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Hot Rods Pandora's Box?

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

  1. proartguy
    Joined: Apr 13, 2009
    Posts: 508

    from Sparks, NV

    I wonder how many unfinished projects sit in garages because someone underestimated the difficulty and cost. Not to diminish someone’s enthusiasm, but building a car from scratch can be daunting.

    My first advise would be to define what you want or like, settling for less means your not in love with it. Next is start with a good complete candidate. Getting bogged down in rust and body repair is costly and frustrating. Then figure out what you are capable of and where it might be better to get help. After all very few do it all by themselves. As far as age and experience as a factor, no doubt hopefully one acquires knowledge and skills over time, it is never too late to learn.

    My suggestion would be buy a good running example, drive it for a while to see what it needs to be what you desire and don’t destroy it into a pile of parts accented with uninstalled shiny aftermarket pieces in boxes for sale. That would be the Pandora’s box of unfulfilled dreams and realities.
    3W JOHN and Sod Buster like this.
  2. jnaki
    Joined: Jan 1, 2015
    Posts: 6,068


    Hey HRP,

    The story was one of the best ones you have come up with to explain the question. The statement:

    “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.”

    Is one that pertains to most everyone moving on down timeline of age. When we were able and willing to do the work, it was fun and exciting. Staying up until 11pm until something or other was finished on the motor, hot rod or just working on cars was rather cool. But, of course, we were teenagers, then.

    Now, there is someone out there to do some of the things that we old guys just cannot or will not do on anything hanging around the garage or yard. So, I see that point clearly. That fine line is one that is there and it just keeps getting longer on most projects. It is a good thing there are still hot rod shops and people who can do great work on what is necessary.


    That feeling of another hot rod later in the stages still seems viable, but, time and age stands in the way. It probably is easier to get a hot rod in varying stages of a build and then drive it until it needs something. In the HAMB classified, there are quite a few hot rods that are practical and priced well for the work. There are others that are just priced as high as possible and hopefully they can come back down to earth, one day.

    The hot rod will probably not be the daily driver, but as a means to an end. Choices are plentiful: So, go looking for something, study it, and like all purchases, make sure it will fit your needs. It has to be not taxing on the family, and definitely, not because someone down the street has one.

    3W JOHN and catdad49 like this.
  3. dumprat
    Joined: Dec 27, 2006
    Posts: 3,130

    from b.c.

    I would say don't ever encourage someone to buy a finished car!

    All it takes is enough desire to build it yourself.

    Beyond the cost, lack of actual pride in doing something other than wax it theses fellows don't really ever get the hobby, period.

    There are lots of stalled projects out there to buy or badly butchered messes to fix that come with most of the parts for pennies on the dollar.

    If it don't make ya dirty and bleed occasional you don't really own it. And if you didn't build it IT'S SOMEONE ELSE'S CAR!
    3W JOHN likes this.
  4. catdad49
    Joined: Sep 25, 2005
    Posts: 5,132


    Who said that the young guys have to carry on the hobby. Danny just did his part by sharing his experience/ passion to a newby. The seed has been planted and with a little nurturing will continue to grow. Maybe Russ will join us here!
  5. 4ever18
    Joined: Nov 1, 2007
    Posts: 476


    Good for you, sir. Some years ago, I had a similar conversation with a gentleman regarding his desire for a ‘57 Chevy. He had graduated from high school in 1957 and recalled stopping by the Chevrolet dealer each day during his walk home, following basketball practice.

    His desired car wouldn’t be a heavily modified car, but it would be fresh from bottom to top. I suggested that he not get bogged down with thinking about the project as one BIG job, but rather a whole bunch of little projects - little projects that do need to be done in the right order, though. The concept of Project Management struck a chord with him (a white collar professional). I assisted him with the selection of the car, as well as a few phases of the job. But, he did the lion’s share of the work as saw the project through completion. He still owns the car, today.
    3W JOHN, Copper Top and fordflambe like this.
  6. fordflambe
    Joined: Apr 9, 2007
    Posts: 554


    I have had several conversations like HOTRODPRIMER over the years. Some young and some old. And my attempt to encourage is to tell the interested party to choose a car they have always been interested in. There usually is a question about "what kind of car do you think i should get?'. My thinking is that if you start out with one you are interested in, you will likely be more successful in enjoying the ownership.

    I am also frequently asked, "how do you find parts?". I tell them that there are many sources for parts (not all parts) but they can almost always be found somewhere. It is just as important to learn about sourcing parts as it is owning the car. I then point out how important it is to network with other people with similar interest, to get ideas, learn about sources, exchange parts, etc.

    I usually throw in some dialogue about having a proper place to keep the car, for the purpose of preserving it as best as you can. Then i throw in some dialogue about how important it is to drive the car and keep it mechanically sound.

    Keep the interest moving forward!
    3W JOHN likes this.
  7. Okie Pete
    Joined: Oct 29, 2008
    Posts: 3,495

    Okie Pete

    Way to go you've infected another human with the sickness. LOL
    Good Job.
    3W JOHN likes this.
  8. hotrodjack33
    Joined: Aug 19, 2019
    Posts: 2,633


    Wow, HRP, never thought of it that way. How true...but betng on the upper end of that scale...just wish I had MORE of that disposable income you speak of.;)
    3W JOHN likes this.
  9. jetnow1
    Joined: Jan 30, 2008
    Posts: 1,846

    from CT
    1. A-D Truckers

    Another approach for the gentleman in question would be to buy an older restored car, and do upgrades as needed to reach his goals. Less intimidating than doing a car from scratch and allows him to actually drive the car while he works on it, something that helps keep the enthusiasm up. A model A
    that was restored is a good base for someone who is starting out, and parts would be easier to get than
    most other cars. You could even get an aftermarket frame, assemble it to modern standards, then move the body over with a minimum investment in tools.
    3W JOHN likes this.
  10. 3W JOHN
    Joined: Oct 8, 2015
    Posts: 953

    3W JOHN

    Danny, have you heard from this guy?
  11. No sir. HRP

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