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History period correctness

Discussion in 'Traditional Hot Rods' started by JL Kustoms, Jun 1, 2019.

  1. JL Kustoms
    Joined: Nov 8, 2018
    Posts: 36

    JL Kustoms

    i was not alive back in the early days of hot rodding so i have no idea what it was like back then. for those of you that were what were some of the signatures from the different time periods? what are some of the things that people are doing now adays that hadnt been invented yet? and what are some things people are doing now adays that are just not how people did things style wise back in those times?
  2. Rckt98
    Joined: Jun 7, 2005
    Posts: 856


    We never did "Patina". Everyone building a hotrod wanted a nice shiny coat of paint.
  3. Petejoe
    Joined: Nov 27, 2002
    Posts: 10,074

    from Zoar, Ohio

    In the 60’s the only time you used air shocks was when you had to lift up the rear to clear the meats.
    BigO, Deuces, 56don and 4 others like this.
  4. KoolKat-57
    Joined: Feb 22, 2010
    Posts: 2,808

    from Dublin, OH

    You could get an Earl Scheib paint job for $19.95 back in the day, and they weren't too bad if you did the prep. By the mid 60s they were $39.95, nearly everyone could afford shiny paint!
    Also many of us knew someone who knew someone who worked in a plating shop!
    The guys I remember all had pretty nice cars.
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2019
    BigO, 1927graham, Mikel50 and 13 others like this.
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  5. Where I was from (the east coast) most of us did not have the money to do a nice paint job. Our hot rods in most cases were whatever they were and yes had patina. There were finished hot rods and customs but they were what the rest of us strived for. Or our inspiration.

    Sent from my iPad using H.A.M.B.
    TomT, BigO, Mikel50 and 13 others like this.
  6. greybeard360
    Joined: Feb 28, 2008
    Posts: 1,335


    No air suspension, no radial tires, no Mustang II suspensions, no billet.

    Most cars were home built with the help of your buddies... Store bought hot rods didn't exist. Yes, there were the customizers out there that would make your car into what you wanted. There were engine builders.... But most of the rodders couldn't afford either of them so they built their own. Junk yards was their parts store and source for engine swaps. A lot of times you looked around the yards, found a good motor and used it, if it was a big V8 and you could afford it, you used that one. There were some that would hunt for specific motors... They were the gotta be fast guys.

    Hub caps were the dress up items on everyone's rod. Mag wheels were not common and very expensive. Insurance companies probably paid for more of them then rodders did... By virtue of five finger discounts.
    Darryl Deir, tinsled, BigO and 14 others like this.
  7. Blues4U
    Joined: Oct 1, 2015
    Posts: 3,702

    from So Cal

    That's not true, at least not around here. We'll maybe not "patina", but primer was common. As one old timer put it to me once: "we was always going to get it painted next week. But next week came and we spent our money on our girlfriend, or on some new parts, or whatever, but we didn't have the money to get it painted, so we drove it in primer."

    The earliest days of hot rodding go back to when nobody here on the HAMB was alive. I was born in 58, so I missed a lot of it, but I was around for the later part of the HAMB era of hot rodding, and that observation matches my recollection. An Earl Schieb paint job may have only been $39.95, but when you only made that much a week, and brought home less after Uncle Sam got his piece of your wages, it was still a stretch. Sure guys did it, but primer was not uncommon.
    tinsled, BigO, rjones35 and 13 others like this.
  8. Petejoe
    Joined: Nov 27, 2002
    Posts: 10,074

    from Zoar, Ohio

    You rarely ever seen a gasser on the street.
    They were purposely stripped beyond street worthy for a reason.

    If you saw a station wagon going down the road. It had a family in it and never a surf board on top of it.
  9. Never make something old be like 2019 comfort or appearance. Big Wheels are my #1 no no.
    Raunchy, BigO, jeepster and 8 others like this.
  10. Jalopy Joker
    Joined: Sep 3, 2006
    Posts: 23,035

    Jalopy Joker

    a lot of stuff taken for granted now: mig/tig welding, plasma cutters, internet, cell phones, cable TV
  11. Petejoe
    Joined: Nov 27, 2002
    Posts: 10,074

    from Zoar, Ohio

    The sound of the first hemis to hit the road made my heart melt.
  12. Mike VV
    Joined: Sep 28, 2010
    Posts: 1,554

    Mike VV
    from SoCal

    NOT so much. What are you guys smoken ?

    All you have to do is look at photos of 30's, 40's, 50's cars...RIGHT HERE within this web site ("Vintage shots of days gone by" is one thread..!), you'll see many, MANY...running cars, without paint, or at least a single coat of paint, shine or not, with bare metal showing, with primered areas, etc. etc.
    A radiator only on a 30's car without a grill shell, no windshield...most any oddball combination you can think of was on the street in the early years.
    NOT...everyone had money...yeah, NOT even for a 20 dollar Earl Sheib paint job. A guy with three different tires on his/her car, does NOT have money for paint.

    Just take some time to look around this very web site..!
    After all, THAT's what it's here for.

    tinsled, Lines, rust&patina and 22 others like this.
  13. jaw22w
    Joined: Mar 2, 2013
    Posts: 808

    from Indiana

    I personally experienced a lot of our target period. I agree that there were a lot of primered and "patina'ed" cars on the street. I think those primered car owners always planned to get a shiny paint job, whether the plan got carried out was a different story. Primer was never figured as the end result. This patina craze is a lot newer than our target date.
  14. goldmountain
    Joined: Jun 12, 2016
    Posts: 951


    Can't really relate to the '35 and later pickup cabs being used to make fenderless cars. Guess I'm older than I think I am.
    Model A Mark, Muttley, Hombre and 8 others like this.
  15. joeycarpunk
    Joined: Jun 21, 2004
    Posts: 4,379

    from MN,USA

    The period correct car was built typically with knowledge and tools on hand and cars used in various states of completion. Some never reaching the ultimate goal of shiny paint. Time creates patina. Fake patina is just that and not the end goal when initially built. I wasn't there in that time but admire the ingenuity of making due with what you had and developing the skills to achieve it. Good taste is timeless.
  16. anthony myrick
    Joined: Sep 4, 2009
    Posts: 4,354

    anthony myrick
    from al

  17. Hnstray
    Joined: Aug 23, 2009
    Posts: 10,586

    from Quincy, IL

    I agree with the comments about the frequency of primered cars. First thing a guy did with his recently acquired car was to shave the hood and trunk lid ("nosed and decked") and that usually meant primered areas where the holes were filled. Full primer jobs were common too.

    I don't think it was solely because guys couldn't afford shiny paint if they really wanted it....a primered car was kind of a 'badge' of being a hot rodder or customizer. These are observations from the Midwest where I have lived all my life. Regional differences were well known at he time.....the comparisons of East Coast to West Coast cars were the subject of many magazine articles
    Joined: Sep 29, 2014
    Posts: 127

    from Newton NC


    Hundreds of photos on many threads that prove the above.
    Stogy and Blues4U like this.
  19. 41rodderz
    Joined: Sep 27, 2010
    Posts: 3,055

    from Oregon

    My neighbor had a Model A coupe and he said when he got the itch for a new paint job down to the store he went to pick a new color in a can. He was from the L.A. area.
  20. Rickybop
    Joined: May 23, 2008
    Posts: 5,653

    from Michigan

  21. Rickybop
    Joined: May 23, 2008
    Posts: 5,653

    from Michigan

    Okay, serious.

    Here's one...

    In the early 60s, you would've been more likely to hear the term "jacked up" rather than "laying frame".

    Sent from my VS835 using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
  22. 6sally6
    Joined: Feb 16, 2014
    Posts: 673


    But.............somethings have gone full circle! I remember the guys with the cool cars all had the tail-dragg'in thing going on like today. More and more I see cars today with the raised suspension like in 60s.
    No open headers (what headers?)/back then but they did have cut outs but NOT the nice electronic ones of today.
    Glass packs were about as noisey as the poe-poe would allow (maybe)

    loudbang likes this.
  23. Rickybop
    Joined: May 23, 2008
    Posts: 5,653

    from Michigan

  24. town sedan
    Joined: Aug 18, 2011
    Posts: 1,067

    town sedan

    Yep, no laying frame unless something down below broke.
  25. abe lugo
    Joined: Nov 8, 2002
    Posts: 2,106

    abe lugo

    Messy welding that held up for 50+ years until some expert welder/shop came in to make it period correct perfect welding.
    How the hell did it holdup for 50 plus years in service?
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2019
  26. Fortunateson
    Joined: Apr 30, 2012
    Posts: 2,300


    What gets me is the posing by some of younger crowd looking more like a bunch of bikers than hot rodders. What I remember is not the tattoed crowd of today but somewhat average young guys who were into cars.
  27. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 43,177


    Safety was about the last thing on any hot rodder's mind....
  28. Mr48chev
    Joined: Dec 28, 2007
    Posts: 25,382


    That got out of hand and off base real quick.
    Best thing is if you want to go perod correct for a certain time frame is buy magazines that were printed in that time frame or a bit before. In those days what was the hot lick in California rodding circles this year became the hot lick in other parts of the country a year or two later. No internet, no car shows on TV and the magazines had a three or four month lead time if not six months between an event and the time it came out. You read about the Indy 500 in October or November in Hot Hot rod and Bonneville after the first of the next year.

    The main thing about period correct is that absolutely nothing from after that period. If you are building a mild custom to look like what was done in 53/53 you can't have 57 Caddy hubcaps or 59 Caddy bullets.
    No one except old farts that didn't have grand kids into cars and maybe a few groups that thought bolting on doo dads had a visor and no one with a Kustom did. Look through every page of Riks Custom Chronicles and no visors on old builds. That came with Lowrider magazine and the East La Boma cars in it.
    White wall width on customs was in direct relation to what was running on new cars on the showroom floor at that time. Late 50's early 60's builds didn't have super wide white walls, those were left for the old classics that were real classics.
    Before the mid 60's there weren't too many street cars with mag type wheels except some high end dual purpose race/street cars for the most part. Guys around town that had them usually had a great daddy donator or were a bit older with one hell of a good job. In 1965 at the high school I went to only one guy had mag wheels on his car. He had traded his knock your socks off 57 Chevy for a 65 Chevelle SS hardtop 327/4 speed black with red interior and put Cragers on it the first week he had it. Daddy' money.
    Patina only meant the look of the butt rubbed seat of your grand dad's saddle that he had faithfully saddle soaped and leather treated for the past 50 years. It showed the wear from a lot of hours in the saddle but no sign of neglect as it was always hauled in and repaired if it needed it. Patina wasn't in car guy's vocabulary but "looks like shit" certainly was. The exception was purpose built race cars that had every dollar spent on going fast and little or none on looking good. Those were usually guys on tight budgets though.
    Primer spots were a badge of honor while building a custom. You got the hood nosed and the spot primed, after saving enough money you had the headlights frenched and again more primer, More money saved and the local body guy welded up or leaded the holes where you had removed trim for so much a hole. Then you had it decked and had the tail lights done if that was in the plan. An older friend of mine in town that passed away years ago ran a body shop in town and did a a bit part of the mild custom work done in town. He probably nosed and decked 500 cars over the years, I think he sent a friend of mine into financial ruin filling the holes where he had removed the chrome trim on the car. In the mid 60's if you had it all sanded right and washed up clean so he just had to wipe it down. I would shoot your car with black primer for 10 bucks. I think you had to buy your own tape and mask it yourself though. When his son was in high school he shot a lot of those 10 buck primer jobs.
  29. Maybe this will explain it.
    Between 1959 and 1963, I had three cars. The first was a 1939 Ford Standard Coupe. I liked the style, and the only upgrade I made, was to install a later mild flattie. The paint job was original and clean, there was no primer on the car. Stock wheels, painted, black wall tires. There were a lot of repairs done to the car, such as rebuilding trannys, and I did a lot of learning
    The second one, was a 34 Ford 1/2 ton. On this one, I went all the way with a 4 inch chop, 5 inch channel, dropped axle, and a shortened bed. It was full fendered, and sported a 53 Olds, with 56 heads, hydra-matic, and Olds rear end on the transverse spring. All the work was done by myself, outside in my back yard. It was stolen before it was painted.
    The third, was a 47 Chev Coupe, that was started by a friend. I swapped in a 54 Buick 322 nailhead, 3 spd, and Buick rear end with the closed driveshaft. This car was eventually nosed, decked, door handles removed, had 53 Ford frenched headlights, and was painted. Before I sold the car to a friend, I also installed 57 Corvette tail lights and chrome, reversed Buick rims on all four corners, but even that was done 2 wheels at a time. The interior was stock, but clean. I loved the car, it hauled, and would not have sold it, except I needed the money to pay my university tuition and got an offer I couldn't refuse.
    My point in all this, is that back then, we got all our information from the magazines, or from our personal experience but the hobby was growing fast. I did all my own work, but I did get advice from a friend that was a bodyman, and after thinking something through, I wasn't afraid to get into it . My only training was, a correspondence automotive course, a farm mechanics course, where I learned welding and blacksmithing, and a part time job at a welders supply store, which gave me access to the welder and torches I needed. The two guys that ran the store were outstanding, and I learned a ton from them.
    I lived in a small town of 10,000 people in the middle of BC, and the closest drag strip was Deer Park in Spokane. We had a tight club, and we supported each other when it came to helping on projects.
    We ran what we could afford, and there were no chrome or fancy wheels in the early days. About half of the guys had their car painted. some were four doors, it didn't matter. It was all about enjoying the hobby together.
    There was no right way or wrong way to build something. We might have kidded someone for doing a customizing on something that looked like hell, but ironically, a lot of the times they really liked what they had done and sometimes were choked that we didn't agree. Everyone's tastes are different. The only time we came down on somebody, was when we felt that something was unsafe.
    It was a wonderful time, when anything seemed possible.
    76 in a month and still a hotrodder
  30. rudestude
    Joined: Mar 23, 2016
    Posts: 2,094


    Your pretty much getting some good answers of how it was ....but I still can't quite figure out I guess the bases of this thread , if it's just to here some of the guys talk about the way it was for the purpose of helping them,us, keep our memories sharp.or is it for the purpose of getting a history lesson on Hot Rodding then and now, because you do not have access to old Hot Rod magazine's, or Hot Rod related movie's, and now days with the internet it's all right don't even have to hit the streets hang out in the shops or gas stations were the Hot Rodders hung out ,get your hands dirty digging through old Wrecking yards for the parts to put your Hot Rod together like we did back in the day..that's when it was fun , crazy ,good times you just grabbed life by the balls at went for it , one Hot Rodding weekend at a time....its great to here the story's from the ones that have lived it , but the ones that have not ,you never will, and it would help if you brushed up on some of the past so you could understand what the guys are talking about , and yes it could be that maybe some of us could learn a few things so we could under stand what the new generation is talking about....ya I don't see that happening.

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