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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.

  1. anthony myrick
    Joined: Sep 4, 2009
    Posts: 6,994

    anthony myrick

    Call the roadster shop.
  2. Roothawg
    Joined: Mar 14, 2001
    Posts: 20,970


    Then I would probably say a Nissan Sentra is in your future. :)
  3. dana barlow
    Joined: May 30, 2006
    Posts: 4,228

    dana barlow
    from Miami Fla.
    1. Y-blocks

    I drove too high school an then Jr college,every day in the early 1960s with ether my hot rod 28a roadster or my full custom"J".
    The"J" got the most miles at the time,as I also drove it to work and it had a top. After college I in 1965 got an old Ford 2d wagon,that kind of started a thing I have for wagons. Of the 18 used wagons I've owned over the years,one I put the most miles on,way over 200,000 of my own on top of near 100,000 when I got it. ,,Was a factory hot rod,1970 Ford Wagon with 429 with 10 to 1,that I towed my race cars with. That wagon was amazing plus. I still drive used wagons. #18 is a Magnum wagon now
    Roothawg likes this.
  4. Nostrebor
    Joined: Jun 25, 2014
    Posts: 1,153



    60-66 Chevy truck. I would choose the long bed because they ride better (longer wheelbase) and they are handier. I really like the ride of the torsion bar years, but the parts are getting real expensive. Small block, auto. A Powerglide would be ok if were being HAMB correct, but if I could sneak in an OD auto, I would.

    I have driven several of these 20-30k a year, and abused them in the process. They will take it like a champ and are simple to work on when they break.

    I'm a fan of dent-side Fords also, but those are too new for this discussion.
    little red 50 and Roothawg like this.
  5. wildwest
    Joined: Jan 20, 2007
    Posts: 271


    I really like the 64-5 Mustangs, I have a 289 a code 4 speed fastback that handles good enough, very comfortable seating position, good visibility, parts are extremely available, fun to drive, not rare enough to worry about, and on the highway it gets over 20 mpg.

    I have often thought a 46-48 Ford convertible with some kind of over-head V8 would be a perfect road-trip or daily driver car: fits 5 people, plenty of trunk space, can hide a good heater and a/c and modern electric wipers, etc. plus easier to see out of than an earlier convert, and a comfy car to get in and out of.

    probably not for 20 grand though.....
    Roothawg likes this.
  6. Roothawg
    Joined: Mar 14, 2001
    Posts: 20,970


    There is a huge ride difference between the 35-40 Fords and the 46-48's. The latter ride SO much better.
  7. This one works for me, 350, 350, 9 inch
    anthony myrick and Roothawg like this.
  8. Nostrebor
    Joined: Jun 25, 2014
    Posts: 1,153


    Here's a left field one for ya...

    We daily drove 65-69 Corvairs for several years. Fantastic commuters, can be had for reasonable dollars, get solid gas mileage, and are fun as can be in swoopy corners. They have a learning curve mechanically at the start, but are pretty straight forward. Good aftermarket. Yeah... go get one!
    Moriarity likes this.
  9. Roothawg
    Joined: Mar 14, 2001
    Posts: 20,970


  10. T&A Flathead
    Joined: Apr 28, 2007
    Posts: 1,825

    T&A Flathead

    2B84E2F8-D3EE-426A-81F0-4CF2B8099850.jpeg I drove this one for many years as my daily. Not so good on snow but it always found it’s way. What I could have done with a $20K budget.
  11. anthony myrick
    Joined: Sep 4, 2009
    Posts: 6,994

    anthony myrick

    I vote a small step van/delivery van as the best option to daily drive.
    They look cool, enclosed storage and simple to set up.
    Only needs one seat, no upholstery, ya don’t even need to paint em.
    Make it sit right and drive.
  12. brianf31
    Joined: Aug 11, 2003
    Posts: 659


    64 or 65 Falcon or Comet with a carbureted 5.0 dressed to look like a 289, T-5 5 speed for the OD and 3.55:1 gears in an 8" rear.
  13. 0NE BAD 51 MERC
    Joined: Nov 12, 2010
    Posts: 1,444

    0NE BAD 51 MERC

    I am a carpenter and my dailies have been Vans and pickups. A 56 ford panel would be the ultimate , but 20,000 won't go very far . Since my average daily commute is a 100 miles and at 64 I want comfort so the drive train would be off topic but I have always had a soft spot for the 57 to 60 Ford panels and since they are kind of ugly in a cute sorta way. I think a nice driver could be built in my shop by me for 20,000 . Larry
    Roothawg likes this.
  14. It might not be the best daily driver but I intend to use my Shoebox as a Summer daily driver as soon as I get the wiring figured out & buy some decent rubber & a couple other things.
    Hopefully just a couple more weeks.
    Roothawg likes this.
  15. Baumi
    Joined: Jan 28, 2003
    Posts: 2,692


    Yep, but that's his problem, haha... The 55 cruises fine at 130 to 140 kmh and 2500-2800 rpm. That is it's sweet spot. I replaced the 4.11 diff with a 3.55 and with the 0.7 OD the total ratio is at about 2.48. A lot of my car guy friends are shocked how well it drives and speeds up. It is not made for drag racing but it will do just fine on the Autobahn . Traffic is flowing at 130-160 kmh and often limited to 120. As a former M3 owner I know they are useless unless you have a long free stretch of Autobahn ahead of you. My record was 2:50 hrs for 450 km from here to Dresden in the M3 at night. Could have been 2:30 but I had to refill and take a leak. The Chevy does it in 3:30 with no refill and without me having white knuckles and sweaty armpits... A lot more relaxing than the M3 that blew a tire going through a curve at 230 kmh during a commute back home from Dresden in the middle of the night. I took 3 extra hrs to do the paperwork at the police station, get a rental car in the middle of the night and have the remains of the M3 towed out from under the guardrail.
    I' still a BMW lover too ( I can throw a stone from my shop to the neighboring BMW plant ) , and have a few older ones but I have grown too old to set any records anymore.
  16. flatoz
    Joined: May 11, 2003
    Posts: 3,172



    I basically did exactly as you said. I set myself a 20k budget and started hunting. All started due to family, new baby, so the wife got my German sedan and I couldn't bring myself to just drive anything.

    so my shopping list was , US based 50's car. I really wanted a hardtop/coupe as they are the best body style and keep their value the most. And if it needs work as in body etc. the cost is the same whether its a sedan or coupe so better with the most desirable body style. It had to be something I could drive daily, not some days, not 5 days a week, 7 days a week. and I had to be happy to do it. and I needed to be able to cart the family around in it. And go to car shows in it as the roadster won't fit 4

    I really wanted a 55-7 Fairlane Victoria, but they were our of my $ range. A mate had a Buick hardtop, I loved the look, but on research the torque tube put me off as well as the dynaslow.

    I'm a Ford guy through and through, but I was pointed towards Olds and Ponti.

    in the end Olds won out, different enough I wouldn't see too many others around. but decent style etc.

    initally I wanted a 56, but couldn't find one, so 'settled' for a 55 super 88 holiday coupe out of Utah. 9k purchase, then get it back here another 5k and then rego and insurance , some mechanical work, , new brakes, new tyres, windscreen, some electrical work etc. I think I was at just over 20k once it was on the road for everything.

    different but not that different
    324 V8 , known to be a good motor, bigger cubes than a lot of the others
    4 speed auto , also a decent auto compared to others of the same vintage
    interior is really full of chrome -
    Fusick make a lot of repro parts
    open drive shaft- allows motor/trans swap later if needed.
    A lot of parts interchange from 54-56 for both Buick and Olds

    Not much ( read nothing ) available in Australia
    Not a GM family so no history or understanding on brands
    different enough that its just that little bit too hard to find stuff locally

    End of the day I got a car that has that 50's look, a hardtop body for less than a Ford equivalent , open drivetrain. the interior is much more up market than most. I was in my mates bel air and was shocked at how poverty it looked, and the Fords too in comparison.

    So 11 years later and its still my daily, its had more work done , obviously it needs regular maintenance but I'm a car guy... it now has a Big block Olds and 200-4R OD trans. its got a big boot( trunk) so we take it on Vacation as it can fit a weeks worth of stuff in it. I don't baby the thing it gets used. Used like a regular car would. I look after it, but its not my weekend warrior.

    got to laugh at the guys saying about parts availability, these are old cars. How do you think I go half way round the world with a car that was never sold here... You can do it IF you really want to, you just make the sacrifices and keep spares, just comes down to how much you want it.

    So I'd put my hand up for Olds, but I also saw this vicky that I thought was decent for the money, the manual trans wouldn't bother me, thought it was good buying

    heres the old girl







  17. Nostrebor
    Joined: Jun 25, 2014
    Posts: 1,153


    That trunk full of mulch... you are a rock star!
    Just Gary, Roothawg and arkiehotrods like this.
  18. I never seen fender skirts like that. Pretty cool...
    Roothawg likes this.
  19. arkiehotrods
    Joined: Mar 9, 2006
    Posts: 6,230


    Not mere speculation but proven fact! As @Nostrebor said, you, Sir, are a rockstar!
    Roothawg and Baumi like this.
  20. proartguy
    Joined: Apr 13, 2009
    Posts: 476

    from Sparks, NV

    Drove a ‘64 Ranchero, 260 with 3 speed, for about 5 years. Great car, versatile, 20 mpg. I liked it so much I looked for a wagon and found a nice ‘64 Comet, 289 with 3 speed. That was our family driver for about 10 years. Very dependable cars with easy to find mechanical parts.
    clunker and 32Dan like this.
  21. 57JoeFoMoPar
    Joined: Sep 14, 2004
    Posts: 4,838


    I'm in agreement with you, though I know that won't get me points with a bunch of Billy Bad Asses around here. I enjoy driving my old cars, and drive them often. But when I take them out I can clear my head and just enjoy the car and the drive without much else going on. But when I'm in the the daily grind, I'm not driving to necessarily just enjoy the car, I'm driving because I have a place to be and something to do when I get there, so I don't want to be thinking about the car. too. Put on the stereo, and go.

    Monday through Friday, I'm wearing a suit, so on basically any day mid spring to mid fall, I need good, cold air conditioning otherwise I'm going to look like a hot mess when I roll into work. Same goes for a decent interior, where I don't have vinyl tears or loose springs poking me in the ass.

    If I'm driving an old car that has working A/C, a decent interior, good steering and brakes, and is reliable enough to handle the rigors of 20K miles a year of driving, the reality is that that car is probably a very nice old car, and I care greatly what happens to it. Newer (not brand new) cars are disposable. Use them and throw them away. I drive at least 35K a year. I buy nice cars that are 4-6 years old, have clean accident histories, and have depreciated significantly. If I can get 3-5 years of driving out of them without major repair and only basic maintenance and consumable parts, then I won, even if the car has literally $0 resale value. Then I go get another.

    The other thing to think about is the insurance aspect of it. Most, if not all, classic auto policy writers do not want you to daily drive your car, and specifically state that the car should not be utilized for transportation to and from work on a daily basis. Again, if you're driving a car that meets the criteria above, you're not talking about some hoopty, and it's a car of significant value (at least $15K plus). If you're involved in an accident, even one you didn't cause, a collector car carrier could disclaim coverage on the grounds you've violated the terms of the policy, and leave you out the entire value of your destroyed car. Similarly, and an even worse scenario, is if you were to cause an accident in the above scenario, have a lawsuit filed against you, and your carrier then disclaim Bodily Injury coverage. At that point, instead of your carrier defending and indemnifying you, you're forced to defend a lawsuit out of your own pocket, and face the consequences of paying a potential monetary judgment out of your own money and assets. I couldn't think of a worse position to be in. The other option is to insure your old car daily with a standard auto policy, at which point you likely have no significant value attached to your car, since there is no agreed value to vehicles this old with a standard policy. Most major auto carriers will not give you a full value policy as a standard auto policy, appraisal or not. It's based off the KBB/NADA guide, of which there is none for a 50+ year old car. So it really comes down to your aversion to risk. Are you comfortable driving a car where if something serious happens to it, you're OK accepting pennies on the dollar for the value of the vehicle? My personal answer would be no.
    Just Gary, Roothawg and 49ratfink like this.
  22. southerncad
    Joined: Feb 5, 2008
    Posts: 759


    OK, I'll play, mine would be a '59 - 62 Stude wagon, V-8 three speed w/OD. Put a under dash AC unit in it, front & rear sway bars, upgrade to front disc brakes, and drive the snot out of it.
    Wish I had never sold the '60 wagon I had set up just like this, comfy, got good mpg, sounded good with twice pipes & turbos & hauled a lot of stuff.
    Roothawg likes this.
  23. Nostrebor
    Joined: Jun 25, 2014
    Posts: 1,153


    All valid points, and if many here are truly honest, they would admit they are in a similar position. I daily a company vehicle *now* but only because they offered.;) It is very nice.

    There are plenty of us that will take the risk you describe... I am one. I daily drove that Corvair coupe I mentioned above for 5 years. Fully restored and modified. It carried regular every day car insurance, and we did have a claim. My carrier fixed it based on an appraisal, but only after I did the legwork to establish similar cars with same value.

    I would not daily a really nice show quality vintage car at this point in my life, but if my employer pulled the plug, I would find a solid driver with some character.:cool: I would also run regular full coverage insurance again... I have a great broker.
    Roothawg likes this.
  24. clunker
    Joined: Feb 23, 2011
    Posts: 1,612

    from Boston MA

    I mostly end up having to drive a p/u for work. It ends up getting beat on brutally. Scratched, dented, oversprayed on, used as ballast, etc. I’ve managed over the recent past to find f250 crew cab beaters for short money that fit the bill. Heavy duty. Good stuff. Kinda would be a shame to treat a nice old ride that way.

    BUT.....When the old car hobby was actually affordable, I bought a running 57 Ranchero for $600 (in LA CA 1990’s) and drove that every day for most of a decade. Used and abused it as Described above. If I could have that truck back again, I would do it in a second. I loved that thing. (Essentially I got into Zen Buddhism for a few weeks to impress a girl, and basically shed myself of the material world, including that truck).

    But now I’m a middle aged fart. I often am driving with my kids, (which is a privilege I really WANT), so I would have to be allowed to keep my current every other day-daily driver (60 Cadillac).

    Sent from my iPhone using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
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  25. cheap-n-dirty
    Joined: Jan 28, 2002
    Posts: 773


    I agree. I have about $500 in this one so far.
    panel on ground 001.JPG panel on ground 001.JPG ENGINE IN 011.JPG
    R A Wrench and 0NE BAD 51 MERC like this.
  26. As far as insurance goes, when my 72 monte carlo was rear ended it was the other drivers fault. Car was totaled. The first offer from her insurance co was $300, because it was 'just' a 40 year old car. I thankfully had a friend that had experience with this situation and gave me advice how to handle it. What it amounts to is you have to be more stubborn than they are and be willing to put the time into it to get what you want. It helps greatly to know what terminology and phrasing to use as well. I don't know the exact number of people that they kept throwing at me, but it was well over 20 people than handled my file. It took 2 months of daily contact to get what I wanted out of them. In the end, the gave me what to told them I wanted the first time we talked. If I had not had my friend to coach me I would have taken whatever they offered because I didn't know any better.

    When I get back to driving one of my old ones daily again, I am conscious of the fact that I am gambling that I am not going to cause any accidents. I may end up going with a vintage car ins policy if it makes sense. Now I don't have to drive an old one everyday, so with a kid etc, I probably won't and would fall into spec of the policy that would cover my use.

    I am also not in a metro area with lots of traffic. Worst it ever is around here is at 7:55 am M-F you will have to wait at a stop sign for a minute or two. At 8:05 it is back to normal.

    Oh, the county is too cheap to put salt down for the one or two days a year we might actually need it. Fine with me.

    This is my 37 back in 97 or 98 when I was in college.

    37gmc rt frt.jpg
  27. jnaki
    Joined: Jan 1, 2015
    Posts: 5,413



    Ever since owning two 1940 Ford Sedan Delivery vehicles over the years starting as a teenager, the need for anything larger is not in the cards for us. Through the years, we have always wanted to get another hot rod for repairs, cruising and maybe having a long time “keeper.” The size of the sedan deliveries is about the right size. With bucket seats, the driver’s/passenger seating area is plenty roomy for a tall person. But, for some reason, that right rear blank quarter panel is making another sedan delivery not on the absolute top of our list.
    upload_2020-6-4_3-59-44.png This blue sedan delivery is what we would purchase with all of the amenities that are necessary. Plus, it would fit in our small two car garage and still have room to work on it, if necessary. But, as nice as this Ford Sedan Delivery is in the HAMB classified ads, despite the good price (reasonable) for the whole build, we still would have to think twice about that right rear blind spot that killed it for a couple of 20 somethings, as owners back then. If we had clear glass solid windows on both rear sides, it would be a custom station wagon in a sedan delivery body.

    So, what would make a good daily driver? As soon as we were grandparents, we were given the mild directive that our two small, fast sporty cars were not conducive for the newborn granddaughter and beyond. So, we experimented with several safe SUV models all the way up to a giant all wheel drive 375 hp powerful vehicle. That was over the top. In between, we did see several smaller station wagons from the early 60’s era and that may have been OK. A small Ford Falcon 2 door wagon and a 1965 Chevelle two door wagon that could hold plenty of beach and baby/toddler stuff all over So Cal.
    The Falcon not only would it fit our beach lifestyle quite well, but, it would haul, in more ways than one.
    This Chevelle wagon would have all of the amenities of a modern day suspension, brakes, power and A/C. It would be a modern station wagon with a little class, from those happy days from a long time ago. The plus factor is the vision all around the station wagons with no blind spots.


    What put a damper on things was the need of the new parents to get overly “psyched” at the mention of a hot rod station wagon for daily activities with our granddaughter safely tucked inside. “...But, it would NOT have the modern safety supplements, like air bags or side protection doors and panels...” So, it was a downer, but realizing safety of our granddaughter was first on our list was the deciding factor.

    No old/new hot rod conversions, no small sporty sedans. Just a nice, modern, safe technology in a large station wagon, to keep that precious cargo safe every time we were with her. Even now as a teenager, when we are not “locked in place.”

    Last edited: Jun 4, 2020
    charleyw and Elcohaulic like this.
  28. Elcohaulic
    Joined: Dec 27, 2017
    Posts: 1,690


    BINGO! This is what I would be using.. Nice car!
  29. I could probably daily just about anything with a back seat for the kids. I have a short commute and no snow slop to deal with. The problem is the parking lot at work. I work at a school and the soccer moms have dinged up and ran into everything we've parked up there, except my coupe which I park strategically to avoid such contact, but even then I worry.

    But to play along, probably a 62-63 Impala. Cushy, good driver, 283 with AC, maybe do an overdrive swap if I'm feeling ambitious... probably run forever with regular maintenance.
    Roothawg likes this.

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