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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. pumpman
    Joined: Dec 6, 2010
    Posts: 2,461


    People have asked me why don't I replace my cap and bezel, I tell them, Why, it's perfect. IMG_2457.JPG
  2. Blues4U
    Joined: Oct 1, 2015
    Posts: 3,413

    from So Cal

    Eh, it's still a project. The goal is for it to be shiny some day. Not perfect, but shiny paint anyway, :D
    61Cruiser and dirty old man like this.
  3. Bandit Billy
    Joined: Sep 16, 2014
    Posts: 4,969

    Bandit Billy

    Sometimes the definition rests in the hand of the builder sometimes in people's expectations of you. Over the weekend I was working on a rear cross member for my shop truck. I had fabricated what I thought was acceptable and sent a pic over to a buddy that was on the phone pretty quick. He said while what I in mind was structural and sound it was not up to the expectation level of what I had set. I fully agree and accepted that and set off to re-engineer my idea and "perfect" it.

    It reminds me of a commercial theme that is popular on TV these days "sometimes good enough is not good enough". Why settle for good enough on the cars we build. You may not obtain perfection but you definitely wont get it if you don't aim at it.
    mkebaird likes this.
  4. topher5150
    Joined: Feb 10, 2017
    Posts: 1,380


    As long as my welds hold up and it looks half way cool I'm not to worried.
    61Cruiser likes this.
  5. I prefer wabi sabi in hot rods.
  6. Growing up around an area where perfection is kind of the norm (or at least it's said to be) really messes with your head. I started many a project that had things needing to be re worked over and over and over because it wasn't "perfect" enough for everyone. Nothing got done, except my interest in the car......I had to change. The change came slowly, but I did change. It was even hard being here in the very beginning, lots of talented builders to compare myself to. But that wasn't the point, the point is to learn from the builders and to get better at what you do........that's all.

    The only lasting effect is the A.D.D, other then that I don't care and do what I do for myself, my tastes......and try to learn more along the way.

    Like said before, perfection is different to everyone.
  7. The37Kid
    Joined: Apr 30, 2004
    Posts: 25,463


    There are several definitions of "perfect", perfect restoration to as new showroom condition. (I've always wondered what a 400 point Model A Ford MARC winner felt like on the road.) Perfect Hot Rod that you are restoring to a year in history, or your current project. That GN in the UK with a J.A.P. aeroplane V8 in the page 2 video is perfect as it is. I've worked in restoration shops most of my life and never had the opportunity to do "perfect" work, labor cost prevented that. I lost count of all the times when another hour or two would have made for a better finished product. None of my cars will get finished, if any part sees paint or plating I've decided that part was perfect. Whoever wires it when I'm gone better not set it on fire.

    Last edited: May 20, 2019
    ct1932ford likes this.
  8. Ziggster
    Joined: Aug 27, 2018
    Posts: 183


    "Perfection is the enemy of good enough". Hope to live by those words one day.
    The37Kid likes this.
  9. Mr T body
    Joined: Nov 2, 2005
    Posts: 1,914

    Mr T body
    Alliance Vendor
    from SoCal

    "Perfect" for me is a goal, not an expectation. It what drives me to improve my skills. That said, There's a point of diminishing returns..... if you think you can ACHIEVE perfection, you'll never be satisfied (or finished). Everyone's balance is different........
    Shutter Speed and F&J like this.
  10. partsdawg
    Joined: Feb 12, 2006
    Posts: 2,267

    from Minnesota

    I’m not perfect and nothing I drive is either
  11. Thank you - so true with me as well - ‘nuff said .....
    61Cruiser, Stogy and jim snow like this.
  12. flatheadgary
    Joined: Jul 17, 2007
    Posts: 639

    from boron,ca

    i remember looking at mags from the mid '70s when street rodding became interesting again to the mass'. this was before the shops and the trailer queens. when a club would drive somewhere on the weekend. i remember seeing the under side of a nice A sedan and looking at the welds on the rear bracketry. it was easy to see it was all arc welded with no dimes. they were built in the garages of the club members. now i look back at those cars and think those were drivers compared to most of the cars you see now. i see more people trying to keep up with the latest fads from shops until they either run out of money or interest. i don't remember when this traditional style became popular but i would bet it was about the same. we have built better for safety and pride which is a good thing but it doesn't have to be "perfect" to drive it. to most of the public perfect is visual not structural. just build it safe and if you can't, pay someone else to do it. remember the looky loos at the wreck may sit on your jury.
  13. 392
    Joined: Feb 27, 2007
    Posts: 875


    I like mine not perfect. I’ve been on the side of bling before and didn’t like it. Nothing neater than driving a beater or insert hot rod. Customs to me deserve to be slick.
  14. I haven't had the time to read this thread, or had much HAMB time lately. So this point may have already been made. But { perfection is when your Hot Rod is built the way that you Love it!} People have ask me many times, why don't I finished it. They look puzzled when say I did! :) 157.jpg 20180111_185715.jpg That Rod, like my wife is { PERFECT } but just to me! Check the look on her face. I don't think she ever thought it was perfect either.:rolleyes: lol Ron....
  15. missysdad1
    Joined: Dec 9, 2008
    Posts: 2,694


    I think this is more common than one might think, especially in the days following the proliferation of "street rod" magazines on news stands around the world. The cars featured in those magazines set a pretty high bar for home builders and discouraged more than a few I'm sure. For the last 30 years or so everybody "grew up" in Orange County in their minds if not in reality. Hard to tell if this was a good thing...or not.
    jnaki likes this.
  16. rustednutz
    Joined: Nov 20, 2010
    Posts: 1,572

    from tulsa, ok

    I've only had one perfect vehicle in the 70 plus vehicles I've owned. I didn't keep it very long because I was too afraid to drive it very much. I don't need no stinkin' garage queen!!! Hot Rods are meant to be driven!
  17. trollst
    Joined: Jan 27, 2012
    Posts: 1,389


    I'll agree that some on this board have let standards slide, my 36 is as nice as any on here, but it's late may and the winter garage dust hasn't been washed off yet, and I don't give a rats ass. I built it to drive twenty years ago, the air cleaner is dirty, so I don't open the hood, the engine hasn't been detailed since forever, but I'm gonna have to do it because it needs header gaskets, that means more stove paint on those babies. It ALWAYS gets me there, mostly covered in bugs, but if you get down on your belly its beautiful underneath, good welds, components that look like they were always there right from the factory, (covered in road grime), its generally regarded as one of the coolest rides in the parking lot cause it shows its age, kept clean and presentable but far from perfect. DSC05363.JPG
  18. I dig that '36, Troll. One color primer, clean and done right.
  19. 31 Chopped Coupe
    Joined: Aug 24, 2014
    Posts: 68

    31 Chopped Coupe

    Definitely doesn't have to be perfect, just has to please yourself. Whatever floats your boat and at this point in my life the boat will float in a much smaller puddle. I don't worry about super shiny paint, satin black will do just fine. I take it to small car gatherings with dust on the tires and bugs in the grille and just enjoy the shit out of it. Drove it to the hardware store last week and someone heard me pull in and came over and said "That's not really a rat rod is it?" and I replied "Not even a little bit." He then said "That thing looks just right." One of the best complements I ever got!
    I am constantly doing modifications to it so I don't know if I can ever call it finished. Right now it has dents on dents but I keep trying to make it better and if it gets a scratch I will patch it when the time comes, but for now I'm gonna drive it and keep enjoying it. Can't wipe the grin off my face!!!
  20. porknbeaner
    Joined: Sep 12, 2003
    Posts: 40,950


    Perfect is all about the modern street rod world and has no relationship with "common" traditional hot rods. Show rods, and restorations are obviously the odd man out and eben then a good restoration is not going to be perfect because the car was no perfect from the factory and a show rod is often not actually perfect.

    The hot rods that we aspire to build nearly always lacked perfection, and some if not most were usually real rough around the edges. Hell having been around rodders of a sort nearly all of my life some of them were down right scary. It was (or is) about having fun more than anything else.
    redoxide, mkebaird, Nostrebor and 7 others like this.
  21. Well Said!:cool:
    j3harleys likes this.
  22. Shutter Speed
    Joined: Feb 2, 2017
    Posts: 381

    Shutter Speed

    We're using the term pretty loosely. Perfection is NOT humanly obtainable, yet it is commendable to strive for it. Including Riddler, AMBR, etc. (Why else would Judges deduct points?)

    As others have pointed out, our attempts to achieve "perfection" are inversely proportional to our ability to fully ENJOY our rides, and that's what it's all about.

    Strive on...get close, but have a BLAST!
  23. This I think was the first and only day I drove my last hot rod to work...I think I drove it maybe 1/2 dozen times before I drove it to an old truck show and sold it...not even close to being perfect...smelled like an old truck...drove like an old truck too... DSC04626_zps3nwyipfm.jpg
    Last edited: May 24, 2019
    Hombre and The37Kid like this.
  24. LM14
    Joined: Dec 18, 2009
    Posts: 1,499

    from Iowa

    I strive for perfection. I will probably never meet it but I set my sights pretty high when I start a project. I also realize I’m building a driver and not a show car so there is a little wiggle room.

    That said, we can never truly achieve perfection so there is a happy medium we all live in. What that happy medium is, is what makes us different for everyone. I have removed what looked like perfectly good work to others because I could not look at it daily and be happy with it. I’m sure I’ve left stuff that drove others crazy when they saw it.

    Yes, it slows down projects but it is also what makes the car that you can stare at for hours noticing all the details, fit and finish.

    Set your sights high hoping to achieve them. You set your sights low and it makes life easier, in some ways, harder in others.

    The37Kid likes this.
  25. dana barlow
    Joined: May 30, 2006
    Posts: 3,384

    dana barlow
    from Miami Fla.

    With in time an $ an skill,yes !
    jaw22w likes this.
  26. the oil soup
    Joined: May 19, 2013
    Posts: 96

    the oil soup
    from Tucson,AZ

    Perfection in an imperfect world? Excellence is a more realistic goal. That makes me happy.
    Hombre and j3harleys like this.
  27. Running Gear, Paint and Upholstery on the many cars I've had I always had two out of three, two out of three is perfect at my house.
  28. Black_Sheep
    Joined: May 22, 2010
    Posts: 844


    Less than perfect, but to the best of one's ability.

    I can live with that...
    j3harleys likes this.
  29. nunattax
    Joined: Jan 10, 2011
    Posts: 1,721


    my hot must be the best I can make it not miss a beat steer true stop on a dime go like hell have excellent lights and indicators be comfortable and be reliable.when it does all that its nearly perfect,no oil or water leaks holes in the bodywork rust stopped dead someone will be driving it when im gone on.built to last thats about it
  30. Bill Nabors
    Joined: Jul 24, 2011
    Posts: 246

    Bill Nabors

    I built one that I “wanted” to be perfect when I lived in Carson City, NV and I will never do that again. It was a 36 Ford pickup. I used the best of six trucks to put together my dream. I I got it close to finish and had to relocate to Alabama. It was a great truck and I would drive it anywhere. It needed minor details to finish, but life happened and I sold it to Jim Harden from Sacremento while on the 93 Americacruise. He finished it and I saw it in some mags over the years. The sale paid for my first year in Law school.
    I am now retired and just bought a nice solid running 35 pickup. Most of the pieces came with it, along with some new stuff. I am in the process of putting a fresh 39 steering box, a 3” dropped axle, and hydraulic brakes in it. I did put a new gas tank in because I don’t want to worry about running out. I am looking for good fenders ,but no hurry. It I plan to drive it daily. It has some raw medal that will get paint. I have 2 gallons of red laquer for the sheet medal. It will be painted in the driveway sometime this summer. If I take a part off, I paint it, but I am not stripping down.
    I have been accumulating old ford parts for years, so I haven’t had to buy a lot. It will not be perfect, but it will be fun.
    Hombre likes this.

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