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Hot Rods My Personal Glass Car Debate

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by CAHotRodBoy, Feb 24, 2020.

  1. CAHotRodBoy
    Joined: Apr 22, 2005
    Posts: 345


    This will be a long winded post so bear with me as I ponder my options. Or just bail on the thread now!:D
    So some of you may have seen my AG thread and the plans for my car and road trip. I'm starting to put things together and have to make some decisions.
    Having owned a ton of cars over the years, this one I have now is my first glass car (not counting Corvettes). When I bought it my intention was to build a street/strip type of car with big power, huge rear meats, etc. That way I could say, "yeah, it's a glass car but it is a race car so who cares." type of thing.
    Then I came to the conclusion that I really need to take an old car on my road trip instead of my Corvette that I was planning on. I know I'm going to get a lot more interactions with people in an old car as opposed to anything new. In a new car, you're just another tourist like a million others on the road.
    So the plan is to take the '34 and try to meet old time hot rodders along the way and get their stories from years gone by. A '34 coupe will lend an aura of authentication and people will be more willing to open up to me (I'm thinking anyway). The problem is my glass car is not really an old car. It was built in '88, has a 231 Buick motor and T350 combo and is a bit "street roddy". So I picked up a 392 Hemi and will run an A833 over drive 4 speed, pull the fenders, got some door handles coming, and make a few more changes for a more traditional look. But it will still be a glass car and not a "real" '34 Ford but will anyone care?
    So, what to do?
    Sell this car and buy a steel '34 coupe? Out of my price range I'm afraid plus I'd still want to swap in the 392/4 speed. Maybe I could afford a rough project car but then I probably wouldn't be able to get it done by this fall for my trip.
    I could buy something other than a Model 40 but these have been my favorite car forever. I could go Deuce coupe or sedan (I've had both before) but they are near as pricey. A Model A coupe or sedan would be more realistic and I could get a runner that just needed some minor changes for this trip. Maybe even find someone that wants to trade cars. Then when I get back I could swap in the 392 but it still wouldn't be a Model 40. There are also a boat load of other stuff like fat fendered Chevies and such that I could get pretty cheap. Or a beater '55 and be Falfa? I'll be "searching For Milner" after all.
    I could just say, "F it!" and take my car as is or maybe just pull the fenders. The 231 would get great gas mileage and be reliable. Then when I get back swap in the 392. I thought about replacing the doors and trunk lid with steel ones for a half glass/half steel car! Plus, I'd love to have a louvered trunk lid.
    I have one other option, my 63.5 Galaxie that I'm in the middle of a frame off. It is a Z code, XL500 with a done chassis that includes the rebuilt 390, T-10 4 speed (I'd go with a GearVendors OD or a 5/6 speed for halfway decent gas mileage), 9", all new Police Interceptor springs, sway bars, shocks, brakes, etc, all painted and ready to go. The body is getting a couple dents knocked out and ready for paint. I'm hoping to pick that up in a few weeks then have to place it on the frame, do wiring, interior (I have the complete XL interior with buckets seats, center console, panels, etc), and of course, a ton of other small stuff but I think I could get it done in time for fall. It will have a lot of room inside, have a nice comfortable ride and will be a cool car but it won't be '34 Ford 3 window coupe cool! It will be a real 1963 Ford though.
    So this is what I'm struggling with. Now I know some of you will say you just have to go with what you think is best. But you ever go out to eat thinking you want seafood then the place has steak, lasagna and ribs on special and now you don't know WTF you want?:eek::p That's kinda where I'm at on this thing.
    So just looking for some feedback as to what you all think. I have to get this ball rolling soon though as the summer will fly by and I don't want to delay this trip another year.
  2. Your glass car isn’t ever going to be a model 40, no matter what you do it’s still going be a FG car.
    Sounds like you want a model 40 so get one. You can’t afford all that other crap ,,,, you can afford a nice coupe
  3. It looks like a hot rod to me, when I owned my Westcott 32 roadster it looked like like a Henry 32 roadster, it had a working cowl vent and most guys thought it was the real deal, it didn't bother me in the least.

    When I was ask if it was original or glass I would tell them the truth, I've heard I wouldn't have a glass car, that's when I ask what they are driving? these kind of people are usually driving a POS. :rolleyes:

    I often said it ain't real but it's real fun, and beats walking!


    Enjoy you car and don't let others opinions distract from having fun, at the end of the day you have to be happy. HRP
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2020
  4. B1gDaddy
    Joined: Aug 30, 2007
    Posts: 261

    from aladambama

    In the beginning there isn't much price difference in the cost of a glass vs steel body. There is twice the difference in price at the end.

    It is only a math question, you can answer it either way. If you are going to die with it the question doesn't matter. If you will sell it sometime then it matters a lot
    Splitbudaba likes this.

  5. 31Apickup
    Joined: Nov 8, 2005
    Posts: 2,317


    You already own it, I’d say drive and don’t worry about what others think.
  6. Kind of reminds me of Johnny Fontaine in The Godfather.
    “Oh godfather,godfather,,,what do I do . “

    You have a beautiful car,,,yes it’s glass,,,yes it’s a street rod,,,no door handles,,,little Buick engine,,,,auto tranny,,,,,worrying about gas mileage.

    If it makes you unhappy,,,sell it,,,,,a lot of guys would love to have it .
    Or,,,,make some serious changes and you won’t recognize the car ?

    A Hemi and a stick,,,makes a great hot rod,,,,,,,or a Flathead as well .

    Don’t worry about the mileage,,,,it takes the fun out of it !

    alanp561, belair, 31hotrodguy and 2 others like this.
  7. ekimneirbo
    Joined: Apr 29, 2017
    Posts: 1,455

    from Brooks Ky

    Build the fiberglass car with the steel fenders and the Hemi and make the trip. Snobs will always be snobs no matter what you drive. Once you are enjoying it, start saving for a steel body. Then you can take your savings and sell your fiberglass body and get the steel one......if you steel think you need one. :D
    swade41, Splitbudaba and vtx1800 like this.
  8. The 39 guy
    Joined: Nov 5, 2010
    Posts: 2,877

    The 39 guy

    I have been driving a FB car for 18 years. It is a lot of fun. Most people could care less if it is FG. More are upset that it has a chevy in it! I don't really care what they think. I am having fun and I hope you have a great cruise/journey in you FG car!
  9. wicarnut
    Joined: Oct 29, 2009
    Posts: 4,245


    Take your glass car and have Fun with it, If you meet an AssHat that wants to rain on your parade, Tell him to F---K Off, this type of Hot Rodder is not the guy or guys you want to hang out with and become friends with. I read this BS on here about steel versus glass, always go to the posters profile/media and see if in fact he has a car of any type, no pics , it never is/was/ happened, Many keyboard Hot Rodders here. I've been doing this car thing a LONG time, 50+ years and as a rule most guys are good, friendly and Non Judgemental on your ride. I, like many judge people as a person, not their ride, this is the greatest hobby, Enjoy, and take some of what you read here with a grain of salt. Have Fun, Enjoy !
  10. I'd be okay with you just pulling up......with something old.....from maybe the people you'll visit - they know there's not a lot of 33/34's out there. Have fun what ever you decide - and remember those folks you'd meet won't be so judgmental.
    kidcampbell71 and Splitbudaba like this.
  11. CAHotRodBoy
    Joined: Apr 22, 2005
    Posts: 345


    Lots of encouraging replies here. Thanks everyone.
    I think the above may be the way to go. Continue my build as I intend and keep an eye out for a steel body. Eventually I'll find a deal on one or just save up enough to buy a decent one. Then if someone gives me crap I can say, "Hey, why don't you sell me your steel body. Oh, you don't have one and you don't even own a hot rod?" :D
    Butler 32, swade41, WB69 and 5 others like this.
  12. Gman0046
    Joined: Jul 24, 2005
    Posts: 6,253


    I once thought I needed a glass 32 Ford Vicky. Downs body on a TCI chassis. What a POS! It was the biggest "car" mistake I ever made. Happiest day of my life when I sold it. As they say steel is real.
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2020
    46international likes this.
  13. CAHotRodBoy
    Joined: Apr 22, 2005
    Posts: 345


    This is probably the case. I guess it is easy to get caught up in the debate when you hang out here and with other "purists" but when you are driving your glass car through small town America they just see a cool car. Heck, they may not even know that glass bodies exist.
    Splitbudaba likes this.
  14. ramblin dan
    Joined: Apr 16, 2018
    Posts: 2,149

    ramblin dan

    The only time I ever inquire about if a car is steel or not is when I'm discussing with it someone without actually seeing it and it's only out of interest about where it came from and what shape it's in if it's steel. When I go to a car show or see a car on the street the last thing I care about is if it's steel or not. To me it's what it represents not what it's made of.
    jimpopper, alanp561, hallrods and 5 others like this.
  15. CAHotRodBoy
    Joined: Apr 22, 2005
    Posts: 345


    What made it a POS? What problems did it have and were they directly related to the body?
    My car is pretty solid with no cracks in the body or anything like that.
    31hotrodguy and Splitbudaba like this.
  16. CAHotRodBoy
    Joined: Apr 22, 2005
    Posts: 345


    I admittedly used to be a steel car snob. If it ain't steel, it ain't real BS. But if you think about it, if you build a car with an aftermarket frame, Chevy engine and trans, 9" (okay, a real Ford part), new custom interior, new gauges, steering column and wheel, new wheels and tires, new brakes, etc., how much of that car is 1934 Ford anyway? Just the body shell and the rest of the car is not "real". And if you use a steel repop body, then what? "Hey, is that a steel car?". "Why, yes it is" but failing to mention it is a steel reproduction.
    Now I would still prefer to have an original body and if I find one, will replace the glass body but underneath there still won't be a single other '34 Ford part in the car.
    And then you have the resto guys. They all freak out about hot rods and say we are ruining them instead of restoring them.
    cederholm and 31hotrodguy like this.
  17. Almostdone
    Joined: Dec 19, 2019
    Posts: 315


    I think you’re way over thinking this CAHotRodBoy. Some would say if a car is not original steel (that is, a steel repro or a FG body), then it’s not an original steel body and never will be. True enough in a literal sense. Be that as it may, who are you trying to impress? That IS the question.

    If it bugs you to have a FG body and you have the means to change that, go ahead... and enjoy it. Otherwise, what a cool car; drive it.
  18. BoogittyShoe
    Joined: Feb 18, 2020
    Posts: 330


    Oh no, no ,no. :)
    I'll finish reading later, but I stopped at "...steel doors..." That's going backwards.
    Think of a fiberglass car as what hot rods have morphed into because of the limited number of steel bodies. (Except new steel bodies.) They put glass front ends on steel race cars to save weight. Are they only "half race cars"? Nope. I'd say racier.
    Somewhere, someone (no doubt with a steel-body car) coined the phrase "steel is real".
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2020
    Nicholas Coe and Splitbudaba like this.
  19. oldiron 440
    Joined: Dec 12, 2018
    Posts: 1,509

    oldiron 440

    Why have all that personal drama banging around in your head, build it or don't.
    alanp561 and lonejacklarry like this.
  20. There will come a day.........When you'll decide who's the judge........ It all matters of what you think.
    Yep, been there, done that, got enlightened......... S0- with all that.......You live with it, or you don't.
    If you rolled up, and I was there, and you had your shit together= glass or not, I would judge on form/fit/execution/style......... But- those would be my tastes. Just make yourself pleased, and enjoy the adventure vs. worrying about who'll stick a magnet on your car!
    But- if you see a magnet coming, I prefer an uppercut, tends to the knock out's sooner, then,enjoying the rest of your day........
    slug, swade41 and Splitbudaba like this.
  21. Hey you really can have a shit load of fun in a glass car.

    Just Some things you can’t do with it.
    Now I have sort of a twist to your same dilemma and moral qualms. I’ve been telling people than a need an engine test stand, one that looks like a 33 Willys.
    ffr1222k likes this.
  22. fastcar1953
    Joined: Oct 23, 2009
    Posts: 2,228


    It's just a car, sorta. Life is to short to worry about others opinion. It's what you put into it. Does your car have soul or is it just parts. I have built a few cars, all had soul. I built it , you like it or don't. It was what mattered to me that counted. Most people liked them or kept there mouth shut. I now have a glass car that i bought running. I have done a lot to it but i feel like it is just now getting a soul. I had to redo most things to suit me . That's what makes it mine . I will drive the wheels off of it and could'nt care less what others think. Most like it though. Enjoy the hobby not others opinions.
    Splitbudaba likes this.
  23. You need to travel this year in the rod you have, while you work on getting the Galaxies put together. When the Galaxies is complete and debugged, drive it and work on the rod.
    It's the only way you will be able to do a true road trip any time soon. If you think building is fun, wait until you get on the road in an old car.

  24. lippy
    Joined: Sep 27, 2006
    Posts: 4,986

    from Ks

    I wish I had a glass or steel 34 coupe. Lippy;)
  25. r2c1
    Joined: Mar 27, 2008
    Posts: 154


    A lot of guys would be happy to have a hot rod, be it glass or steel. Ron
  26. BoogittyShoe
    Joined: Feb 18, 2020
    Posts: 330


    As far as the 231V6, in the book Building the V6 Vega, it said that at the time the book was written, (pre '90), at least one engine builder had gotten at least 340 hp out of a normally-aspirated Buick V6. Less weight on the front = better handling. High horsepower, lightweight engine in lightweight car = good horsepower to weight ratio + good handling.
    This is a picture of a hot rod engine if I ever saw one. I like the idea of the louvered trunk.A little more weight on the rear will help traction. IMG_20200224_215819.jpg
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2020
  27. BamaMav
    Joined: Jun 19, 2011
    Posts: 4,435

    from Berry, AL

    It all depends on how comfortable you want to be on your trip. The 63 will have more room, ride better, and probably be quieter. The coupe will be smaller, ride rougher, and more noisy.
    Either one will start up a conversation quicker than any econobox turd......
  28. DDDenny
    Joined: Feb 6, 2015
    Posts: 13,785

    from oregon

    Sure, I'd love to have a steel Henry bodied 32, but this Oregonian is as proud of his fiberglass Wescott bodied car as any Brookville bodied owner.
  29. I don't want to be an asshole but when I built my 34, there was nothing was going to get in my way. I knew what I wanted and I had to make a lot of sacrifices to make it happen. If you even have a hesitation about having the steel car you really want [???] you have to go after it HARD! If you have a money crunch, sell everything you have to get what you want. Any car but your new 33-34 will be a distraction and a money drain.
    I had a few other cars during the 9 year build of mine but I sold all of them to help finance my 34. You'd better really, REALLY want a steel coupe or just stop screwin around with the idea now.
    Jus sayin. 34B4.jpg 34enginehangin.jpg 34falleaves10_18.jpg
  30. AndersF
    Joined: Feb 16, 2013
    Posts: 713


    Drive it as it is. Do you really want to debug a new driveline on your roadtrip?
    31hotrodguy likes this.

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