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Hot Rods Pandora's Box?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by HOTRODPRIMER, Sep 27, 2019.

  1. I had a interesting conversation this morning with a gentleman named Russ while having breakfast at a local cafe, He saw me drive up in my old beater and ask what it was and I told him a 1932 Ford.

    He told me he had always wanted a old car but he didn't know anything about them, he had recently retired and was here visiting his sister before relocating to North Carolina.

    I told him that I had been building and driving hot rods since my early teens and it's just a part of my life, He then ask me did I think someone his age with no knowledge could ever build a car or would he be trying to open Pandora's box and just end up with a lot of parts & pieces and never get it done.

    I told him there is absolutely no difference in the desire to build a hot rod with a 68 year old than a 18 year old, granted the younger of the two has more energy but the elder generally has more disposable income, the learning curve is the same and if a guy really want's to build a car all that's stopping him is procrastination.

    He said his concerns were building the engine and transmission, along with welding.

    I explained you can buy a donor car with a decent engine, there are shops that build them for you or you can purchase new parts, I suggested taking a course at a tech school to learn how to weld and I told him about this site, I also advised him to check out any cruise ins and talk to people, see if there are any clubs around the area and ask questions.

    Finishing up that last cup of coffee I ask him if he would like to take a ride in my car, his eyes lit up like a kid at Christmas, he told me he had never sat in a hot rod much less rode in one.

    I'm glad I was in the right place at the right time to spread the gospel of hot rods. HRP
    nunattax, Cosmo50, Lil32 and 38 others like this.
  2. partssaloon
    Joined: Jan 28, 2009
    Posts: 512


    Good on you HRP, my advice would have been to buy an already done car that needed to be redone.
    nunattax, Hnstray, upspirate and 5 others like this.
  3. That ride in a hot rod may have done more for inspiration than any amount of words. Good on you HRP.
  4. AVater
    Joined: Dec 9, 2008
    Posts: 2,649

    1. Connecticut HAMB'ers

    Nice work HRP! Either way it turns out for him, he is much more to think about now and may well make the leap.
    Thank you for sharing the story.
    HarryT, 3W JOHN and wicarnut like this.

    Joined: Jul 20, 2006
    Posts: 2,422


    Good for youHRP spread the good word about our hobby
    3W JOHN and wicarnut like this.
  6. wicarnut
    Joined: Oct 29, 2009
    Posts: 7,854


    Verykool of you to give him encouragement, It's not over till it's over, grass growing over you or your ashes in an urn. IMO I would have suggested to buy a completed running car so he can enjoy the hobby and see If in fact it's his cup of tea. The Tools/Time/shop space from scratch is a bitch, plus the learning curve is a lot to take on as a senior. If he loves it, then start a project, this is just my opinion, as I agree, Now's the time, the LAST thing any man should be is a Woulda. Coulda, Shoulda man.
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2019
    upspirate and 3W JOHN like this.
  7. I did mention buy a running/driving car for instant gratification when we were driving around, but he seemed keen on wanting to do it himself.

    BTW, I figure I didn't do anything the reat of you guys would or haven't done in the past. HRP
    3W JOHN, dana barlow and wicarnut like this.
  8. Love what ya did HRP. I've done the same and probably get more out of taking a stranger for there First ride than they get out of going. I love the look on there faces when the door pops open and they aren't even touching it.
    3W JOHN, HOTRODPRIMER and wicarnut like this.
  9. I would have recommended buying a finished car and living with it for a while before deciding where to go from there, and not for the 'instant gratification' aspect but to get comfortable with the fact that you may have a vehicle for which there's no 'service manual' available.

    While I'm all in favor of encouraging entry into our hobby, you have to be realistic. The 'no knowledge' part makes for an extremely steep learning curve in many cases. If he was a guy that did his own repairs/maintenance on his DDs it's one thing, but if he always took them in that's a different kettle of fish entirely.

    And while I started messing with cars at 14, some of the junk I herded at 18 I'd think twice about even getting into now...
    Just Gary, Rckt98, Hnstray and 5 others like this.
  10. Spreadin' the gospel, Rev. Dan.
    Bet he would like your 50 coupe. Great entry level car, while he's doing the learning curve thing. While he gets his confidence up, he could be cruising.
    3W JOHN, HOTRODPRIMER and wicarnut like this.
  11. wicarnut
    Joined: Oct 29, 2009
    Posts: 7,854


    WE all agree that you did a good thing, I've always been nice to inquisitive adults especially kids, ( respectful people, kids) they are our future. Most of us I believe had someone in their life that somewhere along the way took an interest in us, peaked the interest, made us curious, cars/racing/fishing/sports/hunting/motorcycles/career, it's all good. IMO Everyone needs a passion for something and that can change through time, just maybe you gave Russ enough info, the ride to think about and he will always remember your kindness. To this day I remember the man, JIM LEROY about 1960/61 I was 12/13, neighbor's son came home from service, bought a 57 Chevy and a Harley, befriended me, took me cruising and riding when his girlfriend worked. Set the hook for cycles/cruising, I was born into a racing/car family, been addicted for nealy 72 years now, NO regrets, We all give you an official "ATTABOY" HRP
  12. dana barlow
    Joined: May 30, 2006
    Posts: 4,436

    dana barlow
    from Miami Fla.
    1. Y-blocks

    Didn't know what you were going too write,I ,like many of us enjoy passing info along. But my first thought was;
    "Pandora",As my son an i were building his 23T 10 or 12 years back,he desided to name his hot rod. He looked for a few months for a "Pandora's Box" to use,an later we had a stainless steel cut out of the name that got added to grill. As you can see the box is set,so the hot rod is kind of growing out of the bottom an sides of box. It's the cover of the suicide spring mount .


    Attached Files:

    catdad49, shortypu, Hnstray and 5 others like this.
  13. Hum, That never occurred to me. :rolleyes: HRP
  14. That's pretty cool Dana, Pandora's Box in Greek mythology contained sickness,death and assorted evils, today we many other unspecified evils which were then released into the world. .. the story has grown to our current term "to open Pandora's Box, meaning to do or start something that will cause many unforeseen problems, a much more desirable outcome. HRP
    3W JOHN, wicarnut and dana barlow like this.
  15. bill gruendeman
    Joined: Jun 18, 2019
    Posts: 557

    bill gruendeman

    Take a kid to a car show? plus 60 years? If he never builds a car he will alway look at old cars differently. thanks hrp
    pirate, wicarnut, 3W JOHN and 2 others like this.
  16. Slopok
    Joined: Jan 30, 2012
    Posts: 2,659


    Bring it to breakfast tomorrow!;)
    3W JOHN and HOTRODPRIMER like this.
  17. Mr48chev
    Joined: Dec 28, 2007
    Posts: 29,826


    I have to agree on the concept that the 50 might be a good starter ride for someone like that. Not done to the point where he can't make it his own but done to the point he can go out and have fun with it and probably drive it just the way it is from now on if he wanted to.
    3W JOHN and HOTRODPRIMER like this.
  18. Jalopy Joker
    Joined: Sep 3, 2006
    Posts: 27,259

    Jalopy Joker

    no matter the outter age, the inner inquisitive dreams of a youngster still exist - HRP, if you have any way of finding the "old youngster" do so and let him know about your car For Sale - if not, is there a safe spot to park your car in tomorrow morning for a couple of hours with a sign it it by the Cafe ? - if you connect with him and he still is not interested in a running car , at least let him know of any car shows/swap meets, etc going on that he could check out - can only do what you can
    3W JOHN and HOTRODPRIMER like this.
  19. Dang three posts so far - think I getting HemoRrhPoids.........
    3W JOHN likes this.
  20. GordonC
    Joined: Mar 6, 2006
    Posts: 2,443


    Thats what its all about! Nice job!
    3W JOHN and HOTRODPRIMER like this.
  21. Hemiman 426
    Joined: Apr 7, 2011
    Posts: 667

    Hemiman 426
    from Tulsa, Ok.

  22. 3W JOHN
    Joined: Oct 8, 2015
    Posts: 956

    3W JOHN

    When I was in L.A. in 1964 I spent several evenings at Pandora's Box.
    Lil32 and HOTRODPRIMER like this.
  23. HaHa, too.
    3W JOHN, Truck64 and HOTRODPRIMER like this.
  24. jim snow
    Joined: Feb 16, 2007
    Posts: 1,305

    jim snow

    I also would have advised him to start with something that already runs and drives. Jmho. Snowman
    3W JOHN and HOTRODPRIMER like this.
  25. vtx1800
    Joined: Oct 4, 2009
    Posts: 1,329


    Although it makes sense, lots of it, to buy a decent car that he could drive and enjoy it sounds as though the build may be almost as important, a challenge that he would embrace. Sage advice is to buy the best car you can find to "fix up". My two favorite cars are the ones in the avatar, the 38 was a basket case in 1973 with no title and all I had was lots of Hot Rod Magazines, some hand tools and the desire to have a hot rod. I was almost 73 when I bought the Stude, I knew it was rough and I almost bit off more than I could chew. I learned more about fixing sheet metal in the last couple of years than I would have ever believed. In both cases I built them from the ground up the way I wanted them. I suspect Russ may feel the same way. As a side note I received help from fellow Stude-a-holics on some of the intricacies of fixing rust and he showed pictures of his Stude, it was a bondo queen with shiny paint, his body was worse than mine,needed a lof the repair and he paid a lot more. People that ride motorcycles always say the ride is far better than reaching the destination. Maybe Russ just wants a good ride:)
    3W JOHN and Hnstray like this.
  26. Having never met Russ previously and talking to him less than a hour he came across as though he really wanted to build a car. HRP
    3W JOHN likes this.
  27. 40FORDPU
    Joined: Mar 15, 2009
    Posts: 3,125

    from Yelm, Wa
    1. Northwest HAMBers

    Being he recently retired, he'll need something to occupy his time, even if it never gets completed or sees the road.
    Too many people, once retired, end up vedging out in front of the TV/computer..a start to the end.
    It was nice of you, to show him one just one direction to go, as an option.
    Anyone can start a project, but a passion is required to complete it.
    3W JOHN and HOTRODPRIMER like this.
  28. I've always had the theory that certain people either have it or they don't. I've had dozens of people ask me "how did you learn to do all that?". The question always seems to be silly to me, But maybe they just can't think of something more Appropriate.

    One of my stock answers is that it's not a coincidence that the Swiss know how to make a watch, Hispanics are very good at laying bricks, And black folks can generally out run white folks. It's in our DNA as to what we're good at and what we're not good at. Ask yourself how many doctors or lawyers you know that are also hot rodders.It certainly isn't because they're short on cash.

    German heritage helps a lot. Hahaha..
    3W JOHN likes this.
  29. Sod Buster
    Joined: Feb 28, 2019
    Posts: 179

    Sod Buster

    You don't have to reinvent the wheel to enjoy old cars, finding a driver that needs some TLC and bringing it back to roadworthiness can be as enjoyable as building one from scratch and a far less daunting task.
    3W JOHN, Hnstray and '49 Ford Coupe like this.
  30. nrgwizard
    Joined: Aug 18, 2006
    Posts: 1,371

    from Minn. uSA

    Pandora's Box in Greek mythology contained sickness,death and assorted evils, today we many other unspecified evils which were then released into the world. .. the story has grown to our current term "to open Pandora's Box, meaning to do or start something that will cause many unforeseen problems, a much more desirable outcome. HRP

    Almost everyone, & you forgets to mention the most important one in the box: Hope.
    Hope the old guy gets some inspiration, & help, in building his hotrod. New friend for you?
    3W JOHN likes this.

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