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Moral Dilemmas of Hot Rodding

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Jive-Bomber, Feb 3, 2015.

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  1. Jive-Bomber
    Joined: Aug 21, 2001
    Posts: 3,239


    Jive-Bomber submitted a new blog post:

    Moral Dilemmas of Hot Rodding


    Continue reading the Original Blog Post
    Gary Reynolds likes this.
  2. missysdad1
    Joined: Dec 9, 2008
    Posts: 2,815


    I guess I'm old-fashioned but I think everybody's life is their own, as are the products of that life. One must set one's own moral compass according to his own set of rules. Yes, this may often be at odds with those of others - and almost always at odds with "political correctness" - but that's just kinda' how it goes. "Ya' pays your money and ya' takes your chances." There are no guarantees. Once a person accepts this truism making decisions suddenly becomes much, much easier...IMHO.
    Hitchhiker and kiwijeff like this.
  3. need louvers ?
    Joined: Nov 20, 2008
    Posts: 12,912

    need louvers ?

    I really don't have any hot rod dilemmas, other than I can't afford this and I want it.

    'Course, I'm a family less, selfish bastard, too!
    hrm2k and kiwijeff like this.
  4. 2935ford
    Joined: Jan 6, 2006
    Posts: 3,213


    One time or another, I think we have all had those thoughts.....I know I have.
    Back in the day for these rods......everything was pretty much equal but all of that has changed now.
    There is a lot to say for a modern cars safety features.
    Retrofitting them into a rod just takes so much away from the car.
    I go as far as lap belts in them. I'm lucky now cause my son is 12 and almost as tall as me so I do not have the worry of infants.
    I'm usually by myself when I'm driving the rods so for the most's just me.
    I'm comfortable with that.
    I am always a little slower driver and never the first away from the stop light and I always am looking behind as well as ahead for what might be lurking.
    So, like you, for now......I ponder.........
    Gary Reynolds likes this.
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  5. pitman
    Joined: May 14, 2006
    Posts: 4,745

    from Hampsha

    From your pic, wondered about the topic!
    Was actually 'saved' from even greater harm, via an airbag, that functioned.
    Contemplating a "Heath-kit" or RadioShack cell jamming build. Then Safety might resemble; back in the day.
  6. I love hot rods but we also have a later model van for Brenda's flower shop business and I have a old beater pickup.

    In the ideal world I would love to have a early Ford sedan delivery for her business but with other employees driving that wouldn't fly.

    On occasion we drive the Deuce pickup when we have to make pickups and that puts a big grin on our faces.

    As for the seat belts,if I am in a car with belts I wear them but my hard headed wife will not wear one and has several tickets to prove her stubborn ways. HRP
  7. denis4x4
    Joined: Apr 23, 2005
    Posts: 3,351

    from Colorado

    I park in places reserved for hybrids and hang this sign on the radiator cap: IMG_1509.JPG
  8. alchemy
    Joined: Sep 27, 2002
    Posts: 14,716


    Do you take your kids to the amusement park and let them ride around some rackety contraption, piloted by a pimply punk with no safety concerns except whether he'll get sunburned that day? Do you let them eat whole grapes or hot dogs? Did you take the training wheels off their bikes?

    Sometimes you just gotta live.

    Edit: I do want to state that all the hot rods in my family have seat belts. They are all lap belts, but nobody goes without one.

    Last edited: Feb 3, 2015
    3wLarry likes this.
  9. Have thought about the lap belts but just can't pull the trigger. Still thinking about it, though.
  10. lap belts added are traditional, there are countless pictures of rodders using surplus bomber belts and the factories started offering them as options in the mid 50s. so what's the hangup on using them.
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  11. wvenfield
    Joined: Nov 23, 2006
    Posts: 4,891


    I give the seatbelt question no second thoughts. My car does have seat belts and I do wear them but worry about it? No.

    My wife has a newer car under warranty.
    Gary Reynolds likes this.
  12. keywestjack
    Joined: Jul 14, 2013
    Posts: 95

    from Pittsburgh

    Moral dilemmas, hmmmm whose morals: the neighborhood, county, state, country, world community. Quite frankly I don't give a rats ass about anyone else, only my morals and how I want to be judged when the big one comes. That's why I hide in my garage, listen to oldies, play with my hot rods immorally drink beer smoke an occasional cigar and keenly desire to be left alone. If seat belts are moral to you, here's to you. I'll leave deflated footballs and other philosophical musings to to the church lady.
  13. Hot Rodding doesn't cure cancer??? For a very long time lap belts were the least of my worry. Every day I went to the hospital for: an injection, a blood draw, or have to look in the Doctor's eyes and see that my life was becoming very short, I had one dream to finish and drive my 1940 pickup. Was it, that drive, that I saw a small article on a new drug for the cancer I was fighting and losing. Was it my Hot Rodder Drive to force my way into the first study? I am now I 12 years past my "Used By" date. And yes, my truck has brand new vintage looking lap belts as I feel naked without the feeling of being held close to the seat and away from the windshield.
  14. Theyr absence contributes to a cleaner, spartan feel and looks for the car, I guess this is a consensual point, but I say use them and live another day. Roads are full. Its was bit of dillema for me but cruising with my most prized possession (little Maria) ended that.
    Gary Reynolds likes this.
  15. Malcolm
    Joined: Feb 9, 2006
    Posts: 7,506

    from Nebraska

    Lap belts (at the very least) are a must, in my opinion. Had my dad not made me put lap belts in my first car, I may not be here today. Even though they were just out of a later '60s Ford Fairlane, they did their job.

    When I was 16 (in 1995), we found a '58 Ford Custom 300 2-door for $350. It was the 6 cyl, 3-speed + overdrive and had some rust. It did run and drive, though! We did a bunch of rust repair, new tires, and some other odds 'n' ends. I was finally able to drive it to school towards the end of Sept., 1995. At the end of the first week of driving it, I was on my way home from Saturday morning basketball practice in Homer, Nebraska - five miles of gravel to get home. There was a Y-intersection with tall corn on one side of it - a guy came around the corner on the wrong side of the road and hit me head-on. We were both going around 40-45 mph, so it was bad. He was driving an early '80s full size Oldsmobile and wasn't wearing a seatbelt. His head went into the windshield and he just ended up with cuts and bruises. I was wearing my lap belt and smashed my nose into the steering wheel in my car. It could have been much worse, not wearing the belt... or possibly avoidable had we installed a 3-point shoulder belt. I ended up going through reconstructive surgery to fix my badly broken nose and spent a couple days in the hospital.

    I actually still have the car.... just sitting at my uncle's farm.

    Steering wheel:

    Scan of a crappy Polaroid:

    Gary Reynolds likes this.
  16. I read all this "STUFF" and wonder,,,,How the Hell did all us Old Guys get so Old without all this new Safety Stuff? Was I conserned enough as a Father? As a Grandfather am I conserned enough? Well, we all got through it by using Common cense without seat belts, air bags, and A.B.S. Was that just Dumb Luck? I don't know and don't care. I try not to over think things and just do my best at the time and get on with Life. If any Hobby or Sport becomes to dangerous for your comfort you should Stop and go find a new one.
    The Wizzard
  17. 42Fordtrucks
    Joined: Aug 29, 2007
    Posts: 5


    This one hits home. Last year I had me and my 4 year old son in my daily driver '87 GMC 3/4 ton Sierra when a guy runs the red and hits me head on as I am turning left. His new Infiniti SUV and my truck both totaled. In the ER with the doctor asking me, "was he in the back seat?". "No doctor, there was no back seat." "Did the airbags go off?" "No doctor, it was too old to have them. Everyone of the airbags in the other car went off however." Ok, it wasn't a hot rod but it was old enough to not have any safety equipment beyond seatbelts (we were both buckled in), but it was closer to a hot rod than a modern car. Thankfully all he had was a minor concussion. (The other driver, his 85 year old father and I were all ok too.) I will never go through that again, you only get to be damn lucky once. The daily driver with the kids now has a back seat, a good crash rating, airbags, headrests, and all that really, really, really good stuff.
    I am slowly rebuilding a 42 Ford pickup I drove in high school. It will get dual circuit brakes, 3 point belts with solid mounts, 12 volt lights so you can actually see, a seat with headrests for whiplash and I am still figuring out the steering column so it won't be a spear. The flathead 6 and the rest of the truck will be very traditional, the safety stuff will be subtle, but it will be there. Folks can ogle the dual carb intake, the other fun bits, but I don't give a damn if the seat belts and more bother them.
    jc.dempsey and Gary Reynolds like this.
  18. KCTA Chris
    Joined: Jan 16, 2002
    Posts: 389

    KCTA Chris

    I had the same issue in my '55 wagon, kids did change my thinking. The boys ride in the back of the wagon held in with some neat 4-way flip buckle harness I found. The design is of a standard width belt and its a perfect match to the front lap belt. Also they are easy to get in and out of for grade school kids. I figured a seat belt would be a lot easier to justify than my son explaining a "cookie cutter chrome" scar to his friends.

    Attached Files:

    Gary Reynolds likes this.
  19. Malcom; How many times had you been through that Y in the road prior? What did you learn from that?
    The Wizzard
  20. @Pist-n-Broke, cant agree, sorry. Using a seat belt MAKES me not overthink things.
  21. Malcolm
    Joined: Feb 9, 2006
    Posts: 7,506

    from Nebraska

    Dozens of times prior to the accident. I had the right-of-way and the other guy was supposed to yield. What did I learn? That other people don't follow traffic signs and to be more cautious at intersections like that.

    My accident wasn't the first one there. Not long after, they changed it to a 'T' intersection with a stop sign.
    You can see where the Y-curve was (red arrow) and where the accident happened (red X). I was headed north and he was coming around that curve on 225th, to head south.

    2-3-2015 11-17-58 AM.jpg
  22. flamingokid
    Joined: Jan 5, 2005
    Posts: 2,199


    It's whatever works for you and your family.When riding a motorcycle,I always wear a helmet,as hard surfaces and inertia always win over your skull's structural abilities.When driving a roadster,I am extremely careful and avoid congested situations when possible.And if I'm driving a 50's/60's vehicle,what other car is really going to want to tangle with it.
  23. Malcom; Excelent reply for a young driver. Quote" What did I learn? That other people don't follow traffic signs and to be more cautious at intersections like that." end of quote. Sorry you had to learn that the hard way.
    The Wizzard
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  24. arkiehotrods
    Joined: Mar 9, 2006
    Posts: 5,623


    4 1/2 years ago, my 25 year old daughter was in front passenger seat of a late-model vehicle with her boyfriend driving. He ran into back of semi. She was buckled in, air bags deployed as they were supposed to. She sustained traumatic brain injury and spinal cord injury (shoulder belt broke her neck). She is now a quadriplegic. Having modern cars with modern safety equipment is no guarantee.
  25. 25 years ago, when Omni Horizon's, K-Cars, Escorts, and G-bodies dominated the streets, you would be correct. You felt pretty safe driving a 4000 lb hunk of classic American iron then. Today, even the compact cars weigh as much or more then a 50's car, and modern SUV's often tip the scales at 6500+ lbs. My very large '62 Merc Monterey wagon only comes in at about 4200 lbs, the smaller 2013 Ford Flex parked in the stall next to it weighs 4800. All the added electronic junk, safety features, crumble zones, cameras, and other useless crap that gets put on vehicles these days has made them much heavier and stronger then anything made in the 50's or 60's. I do not even want to think about the mess that would occur if the Merc tangled with a soccer mom driving a Suburban.

    That said, both of my classic cars have seat belts, and always will. As many others have said, you only need to get lucky once without them to wake up.
  26. tb33anda3rd
    Joined: Oct 8, 2010
    Posts: 15,273

    1. Connecticut HAMB'ers

    the moral dilemmas, i face with my hot rod, keep the msd? it is paid for and fits without cutting the firewall or switch back to the dual point mallory?
    turn signals?....... i had to do it........people are a-holes behind the wheel.
  27. oldcargary
    Joined: May 6, 2010
    Posts: 196

    from devore, Ca

    My hot rod dilemma is not enough garage space.........
    jwoods likes this.
  28. Seat belts save lives? I dunno. The cops don't wear theirs? I drove wrecker for a couple of years. seen several fatal wrecks. And many of then the deceased was wearing their belt? My brother in law was riding in a 1969 Camaro and it hydro planed on a wet road and rolled He wasn't wearing a belt. The door came open and he fell out barely scratched. the driver was wearing his belt and died. Another a woman I know was driving her Lincoln wearing her lap belt. Got hit by a Jeep. barely dented the Lincoln. She died of internal injurys caused by the seat belt. My middle son died in a car crash 22 years ago. He wasn't wearing his seat belt. Ive totaled two 1960,s chevy pickups no seat belt was not injured. Ive gave it lots of study & thought. When its your time to go your gone you really don't have much say in the matter. 99.99 5 of the things we worry about never happen. The ones that do worrying don't change anything.
  29. They do make a retractable 3-point with the classic flip/aviation style buckles. I put a set in my sisters car and they are pretty nice if you need the safety but can't sacrifice the style.
    Rodshop likes this.
  30. My biggest moral dilemma when it comes to old cars is how much time and money I spend on them as compared to other things I could be doing with my time or money. Now that my kids are older and taking more interest in the hobby, the time and money I spend on cars go beyond just my own selfish hobby. ;) I am looking forward to doing old car projects with both my boys and already have both vehicles. However, I still debate at times whether I should buy that cool part or new project or whether my time and money could do more good for someone or something else. My conclusion...I don't spend near as much time or money as I used to on old cars and try to remember that time with my wife, kids, friends, etc. is limited. When I am on my death bed, will I be glad I built the dream car I always wanted or be glad I spent time teaching my kids life skills or even just having fun with them? I still spend time and money on cars and still really enjoy it, but I don't put it before other things in life that are much more important.
    lowroller1, jwoods, Hnstray and 2 others like this.
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