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Projects Rod or Restore?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by ROUSHGT, Jul 27, 2010.

    Joined: Jun 10, 2010
    Posts: 16


    I recently acquired a 1935 Terraplane Special 5 W Coupe which is in incredible shape after being in storage for about 50 years. The body sheet metal is perfect ( just pinholes in running boards ) so either way not much to do.

    However, plans for the ROD will require making some mods that will be difficult to reverse. ( ie Fatman IFS, firewall set back etc. EFI motor )

    If all is done right, do you think that this car will be more valueable in 15 years as an original or a street rod. Either way, it will be a quality build!

    Comments please!

    Doug :confused:
  2. screwball
    Joined: Mar 5, 2001
    Posts: 1,761


    rod it. Would make a cool tail dragin kustom . If you are building just to sell paint it red go buy street rodder magazine get out you credit card and call 1-800.
  3. Phil1934
    Joined: Jun 24, 2001
    Posts: 2,717


    Just adding a pic

    Attached Files:

  4. Oldmanolds
    Joined: Jan 16, 2006
    Posts: 930


    Hell, up-dated restore, then drive the crap out of it. Rare car nice score!

  5. rexrogers
    Joined: Sep 18, 2007
    Posts: 1,033


    If the car is great shape, you might consider working with what you have lowering the stock suspension. i am not sure what or if any speed parts are available to the motor. work with what you have every one likes the barn find type rods and you could have the car back on the road a lot sooner than a complete rebuild, drive it around that way for a few years get a feel for it then decide if it needs a complete build up.
  6. GlenC
    Joined: Mar 21, 2007
    Posts: 757


    Why do you have to cut the firewall or install an IFS front end? Drop the beam axle, lower the springs, measure up the engine bay and go looking for a suitable engine that will fit in it without cutting. If they can get something like an SBC under the bonnet of a Model A without butchering the firewall you should be able to fit a decent engine in that bay no worries. It was originally an inline 6 wasn't it? Bolt the engine mounts in too, don't cut up the chassis if you don't have to.

    Cheers, Glen.
  7. flynbrian48
    Joined: Mar 10, 2008
    Posts: 7,286


    Are you planning on it taking 15 years to build? I look at value as what I get from building and how it performs and suits our needs (wants?) when finished. What do you expect from it?

  8. Little Terry
    Joined: Oct 17, 2007
    Posts: 537

    Little Terry

    I've managed to rod my '41 chevy without doing anything to it that can't be reversed:
    Drop tube front axle on lowered springs
    235 chevy 6 with some shiny hop-up parts
    12 bolt rear on the stock springs and with lowering blocks
    T5 box using a bolt-in crossmember

    I have all the original parts in a pile awaiting refurb and then storage.


    Like Glen says, why does it have to be IFS and EFI? I've got a better ride and handling, better brakes, more power and overdrive whilst keeping it pretty trad and without cutting the body.

    If I had cut it up and dropped in an IFS etc I know I would live to regret it. But that's just me.

    Good luck with the project anyway and keep us up to date with whatever path you take.

  9. Phil1934
    Joined: Jun 24, 2001
    Posts: 2,717


  10. I like the old saying,,"Anyone can restore a car it takes a real man to cut one up"...

    If you are thinking that far ahead and about what it will be worth,,find a main stream car,,1935 Terraplane's have never been a car in demand,

    They do however make cool rods and you won't pass yourself often.

    My suggestion is to build it only if you like it and don't worry about years down the road,,,none of us know what the future or economy holds. HRP
  11. yeah i agree dont go all ifs and efi you might want to think about simple mods to hot rod then later you can always put to original if need be.because you dont know who you will be selling it to yet
  12. zman
    Joined: Apr 2, 2001
    Posts: 16,594

    from Garner, NC

    How about building a traditional mild custom out of it?
  13. Weasel
    Joined: Dec 30, 2007
    Posts: 6,693


    If it were mine I would resto rod (no cutting up anything) it if I wanted to drive it and would not cut up anything. If I restored it I would not want to drive it with all the cellphone yakking, fast food eating, newspaper reading, make up on putting, uninsured inattentivos around here.

    If I worried about what my stuff is worth 15 years down the road I'd never touch anything - hell this whole hobby may be outlawed by then and all of us will be sitting on unsaleable cars. Build it and enjoy it while you still can, and worry about the value when you come to sell it....
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2010
  14. I'd go resto rather than your street rod idea.
  15. Little Wing
    Joined: Nov 25, 2005
    Posts: 7,504

    Little Wing
    from Northeast

    if thats it in Phils picture,,toss a motor in and run it as is
  16. Here was my '35 Hudson - so you know what I'm going to say!!!

    Mine was just a shell when found - no where near as nice as yours.

    I say was well-built and tastfully done hot rod will bring just as much money as a restored car and BE A LOT MORE FUN!!!!

    I'd run the stock body and trim, update the drivetrain and drive it constantly...

    Attached Files:

  17. tommy
    Joined: Mar 3, 2001
    Posts: 14,757

    Member Emeritus

    What kind of car do you want to end up with? It's a long term commitment either way you go. If your heart isn't into it, it will never get completed.

    Anybody that remembers what those cars were like when they were new is in a nursing home or dead. They are not looking for nice originals to restore. It will be much easier to sell and recoup some of your investment if it has an automatic trans etc.

    No one will ever "UNROD" the car later. It may be possible but it just won't ever happen. Don't waste any effort on that concept. I bought a 36 Ford that the owner removed the hydraulic brakes and restored a set of 36 mech. brakes. He wanted to restore it. It never got undone and I bought it because it had a 55 265 in it. That was 30 years ago!!

    If you feel guilty about it sell it.
  18. belair
    Joined: Jul 10, 2006
    Posts: 8,806


    Pretty good looking car. Who is ever going to be looking hard for a perfectly restored 1935 Hudson? Not many. If a guy wants a restored car, he/she wants a very specific car in a very specific condition before they spend the $$. On the other hand, how many folks want a mid-30s coupe, regardless of brand and to some degree, condidition? Keep the car nice and simple with a resto-rod as many have said, make a neat hot rod out of it, and screw 15 years from now.
  19. Well restored or street rodded would better taken up on either a restorers site or a street rod site.

    But here's my take on it just so you can have the hot rodders point of view. The Ol' Man always told me you don't build a rod for an investment. You will never get back what you put into it. The only way you will ever get back you investment is by enjoyment. That's pretty much how I feel about it also.

    I never worry about being able to put something back the way it was. I try and plan my mods well and when its done I let the chips fall where they may.
  20. panhead_pete
    Joined: Feb 22, 2006
    Posts: 2,820


    Street rod is your prescription. if so good luck.

    Hot rod - well you are in the right place.

    Option C.

    a) Restore
    b) Street rod
    c) Trad hot rod.

    Damn those wheels are cool - start there.
  21. Eight433
    Joined: Mar 16, 2008
    Posts: 257


    Rod it. It looks like there is quite a bit missing, even though the body is in very nice shape. As mentioned, they have never been super sought after and it will likely be worth more as a decent rod than it will be as anything less than a STELLAR resto.
  22. Read my signature. Then go for it, this is a Hot Rod web site.
  23. Mr48chev
    Joined: Dec 28, 2007
    Posts: 30,202


    As I don't look at cars for their "investment potential" I'm probably the wrong guy to answer this kind of question. From what I have seen in the past guys who worry too much about what their car is worth at resale rather than how much fun and enjoyment they can get out of it seldom drive or use the car as they are too afraid that they will reduce it's resale value by putting miles on it or having it exposed to the elements.

    I'd have to say, do it the way that you would get the most enjoyment out of it the longest and "resale value" be damned. It isn't like it was 40 years ago as now well built rods often bring a lot more money on resale than restored stock units do. The Model A Ford market proves that daily. But the Terraplane might be a hard item to sell if it was rodded simply because a lot of guys aren't going to give a lot of extra cash for an "odd rod"no matter how nice it is.

    If it were mine I'd probably do a resto rod thing with it with up grades but no wholsale changes except for drivetrain and brakes and steering.

    There should be at least one engine trans combo that can be put in without cutting the firewall. Maybe small block Ford or 304/401 AMC rather than a sbc.
    As for suspension I like the suggestion of a dropped stock axle and springs modified to drop it some more. upgrading the brakes shouldn't be a huge problem except for maybe some special machine work.
  24. Consider the other side of the coin: the restorer's club for Terraplane's is the Hudson-Essex-Terraplane Club, begun in 1959. The don't judge for originality and authenticity, they offer virtually no help for pre-WWII cars (but love their Stepdowns) and there are MANY modified (mostly marginal quality in my opinion) cars in the club. What does this tell you about your choice? HET convertibles of all years have very good value (a '34 Hudson 8 convert just sold for over $100,000) but after that the rest of the body styles honestly don't bring much today 56 years after the company merged with Nash to become American Motors. You have a great looking body style in that coupe and if you build it well, you will have a car you will enjoy and everyone will admire.
  25. Jax2A
    Joined: Apr 14, 2009
    Posts: 360


    If this is the car, I say go ahead and rod it. But since Phil1934 didn't start this thread, I don't think this is the car in question. I'd want to see the car in question first since I wouldn't rod a complete rust free original as much as I'd want to.

    EDIT: Don't know why the pic didn't come with the quote.
  26. 49ratfink
    Joined: Feb 8, 2004
    Posts: 18,137

    from California

    I'd definitly rather see that car restored that "street rodded" with a late model EFI motor.
  27. a40lover
    Joined: Dec 30, 2009
    Posts: 68


    Your car, your call, do what you want with it. IMO If all you are worryed about is resale value, maybe you're in the wrong sport. Just have fun what ever you decide.
  28. crapshoot
    Joined: Apr 25, 2005
    Posts: 690


    x4 with glen, theres no reason to put IFS in it, drop the beam drop the springs do some other cosmetic mods and drive it. to me it would have more value uncut up, as far as the suspension and fire wall goes. you limit the market as far as resale , when you cut it up too much. just my opinion :D
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2010
  29. ol gasser
    Joined: Nov 21, 2006
    Posts: 333

    ol gasser
    from here

    A true Hotrodder never asks.Yuppies who sit in a office and wear rubber gloves while building cars would ask.
  30. zzford
    Joined: May 5, 2005
    Posts: 1,823


    What kind of question is that on a hot rod site? Anyone that says restore it needs to be banished!

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