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Features Shaved drip rails

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by mikef, Mar 20, 2013.

  1. roddinron
    Joined: May 24, 2006
    Posts: 2,677


    Sure is a lot of fuss over drip rails! Well, I'm not the authority that some here seem to be, and I won't be posting any links to prove how some of you just don't get, I'll just give my opinion like it was asked for.
    First off, the four examples posted by streamliner are beautiful cars, not because the rails are removed, but because all the lines and proportions are right, and they're obviously built by skilled craftsman, but I don't think drip rails would hurt them in any way.
    Personally, I'm leaving them on the '54 Chevy that I am chopping with my own 2 hands.:rolleyes: Even though it wasn't easy, I think it looks MUCH better with them, and I'm building it to suit ME. But I promise, if you don't like them on my car, I'll be ok with it and I won't try to prove how wrong you are.
    Most cars, like the 40 coupe shown, look terrible without them , the door becomes too obvious and the quarter window looks like it's floating in space. Some cars on the other hand, look fine without them, 49/51 mercs with the right chop for example look good either way. Each car is different, and deserves study and a good eye to do it justice, not just rules to follow.
    In the end however, it's a matter of just what the original poster asked for, OPINION. Mine is (without actually seeing the car) leave them on.
  2. Well Roddinron... since you were talking about my link,I might want to let you know that the website was a reference to ME not getting it.I wouldn't tell people on their thread that they don't get it.So....just wanted to clear that up for ya.

    After reading this thread I am reassured that I don't get it.So im surely no authority on here.
  3. Emperor Chris
    Joined: Oct 9, 2007
    Posts: 469

    Emperor Chris
    from Nor Cal
    1. Upholstery

    Its preference and the type of car you are chopping/kustomizing. My current 51 Ford had them after the chop, but after long hard thought and a conversation with my buddy Sledge, I shaved them off because I am going for a an earlier style finished product. Some cars dont look right without them, but then some would say otherwise.
  4. hotrodjim
    Joined: Jul 12, 2006
    Posts: 208


  5. skyrodder
    Joined: May 7, 2005
    Posts: 1,925


    some cars look great with no drip rails, some do not, but I do like the smoothness of a 1/4 round rod welded and smoothed than the actual factory drip rail
  6. FEDER
    Joined: Jan 5, 2003
    Posts: 1,269


    My 40 Ford coupe has them removed. It looks horrible! Makes the door fit look real bad.
    Im puttin em back on. Fed
  7. GearheadsQCE
    Joined: Mar 23, 2011
    Posts: 2,801

    Alliance Vendor

    My mordor has shaved rails. It does suffer from water intrusion, which turns to ice in the Michigan Winters (and Srings and Falls)
    Keep the heat gun handy!

    Do not say OT on this forum even if it is to help out a fellow
  8. RatRoy
    Joined: Jul 9, 2008
    Posts: 372


    I really don't care if they are removed or not, my car, my drip rails, my choice. If it bothers some people,,T.S.:D

    Attached Files:

  9. All I can do is shake my head and sadly realize that traditional customs have little to no place on this website anymore:(. When guys start criticizing Jeff's car which is one of THE best examples of a current traditional build it becomes painfully apparent that divide between the few on this board that actually have some passion and understanding of traditional customs and the rest is perhaps to great to overcome.
  10. Oh for Pete's sake. Really? They are drip rails. Tradition doesn't live or die on drip rails. Were some of the "classics" without drip rails? Yes. Was every car back in the day drip rail less? No. Is Jeff's car sweet? Yes. Would I love it in my garage? Yes. Could I drive it every day in Arkansas rain or shine like I do mine? No. Does Jeff drive his every day everywhere he goes? I dunno, but I bet not. Does that make me, him or anyone else more or less passionate? No. Does that make me someone who has any less "respect" for tradition? No. I knew what most of these traditional cars were before most of you were out of diapers when no one gave a rat's tail for old do/did a whole lot of guys who like customs on this board. To get all out of sorts and throw in the towel over a set of drip rails and classify those that could take them, leave them or prefer them as Philistines is just silly. I mean really. The guy asked for opinions and it has gone past opinions into classifying folks as not cool enough, not traditional and out of touch with what's "right." Geeesh!!!

    Posted from the TJJ App for iPhone & iPad
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2013
  11. slddnmatt
    Joined: Mar 30, 2006
    Posts: 3,682


    Well said Dave.....
  12. Hotrodbuilderny
    Joined: Mar 20, 2009
    Posts: 1,646


    Your car actually looks nice without the drip rails. It's usually the chopped cars that the rear window looks like an after thought. I have seen some nice ones where they altered the back window to fit and they look good, but to many don't.
  13. HrdNox
    Joined: Mar 3, 2012
    Posts: 44

    from utah

    Wow..Never looked at drip rails as a "make or break". Whatever.....:rolleyes:
  14. jazz1
    Joined: Apr 30, 2011
    Posts: 1,498


    Left mine on as a matter of functionality,,, and there will be a heater in the truck. Don't think it matters one way or the other as I build em to please myself.

  15. roddinron
    Joined: May 24, 2006
    Posts: 2,677


    Geeze drdave, that's an awfully logical approach you're taking there, we may have to ask you to leave!:D
    The Philistines thing was a nice touch, added a bit of intellectual validity. I might have to reconsider everything I ever heard about people from Arkansas!:D:D
  16. master85
    Joined: Mar 22, 2013
    Posts: 9

    from TEXAS

    I'm keepin my rails, maaaan!
  17. Morrisman
    Joined: Dec 9, 2003
    Posts: 1,600

    from England

    I shaved 'em on my Morris, until I'd driven in the rain a few times.....

    I'd rather be dry than look cool. The novelty of looking cool wears off, getting wet doesn't.
  18. DjNeil
    Joined: Dec 29, 2011
    Posts: 210


    roadsters look better without them
  19. DjNeil
    Joined: Dec 29, 2011
    Posts: 210


    Luckily i built my Merc in 86 in England(same weather as Cayucos/San Onofre in my garage) where we remove our drip rails to prove we're real men but usually wish we hadn't.
    it's personal do what you like mate
  20. arkiehotrods
    Joined: Mar 9, 2006
    Posts: 6,542


    I like 'em on the driver's side, but shaved on the passenger side. That way I stay dry and then get to laugh at my passengers when the water hits them as they get out of the car!

    Plus I then have two looks for the price of one!

    40 years ago, as a high school student, I was into the 50s big time, the cars, the clothing, the music, the culture. My trig teacher, who was a teenager in the fifties, wrote this in my yearbook: "I suspect you are the only true blue '50's fan I know, so, as a resident of those times, I say watch out! They weren't everything they're cracked up to be!"

    As we "re-create" a certain era ('65 and older hot rods and customs), there is a tendency to define it in a way that it wasn't in reality. We interpret the past in a way that suits us in the present based upon our prejudices and preferences. The reality is that, back then, some cars had shaved drip rails and some cars didn't. Some cars looked good without them, some cars didn't. No blanket statement 50 or 60 years later is going to be an accurate representation of anything but the opinion of the person making the statement. I am enjoying this thread, though! Lots of lively opinions. No shrinking violets in this crowd!
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2013
  21. Don't be so quick to do know the tooth brush was invented in Arkansas, don't you? If had it been invented anywhere else it would have been called the teeth brush. LOL

    Really, when it comes to understanding and appreciating tradition, you gotta understand history and put it all in the context of the time and place something was done and why. Tradition without history and context is always cutting the ends off the ham before you cook it because your mom and grandmother before her did. Putting Grandma into context of the time, you learn she had to cut the ends because her pan was too small. Does that mean you can't cut the ends off the ham now? No. Cutting the ends off now, appreciating the original context, would be out of nostalgia for you grandmother and what the fixing of the ham and the time together eating it meant. That's ok. It's also ok to not cut them off and stick the ham in your bigger's still ham.

    In the case of drip rails, I'm not really for them or against them...depends on the car, the layout of the chop and how the car is going to be used. I love the looks of the original Mercs, most all of them without rails. Of course, history and context tells us that those cars were all built in southern CA, where the weather does not require drip rails even on a daily driven car, as most all of these cars were at the time. They were also built in the early 50's when the popular look at that time and particular place was still a melted butter look. So, considering that doing a chop with the rails still on is a bit trickier and more involved than slicing them off and that they weren't needed in socal anyhow as well as the melted look was in, it only makes sense for them to have been shaved. That melted look didn't last much longer than those first few years of the 50's, so pretty soon that element was no longer in the equation.

    Really, tradition wasn't respected when tradition as we refer to it was started. If it was, the Hirohata Merc would have never been built as it was. It would have been painted a singular dark color with minimal side trim and the sides would have not been as sculpted. The idea was, in part, to make an older car look newer and pretty quickly, newer was not as "melted." There was no tradition. There was newer, better, cooler, and, "hey, let's try this." I respect tradition and "the look." Heck, it's my favorite (but not only appreciated) style...evidence the direction I'm taking my own Merc. I am, however, not confined by it. If drip rails make the car more drivable and drive is what I wanna do, drip rails are gonna stay. If I can suck it up and stand some dripping water on sloshy days, I may shave them off when I change my chop to a hardtop. I might go in between and use some round rod...all depends on what looks best to me and what I can live with in the context of how I intend to use the car. I don't think any of that makes me or anyone else any less hardcore, dedicated, died in the wool or respectful of tradition. Tradition is cool, but without putting it into context of the time and place, to me it's idol worship....(and then we may as well only build muscle cars with chalk marks and all the fasteners the right finish because that is the way they are "done." ;) )
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2013
  22. Little Wing
    Joined: Nov 25, 2005
    Posts: 7,504

    Little Wing
    from Northeast

    isn't part of the drip rails purpose to hold 2 pieces of metal together ?
  23. GearheadsQCE
    Joined: Mar 23, 2011
    Posts: 2,801

    Alliance Vendor

    That Merc is Tits! And Tits are 'IN'.
  24. blowby
    Joined: Dec 27, 2012
    Posts: 7,951

    from Nicasio Ca

    I have a drip rail on the passenger side only. Symmetry is over rated.

    So, can you buy drip rail by the foot anyplace? Soft, that you can bend around a curve?
  25. afaulk
    Joined: Jul 20, 2011
    Posts: 1,191


    Sooooo...some things look good shaved, others not so much? I knew a gal in california. OK, thats for a different thread
  26. Nope. 16g, hand formed, no English wheel.
  27. metalfaber
    Joined: Feb 2, 2011
    Posts: 218

    from Nebraska

    Here is some of a 51 Merc 2 door that Perry Sr is building at our local small town shop. Not shaved, but not left on either. I believe they were swapped out for round rod , welded and smoothed. That way it still looks good, (much better imho) is somewhat functional but doesn't have the negatives of a stock one.



    You can see more pictures at if you are interested. Not a complete build album as the camera was the last thing on his mind when Perry was working away.
  28. Pat Pryor
    Joined: May 28, 2007
    Posts: 1,877

    Pat Pryor

    I want to put drip rails on my 06 f150. If your a smoker you will understand.
    drip rails always look better.
  29. All jokes aside,if the car is a hardtop or is "hardtopped" by customizing, the fact that it's drip rails are shaved off is not even noticable......
    because it therefore STILL,has =CONTINUITY=.....

    Then on the other hand.....If It is on a sedan where the door top is the focus of all attention, then abruptly it all ends when the quarter window is not surrounded or accented if you will,by the shape of the drip rails contours above that glass.
  30. This has been the most educational thread I have EVER seen on this site.

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