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Projects So, let's play a game. Best hot rod or custom for a daily driver?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Roothawg, May 18, 2020.

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  1. Roothawg
    Joined: Mar 14, 2001
    Posts: 19,875

    Roothawg
    Member

    The only con to the 55-64 that I can think of is the roller bearings in the rear axle. They are $100 a pop, but that's a one time purchase.
     
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  2. Moriarity
    Joined: Apr 11, 2001
    Posts: 18,573

    Moriarity
    SUPER MODERATOR
    Staff Member

    because our dmv's were closed and the post office lost my mail in request for lic tabs for my daily. I drove my off topic 66 ss396 chevelle to work for 2 weeks. 85 mile round trip per day. It was a pleasure, 454 4 speed 3.42 gears, goodyear polyglas gt bias plies. 75 mph no problem. Just so my vote will be on topic. I would say a 64-65 chevelle or elcamino. these cars drive like a dream
     
  3. Roothawg
    Joined: Mar 14, 2001
    Posts: 19,875

    Roothawg
    Member

    Don't make me call a moderator.....
     
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  4. Moriarity
    Joined: Apr 11, 2001
    Posts: 18,573

    Moriarity
    SUPER MODERATOR
    Staff Member

    haha I picked a 64-65, same car little different body
     
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  5. As a home owner my daily needs to be a working vehicle. The best I've found was my trusty ol 50 chevy sedan delivery. Purchased as a rusted out parts car, it was missing everything! I needed it to haul stuff but also to be cool so I left the suspension pretty original with an updated [54 chevy] steering box and 54 brakes. It came with an orange brush painted 4 door parts car which helped. Built a 406 chevy, used a vega saginaw 4 speed and a 2.29 10 bolt rear end. The thing was great as a street car with the 3.50 1st gear and it'd cruise at 80 MPH with the tall geared rear.
    My son used it to to leave the church when he got married, I brought my 80 gallon compressor home with it and took many summer trips in it to the west coast for a class reunion, to Bonneville speed week several times...Lots of room in the back for anything you wanted. Shoulda kept it. deliveryN48chev.jpg RockysDelivery.jpg Rockysdeliveryb_4paint.jpg ROCKYSDELIVERYSAFARI.jpg
     
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  6. Well, if I still had to do a work commute, I'd want a mid-60s vehicle. Living in SW Washington, we get all sorts of weather (sometimes in one day... LOL). The main failing of the older cars is the lack of quality wiper blades these days. Trying to peer through RainX on a pitch-black night in the rain with the glare of oncoming traffic is a nightmare. Being in a northern latitude, winter commutes are in the dark both ways...
     
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  7. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 46,347

    squirrel
    Member

    Mostly. When you don't have to drive anywhere every day, things look different.

    I've usually had several vehicles to drive, none of which was "my only daily driver". A pickup truck, maybe a beater or two, perhaps something pretty fast, or good looking. And my wife's car(s) or truck.

    Most of them get "old" after a while, although some last years longer than others. There is no "best" car or truck for this, just different trade offs. At least it's fun trying different rides, and then you can stick with what you like best, at that time in your life (my tastes change a lot over time).
     
  8. jaracer
    Joined: Oct 4, 2008
    Posts: 373

    jaracer
    Member

    The best one is the one you like. When they were new they were all daily drivers.
     
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  9. <I like mine.

    Pros: cool factor, hauls my stuff, gets 19-20 mpg, parts are available.

    Cons: rides a little rough, noisy, not good in the snow, everyone wants to stop and talk about it, buy it or trade.
     
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  10. Roothawg
    Joined: Mar 14, 2001
    Posts: 19,875

    Roothawg
    Member

    But, the newest one is now 55 years old....
     
  11. Squablow
    Joined: Apr 26, 2005
    Posts: 14,456

    Squablow
    Member

    I'll second the 55-56-57 Chevy which has already been mentioned, they have nice balljoint suspensions instead of kingpins, open driveshaft makes engine and trans swaps so much easier, any part you could ever need is available new and most aren't overly pricey, they drive nice and look nice, and any modification you can dream of, has been done and documented and someone probably makes a kit for it. A wagon would be extra handy.

    Only downsides are it can be tough to buy a nice one for under 20K unless you're willing to do some work, and they're so popular, they get some hipster-hate for being too common.

    Am putting a '57 together now for just this purpose, we'll see how far off I am once it's done. Of course, nothing in Wisconsin can get driven in winter if you want it to stay nice, I don't care how much you wash it or how careful you are.
     
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  12. 57JoeFoMoPar
    Joined: Sep 14, 2004
    Posts: 4,578

    57JoeFoMoPar
    Member

    20000 miles a year is a lot of driving, which means lots of highway miles. In their factory form, I don't think really any old cars that I can think of would make a better daily driver than say, literally any vehicle made in the last 15 years.

    I know, I know... PeOpLe DrOvE tHeM dAiLy BaCk ThEn.... yes, that's true. But they didn't daily drive them in 2020 back then. That's the difference. The pandemic has only raised the speed you need to maintain to avoid being a stationary object on the highway. My morning commute in normal times was like a restrictor plate NASCAR race. Everyone is doing 80+, you've got 1-2 car lengths in front and in back of you, and if someone wipes out they're taking 3-4 cars with them. That's reality. Perhaps if you live in a part of the country with less traffic than NJ (we are the most densely populated state), it's more feasible. But having a car that can handle, stop, accelerate and carry speed is a must around here.

    The mid-50s Fords and Chevy's are fine, though for a true daily driver, I would prefer something closer to the 64 model year. I really don't think you can beat a 61-63 Impala for a true daily driver. You've got (likely) a SBC for power, readily available parts, a more modern suspension, a divorced steering box, electric wipers, all of the incidental stuff that makes the car comfortable to drive. No matter what though, I'd be swapping to an OD transmission, whether it be a 700R4 or OD manual, and converting to power disc brakes. At that point, from a mechanical stand point, you're basically at early 1980s level, which is perfectly fine for serious driving.
     
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  13. I could see myself with alot of different kinds of cars. My main problem is that over time I will get ideas that will push that rig off the daily driver path. Its happened everytime, even with my modern new car.
     
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  14. Baumi
    Joined: Jan 28, 2003
    Posts: 2,484

    Baumi
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    My daily since 2015.After 5 years and 50k miles I´d say it is the cheapest car I´ve ever owned, it drives beautifully and is dead reliable. 235/ 3sp OD / 3.55 gears. 17mpg average, rebuilt brakes once, still has drums all around and a single master. Brakes on a dime and handles perfectly. I will drive it as long as I can.
    IMG_0586.JPG MFXN1392.jpg
     
  15. Greg Rogers
    Joined: Oct 11, 2016
    Posts: 214

    Greg Rogers
    Member

    The more you drive them, the better they are. I drove a 65 Coronet slant6 automatic all summer back and forth 30 miles one way to work for 3-4 years. It was great- no problems. I now have a Olds Cutlass that is too new but still very old compared to most and it too it is very dependable. It seems they are troublesome until you get them past the "gremlins" stage. I think almost any 64-65 car would work great- GM, Ford, Mopar, or AMC.
     
  16. 57JoeFoMoPar
    Joined: Sep 14, 2004
    Posts: 4,578

    57JoeFoMoPar
    Member

    How's that thing do on the Autobahn?

    I can just imagine some M4 or 911 running up on a little 235 chugging along
     
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  17. AndersF
    Joined: Feb 16, 2013
    Posts: 699

    AndersF
    Member

    If i only could have one car it would be my poor old Dodge 53.
    Not much of a custom or hotrod but not many other sugestions here had been that.
    Had the car since dec 86 and have been incredible dependible over the years.
    Spareparts can be hard to find so i have collected as much as i can over the years.
    But with a 20 000 dollar budget i could buy plenty of spareparts as i allready own the car.:D

    [​IMG]
     
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  18. 41rodderz
    Joined: Sep 27, 2010
    Posts: 5,007

    41rodderz
    Member
    from Oregon

    So for light duty that Vega box held up ?
     
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  19. Gearhead Graphics
    Joined: Oct 4, 2008
    Posts: 3,523

    Gearhead Graphics
    Member
    from Denver Co

    Exactly like that! maybe a bit less lift, thats a long ways to lift my dog and ice fishing gear into. Go anywhwere, haul everyone badass rig
     
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  20. WildWilly68
    Joined: Feb 1, 2002
    Posts: 1,723

    WildWilly68
    Member

    For me I would say either a 62 Olds Starfire or 64 Buick Riviera. In stock form they look great and a simple lowering and wheel change would be all I would do to either one.
     
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  21. cheepsk8
    Joined: Sep 5, 2011
    Posts: 556

    cheepsk8
    Member
    from west ky

    I would drive to Texas and buy this one. Pull the crate motor out and go through my old 283 that takes up room in my shop, work the body just a dab and bank the rest. Screenshot_2020-05-18-17-31-12.png
     
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  22. Atwater Mike
    Joined: May 31, 2002
    Posts: 10,153

    Atwater Mike
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    My '55 F100 has filled all my needs for a daily for the past...well, since 1978.
    I bought it less engine/trans, (theft recovery, no papers, so price was $60.
    Found the registration in the glove box, so called the registered owner, he said insurance paid off the truck after theft. He graciously sent me the signed pink, (his uncle bought the truck NEW, gifted it to him: a One owner truck!)
    A customer with a 9K mile '69 Corvette in 1972 gifted me the engine, flat cam. I installed a new crate engine in the 'Vette.
    Powerglide trans (rebuilt) was obtained in a trade, (I repaired a VW engine for a NICE '66 Impala: guy's Mom owned it, passed away, he wanted it gone)

    So, I've had the best of both worlds. Old 'hot rod' trick (SBC in a desirable Ford) Truck looks good, is still dependable, (new engine, 350 w/ 350 T.H. trans, 9" 3.00 rear 5 years ago) Truck has run 13.20 @ 106 at Baylands, street tires & mufflers. (that was 1/4 mile, NOT 1/8!)
    Wish I could post a pic, nice rake with Romeo Palemides wheels, (pre-Torqthrust) big and littles, no rust, nice sheet metal, black primer...
    My '54 Ford Coupe is coming up, (406, heavy 3 speed, 9" 3.70s) but like they say:
    "A guy needs a nice truck." I'll drive my F100 mostly...
     
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  23. jaracer
    Joined: Oct 4, 2008
    Posts: 373

    jaracer
    Member

    Hey for even at $20K on a nice pre-65 you are going to have to do some work to make it dependable. My daily driver is a 64 Chevy 3/4 ton with a flat bed. Very dependable but I did have to do some work to make it that way.
     
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  24. anthony myrick
    Joined: Sep 4, 2009
    Posts: 5,917

    anthony myrick
    Member

    I did that with my bus. Daily driven Saved 14k. Plenty of room. Gets attention. Super fun.
    Wife’s 56 wagon. Bought right cause it needs rockers. Could easily daily drive it for half that budget.
    Sons 61 Chevy truck. Will be on the road for less than 2k
    For 20k this county boy can drive 3 or 4 daily rides.
     
  25. The Shift Wizard
    Joined: Jan 10, 2017
    Posts: 2,000

    The Shift Wizard
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Here's the candidate I'd like to nominate......
    The 1953 Studebaker Commander. Why, you ask? Because it just flat out looks like what every other 1950s custom was trying to achieve with chopping, channeling, and nip-n-tucking. It looked like something you would get if you locked a score of Italian designers in a studio with unlimited pasta and wine for a couple of months. In the 50s, everyone else, manufacturer or freelance, were also-rans.
    The Studebaker Commanders weren't as practical as the Big Three potato carts so they couldn't outsell 'em. The timing was off as far as the market for a personal sporty car. It took 12 more years for the pony car concept to be resurrected again and for the buying public to give a thumbs up with their dollars. (The first generation Thunderbirds and Corvettes gave it a good try but they quickly evolved away from the original concepts. No disrespect; I like those, too.)
     
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  26. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 46,347

    squirrel
    Member

    Step down Hudsons have a lot of that going on, too. But they're bigger, and that damn cork clutch!
     
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  27. rusty rocket
    Joined: Oct 30, 2011
    Posts: 3,867

    rusty rocket
    Member

    NOT THIS!!! image.jpg image.jpg
    1-you have to crawl in and out every time you stop
    2- no windshield so you have to wear goggles everywhere you go.
    3- top speed 65 mph so it's going to take awhile to get where you want to go
    4- no room to carry anything( and I mean anything)
    5- every time you stop it takes forever to get back on the road because everybody asks what the hell is that thing
    Hahaha
     
  28. davidvillajr
    Joined: Apr 4, 2005
    Posts: 833

    davidvillajr
    Member

    IMG_20120908_170448.jpg this one worked pretty well as a daily.

    grandpa swapped in a 350 and a powerglide.

    only wished he put in an A.C. when the weather got hot.

    1951 club coupe
     
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  29. Roothawg
    Joined: Mar 14, 2001
    Posts: 19,875

    Roothawg
    Member

    Some day I’ll know that feeling...
     
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  30. Something that has disc brakes, OD transmission, does not leak, has windshield wipers and a decent heater/defroster.
     
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