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Projects Old Steel or New Glass

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by greaserchief, May 14, 2014.

  1. So im curious, im really thinking about my next project and what i want is to build a 30 or 31 henry Coupe. But the question in my mind is this, do i search the country for that perfect original steel body then pay to sand blast it, replace panels, fix rust , maybe replace a could go on.
    Or do i find a nice glass, chopped body ...which i could get in a 32 if i so wish, and just primer the thing and set it on a frame and be done with it.
    Now before you answer let me just say in my defence that i have already made up mind on the direction i'd like to go, I've been building for over 30 years and im getting tired of doing it, so i'd like to build one last good one while i have half the strenth to do so.
    What say you. and just so you know, i want to build a 50's early 60's style High boy.
    8flat likes this.
  2. Hmmmmmn, decision, decisons. I am thinking about getting a repop corvette in steel. :rolleyes:

    Actually, I prefer to work with steel but glass has its merits. Does someone actually still make a glass A bone? I know you could by them in the '60s although I don't think that they were mass produced and mostly they were race bodies. If I had cash in hand and was not aware of the body that I wanted to build and it was reproduced in glass I may consider glass. I may take the full paint and interior route with it myself, but I would like to one time own a nice car with a decent paintjob. I have been building since about '68 and have never really owned a car that I could say in total honesty that was a finished car.
  3. Bad Daddy
    Joined: Nov 13, 2010
    Posts: 829

    Bad Daddy

    There's your answer right there. If you want to build "one last good one", do it in real Henry steel. There's nothing better.
  4. dana barlow
    Joined: May 30, 2006
    Posts: 3,768

    dana barlow
    from Miami Fla.
    1. Y-blocks

    Yo can do a glass one,and if ya after a time fine a steel body an change it,but by then ya may be into your next rod. I been building since the later 1950s and have always painted them shiny nice.
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  5. A Boner
    Joined: Dec 25, 2004
    Posts: 5,448

    A Boner

    Option #3..... Use a Brookville Roadsters body!
  6. Ed D
    Joined: Oct 29, 2007
    Posts: 40

    Ed D

    I went the glass route, witch ever route you choose get the best body you can find for your money. I've spent a lot of time straightening bowed parts, building better interior bracing, making doors and trunk open and close properly. I want my build to look like a late fifties early sixties style, so I made the front window swing out and the rear glass roll down. It all comes down to what kind of jobs you want to tackle rust repair or fiberglass. Good luck and enjoy the build.
  7. dirt t
    Joined: Mar 20, 2007
    Posts: 4,568

    dirt t
    from Kingman,AZ
    1. HAMB Old Farts' Club

    Budget always is a factor with any project. That being said I would spend the extra money for a cherry body and fenders. If you are building a high boy type you can sell the fenders.
    The money saved with a cherry car will save on body work and speed up your build.
    Good luck post your project when you start.
  8. Tim Irwin
    Joined: Feb 23, 2006
    Posts: 23

    Tim Irwin

    I used glass on mine, I have a really nice chassis and drivetrain and a sub par body. I used glass because it was my first 32 build and I wish I hadn't now. if you do use glass buy the highest quality body you can find. I've seriously thought about replacing mine with steel.
  9. Well Thats another thing to consider, how ever in recent years the price of an A has gone up. seems like only a few years back, maybe 15 or 20 i bought 2 A roadsters for 500 and passed up 2 more coupes at 500. and 750.00, now i dont see them under 3 to 5 K, a new 32 glass body with floors, windows and hung doors and deck lid runs about 7K. and all i have to do is paint it. HMMM its starting to lean the other way. and to answer your question no ive not seen an A in glass but i was looking at the 32's in glass. I'll never have a real one for the bucks they are asking but glass is do able.
  10. Squablow
    Joined: Apr 26, 2005
    Posts: 14,259


    How much are fiberglass A coupes? You can buy a pretty decent original stock A coupe around here for about $10K, if it's got a paint color you like (and you're not going to chop it) you're probably money ahead, since it'll have glass and hinges/latches and all that stuff, plus a title and some extras you can sell off.

    A glass T-bucket body is fine to me if you're going 60's style since they were around, but a fiberglass Deuce or A coupe feels like a "fake" to me. I don't want something that looks like an old car, I want an actual old car.
  11. If i went Glass it would be a 32. I havent seen any 28-31 glass bodies. i dont want a roadster.
  12. Dennis D
    Joined: May 2, 2009
    Posts: 589

    Dennis D

    Beware of the cheap '32 bodies. I went that route and have been kicking myself in the ass since. I would hate to count up the hours that I have trying to make the edges on this thing look ok, along with making the reveils (sp) on it correct. Cutting the window garnish into many parts to get them to fit. Finding pinholes that turn into craters that have to be repaired, and hope like hell that you find all of the problems before you put the paint on it. If you are going glass, New Age, if you can swing the price of admission, United Pacific if you are looking at 5w steel. Good luck, Dennis D
  13. Rogueman
    Joined: Jan 18, 2011
    Posts: 290


    I road a sportster a few years before I got my softtail.
    I had a Glass 32 roadster for about 6 years before I couldn't stand it any longer and picked up a metal 30 sport coupe to put on that frame. It's a real car now.
    Squablow likes this.
  14. I have had both steel and glass Deuces and you are the only one that has to be happy with it.

    I had a glass 32 roadster and people were always asking me if it was glass or steel,it had a cowl vent and the indention around the rear of the seat area.

    Even die hard Deuce guys couldn't tell until they tapped on the bosy or pulled out a magnet.

    As I was fond of saying,"It ain't real steel but it sure is real fun"!

    I would rather ride than talk about what I wanted to build,,so I went with glass.

    Today,I own 2 real Henry's but if the right glass car came along tomorrow I wouldn't have a problem with it. HRP
  15. Don's Hot Rods
    Joined: Oct 7, 2005
    Posts: 8,319

    Don's Hot Rods
    from florida

    I've had steel, I've had glass, and frankly, I never really saw a difference. I loved them all, had a blast with them, and didn't give a damn what anyone else had to say. Until they start sending me money to build my cars it will be that way.

    Do what you want. Not all of us are bodymen, and certainly, glass allows the average person a better chance of getting a car on the road. I am almost to the point of having to do body work on the steel 29 rpu I am building and I am DREADING IT !

  16. you guys are right... I have looked at several glass bodies and saw in a few pics the difference in cheap and in good, believe me I will do my home work first if I go that route. one of the best I have seen believe it or not is the 32 from speedway, looks awesome and has everything in place and done. thanks guys for the advise and when its time I will repost what I got in the drive way.
  17. Gman0046
    Joined: Jul 24, 2005
    Posts: 5,976


    Many years ago I thought I wanted a glass 32 Ford Vicky. Bought a Downs body and TCI chassis. It was the biggest mistake I've ever made. The body and chassis were both a POS. I absolutely hated that car. The happiest day of my life was the day I sold it. It was actually a featured car in Street Rodder magazine but still a POS.
    I'm convinced Steel Is Real and Fiberglass Sucks. Just my opinion.
  18. Tell us how you really feel Gman...:D HRP
  19. It is all up to you. But like many have said buy the best you can!!
  20. well , what ever you have the energy for and cash of course.
    by the looks of it you know how to build a nice car. so go with what works for you!
    -and don't forget to post the progress. AK
  21. I appreciate all of your opinions, even the negative ones, nothing speaks as load as experience
  22. tfeverfred
    Joined: Nov 11, 2006
    Posts: 15,796


    Do what ever you want.
  23. Baron
    Joined: Aug 13, 2004
    Posts: 3,394


    I have also owned both. I'd love to have a steel 5W, but I can completely build my glass 5W for less than the cost of a good steel body. To make myself happy with my Kilborn glass body, I installed a working cowl vent, opening windshield, steel gutters, and have a stock (Henry)steel firewall going in along with stock door handles. Also installed a 40 dash as I do in my Deuces. As long as the body you choose makes you happy, go for it . And good luck ! Driving down the street, no one will know the difference.

    32 5W 10 10 09.JPG 40 dash in Deuce 10 17 09.JPG DSCN0366.JPG

    Attached Files:

  24. ratrod0
    Joined: Apr 15, 2005
    Posts: 1,047


    I built a glass car I had the $ for a steel body, or a hole car glass. so I built the glass car and love it
  25. Austinrod
    Joined: Jun 14, 2012
    Posts: 1,818

    from Austin

    I bias towards steel you'll find I bargain on steel body if you look hard enough

    Posted from Austinrod
    Joined: Apr 11, 2007
    Posts: 1,399

    from Ojai,Ca

    If it is your last one and you want to really have a nice one then go metal. Whether it is a repop Brookville or original Ford. Kind of like money, there are plenty of counterfeit bills out there but it is better to have the real one.
  27. Kan Kustom
    Joined: Jul 20, 2009
    Posts: 2,494

    Kan Kustom

  28. Shaggy
    Joined: Mar 6, 2003
    Posts: 5,208

    from Sultan, WA

    tupperware is for the kitchen, not for the street
  29. hayu
    Joined: Feb 8, 2010
    Posts: 30


    If ou want an A wescott makes a nice 5 window. A altered in kansas makes a 3 window that looks very good.
  30. mgtstumpy
    Joined: Jul 20, 2006
    Posts: 7,890


    Horses for courses they say. I have steel and prefer steel as I have a trade background so metal work is no big issue for me. I don't have to pay someone for something I'm quite capable of doing more often better than them. On the other hand a repop body may suit someone else who can't do what I do, no rust or dents to fix. Only prep work for painting. All boils down to talent, skills and budget. Develop a plan and budget and stick to it.

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