Register now to get rid of these ads!

Technical Is a low budget hot rod even possible?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Fender1325, Apr 24, 2016.

  1. And they don't have a woman henpecking them. That will undo a project quicker than shortage of time and money. If you have a woman that doesn't cooperate, you can kiss your car hobby GOODBYE.[/QUOTE]
    I have never really had that problem, but I have heard of fellas dong lots of distasteful things so that they could play. I can't imagine living that way.
  2. BradinNC
    Joined: Mar 18, 2014
    Posts: 213


    Don't get me wrong, I believe a man needs to take care of his family first. But some women nowadays really push the envelope. I was married to one like that, like a tick that would suck the life out of you, and she was a lush to top it off.
    Atwater Mike likes this.
  3. typo41
    Joined: Jul 8, 2011
    Posts: 2,572

    Member Emeritus

    Yea I got a woman henpecking me,,, to finish her ute and start on her 31 Plymouth sedan.
    Talk about beating the bushes to find a project, my wife and I flew to Australia, stayed a month, found a ute, bought it and had it shipped home. Are we the bucks up rodders that are the bane of this 'sport'? No, we maxed our small amount credit cards when flights dropped to the basement, we stayed with friends we had made, we took stuff to sell and trade (hot rod t-shirts, Mexican blankets, the wife pinstriped vehicles) and we bought the ute with money from a sale of an Airstream trailer, and to get the ute home the wife sold her 63 T-Bird. What would you do?
    The Plymouth sedan is another study in cheep, but I have been dicking with it for 4 years and I got the 'request' to be the next project in the shop.
    osage orange and BradinNC like this.
  4. chessterd5
    Joined: May 26, 2013
    Posts: 897

    from u.s.a.

  5. wedjim
    Joined: Jan 1, 2014
    Posts: 419

    from Kissimmee

    Some think a "low budget rod," is one that costs less than a house to build.

    I've seen some really bad ones for sale, that the owners think are worth $15,000, so there is plenty of interpretation in between for sure.
  6. cfmvw
    Joined: Aug 24, 2015
    Posts: 959


    I remember back in the '80s Car Craft Magazine had a story arc over several months where they started with a connecting rod from a Top Fuel engine and traded it for something else, then traded that for something else. They kept trading and swapping until they ended up with a '68 Dart that became one of their Street Machine Nationals giveaway cars. I know some people who are very good at swapping and bargaining; they end up with some pretty cool stuff!
    volvobrynk likes this.
  7. chev34ute
    Joined: Nov 13, 2011
    Posts: 1,218


    Two years on and I only just noticed this thread now. I am not sure how you have progressed or if you have even given up. But nevertheless I find myself in a similar situation. I have a main project that is being sidelined at the moment due to a lack of space. I have a second project I am trying piece together to sell off to free up some space and build another workshop to house the other parts.

    The project I am planning to sell off will be a fully fendered 29 A Roadster. I have most of the parts but I struggling to keep the build budget at $5000. Keep in mind, this is a bare bones stock frame and suspension and no engine and I live in Australia, where an original Model A roadster body is virtually impossible to find and if you can you can expect to pay more than ten grand.

    I believe that in the US it’s a possible to build a steel 29 roadster or coupe for less than 8 grand. But to do so you need to learn some major fabrication skills. Sourcing an original cowl and doors is relatively easy, but roadster parts are particularly hard to find at an affordable price.

    If you can source a cheap English Wheel, bead roller and shrinker stretcher, it’s possible to fabricate all the required roadster panels. This is not fanciful. Getting back to my own projects I am doing this myself as it’s the only way I can afford to build it. As well as having all the tools, I have been making up the patterns and transferring them to sheet metal and cutting them out.

    There are countless channels on YouTube that show you how to fabricate quarter panels, door skins, deck lids, patch panels and so on. The more fabrication you can do for your self, the more money you will save.
    osage orange likes this.
  8. Retroline
    Joined: Aug 20, 2002
    Posts: 1,124


    When you collect any cheap parts and stash that away for years until you realise you should have enough gear to put a car together it works out pretty cheap. Not everyone's favorite way of doing things but it worked for me. Was hard seeing everyone driving cool hot rods but now the collections are all coming together. Practice fabrication, and learn as much as you can so the build can be pretty much completed in your own shop.
    osage orange and mr57 like this.
  9. nailhead terry
    Joined: Mar 23, 2008
    Posts: 1,458

    nailhead terry

    IMG_E2795.JPG Knowing people helps mt 29 on 32 rails I have less than 5 k in it but I have left overs in it from my 32 I bought the body from Robert Jam here on the hamb 2 new inner doors from brookville roadster the chassis came from a wreaked 32 I put in the chassis jig and bought front rails American stamping I think they were 54'' long I bobbed the rear and pinched it I needed a right quarter panel and a few patches found the quarter local and ebay for the wheel wells the wheels and tires were on my 32 . It has a narrowed 49 dash and the front axle spring and vega box came from a street rodder changing to independent suspension I traded a 351 for it I gave 400 bucks for the 8'' rear was 100 bucks of craigslist the engine came from a old project its just a 350 chevy with a 700-4 the top was a swap meet find 300 bucks
  10. Late 90's and early 2000's Explorers are dirt cheap and will give you a usable rear end with disc brakes, front rotors and calipers, maybe a 5.0 engine and transmission, and lots of other stuff. A little non-trad, but they're everywhere right now.
  11. rwrj
    Joined: Jan 30, 2009
    Posts: 706

    from SW Ga

    I paid $1,300 for a (eventually) running '28 Model A chassis, about $350 for like new used tires, another few hundred for gaskets, starter bendix drive, used manifolds, exhaust elbows, coil, on and on. I'm around $2,000 to $2,500 now, but I have done all of the work myself, used a bunch of leftover stuff that I had and it is admittedly a car with limited usefulness (even more so than a typical hot rod). As somebody mentioned, it's value is way higher to me than the amount I have spent on it. My time is valuable, and the stuff I've been hanging on to for years has value. Plus, I just like the damn thing.

  12. missysdad1
    Joined: Dec 9, 2008
    Posts: 3,271


    One of the best ways to build a cheap hot rod is to buy what's left of somebody else's stalled project. Craig's List is loaded with them. Look for a project with "good bones" and pass on the ones that will never amount to anything good no matter how much time and money you throw at it. Hint: the longer it's been on Craig's List the less the seller will be willing to sell it for...sometimes a LOT less than the published asking price. Here are a few examples from today's Craig's List that still need good homes:













    These have all had a lot of work and money put into them, just waiting for finish work. Some are more affordable than others but each represents a bargain in it's own way. Search "PROJECT" in Craig's List...
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2018
    mr57 likes this.
  13. evintho
    Joined: May 28, 2007
    Posts: 2,228


    Someone else's stalled project is the way to go however, here on the left coast anything older than '74 requires a second mortgage and possibly your first born! People think their junk is worth a fortune. Thank you Barrett-Jackson and reality TV shows!
    With that said, using diligent scrounging and refurbing used parts...…….anything is possible!
    I'm right at $3K in the roadster. Virtually nothing was ordered out of a catalog!
    Paint and polish to come...…………………

  14. jnaki
    Joined: Jan 1, 2015
    Posts: 8,189



    A Father’s Day possibility…First, the budget has to be set. These days, it seems like getting an unusual old hot rod (not a rusty hunk) and adding your own touches is the way to go. The time, cost and effort will be less if most of the hardest work is done. So, good paint, body work, everything is there except for a new motor, trans and rear axle. Of course, there will be many small things before the final finish drive. But, if most of the time consuming work is done, then, with your own added touches, you are ready to go in a short period of time.
    Once the car is on the road, then as time, money and wife allows, adding more of your own personal touches makes this creation, your own hot rod. In the meantime, you/your family are enjoying the fruits of your labor inside of that running hot rod. Can you imagine your Phaeton, with the distinct SBC rumble, rolling into the elementary school parking lot to drop off the car pool kids, among the huge SUV contingent? A killer moment in the making…

    In the HAMB classifieds, there are a lot of low cost cars that no one seems to want to touch, let alone buy. Low cost does not necessarily mean a junker. A good buy for a good car is a better way to look at it. A 31 Chevy Landau Phaeton in excellent shape, at a low cost, will be a good starting point. The color and body seem to be work free, so on to the drive train. My late brother’s philosophy from back in 1959 was, get a hot rod, get the parts, get it running, decide where and what needs to be done to finish it over time, no hurry, no time limit.

    Keeping the costs spread out over a period of weeks, months and year if needed, helps control family time and job, with little to no stress. But, in the meantime, you have a great looking hot rod, have fun driving it all over, and enjoying the left over time with the wife and/or family.


    At any age, this way seems to be an easier way to get into or back into hot rodding. Everyone has their own tastes and what they feel like doing. Getting a hot rod that is in excellent shape at the beginning seems to help with the time/responsibilities to get it finished.

    Here is another HAMB car for sale, most of the work is/was done, the final assembly is required. The cost is low and not much would be needed to “Make it Your Way”. The history is documented, so you know what you are getting for the cost. This Chevy reminds me of riding around in our cousin’s 52 4 door Chevy family cruiser with skirts, while growing up in Long Beach.

    We spent many hours in that car going from place to place. This Chevy sedan has 2 less doors and a lot more power…so ? It seems like a great low cost way to get into the 50s scene with a very cool car.
    4 Ladies out for a cruise.

    1928 FORD A TUDOR
    $19k for a little more, but needs some alterations, remove the blue stripe, add A/C, etc. That is a nice fairly finished sedan with a few things left to complete. A good price to start. If you like it the way it is, now, you are on the road...cruising in style... Later on, a color change and personal touches can be added
    Ron Funkhouser likes this.
  15. oldsman41
    Joined: Jun 25, 2010
    Posts: 1,556


    I think you could do it in a 40s car if you didn’t want a ford but a model a highly un likely add 10grand to that 8 and you might do it.
  16. Koz
    Joined: May 5, 2008
    Posts: 2,606


    Following this thread. I've been working on a cheap glass bucket for about two years now. It is nowhere near roadworthy and I'm in about 18K, no labor. It does have some great parts, (very few buy outs!), on it but it still will hit the street at around 25K. I was hoping to walk out the door for about 8K. Not happening.
  17. Pontichief54
    Joined: May 27, 2018
    Posts: 2


    Budget builds are possible.
    I recently picked up a '52 Chevy Deluxe coupe,$950
    Came with rocker and front quarter repair panels.
    Bought a mystery sbc 350 for $100. Upon discovery, has 4 bolt mains, .030 pistons and 96cc heads. Bought a Torker single plane intake with 750 Holley for $200. Older edelbrock finned valve covers for $40
    S10 rear end as a donation, with a posi. And 4.11 gears.
    Th400 with manual reverse for $500
    This past week, I picked up a set of torq thrust 2 wheels. 15x10 and 15x4 with front runners. American racer tires 305/60d15 ff tires. $300
    Total $2090

    Had a '54 chieftain which I've sold various parts totalling $600
    Sold the body for $400
    Taking that frame to build the 52. Selling a complete 52 rolling drivetrain with 216, 3 speed manual and torque tube. Frame is fair. Needs body supports brackets. For sale $500. Motor has run, previous owner ran it for me. Located in ontario, Canada.

    Total build with sold parts and pending sold parts. $590

    Anything is possible if you're not in a rush.

    I suppose I should change my name to 52DeliGasser
    AHotRod and bondojunkie like this.
  18. Just read through this whole thread....loved it all...

    Is anybody on here still gathering parts for a low buck build?

  19. joeycarpunk
    Joined: Jun 21, 2004
    Posts: 4,446

    from MN,USA

    All my projects (too many) are low buck by necessity. So the gathering is ongoing.
  20. Want one that drives like an old farm tractor, build a hot rod Jeep.
    AHotRod likes this.
  21. Atwater Mike
    Joined: May 31, 2002
    Posts: 11,428

    Atwater Mike

    How many times...have I done this?
    Not fair, as I had an early start, December of 1954. My Dad was killed a month before, in a big rig accident. I had just turned 12. (read Hot Rod magazine thoroughly, hung around the Hot Rods, guys were amused I knew so much. HRM had a lot of info...just read it!
    My favorite author was Ray Brock, Chic Cannon was an NHRA adviser, opened a speed shop in my town, Santa Clara. I hung there a lot.
    Chic, Wally Parks and Bud Coons were part of the original NHRA Drag Safari. I joined NHRA at age 14, (no drivers license, but had a '36 Ford coupe ($15) that I chopped myself. "Welcome!", they all said. Joined up at the San Jose Autorama, HRM booth)
    Group of older rodders 'adopted' me, all were eager to help.
    One sold me a '32 Ford frame, front horns were missing, black lacquered, $5.
    Also, a '32 rear end, with spring and 'U' bolts, $5 more. And, for an additional $5, the whole rear section of a '29 roadster! Deck lid included.
    I bought a '30 Model A Cabriolet body with rust under the rear quarters, $3. (in a field, the 30 year old guy took the frame and running gear to make a 'Dune Buggy', had to move the body out of the 'pasture'. LOL
    This all happened in a 2 week period.
    I still run across DEALS that can't be beat. One guy had an axle I asked about...said his late brother had it saved for something..."Take it, just junk to me..."
    I said, "Thanks, this may work for me..." It was a '37 Ford V8 60 tube axle.
    This was lately.
    It can happen...
    bondojunkie, AHotRod and low budget like this.

Share This Page

Register now to get rid of these ads!


Copyright © 1995-2021 The Jalopy Journal: Steal our stuff, we'll kick your teeth in. Terms of Service. Privacy Policy.

Atomic Industry
Forum software by XenForo™ ©2010-2014 XenForo Ltd.