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Hot Rods Does it have to be perfect? After all it's a Hot Rod

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by ct1932ford, May 17, 2019.

  1. I was thinking about all the hot rods I have owned/built and were any absolutely perfect. The answer is no. I mean they were all safe and road worthy. But they were not 100% perfect. Then the question is, should they be? Like my coupe right now, the gas gauge reads 3/4 when it is full and 1/4 when empty. I never have thought about correcting it because I know what it means. I have been though every mechanical inch of that car, but the gas gauge is fine because "It's A Hot Rod" My Roadster is closer to perfect but also has gas gauge issues that I can interpret. A Model A sedan I built in the 70's was considered perfect by many, but If I really wanted to nit pick the original frame had some pitting in areas that I did not bother to do body work on. Even though it was boxed and many other improvements were done I just thought it was good enough for a full fender hot rod . After all "It's A Hot Rod. So my conclusion is "No,it's a Hot Rod" not a piece of jewelry.
  2. DDDenny
    Joined: Feb 6, 2015
    Posts: 13,448

    from oregon

    Like I said in HRP's similar thread; I was born a Virgo so I pretty much have followed the expected template and that is Virgos are perfectionists.
    People say "you fuss over stuff, how do you get anything done".
    They are pretty close as I have three long term projects that are not finished.:mad:
    redoxide, nunattax, 61Cruiser and 8 others like this.
  3. Mark, I would venture to say the majority of members here get where your coming from, unlike the street rodders & power parkers at the big nationally organized shows that like to play one upsmanship.

    I know you enjoy driving you hot rods and that's why we build them, as I referred too in a earlier thread we can be our own worse critic but looking beyond trying for perfection only takes away the enjoyment, I shoot for simplicity and safety.

    Remember, Beauty is only skin deep and that holds true with hot rods & customs as much as a attractive woman. beauty can go right out the window if your not happy. HRP
  4. 40FORDPU
    Joined: Mar 15, 2009
    Posts: 2,806

    from Yelm, Wa
    1. Northwest HAMBers

    Mine are not "perfect", neither are the tools/equipment/skills I have that created them.
    I'm okay with my end results-not perfect, but pleasing to me, and in the end that truly is all that matters.
    I agree with the phrase "they are never done"..if they were "perfect", I would have to think they must be done.
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  5. Happydaze
    Joined: Aug 21, 2009
    Posts: 935


    Difficult area! Drives like shit, death wobbles to hell, won't stop, doesn't steer properly etc etc, but it's OK as it's a hotrod and they're all like that. Discuss. Or preferably don't, if you know it doesn't have to be that way!

    I wonder how many are absolutely perfect, utterly flawless in every way? I find it hard to imagine that there are many, if any. But then what is 'prefect'. Opinions will differ!

    dirty old man and j3harleys like this.
  6. 2935ford
    Joined: Jan 6, 2006
    Posts: 3,343


    Mine are far from perfect and they will stay that way. They as you stated are "Hot Rods" and not show cars. Like you mine have to be safe and road worthy but the rattles, paint as I got the car, no chrome, gas gauges that are off are part of the ride. :)
  7. I was looking at the photos of the roadster that Johnson Hot Rod Shop down the road from me is building as a give away at a national show. Everything on it looks perfect. No flaws. I got tired of looking at it because its not realistic to me. You can't enjoy a perfect car, too much maintenance constantly to keep it perfect.
  8. el Scotto
    Joined: Mar 3, 2004
    Posts: 4,329

    el Scotto
    from Tracy, CA

    I have the “if it runs it’s done” mentality, with usually only performance or handling upgrades occurring after.

    All my old cars are in primer, although one might get a Rustoleum paint job eventually.

    I’m a happy guy once I get that seat time, grabbing some gears and going places...
  9. Bandit Billy
    Joined: Sep 16, 2014
    Posts: 6,549

    Bandit Billy

    I take great pride in my work, I cant do things half ass. I sold my Camaro yesterday, the new owner paid an inspector to lay eyes on it for him and he said he had not seen a nicer 50 year old car. That made my day...well that and the 70k. Time to get to work on the truck.
    AndersF, Hnstray, The37Kid and 13 others like this.
  10. rjones35
    Joined: May 12, 2008
    Posts: 865


    "Power Parkers!!" Hadn't heard that one before, I love it!

    I'm all about the getting it going and safe. Beyond that, whatever.
  11. Tim
    Joined: Mar 2, 2001
    Posts: 11,084

    from Raytown Mo

    Perfect is something different to everyone.

    Perfect vibe. Perfect feel. Perfect smell or sound.

    Dead nuts perfect metal finished 900 miles deep paint may be technically perfect but not perfect for what your wanting.

    I’ll keep fucking with it until it’s perfect for me. What’s the point of spending all this time, effort, money if it’s not what I want.
  12. JFK Killer
    Joined: Sep 3, 2017
    Posts: 49

    JFK Killer

    My glass 41 Willys started life out as a racecar. Then myself an my father got ahold of it. Dad tried to make it perfect an I just wanted a good driver. Combined we made it close enough to perfect for me. Thats all that truly matters. Its perfect if you know every creak squeak or tick. Heres my perfect junk lol... 20180930_095835.jpeg

    Sent from my SM-G955U using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
  13. pitman
    Joined: May 14, 2006
    Posts: 4,920


    A driver, is a perfect state of finish.
    Bugs, stone chips, mud up under seams, what's not to love here? :D
  14. missysdad1
    Joined: Dec 9, 2008
    Posts: 2,933


    Absolutely true. Owning a "perfect" hot rod soon becomes an exercise in maintenance. Been there, done that. Now all my hot rods are beaters - not sloppy or shoddy but a long way from perfect and driven on a daily basis when weather permits. Each has its share of chips, bugs and bruises, but that's a price I gladly pay for the enjoyment I get from driving them.
  15. Mr48chev
    Joined: Dec 28, 2007
    Posts: 26,947


    I took a bunch of photo of Billy Bandit's roadster at the Portland roadster show and that car is pretty close to perfect in my book. Photos didn't turn out that great but I probably spent more time around the car than any other in the place. I think I took two quick photos of the car that knocked him out of top place and that is one that probably has four times the money spent on it but You most likely will never see it rolling down the highway with a group of hot rods on their way to to some place.
    I'll spend a lot more time looking at and studying cars that show attention to detail without going overboard on things. That couple of extra hours of sanding and prepping a rear axle housing for paint rather than pressure washed and spray canned. The front axle that was ground smooth and nicely painted rather than just wire brushed and painted. Those little things that show that the owner/builder paid attention to detail while spending far more time than money on the car. It doesn't need all the screw heads clocked, nor does it need all the cotter keys trimmed exactly the same and aimed in the same direction as long as they are all there.

    The main thing I want to have and want to see is a safe to be driven rod or custom that isn't a hazard to those in it or to those around it. One you can feel safe running down the road at highways speeds behind you or feel safe with it behind you in dense traffic.
  16. Blue One
    Joined: Feb 6, 2010
    Posts: 10,528

    Blue One
    from Alberta

    I’m not going for perfect for anyone except me.
    And believe me it won’t be perfect from some standards but I’m going to drive it and have as much fun as I can :cool::D
    Oldb, Driver50x, BLUSHU and 14 others like this.
  17. F&J
    Joined: Apr 5, 2007
    Posts: 13,217


    Don, is this realistic enough? o_O..and some mud for pitman..;) son was driving. We recently went to the big vintage tractor/equipment farm that we used to camp at when he was very young where he then could drive his tractors on their 180 acres that the club actually owns. I had a really nice day,.... no, it was a slice of it brought back a lot of nice memories of us being "a team" when I raised him by myself.

    I am in "the bottom of the ninth inning" in life, so that should make a person unwilling to "miss a treasured moment" just to keep a car mint.

    32farm1.jpg 32farm2.jpg

    ...Below photo was taken around 1950. The little boy is now a 75 year old friend of mine. That is his Dad, who raised him alone, too. The relatives wanted the Dad to put his son up for adoption after the Mom died, but in my friends words, his Dad told them to "get F,d, I'm not giving him up". His Dad bought this 23 Dodge brand new...Yes, my friend still has this car, and still lives on the same farm in the photo. It only had exterior cosmetic work done in 1970. I placed the old photo laying on the door sill of that Dodge when I took this pic. He also goes to the same farm show.
  18. F&J, I have called your car perfect before. To me, it is, I really like it. And I am sure it is to you too.
    61Cruiser likes this.
  19. WB69
    Joined: Dec 7, 2008
    Posts: 1,227


    I have also had that perfect car. Don't anymore. You are so right, became too much maintenance and always the scare of that first scratch or pit. God forbid someone got too close to it. Need I say children with a dripping ice cream cone and sticky hands. Sat in shop covered up mostly, too scared to drive it. Never once seen rain or inclement weather. Now, all mine are the "hotrod" that is not always clean and not afraid to be driven. More power to those that love the perfect car, they are beautiful! Just not for me anymore. Everyone has their own thing.
    Oldb, Driver50x, 61Cruiser and 4 others like this.
  20. papa's 39 koop
    Joined: Apr 20, 2011
    Posts: 183

    papa's 39 koop

    Blue One where did you get your stands ??..Much better and safer than regular jackstands
    Joemama, lothiandon1940 and Hombre like this.
  21. louisb
    Joined: Oct 13, 2008
    Posts: 982


    The imperfections are how you know it's not a high dollar fair ground queen.

    61Cruiser, lothiandon1940 and Hombre like this.

  22. This ^ is ME!
    Hombre likes this.
  23. Blue One
    Joined: Feb 6, 2010
    Posts: 10,528

    Blue One
    from Alberta

    I cut them out of 3/16” plate and welded them up.
    12” high, safe and really handy.
  24. okiedokie
    Joined: Jul 5, 2005
    Posts: 3,916

    from Ok

    The closest that I have ever come is after selling my 40 tudor but before the buyer came to drive it home. Fixed all the little issues that I never worried about.
  25. Never had perfect because I drive them, never been interested in perfect.
  26. jim snow
    Joined: Feb 16, 2007
    Posts: 1,009

    jim snow

    I drive mine a lot . It’s never going to be perfect. I love it anyway. Snowman
  27. Hombre
    Joined: Aug 22, 2008
    Posts: 1,029


    Hell my brand new OT truck is not perfect and it has 300 miles on it. I learned long ago that if you actually want to drive and enjoy your Hot Rod you are going to just have to let go of that "Perfect" thing. Perfect is a recipe for failure as we as humans are only able to do so much. At some point you or I are just going to have to say "It's good enough"
  28. "Perfect" to me means lying on your back with a toothbrush and rag, cleaning the bits only seen if you are running over someone, instead of actually driving the car and getting the wind through what's left of your hair!
    BigO, 61Cruiser, j3harleys and 2 others like this.
  29. Stogy
    Joined: Feb 10, 2007
    Posts: 16,410


    Answer to the question in my opinion...No...but to those who take things to the Nth degree of perfection that's a choice you have every right to make...go for it...;)

    I certainly can enjoy attention to detail...

    You also raise an interesting point regarding Hotrods...where there was and still is a quality divide in building one...some are more raw and lacking in finished details and others go for mean 'n nasty but clean and finessed from every vantage point...Either fit the bill and existed back in the day without as you see fit.​
    Last edited: May 17, 2019

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