts: 412

    Vics stuff

    With todays prices , There is no way that a guy could build a 5 window duce for 50K. If you rebuilt everything with new components and you did all the work yourself , no corners cut . As mentioned earlier , a guy is way cheaper in buying one already done. My avatar , granted is a hot rod 3 window but I have done all the work so far and have over 80k in it .
  10. I could cause I got a bunch of crap laying around.
    The interior would be a junk yard bench with a blanket.
    But unlike the grafitti coupe, my grill shell would be placed correctly
    HEMI32, alanp561, bschwoeble and 23 others like this.
    Joined: Nov 22, 2005
    Posts: 8,233

    from SIDNEY, NY

    I read that it ended up like that because the original intention was to have the body channelled, but they ran out of time.
  12. I thought it was the opposite
    Un channeled the car. Left the shell alone
    D-Russ and rodncustomdreams like this.
  13. Fogger
    Joined: Aug 18, 2007
    Posts: 1,730


    Follow the excellent advice stated above, buy a finished registered car and make it your own. Unless you have the skills necessary to build a complete car you'd be better off buying one finished.
    Joined: Nov 22, 2005
    Posts: 8,233

    from SIDNEY, NY

    In any event, like Anthony said, if you've got a garage full of junk, and are capable of doing the work yourself, it's possible. I've got multiple engines, transmissions rear ends, and suspension/steering pieces at the send me the new body and frame, and I'll see what I can do.
    anthony myrick likes this.
  15. Forget the labor cost, if I were to build a '32 coupe for myself my labor is free.
    I wouldn't go out and buy a professional rolling frame, I would buy a set of rails and buy & scrounge the rest of the parts like any other car I would build.

    Paying someone to do the work and purchasing all new parts it would probably cost 50 grand or more.

    I still believe I could build one for less. HRP
  16. BamaMav
    Joined: Jun 19, 2011
    Posts: 6,127

    from Berry, AL

    As time goes by and the wrecking yards no longer have rwd cars and trucks, sourcing used parts gets harder. Even buying a complete parts car is getting hard, try finding a 60’s or 70’s V8 car to use, they are disappearing fast. Sure there are crate motors and transmissions out there, but the costs have went way up the last few years. Only way I see it happening is buying what you need from friends, web boards, swap meets if you find them, or places like eBay, Craigslist, or FB Marketplace. A lot of parts are out there in collections and private stashes and can be bought right, but you have to be patient and find them. It wouldn’t be a few weeks or months search, some items would take longer to find at the price you wanted to pay. 50 grand is doable, but you’d have to be frugal and patient.
    anthony myrick likes this.
  17. I have been looking into something similar for awhile as I have some motors and transmission lying around to stick in something. I was looking at glass bodies, but again one I start pricing out a frame (either a bare one and then souring all the suspension, or a roller) and interior and I am still near the 20k+ in parts alone. Then add paint (and all the materials), upholstery etc and even a fiberglass car is gonna run tight on the 50k budget.
    rodncustomdreams likes this.
  18. ekimneirbo
    Joined: Apr 29, 2017
    Posts: 3,170


    First thing before you jump in, go to a rod run and ask if you can sit in a 32 five window.......They are not the easiest car to get in.

    Second, can you build one for $50K. Yes, if you can do most of your own work and are good at buying and selling and maybe swapping rather than having someone do all the work for you. Think about it...If you have $30K in a new body and frame, that leaves $20K to get everything else. There are a lot of non 32s out there that were built completely for less than $20K.
    Front suspension will probably be new purchase and take a chunk.
    Wheels and tires will take a chunk.
    You should still have $12-$15K at that point.

    Now, if you are like most of us.........once you get sucked into the build you will want stuff that exceeds your $50K. :eek:
    mad mikey and 427 sleeper like this.
    Joined: Nov 22, 2005
    Posts: 8,233

    from SIDNEY, NY

    That's the thing; you're going to have to be happy with an engine that you don't sink 15K into.
    Beanscoot likes this.
  20. Well I suppose that depends on what you got laying around to build with. And what you consider to be traditional, and what your skill level is. For example drive train need not be too expensive if you decide to go the American Graffiti route a small block is not out the question and a 3 or 4 gear to handle one can be had reasonable. Paint is not much of a problem but upholstery can be pricey.

    Looks like a repop body and frame rails can be had for less than 30 K. I could probably do drive train and paint for 20K easy.
  21. I could, but I wouldn't.
    alanp561 and 427 sleeper like this.
  22. LarsL
    Joined: Sep 28, 2012
    Posts: 161

    from Norway

    It depends.
    A good flathead or other COOL engine, quick change, and other cool period parts ad up.
    The cheaper generic/repro way is posible, with money to spare.
    VANDENPLAS likes this.
  23. Bandit Billy
    Joined: Sep 16, 2014
    Posts: 10,003

    Bandit Billy

  24. RockyMtnWay
    Joined: Jan 6, 2015
    Posts: 191


    The last few 32’s I’ve put together in the past 5 years blew past 50k each in a heartbeat, so I’m gonna say NOPE. For those on here that can (or more importantly-have), I salute you.
    PS: current brookville roadster build will be close to that mark, but still above after farmed out paint and interior. Too many new parts and desire to go fast/far is also a big driver.
  25. Who said anything about body work and nice paint.
    a good sanding and couple coats of epoxy.
    I’d prefer a red oxide epoxy.
    A windshield is all the glass needed
    1low52, Splitbudaba, Jibs and 7 others like this.
  26. guthriesmith
    Joined: Aug 17, 2006
    Posts: 8,131

    1. H.A.M.B. Chapel

    My answer is no not necessarily because I don’t think I could do it with lots of junk I have already as long as I counted my time worth nothing, but more because I would rather spend even a fictitious $50k on something besides a 32 coupe. It isn’t that I don’t like them, it is more that I would struggle to have the fun driving a car that I had $50k tied up in as compared to a $10k car (or five $10k cars for that matter). :D
  27. Rckt98
    Joined: Jun 7, 2005
    Posts: 1,117


    Haha. You would probably spend that amount at the chrome shop?
  28. Squablow
    Joined: Apr 26, 2005
    Posts: 16,572


    Is it really cheaper than building a real one? I know '32 coupes aren't exactly everywhere, but I've seen original 5W bodies on frames for less than $27K. If I'm going to spend the money and time to build one, I'd rather have a real one, even if it's not finished to as high of a standard or whatever.

    There's lots of finished street-rod '32 coupes with aftermarket bodies that can be bought for well under $50K if you don't care that the body and frame is a replica.
    klawockvet, HSF and guthriesmith like this.
  29. pirate
    Joined: Jun 29, 2006
    Posts: 842

    from Alabama

    I might be too optimistic but even when I plan carefully my projects always end up costing more then planned. It’s not the big components/parts that cause it, it’s the little parts/supplies that keep adding up.
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2022
  30. JimSibley
    Joined: Jan 21, 2004
    Posts: 3,671


    It all depends on what you consider a nice car. A used 350 that runs good, single carburator and a chrome dress up kit. a used turbo 350, and a used rear axle assembly. Disc brake front end kit from speedway, a simple shifter, simple steering wheel. Home grown interior, do it yourself paint work and a chassis built from stamped rails. Chinese radiator, grill shell, headlights and tail lights. Spend your money wisely, and yea it can be done. Now if you want a really nice car with all new components, no probably not. Now remember, if you buy a used car, its going to be all used components.
    jimpopper, Just Gary, Tman and 2 others like this.

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