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Projects Henry Steel or not

Discussion in 'Traditional Hot Rods' started by Ford72, Feb 7, 2021.

  1. grumpy65
    Joined: Dec 19, 2017
    Posts: 929


    The 'originality' concept only rears it's ugly head when dealing with people who seem to see hot rodding as a contest to see who has the 'best' car. It all becomes a moot point when you realize that you should be building/buying the car that you want.............:rolleyes:
    redoxide and pirate like this.
  2. alanp561
    Joined: Oct 1, 2017
    Posts: 1,493


    I like steel too! It would be a PITA punching louvers through a fiberglass hood;)
    theHIGHLANDER likes this.
  3. To me, hot rodding is now, and has always been about recycling. As a movement in the post war era, it was born out of ingenuity, and promulgated via it’s affordability. As stewards of this enterprise, we are tasked sometimes with spending much more on these machines than our betters could have ever fathomed, but the spirit in which we continue their legacy should remain at the forefront, guiding our actions. I try to use this idea as a guiding principle, but I am only human, and sometimes I too lose sight of the bigger picture.

    Most recently, I’ve wrestled with this very dilemma in my current 1929 Model A Roadster project. I bought the body sight-unseen from a frequent “Rodswapper” seller, and it ended up being WAY more rough than I could have ever imagined:


    Originally the plan had been to replace the subrails, put it together, and run it, but the body was just too rough to go that route. So I locked myself into buying a whole bunch of replacement sheet metal, and decided to build the car up properly. And as I started down that path, I realized that this body was too rough, even, for that approach. For example, not only where the bottom 6” of the quarter panels just gone...but the tops were completely perforated with rust. The first time I mocked the body up on a frame, I slid under it to wedge a 2x4 between the crossmember and the “panel above decklid” (because it was sagging), and I could actually see daylight shining through the quarter panels like thousands of tiny stars in the night’s sky. I mean, if I had sand blasted the back half of the car, the entire thing would have literally disintegrated.

    So, at this point, I’ve over-spent on this body AND I’ve bought patch panels to repair it, to add insult to injury. Ego’s get bruised, and you start thinking about how to recover with the least amount of fallout. I start contemplating selling what I have complete and just buying that Brookville body...and I got pretty close to actually doing it, too. I mean, it would have been SOOOO much easier!

    I just couldn’t bring myself to do it, though. To me, a Brookville is a “tribute” car; a “recreation” at best. I mean, there’s nothing wrong with “recreations”. My next project is going to be a recreation of either a Shelby Cobra or a GT40. The difference, to me anyway, is that I can’t afford to go out and buy a “real” vintage Shelby car, and I *can* afford to go out and buy a real 1929 Ford car. In fact, I could have bought a restored original car to build my little hotrod project out of, for LESS money than I’ll probably have into this body when I’m done, but I’m saving one that nobody else wanted to deal with...

    And at the end of the day, I’ll have what a lot of folks in these comments would argue is no longer a real “Henry Steel” car. Yet I’ve saved every piece of that “Henry Steel” that it was possible to. The firewall and gas tank are “Henry steel”. The cowl posts and belt rail are “Henry steel”. The dash rail and instrument cluster are “Henry steel”. The doors, with the exception of the bottom couple of inches, are “Henry steel”. And the panel above the decklid is “Henry steel”...and, honestly, that’s about it for the body. I’m only 50% original steel if I’m lucky. I mean, the gas tank is heavy, so if we did it by weight, I’d probably be just over the mark. :D Of course, I’m just talking about the body. In my case, the frame, the brakes, the bones, the wheels, the motor/trans/rear axle, etc, are all “Henry steel” as well.

    So, to anybody that would say that my car isn’t a “real” car, I’d have to consider those to be fighting words. I mean, I’m certainly not “taking any short cuts”, and nothing about this process has been “easy”. One car came into my garage, and one car is rolling out. And the blood, swear, and tears isn’t making it any LESS real...
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2021
    alanp561 likes this.
  4. sloppy jalopies
    Joined: Jun 29, 2015
    Posts: 4,539

    sloppy jalopies

    Joo get that body in maine ? it's description sounds familiar !
    keep on rockin'
  5. B.A.KING
    Joined: Apr 6, 2005
    Posts: 3,703


    tomato. TomAto. all this love for a 3w. I may have to re think my plans for mine
  6. " In fact, I could have bought a restored original car to build my little hotrod project out of, for LESS money than I’ll probably have into this body when I’m done, but I’m saving one that nobody else wanted to deal with..."

    Yup, I know. In fact if we don't save the damaged, rusted orphans, who will? You are to be congratulated, sir.
    crazycasey likes this.
  7. Newtin
    Joined: Mar 1, 2021
    Posts: 11


    My first post and I have to agree with redoxide . I have made new tin for over 40yrs. and have seen the demographic change in hot rod and stock restoration personnel. Get em built, use em, and enjoy life. Times will change and what is valued will change, but we can all live in our chosen endeavor for now. So, go boys, go.
    redoxide likes this.
  8. Drylake
    Joined: Jul 17, 2016
    Posts: 648


    I guess like opinions, taste and perspective, what you are happy with is your own choice. Whether it be the desire to save Henry steel, the potential ease of building reproduction steel or fibreglass bodies and parts, or the financial factor to purchasing a nice finished car. All these things are personal taste and fulfilling your own dream and standards, no one elses'. I myself like to drag home cheap turds of projects, hunt for original parts which show their age and save what I can to build something which I feel has soul...Parts and panels I have spent early mornings at swap meets chasing, travelled across the country to collect and met some great people along the way... It all tells a story and explains the journey not only of the build, but also the parts themselves have a story to tell and show their history in their age and wear. That's what I like and that's what makes me happy.
    I really don't think owning "Henry steel" should make a difference, as long as the owner has a smile on their face ;). 139722659_10158003109082894_5250842096046114919_o (2).jpg
  9. goldmountain
    Joined: Jun 12, 2016
    Posts: 2,670


    After fighting with my deck lid to fit on my T coupe, I ended up making one out of fiberglass. I would love to get a new original genuine Wescott one.

    Sent from my SM-T350 using The H.A.M.B. mobile app

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