Register now to get rid of these ads!

Motion Pictures Remember Customizing Your First Car?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Jive-Bomber, Jan 17, 2023.

  1. Jive-Bomber
    Joined: Aug 21, 2001
    Posts: 3,622


    Jive-Bomber submitted a new blog post:

    Remember Customizing Your First Car?


    Continue reading the Original Blog Post
  2. Roothawg
    Joined: Mar 14, 2001
    Posts: 23,556


    I remember starting on my 36 when I was 12. It took me 5 years to build it. We had basic hand tools, an oxy acetylene setup and a Montgomery Ward arc welder. This latest rendition tells me I had no idea what I was doing. I will have to undo a lot of my solutions....
  3. Vividly, 1954 Ford sedan, the car had a inline six & 3 on the tree and was purchased from the original owner that babied the car and probably never drove it over 50 mph, a certain 16 year old that will remain nameless but you already know the name, the kid with a size 12 shoe managed to spin a main bearing 2 days into ownership.

    The next step, my granddad's next door neighbor was a high school student and a hot rodder helped me repair the bearing in my grandad's front yard, that repair lasted a few days and the writing was on the wall, my first engine swap was going to be a reality, again my granddad went with me to a local wrecking yard and and a decision was made to use a 390 and automatic transmission from a '62 Ford.

    Again Darris, my granddad's neighbor helped me install and fabricate mounts and make it drivable, I bought a set of chrome wheels and two weeks later I totaled the car. HRP
  4. DDDenny
    Joined: Feb 6, 2015
    Posts: 17,011

    from oregon

    Does hacking holes with a borrowed jig saw constitute "customizing"?
    My first car was a black 61 Impala Sport Sedan that I bought in 1969, I was only fifteen and only had my learners permit. It was mostly stock, just had some black painted five spokes and a nice rake due to the previous owner installed Gabriel HiJacker air shocks.
    The only "customizing" by me was immediately replacing the grandma column shifter with a Hurst Syncro-Loc shifter and putting speakers in the doors, and I bet I went through a dozen saw blades doing it.
    I think the next owner had a bigger hand in customizing it than me though!

    Lloyd's paint & glass likes this.

  5. Koz
    Joined: May 5, 2008
    Posts: 2,547


    Pop bought me a '39 Ford tudor for my 13th birthday. I proceeded to work it into my version of "El Matador" using whatever I could get my hands on. I had more than a little learning to go but it was fun. The best part was the attempted top chop. That's when I found out a tub was cool enough.... Followed by the worlds ugliest Carson type top. If you look at my Vicky build I don't think I've improved in 60 years.
    Lloyd's paint & glass likes this.
  6. BamaMav
    Joined: Jun 19, 2011
    Posts: 6,022

    from Berry, AL

    That was probably filmed in Alabama. If you notice the semi truck making the turn in the first few minutes, it is an Avondale Mills truck, a large cotton processing operation centered in Birmingham AL with other locations in AL, GA, and SC. The tag on one of the cars looks to be an 1958 AL tag, 11 prefix, Calhoun county, where Anniston and Gadsden are located, also where Avondale had a mill in that area.
  7. Gahrajmahal
    Joined: Oct 14, 2008
    Posts: 476


    I shaved the side trim on my second car ( I had completed my junior year of auto body repair). When I graduated and bought a new car I frenched the antenna in the fender causing my folks to have a cow.
    Lloyd's paint & glass likes this.
  8. 327Eric
    Joined: May 9, 2008
    Posts: 1,854

    from Diablo Ca.

    Ahh, my first Kustom, a one owner 59 Ranchero back in 96 or so. Pulled the emblems off the rear quarter panel, good and tailgate, a couple whacks with a ball pern hammer, and some all metal filler, no Bondo for this kid, and she was nosed and decked. Tossed the rare emblems in the trash for good measure. Spray bombed it in flat black, with a red accent along the side trim, ala the A G. 58 Impala. Also found a set of 4 bar hubcaps at the local junkyard Sold her later to a guy who wanted to restore her, hope he did. Not the first car I modified by any means, but my first customized, as slapping on wheels, headers, intakes etc was not customizing to me, just making it faster. No, uh, better looking, no, more comfortable, no, better stero, no sound better, no, louder, yes, I accomplished that, my ears are still ringing.
  9. Well my first car was a Brit sedan. The total extent of the "customizing" was red liquid window tint from JC Whittney. LOL

    My second car now that was a different story (1958 Buick Roadmaster hard top). I hand painted the top part of the engine (rustoleum) red white and blue. Rockers covers, intake, and pulleys. Some of the red bled into the white so there was some pink goin on there. LOL Junkyard chrome air cleaner and breathers.

    Blue Naugahyde upholstery. Stitched by me and my girl friend's dad (he was a baptist preacher and stitcher). Big n littles on stock rims 9.00x15 rear and 7.00x15 fronts. Heated front springs.

    The rest was all motor work. Sig Erson cam and carb work mostly.

    That is the short list and that car was fun on steroids.
    Tim likes this.
  10. DDDenny
    Joined: Feb 6, 2015
    Posts: 17,011

    from oregon

    So, he really was a " man of the cloth"!
    J. A. Miller, Tim and Roothawg like this.
  11. LOL yup. Or a man of the rubberized cloth. :D
    Tim likes this.
  12. wicarnut
    Joined: Oct 29, 2009
    Posts: 8,801


    Like it was yesterday, Funny now I can't hardly remember what I did last week. In 1965/6 a senior in high school. I repaired some rust areas, typical Wi. car, I removed various trim, nosed, decked, made taillight lenses, I painted it in the driveway and learned about block sanding as I had to repaint below side trim after much more filling and block sanding. I changed out the interior and top with junkyard parts, painted the dash with candy blue lacquer, cracked, spiderwebbed in the winter, looked kool, All in all I was pretty proud of it.
    RJP likes this.
  13. goldmountain
    Joined: Jun 12, 2016
    Posts: 3,916


    My first custom wasn't even a car. It was a motorcycle. A 1961 BSA A10, 650cc. It was with great trepedation, I cut off the back end and grafted on the hardtail section from an old Triumph. After realizing that there was no turning back after a major cut like that, that later chopping up of projects wasn't so intimidating.
  14. seb fontana
    Joined: Sep 1, 2005
    Posts: 7,804

    seb fontana
    from ct

    My first car at 14 was a 48 Crosley panel truck that had been rolled over couple times blowing all the windows out except in the rear door. Ran so I drove it through the fields, man that car was fast..o_O Shook the body to death because of damage by the roll over so I customized it by taking the body off the frame and keeping the bucket seats. Got no clue how I mounted the seats. Was really fast then! Well at least the engine seemed fast, would rpm quite high. I thought I would build a small sports car so I made a dropped frame and had a roller. I was rebuilding the engine so roller was in the barn and someone took the trans and rear end. My mom got money [whole $105.00] from home owners insurance but wouldn't give me the money:mad:. So things stalled until I found a Crosley 47 sedan for $25.00 with only 42k miles. Don't know where the hell I got the money from. Only customized the engine in that one, 8k was not a problem. Funny Mom wouldn't get in it.:confused:
  15. 210superair
    Joined: Jun 23, 2020
    Posts: 1,625

    from Michigan

    That was awesome. I was born in the wrong Era. Or I died young back then and was born again? Lol.
  16. krylon32
    Joined: Jan 29, 2006
    Posts: 8,452

    Alliance Vendor
    from Nebraska

    1962 and I had my first car , a 53 Chevy BelAir 2 dr hrdtp. The first thing I did was and old fashioned lowering job with a hot wrench. Then a local man had a 2 carb intake and split exhaust manifold which went right on, dual exhaust with no mufflers (so cool) Next was a Fenton floor shifter. Then I found one of those stainless hood center strips/bull noses and removed the bird. Filled the emblem holes in the trunk and hood and the antenna hole in the front fender and installed an antenna in the back fender. I had a local shop spot in the paint on the filled areas. Finally a set of Lancers. My senior year in high school and I thought it was cool. Sadly I see that car every day resting in a local junk yard where it has been since the late 60's. I've tried to buy it several times but the owner doesn't like me so that will never happen. It has now fallen into a state of deterioration so it would take to much money to save.
  17. jnaki
    Joined: Jan 1, 2015
    Posts: 7,771



    It was 1956 and I was 12. My brother was so fixated at age 15 that he had saved enough to buy his first car. The car was a Pale Yellow 1951 Oldsmobile Two Door Sedan. Everyone was laughing at him for buying his first car at age 15. But, his friend already had a 34 Ford 5 window with an Oldsmobile motor, so he wanted a coupe, also. But he realized the coupe was limiting in how many friends he could take when cruising around. The sedan could hold at least 5, 4 being optimal. 6 in a pinch. But the 34 coupe? Two at best…
    upload_2023-1-18_4-12-33.png slight hint of yellow...
    Almost about a year ago, this photo was posted in the HAMB. After about a week or so of the original ownership, the Pale Yellow 51 Oldsmobile Sedan started looking the same. My brother had enough money to get some side Lake Pipes and borrowed a set of 3 prong flipper hubcaps from a friend. He did not lower it at the time. He just wanted the items that were “custom” for the times. The upholstery looked brand new, so he kept it. The whitewall tires stayed as it was the “look” of a custom car in 1956.
    In addition, some chrome stuff was added to the motor. It was still stock and fast for a big sedan. When he had saved more money, he cut the front coils for a 2 inch drop… why 2 inches? A couple of his older friends had 2 inch cut coils. So, his car instantly had the rake in front and now, had to go slowly over the intersection dip near our house and into our driveway. Otherwise, the bottom or something down there would scrape.

    The one thing he had to get rid of was the long chrome side pipes because they were too low and scraped almost everything, everywhere. Our driveway was bad enough and so was the nearby intersection dips. But, it was the entrance and the exit to the popular drive-in in Bixby Knolls that caused the most trouble. Sideways at an angle and ever so slowly was the key, and even then, the lowered stance scrapped something.

    The chrome side pipes were sold to a friend whose car was not lowered. Now, my brother put on opening caps for the down tube exhaust pipes as they were connected to the long side under the door lakes pipes of the Oldsmobile Sedan.

    Finally, he got some Moon Discs for the fast look for this big sedan. In 1957 fall season, he painted the car a Lime Green and then sold it to a friend, for that teen’s first car. I was not the owner of the Oldsmobile sedan, it was my brother's car. but, it was me that became the caretaker at will, so i could get rides to where i wanted to go for my activities.

    I did a lot of maintenance and constant polishing/detail work almost weekly. My brother had this thing about a clean car. So, I did the "free" work and reaped the benefits tailored to my wants. I assumed that in several years, this Oldsmobile sedan could be my first car as my brother would move on to the next phase of his car endeavors.
    During this time, we bought an old non-running Model A coupe. We towed it home, spent the next week getting it to run and drove it around the block plenty of times. I did not have my license as yet, but my brother allowed me to drive it all over the neighborhood. It was his way of paying me back for the work I did on his 51 Oldsmobile Sedan and helping with the Model A coupe.

    Sitting on the driveway of our house was a new black 58 Impala with a 348 and a 3 speed stick shift. The first future car for me was now gone, the second car, Model A was also gone. Now, my brother could cruise, do his thing at Lion’s Dragstrip and be competitive against his friend in the 34 coupe. My choices of my possible first car went out of the window with those two cars going away.


    So, besides customizing countless model cars with our own color and accessories borrowed from other model car builds, this was the first attempt at a teenage hot rod cruiser and the custom look from 1956 to late 57 in a real car.
    The teenage friend from back in our old Westside of Long Beach neighborhood bought and used the lowered Oldsmobile sedan for many years. Now, over 81 years old, when asked where that 51 Oldsmobile is today, he had no idea, but sold it to a kid from Lakewood, CA.

    Note 2:
    The Oldsmobile Sedan was supposed to be my first car, but it got away. So, by chance, I was surprised that I was able to do the same maintenance thing with the 58 Chevy Impala. Unexpectedly, I got to be the driver and then owner of the car that took me through high school, sharing it with our mom. Will wonders ever cease???
    wicarnut likes this.
  18. My first car was more sheet metal repair than alteration. But it was a good teaching experience. It clearly showed me I had neither the patience nor the temperament for any type of body work. A lesson I learned early and still practice to this day.
  19. Bearing Burner
    Joined: Mar 2, 2009
    Posts: 1,039

    Bearing Burner
    from W. MA

    I had a '53 Studebaker Coupe. Removed Chrome piece around rear license plate installed number plate
    into bumper. Boy are bumpers tough. Electric doors and 9 tooth 54 Chevy grill wit side openings o f grill closed in.
  20. V8 Bob
    Joined: Feb 6, 2007
    Posts: 2,874

    V8 Bob

    This 6 cyl. 3 speed '54 was my 1st car I bought just before my 16th birthday in '62. By '63 it was nosed, decked, simplified grill and bumpers, dual straight pipes, reversed shackles, floor shift conversion, and fresh paint. These pics were taken late '64 after I had removed the '56 Olds spinners and tail light lenses just prior to selling. Had many good times with this car through high school!
    The V8 emblems came with the replaced dog house I installed after an accident. I fooled many with the straight-piped 6, and won some races!

    upload_2023-1-18_12-18-18.jpeg upload_2023-1-18_12-51-46.jpeg
  21. Deuce Daddy Don
    Joined: Apr 27, 2008
    Posts: 5,428

    Deuce Daddy Don

    My first attempt in 1949 MY FIRST CAR.jpg
  22. wicarnut
    Joined: Oct 29, 2009
    Posts: 8,801


    by wicarnut posted Jan 20, 2014 at 5:46 PM[/GALLERY] !967/8 I did not build this, I traded a Pontiac Bonneville ragtop for it, a beautiful car it was. Sadly it was totaled by the kid that bought it from me, everytime he talked to me he kept raising his offer till I could not say no, what a conversation piece it would be today.

Share This Page

Register now to get rid of these ads!


Copyright © 1995-2021 The Jalopy Journal: Steal our stuff, we'll kick your teeth in. Terms of Service. Privacy Policy.

Atomic Industry
Forum software by XenForo™ ©2010-2014 XenForo Ltd.