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How did kids build AV8's in the early '50's?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by rpu28, Mar 13, 2013.

  1. 40fordtudor
    Joined: Jan 3, 2010
    Posts: 2,503

    40fordtudor
    Member

    I spent every nickel I made at the grocery store on gas and parts for the 40 coupe. A lot of the stuff I traded for and most of what I bought for the car was used. Wish I'd never sold the coupe.
     
  2. Rusty O'Toole
    Joined: Sep 17, 2006
    Posts: 9,167

    Rusty O'Toole
    Member

    A flathead V8 will fit in a Model A frame and fit to the Model A transmission. There is a certain amount of adapting necessary, you need the right water pumps with the right motor mounts, all available from the Ford dealer or junkyard. Anything else can be taken care of with a hacksaw and drill. I don`t think any welding is necessary.

    The first V8 Ford flatheads did not start showing up at the dry lakes until 1937, when they were 5 years old.

    In those days cars got old fast and prices depreciated fast. A 32 Ford that cost $600 new could be bought for $100 to $200, 5 years later.

    In the early fifties a 32 Ford would be a 20 year old car, worth little more than scrap value, say $25 - $50 maybe $100 or $250 for a real nice coupe or roadster. But a run of the mill 32 sedan would be cheap, and model A roadster bodies were also cheap and not too hard to find.

    It was in the early sixties that guys started complaining you could no longer find good Model T and Model A roadster bodies for peanuts.

    In 1968 I looked at a real nice full fendered 32 Ford coupe with a 283 for $600. Turned it down because I didn`t like the Corvair front suspension. Looking back, I should have bought it and hunted up another front axle. Never got a chance at such a good 32 for such a low price again.
     
  3. Rusty O'Toole
    Joined: Sep 17, 2006
    Posts: 9,167

    Rusty O'Toole
    Member

    There was a lot of swapping and adapting of Ford parts. This was relatively easy because Ford hardly changed their chassis design from the Model T days to 1948. But every few years they made things a little bit different.

    They didn`t get hydraulic brakes till 1939 and then only on the front. Later, it became possible to adapt 40s hydraulic brakes to your 32 or model A hot rod.

    Ed Iskendarian used Plymouth brakes on his T bucket. Someone asked him why Plymouth, he said when he built the car Ford didn`t have hydraulics. This would have been in 1938 or 39.

    His car was a very elaborate build for the times. Hudson Essex frame rails, 32 Ford V8 with Maxi F heads, Plymouth brakes, modified 22 T bucket body,35 Ford wheels and a grille shell made of 2 1934 Pontiac grilles welded together. Everything the best available at the time. Not many guys had the money, time and talent to build something like that.
     

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  5. Rusty O'Toole
    Joined: Sep 17, 2006
    Posts: 9,167

    Rusty O'Toole
    Member

     
  6. Say what??? Ford never built a car that had hydraulics on the front only
     
  7. Flathead Cad
    Joined: Mar 8, 2012
    Posts: 14

    Flathead Cad
    Member
    from Oregon

    My avitar is the '29 roadster I built in 1956. Shown are my friend and I pushing the car down town to get the motor mounts, wishbones and crossmember welded. The engine was a 21 stud flathead I rebuilt in auto shop. I did put '40 hydraulic brakes on it.
     
  8. SimonSez
    Joined: Jul 1, 2001
    Posts: 1,632

    SimonSez
    Member

    California Bill's Speed Ford Speed Manual has drawings of how to build an A-V8 and dates back to 1952.

    I don't have my copy with me, but from memory they use a 32 K-member and give dimensions for cutting it down into the A frame.


    You can get reprints of it ...

    http://www.californiabills.com/p-13-ford-speed-manual.aspx
     
  9. SimonSez
    Joined: Jul 1, 2001
    Posts: 1,632

    SimonSez
    Member

    Well, never say never :)

    Ford USA might not have, but Ford UK built some. Their Ford Pilot had hydraulic front brakes and mechanical rears.

     
  10. That's the Pommies for you. I worked on a 49 Bentley once and it had the weirdest brakes. I just painted the thing, but I do remember all sorts of monkey motion linkage and hoses. It drove and stopped beautifully, but what a nightmare for a mechanic
     
  11. Rusty O'Toole
    Joined: Sep 17, 2006
    Posts: 9,167

    Rusty O'Toole
    Member

    I have in my mind that Ford's first effort at hydraulic brakes were on the front wheels only with cable operated back brakes. This was for a short time in 1938 or 39.

    Perhaps I have it confused with the English Ford Pilot.
     

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  12. Mr48chev
    Joined: Dec 28, 2007
    Posts: 26,954

    Mr48chev
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    i
    Yep, the original entry cost was usually real low. Even up in the early 60's it wasn't uncommon to hear about someone who had bought a Model A for 50.00 and drove it home after they bought it.

    My dad told the story of going to the wrecking yard and buying a late 20's early 30's sedan body for 5.00 and then rolling the body off a car his parents had and bolting the sedan body on that chassis so his family could have a closed car that the whole family could ride inside out of the weather in in the late 30's. Even with no more than they made an hour then old cars usually weren't expensive to get or fix most of the time.
     
  13. same was said by my uncles about his 31 on 32 rails he started in 1948....he said a 32 roadster or 32 body was big bucks even then...he was able to get that nice 31 body for cheap...also got a DMV stamped plate in 1950...

    said the same about when they were building the A/HR roadster in 1959....the 392 hemis were new stuff and mucho $$$(also seemed there was a big demand for them?)....so they could afford a 331 to run in the car...
     
  14. rpu28
    Joined: Jan 17, 2006
    Posts: 115

    rpu28
    Member
    from Austin

    Flathead cad, What did you use for trans and rear end?
     
  15. Flathead Cad
    Joined: Mar 8, 2012
    Posts: 14

    Flathead Cad
    Member
    from Oregon

    Stock V8 floorshift trans and stock A rear. I used the same setup on a '29 coupe I did earlier with a V8 60.
     
  16. George Miller
    Joined: Dec 26, 2008
    Posts: 413

    George Miller
    Member
    from NC usa

    Yes us kids in the 50ts when to the junk yards a lot. I even got pistons for my 41 Chev from the junk yard. They worked fine. You can build a lot of things with out spending big bucks.
     
  17. In my part of the world we were about 10 to 15 years behind the US. In 1963 I had a fenderless 27 T tourer body mounted on an A frame with the A rear end and mechanical brakes. Engine was a 34 V8, trans unknown. It was brush painted, the upholstery was leopard skin rugs over original crappy A seats. There was no welding on it, I never learnt to weld till a couple of years later. It was rough as guts and a shitload of fun. Girls' parents thought I was dangerous! :D :D :D
     
  18. Smokey2
    Joined: Jan 11, 2011
    Posts: 920

    Smokey2
    Member

    How did kids build................................

    16 yrs old 1955, working part time in gas stations,
    first car was 1940 Ferd Ceedan.........used a Qt of oil every 25 miles (Now You know were Smokey came from !
    second car was nearly perdect '47 Sedan tudor, paid
    $200.00 for it at 20.00 a week............bought Moon
    screw-on discs from Honest Charleys @ $4 each.
    Bought one, then another, then really went all out and shelled out $8 for final two........
    10 gal gas was $3.00, which is how we were able to Cruise all the night spots.
    Really made you appreciate things when you got'em.
    Good old Days for Me did'nt start til 60's, When I was able to get paid for 40 hrs..........Ruined Me, for sure.:rolleyes:
     
  19. Dirtynails
    Joined: Jan 31, 2009
    Posts: 844

    Dirtynails
    Member
    from garage

    I got my copy of it in 1965 from Technical books in Newmarket,Auckland. At that time in NZ anything that ran was worth money and model A's although Old and tired were still costing a grand.
    I read about how to fit the v8 into the model A and pulled a chassis home from the local garbage dump on top of a pram frame :)D ) .Then I approached a guy who had a burnt out 32 Ford tudor parked in his garage and asked him if I could cut the K frame out of it ..
    it was probably the first of many times in my life i was told to Fuck off..:eek:
     
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  20. Dirtynails
    Joined: Jan 31, 2009
    Posts: 844

    Dirtynails
    Member
    from garage

    Yep nothing more confusing than a pilot with it's 1950's build era and 1930's technology mixed with English brakes and styling .. Austins A30 had a similar set up but a hydro cylinder in the rear which operated rod brakes to tiny drums.
     
  21. BillyG
    Joined: Sep 30, 2009
    Posts: 92

    BillyG
    Member

    My friend Phil Lyon was 15yrs old when in 1947 in Topeka Kansas, he and a few friends put a V8 in his '31 Roadster. I asked him how did they get the knowledge to do this, what parts to use? He said they read any magazines available from the day and from listening to others talk about it.
    These photos are Phil's, I told him I wanted to post them here and tell some of his story on how they built their cars in the late 40's.
    They used a '36 engine 'cause it ran and was available cheap. A '32 K memeber that they cut out in the junk yard with cold chisels. A friend's father (Shorty) did some welding for them.
    Phil has a several really cool pictures from Bonneville in 1951. He talks how he acquired a dash insert with gauges from a '32 Auburn out of a junk yard on there way out there. Yes he still has it along with the photograph from when he acquired it.
     

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  22. vinnymac44
    Joined: May 16, 2008
    Posts: 142

    vinnymac44
    Member
    from W. Oregon

    I have a small collection of L.A. Examiner papers for the war era. Its interesting to read accounts of the war but also the everyday happening of that time period. Some of the papers have the classified adds with them. I realize the dollars of that day are not the dollars of this day but it give a glance at what prices were for good cars of the day. So one can only think what prices were for wrecked junk in that day.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  23. SimonSez
    Joined: Jul 1, 2001
    Posts: 1,632

    SimonSez
    Member

    I dug out my copy of this book at the weekend, and I wasn't quite correct here.

    The drawing in the book shows fitting a 33-34 X-member into the Model A frame which is one of they ways they recommended.

    In the text they say you can also use the 32 K-member in the model A frame or just use a complete 32 frame.



     
  24. OoltewahSpeedShop
    Joined: Oct 18, 2007
    Posts: 3,104

    OoltewahSpeedShop
    Member

    Find a nice original '30 Ford roadster, owned by a Doctor in 1953. Start building your dream car, with your Dad as a teenager. Start scavenging the junkyards around Chattanooga for the parts you need like Lincoln brakes, Columbia 2-speed, '37 LaSalle transmission, F-1 steering, '34 front axle and wishbones and radiator, and '32 grille.

    In '56 you find a wrecked Buick and grab the "Like New" Nailhead, then everything starts coming together....

    That's how Bruce Young built my car. Here's a shot from the first drive in '57 and how it looks today.
     

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    Last edited: Mar 20, 2013
  25. manyolcars
    Joined: Mar 30, 2001
    Posts: 8,276

    manyolcars

    You just described traditional hotrods! No International trucks, 48-52 Dodge cars, no Dodge trucks. Traditional hotrods were pre-49 Fords. Cars manufactured after 48 were street machines right up to the muscle cars

    A guy I know bought a complete Model A for $5 in 1961
     
  26. BillWallace
    Joined: May 6, 2011
    Posts: 132

    BillWallace
    Member

    Kids didnt build hot rods as you know them today any more than kids today build hot rods. I grew up as a teen in the southern Ohio ,cincy area & car building was mostly done by ww2 vets that were building race cars. For teenagers dreesing up a motor or putting porta-walls on was a big deal. It was amost impossible to build a car using different frames & bodies as it was hard to even get something welded together. You could get a local shop to maybe grind a cam & mill a head but teenagers needed lots of help to instal these things. The last thing a father was going to help a son do was hop up a car & then go out & kill himself. If you ever drove on the roads in those days esspecially in Fords with the cross spring suspension you know what I mean.The only kids that wore leather jackets & engineer boots where I grew up were trying to impress you how tough they were. Hot rodders were older guys that took things car wise pretty seriously & most ended up at the drag strip. In the early 50s there were all kinds of cars from the late 20s & 30s around. We had a neighbor that drove a Frankland to church every sunday. Looking back it was a great time to be a teen & if you wanted to drive a car you probably needed to know how to keep it running.
     
  27. slddnmatt
    Joined: Mar 30, 2006
    Posts: 3,679

    slddnmatt
    Member

    My pops first car was a model A coupe he was 11 in 51..him and a friend when in halves for it, they paid $7 bucks! Scored an engine that worked and cruised the alleys until they moved on to the next project....
     
  28. rpu28
    Joined: Jan 17, 2006
    Posts: 115

    rpu28
    Member
    from Austin

    BillWallace wrote, "It was amost impossible to build a car using different frames & bodies ...".

    That's my impression, leading to scenes like the first of BillyG's three pix above. Hence the original question about how would a teenager (on a budget) build a hot rod in the early '50's.

    I'm still assuming that such a teenager would buy a Model A body and bolt in the entire drive train from a later V8 wreck.
     
  29. Ha Ha Bungholers Car Club! I didn't realize that term was in usage back that far.
     
  30. 54Lark
    Joined: Feb 10, 2012
    Posts: 8

    54Lark
    Member
    from oregon

    Well mine was a 29 model A roadster, if I remember right I paid $25.00 for it. I had a friend that had a wrecked 40 ford in his back yard and talked his dad out of it for 0 dollars, put the roadster body on the 40 frame, (the 40 had juice brakes) found a 48 Merc V8 and that was my first hot rod.
     

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