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Hot Rods what age did you have to give up building hot rods?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by drptop70ss, Feb 19, 2017.

  1. drptop70ss
    Joined: May 31, 2010
    Posts: 1,085

    from NY

    Serious question. For those who are basically healthy at what age did you have to give up full on car builds do to the physical work being too hard? I am almost 50 :) and have been wrenching on stuff since I was 10 years old, cars since I was 17. It is an obsession and I have multiple projects always in progress, full on frame off builds with mild fabrication as needed. I wonder how many good years I have left until I will not be able to do it. I am hoping to still be able to do it at 70 but of course I have no idea. Anyone close to 70 or older still doing full builds?
  2. I will be 70 in July and I have not reached the end. I, however, can see it from here.
  3. Fordors
    Joined: Sep 22, 2016
    Posts: 1,379


    Well the first time I gave up was when I was 18. I had bought a channeled '32 Cabriolet a year earlier, finally realized I had no tools, garage or enough skills so I traded it to a friend. BTW, my dad never had a car, ever!
    I will be 68 next month and not ready to quit again yet.
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  4. Check out my friend John, the "Tin Geezer". He is still going strong at 74!
  5. DDDenny
    Joined: Feb 6, 2015
    Posts: 10,529

    from oregon

    Waaay too young, 34 years old.
    Haven't thrown in the towel yet cuz I have three major and long term projects that are still unfinished. If I was to put a time frame on when I slowed down it was in 1988 when I blew out my left shoulder and long story short I've had eight shoulder surgeries (right and left).
    As well as Carpal Tunnel surgery on both hands and two neck surgeries, one being a fusion, have all contributed to projects being put on hold at various stages.
  6. Funny - I ask the older guys at the swap meets mostly - good for conversation and you get to know a little about folks. I'm passing 60 now and have about a dozen or so I'd like to at least get finished/painted but hell they're drivers and what the heck I like a good driver !
  7. 68 and I'm not EVEN ready to toss in the towel. I can't imagine not building cars. Aside from a little back surgery, I'm fairly healthy and can still lift a muncie into place.
  8. Mr48chev
    Joined: Dec 28, 2007
    Posts: 23,803


    At 70 I have slowed down but hopefully there will not be a "have to give it up" time. My mom's 90 and still gardens,drives herself and lives on her own so that is a good sign. She split her own firewood up though last year but decided electric heat worked pretty good this year.
    It's the aches and pains from banging myself up over the years that slow me down more than age though. Shoulder still sore from being dislocated a few years ago and then banged up in a fall and a wreck, left hand banged up a bit and I am left handed so that slows me down.
    One thing I have found on working on hot rods or customs over the years is that when it becomes work or a drudge to work on your own rig it's time to take a break. If it is fun for one, two or three or more hours a day before it becomes work or a chore that is how long you stay at it that day. I spent too many years thinking that I had to accomplish X amount of work in a days time no matter if it took six or sixteen hours and probably burned myself out in that time period. Now it's more about doing it right than how much I get done today.
  9. John Stimac
    Joined: Jan 15, 2008
    Posts: 445

    John Stimac

    I'll be 73 in July, and I'm really starting to feel it. I've got stenosis working hard in my shoulder and back, and I struggle to do what I did 5 years ago. I deligate a little more now, but do body and paint work yet. I will never give up, and may possibly have to be carried out.
  10. You are only as old as you think, so don't cut yourself short. ;)
    I know one guy in FL who is 75 and has 4 full on builds going at once in his shop at home.
    A '32 Roadster Pick-up, a '32 3 window, a '34 Roadster Pick-up, and a '33 Phaeton.
    Donuts & Peelouts and Kan Kustom like this.
  11. Bandit Billy
    Joined: Sep 16, 2014
    Posts: 4,423

    Bandit Billy

    About 25 years from now. Lets get on with it while we are young!!
    Donuts & Peelouts and LOU WELLS like this.
  12. I just turned 72 still going at it .
    Donuts & Peelouts likes this.
  13. 56sedandelivery
    Joined: Nov 21, 2006
    Posts: 5,154


    65 years old, NINE spinal surgeries, a carpal tunnel procedure, and peripheral neuropathy. 32 years in healthcare as an X-Ray/CAT Scan Tech; that's what really beat me up. I still do everything I always did, it just takes longer, and I pay for it physically for days afterwards. I always said the Grim Reaper was going to have a fight on his hands when it came time for him to drag me away; now I think I'll just shoot him . Putting together an OT drag car that will be my last full on car project. I tried to get my nephew interested in my hobby and have someone to help me out, and he did fine until he was forced to start his own aerospace machine shop, then he had no time for anything. I am Butch/56sedandelivery.
  14. mgtstumpy
    Joined: Jul 20, 2006
    Posts: 6,172


    58 and slower now due to a shoulder reconstruction, the mind is still willing however the flesh is starting to get weak. A bad back doesn't help either nor does carpal tunnel in both hands :(:(
  15. hotrodyankee
    Joined: Jun 27, 2016
    Posts: 304


    At 66, still doing it. Would not be happy doing anything else, it just take a little longer to do, but we still do it. I think its because we have "gas" in our blood!
    Afrodizzyak47 likes this.
  16. mnjeff
    Joined: Oct 17, 2006
    Posts: 58


    IMG_0784.JPG All things will end...I am understanding that more and more as I age. But I have a twenty year old heart in a 61 year old body, and it gets me in trouble. The problem is not desire, I am gathering parts to swap a baby nailhead into my bugeye sprite, and am so pumped I can't sleep, the problem is that the bod cannot keep up with the brain anymore. As I sit here in a sling, recovering from rotator cup surgery, I am thinking the Healey and my 49 Nash are gonna be it, keeping these and the Willys running should keep me engaged in the life without having a monster project in the works. I also believe it is important to make my work easier, buy the frickin hoist, farm out a little of the nasty work, get a hand when I gotta move a frame or lift something heavy. Tough stuff for a guy like me who took pride in doing everything himself, but beats the piss out of paying the surgeon.....
  17. joee
    Joined: Oct 9, 2009
    Posts: 470


    i'm 71 and I've learned to slow down and work smart not hard
  18. MidwestOldie
    Joined: Jul 7, 2016
    Posts: 59


    No where near the effort some of you put into cars. But issues have created a slowdown on ALL projects, easy stuff becomes a challenge. Too dumb and stubborn to quit.
  19. tubman
    Joined: May 16, 2007
    Posts: 3,793


    I'll be 75 in a couple of months. A couple of years ago, I would have said I could go on forever, but now, I can see the end coming in a year or two. Even now, I find myself "puttering" rather than actually building a lot of the time. Somebody is going to end up with some nice projects some day.
  20. I was 75 in Nov '16...and I have started a '30 A coupe project...Going to try to fast-track this one , so I have some time to drive it..
  21. I just turned 62 last week and I'm doing well despite a major heart attack and bypass last October. My plumbing is new and I feel good. I was in good shape prior to the HA, I'm sort of a gym rat since 2009. This is key to be able to keep going. Get out and move! I still do the heavy work despite a back injury that will either result in a fusion or will have a pain pump installed. I hoard up my pain medication for when I have a big task to do. I was helping a buddy with his car yesterday, today I pay the price but have all week to recover.
    wicarnut and cheyennesuper74 like this.
  22. The37Kid
    Joined: Apr 30, 2004
    Posts: 24,500


    I'm 66 just spent two hours on the Steelback yesterday, just got in the mood to work on it. It would be nice to see the body in primer, and see the finished chop, and slam the doors shut, but I just can't see any reason to push myself. I've got a great picture in my head of the finished car, turning that image into reality just isn't a pressing thing with me. Bob
    LOU WELLS likes this.
  23. Dad is 71 I am 47 and my son is 9. He is in a full on teardrop build and just this weekend we were discussing the next mountainbike ride we all take. Age is what you make of it.
    Max Gearhead, tfeverfred and clunker like this.
  24. jetnow1
    Joined: Jan 30, 2008
    Posts: 1,158

    from CT
    1. A-D Truckers

    My girlfriends father is in his late 70's and just rebuilt the power windows in his 46 Lincoln . I am 63
    and am finishing building a garage so I hope to be at it long enough to justify all this work. I did get
    help from my 64 year old buddy putting the roof rafters up though!
    Afrodizzyak47 likes this.
  25. wicarnut
    Joined: Oct 29, 2009
    Posts: 2,169


    Enjoy it and go until YOU decide its time for YOU, every one is different, an observation I have made is around 70, most guys slow down, stop the complete builds among the few true builders I have known. The positive of aging is being here, life is good, the negative is aging, health issues catch up with you. My hat's off to my fellow seniors that are still trucking along, building, BUT IMO you did'nt/don't have to be a true builder to enjoy the Hobby, Everyone Have a Great Day !
  26. firstinsteele
    Joined: Jun 13, 2013
    Posts: 774


    I am eighty. Just replaced the engine in my avatar with a "hopped up" one I did. Not quite a hot rod, but will it do?

  27. 29moonshine
    Joined: Dec 30, 2006
    Posts: 1,178


    i am 67 just finnish a full re skin on a nova. have 2 friends that are 10 yrs older than me. one just finnished chopping and repainting a 50 merc. the other one just started to rebuild a 54 merc conv. they keep me going [if you do not think about your age you do not feel it]
    LOU WELLS likes this.
  28. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 40,850


    A friend of mine is 81, and still at it...although he seems to not get them done any more, like he did 10 years ago.

    I keep hoping I'll get smart, and not want to take on big projects, one of these years. But there are just so many fun ideas kicking around in my noggin.
  29. Kan Kustom
    Joined: Jul 20, 2009
    Posts: 2,103

    Kan Kustom

    I have given it up on a regular basis for several years now . Depends on the day. Don't have a clue if or when I might really give it up but probably when I have no choice.
    wicarnut likes this.

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