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Technical Drawing a line in the sand

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by porknbeaner, Jun 14, 2014.

  1. OK every couple of years I do this to see where everyone lands on this subject. It gives me a sense of who I am associating with. Now before we go any further with this discussion this is not a "drama" thread. It has nothing to do with what is or is not traditional, I think that has been established. It is also not about who is wearing their sphincter for a hat band either, and I personally am not interested in refereeing it. There is a ***report button and if I am not around maybe someone else can use it if things are getting out of hand. OK?

    All that said, for my enlightenment and that of my fellow HAMBers the question of the day is this, where do you draw the line when it comes to how traditional your builds are. Do you for instance think that an LS engine is OK, or perhaps you would use a MIG welder but not a TIG when you are building or mud instead of lead, repop parts are OK or you must only buld with Gennie old parts. You catch my drift, right?

    I'll be the first to admit that sometimes the line gets a little wavy when I am building. I may use for instance a period distributer but would not give second thought to converting to electronic. I build with an SBC a lot of the time which is period correct for the type of build (era) that I normally shoot for, but my favorite engine uses an IROC block. I like era correct parts but I may use a repop part if it gets me on the road.

    Like I said sometimes the line I draw gets a little bit wavy.


    *** Note: the report button is not there because someone hurt your feelings or did not agree with you.
  2. Trying to stay close to traditional,but my line is a little wavy(AV-8,flathead).
    I like your Note on report button:cool:
  3. saltflats
    Joined: Aug 14, 2007
    Posts: 11,055

    from Missouri

    My line kinda circles around what parts I have. I am not that much of a traditionalist because I cant afford it and I think I was born to late. I seem to be lost in the 60s car wise but as far as drive train anything that sounds good a performs good works for me.
  4. BamaMav
    Joined: Jun 19, 2011
    Posts: 5,195

    from Berry, AL

    My line is a little wavy, too. For instance, I like shiney wheels, I'm not a big fan of hubcaps or painted wheels, but they do have their uses when they look right. For me, it's usually what I have or can get a hold of when I use a particular part. Some stuff is just downright out of the budget, so I just make do with what I can afford that looks right to me.

  5. I like to build all kinds of different stuff and it really depends on what it is "supposed to be" when finished.

    With my Vicky, my goal is for that to appear to have been built around 1962 but A time machine trip (at its finest) so new but 1962 & Not an easy task.

    I like LS engines and a 5.3 swap is hard to beat but they don't belong in a "traditional" anything and they look out of place in most anything anyways. The NorthStar on the other hand can be dressed to play the part and does it well.
    falcongeorge likes this.
  6. Shit howdy, that's a question... the difference between a hot rod and a street rod so to speak, it can get a little wavy as you put it.

    People call Camaros and Mustangs hot rods in some places -- not.
    Don't cross 48th street as we used to say.
    LS engine -- not.
    EFI, automatic trans, a/c, alternators that look like generators, multiple carb set ups that aren't functional, etc. etc. etc. -- not.

    At the same time for me yeah, bondo is o.k., electronic ignition is o.k. and I drive my cars all over hell and back so for me radial tires are o.k. I don't know how many responses you'll get but I expect each may be different. We have a lot more stuff to pick from these days and some of it is more reliable and safer, as far as "traditional to a particular era" those words should be carved in stone and those cars should be true all the way. Right down to the lead work, gas welding and hand cut valve seats. After all as difficult as it may be to accomplish, it isn't what it isn't. But then I'm old and hard nosed compared to many people these days.
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2015
  7. Todd M.
    Joined: May 24, 2009
    Posts: 484

    Todd M.

    Great questions. I like to stay within the era of the late 40's through 50's, but that being said I will through a 1 wire Chevy alternator on if I'm driving it. I can always swap it out at a later time.
    I know a guy here in Florida that built his 32' Ford hot rod back in 1952. I can tell you 98% of his rod was exactly as it was, with the exception of 2% has evolved over it's life, like, coil, generator to alternator, starter,.... I bet it has something to do with him being 80+ years old and wants it to be more reliable and not leave him stranded especially when it hits 98 degrees here.
  8. BillWallace
    Joined: May 6, 2011
    Posts: 132


    Over the years since I started building cars in the 50s ive used parts that then were just parts & are now called traditional. I think that you use what's available at the time & its how we integrate things that make a car traditional. The traditional police are like plumbing inspectors. They will always find something to dislike.
    racingonerobb likes this.
  9. ol-nobull
    Joined: Oct 16, 2013
    Posts: 1,653


    Hi. Well this is the first time since joining that I have commented on the traditional or non traditional aspets & where to draw the lines. Much depends on exactly what style or image each owner is attempting to create with their build as to where they should draw the line for themselves. I am drawing a couple of different lines or perhaps like you said a wavy line.

    For me my 46 has a new interior in the style & look of the original and the body is the same except for the 2 repop amber fogs in the front (not original but has corretlook) and 2 exhaust tips below the rear bumpers. This look or line is a clean near original daily driver retaining the 3 on the tree. For me this is exactly what I have desired from the beginning with this one.

    This near original look is the image I want to project for what others see & think until they pop the hood. Under the hood they will still see a 6 cylinder Chevy Engine but then the line or style changes from a near original restore to a street rod of the mid 1950's that is still set up as a daily driver. I will retain the "look" of the street rod of this time period with a modified 1957 235 engine painted in the 1946 grey engine paint but have lots of chrome, aluminum, dual 2 bbl carbs, tube headers, 12 volt system, etc.

    It will not be a racer or super hot rod but will maintain that mild mannered tame original interior & exterior / interior. the original radio & clock still works.

    But with the bored 0.060, 264 grind cam, dual 2 bbl webbers, HEI, headers, etc it loses the mild mannered look under the hood & there has the look or style of a bit of a real street rod of that period in the 50. Instead of the flit like a butterfly, sting like a bee thought that i originally had I will likely end up with a couple of Green Hornet decals somewhere for the hint of something a bit more super.

    Guess I am mixing styles a bit but I definately will end up with the look, feel & performance that will best suit me. This is similar to what I drove in the early 50's when I first got my drivers lisense so it appears I will have my later years in life driving very near to what I began with about 60 years ago.
    This will definately work for me.

    I should have most of the mechanical stuff finished soon & be back on the road with it.

    Thats my line. Jimmie
    33sporttruck likes this.
  10. F&J
    Joined: Apr 5, 2007
    Posts: 13,222


    My personal era is "late 50s to very early 60s" builds.

    I was building car models from AMT back then, NOT real I made some errors on my 32 as far as trying for that era.....

    My mistakes; one was trying to use 16" wheels. That was not what was being done then, as 15" was around since 49 or so, and 14s were on 57 Chevys when the rodders were always trying for modern, not old fashioned outdated stuff.

    So, then why are people using 16s with late 1950s Buick finned brakes??

    Another error on my car was to use a 41-48 chevy steering wheel. My 30 chevy roadster pickup which was built 59-60, as a low channeled open wheel rod, uses a 56 Ford car dished wheel with the base model small center button. Bob Bleeds survivor roadster also uses that same 56 Ford wheel and small chrome cap. They wanted modern touches, not outdated features.

    I really don't get the almost mandatory use of huge stock headlights that were bulb, not sealed beams. Do you guys honestly think any rodder would choose extremely dim bulb headlights at any point after 1940? It never happened, but it's trendy today. i mention this because new people in the hobby see these lights and think it is traditional.
    gas pumper and tb33anda3rd like this.
  11. oldolds
    Joined: Oct 18, 2010
    Posts: 3,220


    PNB said.. "All that said, for my enlightenment and that of my fellow HAMBers the question of the day is this, where do you draw the line when it comes to how traditional your builds are. Do you for instance think that an LS engine is OK, or perhaps you would use a MIG welder but not a TIG when you are building or mud instead of lead, repop parts are OK or you must only buld with Gennie old parts. You catch my drift, right?"

    Answering the queation in order...
    1. No LS in Traditional car.. Street rod it's ok
    2. Tig or Mig. Each has a place.
    3. Mud is ok for me. Never really did lead and not finicky enough with metal shaping to use nothing.
    4. Repop parts have their place. Safety is one area. I will not hold up my car build to wait for that part that I can't afford or will never find. Never did a fiberglass body, but have used fenders and deck lids. A '32 Ford or '40 Willys glass car may be in my stable in the future. A deal is out there somewhere.
  12. junkyardjeff
    Joined: Jul 23, 2005
    Posts: 8,134


    Would love to build a car with all vintage parts but its not going to happen,I like to drive them and on the highway so I will have motors that parts are readily available and geared so its not screaming plus have modern brakes so I can stop. I like them to look traditional but more slightly modern drivetrain but will probably never use EFI on any of my builds,I do not have a oxy /acc torch so its a mig welder for me.
  13. borderboy1971
    Joined: Oct 20, 2008
    Posts: 757

    from Canada

    I'm not sure it's entirely possible to draw a line in the sand. I'm in the process of collecting parts to build my 32 Ford Tudor. I plan to keep everything I can pre 64. Having said that, I want to run some nice chrome reverse wheels on it, and some nice period tires. Finding nice original wheels is very difficult, and finding original tires is even more difficult. If I were to find any, would I want to run them?
  14. indyjps
    Joined: Feb 21, 2007
    Posts: 4,533


    I have a tremendous amount of respect for the builder that can stay 100% traditional, both discipline and budget. Traditional appearing would be my approach, 350 or 400 block dressed in era parts, likely repop. I'm love building engine and can't give up the cubic inches to go with a 283. I'd run a 6 speed with a 4 speed shift handle. I'm driven by performance, what I already own for parts, what I can afford. My builds will be 1958 to 1962 for era, 350 steel crank or 383's, vortec or aftermarket heads with a period intake, pcv, era valve covers, T_56 6 speeds, ford 9 inch or for 8.8 rears. I have this stuff in my parts stash. Probably chevy or GM bodies cause I can't afford the most popular bodies-Fords. A non ford build won't ruffle too many feathers if its not 100% traditional. I've got a 69 camaro to finish and a 63 impala build before I can dig in on a hot rod, looking for a decent body to kick it off.
    Shiny paint or preserved original finish for me, my chances of finding a decent body with original paint in the midwest are low. Primer is not a paint job.
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2014
  15. I try to go for the traditional look. If its hidden, like electronic ignition, then I don't mind using it.But it comes down to what is available and what is safe or reliable. I have had too many bad experiences with inferior brakes so I will go off the reservation and use discs on the front usually. And I will use an alternator. But if I can't find what I want, I use whats available. Its nearly impossible to find 50 year old parts when you live in a place that doesn't have a lot of people interested in old cars.
  16. Rusty O'Toole
    Joined: Sep 17, 2006
    Posts: 9,608

    Rusty O'Toole

    This may be the least interesting question since "what color should I paint my car".
    If you have a theme you should stick to it. Nothing looks worse than a hodgepodge of mismatched parts. If you want a sixties style gasser, build one. If you want a traditional custom, good for you. If you want a full custom show car, love to see it. Just don't try to combine all 3 in 1 car.

    By the way this is purely a matter of taste. I don't feel I have the right to tell anyone he missed the boat no matter how ugly I think his car is, unless he asks.
    Hookedtrout likes this.
  17. A big part of modifying (anything) is exercising your free will and spirt.

    Building traditional is not.
    metlmunchr and racingonerobb like this.
  18. junkyardjeff
    Joined: Jul 23, 2005
    Posts: 8,134


    Alternators is where I am having the hard time with,I like the look of generators but on a long trip these days can you find them or someone to repair them. The 55 Ford in my picture has a alternator but it makes trips to Florida and it also has electronic ignition that is hidden,right now it has a 351-W and I am gathering the parts to go back to a Y block but the electronic ignition and alternator will stay when the motor change happens. Now I have a 37 Chevy p/u with a 57 235 made to look like a 216 but that alternator looks like crap on that motor so I am toying with going to a generator since it will never be driven on long trips due to the lack of room in the cab,I am having a hard time finding a 45 to 55 amp gen from a big GM car to put on it.
  19. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 50,261


    Depends on what I'm building. I finished my 57 suburban last got a Camaro clip, SBC with a Q jet and HEI. No overdrive. It has radials on old cast wheels. Modified factory shifter and stock steering wheel. Manual brakes, but it has power steering.

    Just got done with my 62 altered wheelbase car...this one is more betterer for being period. I blew it on the front wilwood disk brakes...but out back is a 57 Ford 9" with drums. I did compromise a little with the center section, it's a Strange nodular but it has 1960s vintage Ford gears and a Detroit Locker. Engine is a 427, but it's one I threw together with some newer parts, and some old parts....steel 396 crank, later truck 454 block, new made in India pistons with the old TRW number, old Chevy Winters aluminum heads (1970), old style Weiand intake with no water crossover, under the 1961 vintage 6-71 blower. Running an old Mallory dual point with the two piece cap, and points in it, no electronics on this car. Using the mid 60s alternator with the external regulator. Transmission is mostly what was available in the mid 60s, although it has modern friction material. The converter is a mid 60s switch pitch unit, modified as they did back then. Old Chevy chrome valve covers from the 60s. Tach is mechanical, it's a bit new since it's a Moroso branded unit with the 1970s logo, but it is a Jones Motrola. Steering wheel is an old Superior 500 as it should be. Bucket seats are modern glass buggy seats, I'd like to find some older design 'glass bucket seats if I can. I put all the necessary stuff in it to meet NHRA 10 second rules, because the car is built to race, and I have to have that stuff to race it. We cheated and used the plasma to cut a lot of stuff (but only for a month, while Steve was visiting). Lots of mig welding....but a fair bit of gas welding also. I don't have a stick welder, haven't used one in 20 years, so the wire feed was kind of a necessity. Some of the primer is urethane, but all the stuff that shows under the car and inside and behind the fenders is lacquer. Paint is acrylic enamel....should be synthetic enamel, but I didn't want to wait a month for it to dry....and I can't get lacquer paint in town, only primer.

    It was a fun build, figuring out how to do stuff the old ways, or at least so it looks kind of like it.
  20. “A tradition without intelligence is not worth having.” T.S. Eliot

    For me I like the style but I am not beyond using a original distributor but adding the electronic goodies under the cap

    I think my truck is a prime example of the style,I stuck with the early brakes,the transverse springs,the early sbc because I wanted a early 60's style.

    I used Bias ply tires trying to stay true to the traditional style'

    I did compromise though,,I used mono springs instead of mono leaf springs,,I used a vega box instead of a early box so I suppose I colored outside the traditional hot rod lines.

    Outward appearance looks the part but true be know it's not what many would consider traditional. HRP
  21. alchemy
    Joined: Sep 27, 2002
    Posts: 17,449


    MIG - yes
    TIG - yes
    oxy/acetelene - not in the last 30 years
    lead filler - yes (if I could get Dad to do it)
    Bondo - yes
    radials - no
    alternators - no
    dual master - yes
    air bags - no
    air conditioning - no
    LEDs - no
    halogen headlights - no
    halogen taillights - yes
    new Winged Stewart-Warners - no
    original winged Stewart-Warners - yes
    new disk brakes - no
    Kinmont disk brakes - yes
    mechanical brakes - no
    cloth top inserts - yes
    smooth filled tops - yes
    ribbed filled tops - no
    T-5 - maybe
    Walker radiators - yes
    aluminum radiators - no
    fiberglass bodies - no
    repro steel bodies - if I could afford it
    a SBC newer than 1967 - no
    a flathead older than 1948 - yes
    12 volts - yes
    6 volts - no
    old paint - yes
    new paint - if I could afford it
    old speed equipment - yes
    repro speed equipment - depends

    I try to make everything look authentic (truly authentic) on the outside. Some cars even deserve to be 100% authentic all the way through. But I will use methods like MIG and TIG that can be hidden.
    Kiwifruit and Bondo Slinger like this.
  22. Well hell, Benno. I guess my line is a little wavy too. I try not to go overboard on the traditional thing but I do really try to stay within the era for my own reasons. To me, an old car is a time machine. I "drive" my daily driver but I "experience" an old car or hotrod. One of the joys of driving them is to try to slip back in time and relive the sights, sounds, smells and experience of another time. That's why street rods just don't thrill me at all. It's not the real deal, man. It's like fake titties.

    I try to build my truck the way I remember trucks being built in So-Cal in the 60s. I'll use repop parts if the quality is there, but for the most part I try to find good or rebuildable originals. Though I don't have a problem with something that looks like it could be period correct. Traditional appearing works for me.

    I use a mig because that's what I got and know how to use. Although I really don't have a lot of tools made after the 1960s (and many are much older than that) I think it can get to the point of ridiculous when your tools have to be "traditional" too. I have no problem with modern tools.

    I also don't have any problem using mud as long as it isn't used to hide crappy work.

    LS motor doesn't belong in a traditional car. An early 350 SBC is somewhat okay with me because it's basically the same technology as a 327 or a 283 but I prefer to use an earlier motor, if possible.

    Radials. Hmm...I have mixed feelings about that. I guess it just depends on the car. I run them on my '58 but if I had a real hot rod I would have to go with bias ply.

    I have a thing about points ignition. Nothing spoils it for me more than when I look under the hood and see an ugly ass HEI distributor. I guess the conversions are okay but I don't like the idea that a module can shit the bed and leave me stranded somewhere. Besides there is something satisfying about getting the points set just right.

    No disk brakes or power brake system for me unless the car came equipped that way. Dual chamber master cylinder is okay, but I still run a single. No power steering unless the car came equipped that way. No AC for me either.

    No Camaro/Nova/Jag or other clipped cars for me, unless it came that way. I love me an I-beam.

    And forget about the whole airbag/laying frame thing. That just seems somewhat silly to me. I don't remember any cars like that growing up except for the lowrider crowd.

    There is one thing on my truck that bugs me a little every time I look under the hood. I'm running 3 dueces but I use a Lokar type cable for the accelerator linkage instead or the old type linkage. Like I said, it bugs me a little but I probably won't change it. Come to think of it, I'm also running an alternator instead of a generator (there's that wavy line again, Benno). Oh well, maybe I'm just a whore or a hypocrite.

    All this being said, these are just my opinions based on what I like at this time. I reserve the right to change my opinions at any damned time. :)

    I don't really care much for folks who think they are the traditional police or try to talk down someone elses ride so I hope no one takes offense to my personal preferences. I appreciate everybodys build for what it is even though it might not be my cup of tea. The may be some aspects of a car that I like better than others but I can always appreciate the work and skill that people put into their builds, strictly traditional or not.
  23. I've been doing this old cars thing since the late 50's and my line in the sand has been pretty wavy. That's probably because I always pretty much subscribed to the HRM hot rod definition and never got too caught up in seeking a particular era. In more recent years I've been edging towards a more traditional approach (60's-early 70's) - the track roadster pickup I had, my '32 Brookville bodied full fendered roadster and the '40 Ford I'm doing now.

    My '40 Chevy convert will remain as a mild custom with a tinge of hot rod. I love the build process but even more, driving them - a lot!
    61 Sunliner likes this.
  24. 327Eric
    Joined: May 9, 2008
    Posts: 1,591

    from Diablo Ca.

    I guess the line is wavy for me. Its a matter of cost mostly. I run an HEI because I needed a better distributor, and it was 15 bucks, and a billet alternator mount for function and price.Tired of blowing belts at 6500 rpm. I will run a dual master when I can for safety. Beyond that, The build styles I like ended around 1970, so there isn't much reason for any later components, unless they are visually the same.
  25. Weasel
    Joined: Dec 30, 2007
    Posts: 6,693


    For me it is more about the spirit of the thing than the strict letter of the law. I am a diehard resto rodder and I like my cars to look stock or really close from the outside but mechanically I want them to be engineered for handling and safety. I happen to think that Jag suspension is fine - there is no better ride. As for drivetrain, it should be about the car more than what is under the hood. I am not a big fan of row upon row of open hoods at car shows, but then again I would rather be driving preferably in something that can take me coast to coast.
  26. HellsHotRods
    Joined: Jul 24, 2009
    Posts: 1,361


    I shoot for original all the time, NOS ford parts even better. When somebody see's a '29-'36 Ford with all pre '49 parts, its says a lot about the builder/owner and how hard he tried to make that build into what it is. It's not easy but it can be done. I would say there are probably only a handful of people building with this purist attitude in mind.

    I'll never understand people that grab that 1-800 part or go for the fake it, you're not fooling anyone.
    I don't understand the guy that spends over 7000 on a motor but then goes with a fiberglass car.
  27. HellsHotRods
    Joined: Jul 24, 2009
    Posts: 1,361


    I just saw the Jag rear end comment......and I think people need to ask themselves. Do they want to step back into time when they drive their hot rod or is all about comfort, hooking up that GPS and i-pod, etc..... Flatheads and mechanical brakes work!! They got hot rodders accross this country just fine when properly adjusted. Safety? People drove these cars (see above) and can too!!!
  28. Built my first hot rod in the late '50's. That's the way I like them. Built a lot of street rods in the 70's & 80's, all SBC powered. Been there, done that, no more. Back to the '50's for me.
  29. dana barlow
    Joined: May 30, 2006
    Posts: 4,556

    dana barlow
    from Miami Fla.
    1. Y-blocks

    Idea of traditional today an't what I was doing in late 1950s an early 60's when I started this fun,I tryed to do safe stuff n relible that I could aford but would look cool to me= I still do and that puts me across the line for some ,cuz today I can use better an even know a little more ,I'm still looking for the same cool look but that dose not mean too dam low to drive or to chopped up to drive in ether,, or ,a gen vs alt. that alt. will get me home more often[=my enjoymint], using a R tire that is far better but looks close enough to me is fine. As for repo parts,if I can't fine a good old one in my piggy bank $,hell ya. I have a dislike for those that disrpect the old metal by think "patina"is good,when it'ds really a franch work mening fix now,cuz its screwed up an going to hell . I hate patina/rust/flat paint as a finel finish an bad engineering . "It's not done tell it's shiny"
    What you like is up to you, the word traditional can be def. we didn't even use it,nothing is stone one way only.
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2014
  30. junkyardjeff
    Joined: Jul 23, 2005
    Posts: 8,134


    Yes flatheads and mechanical brakes work but I hate to admit it were are living in a different time then when those were ruling the road,toady we are sharing the road with smaller and lighter vehicles with 4 wheel disc brakes that can stop alot quicker then our big old iron,yes with carefull driving they can be ok in todays world but there are a bunch of those newer cars on the road with idiots behind the wheel. Yes my 55 Ford has a slightly newer drivetrain but I still feel like I am stepping back in time since the interior is all original.

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