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Features The whole Hot Rod IS the sum of its parts.

Discussion in 'Traditional Hot Rods' started by Jive-Bomber, Aug 24, 2016.

  1. falcongeorge
    Joined: Aug 26, 2010
    Posts: 18,341

    from BC

    I've said it many times, and I'll say it again. Theres a WORLD of difference between Hamb traditional and period correct, in fact the two are at odds. As you know, my main project isnt even remotely a" highboy with a quickchange", but its period correct down to the engine internals. F&Js '32 is another excellent example of a very period correct hot rod that doesnt fit the HAMB mold at all.
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2016
  2. Pat
    Joined: Jan 6, 2002
    Posts: 122


    I've admired Jay's roadster for many years. It was built during a time when many guys our age were building cars for shock value rather than traditional ones. I was even guilty of that!! Roadsters like Jay's will never look dated!
    Jive-Bomber, Tim and cactus1 like this.
  3. F&J
    Joined: Apr 5, 2007
    Posts: 13,217


    Thanks for noticing :)

    My car fails in one major area, in that no one soul back then would build a cabriolet from a 5w. It never happened,... but I was not trying to fool anyone, I just wanted what I could not afford....a convertible coupe with side windows.

    One thing about certain cars, is that they will pass the 100 foot test. Meaning that when they are seen from quite a distance, you see late 50s. A lot of builders may have spent lots of time/money on certain pieces, but viewing the car from "afar", the immediate thought just looks undeniably Y2K, even if $150K was spent.

    I've always thought that way too much time and effort is wasted on "cut and buff on the inside of the cowl vent", and the Big Picture is totally missed.

    BTW, my car won't pass the 5 foot test; the quality of some of the work and some of the parts are sketchy. But I am Ok with that.
    falcongeorge likes this.
  4. steel rebel
    Joined: Jun 14, 2006
    Posts: 3,604

    steel rebel
    Member Emeritus

    Just picked up three more early deep "Baby Moon" caps at the Pleasanton swap. Few will notice them but I will know.

    falcongeorge likes this.
  5. Mr48chev
    Joined: Dec 28, 2007
    Posts: 26,093


    Well I really like that roadster and coupe and appreciate them for what they are but none of mine will be that anal when it comes to being exact to the period. Close but not perfect.

    I agree 100% in that the correctly and well chosen parts are what make a rod or custom special and get by parts don't have the same impact as the right parts. It's not what you spend but how well you spend it.
    falcongeorge likes this.
  6. falcongeorge
    Joined: Aug 26, 2010
    Posts: 18,341

    from BC

    I dont need them for my '39, its getting '56 starfire wheelcovers, but that is one thing that has eluded me so far, and I would REALLY like a set! The air cleaners you have on your cad really give me wood too. TB33 has a pair on his chevy as well. I have an offy 2x4 and a pair of WCFB's I really want to find a nice pair of those.
  7. Squablow
    Joined: Apr 26, 2005
    Posts: 14,053


    If you really get into semantics, the sum total of a hot rod or custom build is often less if it's got too much "stuff" on it. I know I had a huge cache of cool trinkets to use on my roadster but ended up using only a few, the parts were cool and appropriate on their own but too much gingerbread can ruin a car.

    I remember reading in a Custom Rodder article probably 20+ years ago, a designer posed the question, "Imagine a plain white egg. Does anything stand out? Now paint a single pink dot on it. Now what stands out? Now cover it in different colored dots. Now what stands out?" I don't remember who to attribute that quote to, but it always stuck with me.
    cretin likes this.
  8. falcongeorge
    Joined: Aug 26, 2010
    Posts: 18,341

    from BC

    I did this earlier, but I felt a little self-concious, so I deleted it.
    My '39 convert is being built as a circa 1962 hot rod I might have seen in a magazine around that time.
    '56 324 rocket with a side shift cad-lasalle trans coupled to a shortened torque tube. Three gauge underdash bracket with big logo SW's, RC70 tach with late fifties screw post sender, late fifties molded mallory coil and flat cap mallory distributor, Wittek thumb screw clamps for everything under the hood, edlebrock valve covers, refurbished original '39 rad, very early production Hurst syncro-loc with no patent numbers on the tower, inside the motor an Isky E-3 copy by Pete1 and NOS offset valve guides from blownolds, magnesium Thomas rockers, half a set were FREE from F&J. I have three induction systems, a 2x4 offy, a Weiand Drag Star, and an Edelbrock OL-496, and holley 94's. I also have some vintage eelco cast aluminum throttle arms for the throttle linkage, but only enough for the OL-496, I will need two more short ones if I am going to run the drag-star. Wheelcovers are '56 Olds Starfire.
    Other than the Witteks for the fuel lines and the OL496, none of this stuff was extravagantly exspensive, it just took a LOT of time and diligent searching to hunt down. I bought the drag star and the offy 2x4 after I had the OL496, because honestly, I felt they were both too good a deal to pass up. Most of these parts actually cost me LESS than getting functionally similar stuff from Speedway or Summit. The offset guides, which I never even really thought I would FIND, cost me LESS than stockers from Egge. This stuff ISNT about cubic dollars, its about time, diligence and COMMITMENT.
    Some/Sum of the parts that make up my period correct hot rod.
  9. falcongeorge
    Joined: Aug 26, 2010
    Posts: 18,341

    from BC

    Oh yea, full disclosure, one other part was extravagantly expensive. The big logo coffin needle SW water temp gauge. damn that was hard to find! The matching oil pressure and amp gauges were under $50 each.
    Tony Martino likes this.
  10. falcongeorge
    Joined: Aug 26, 2010
    Posts: 18,341

    from BC

    One other thing I want to say here, the finished hot rod is MORE than just the sum of its parts. Its hardly a new idea here,and we talk about it all the time, but you also have to stand back 50 feet, and look at the car. If it looks like hell from across the street, no one is ever gonna walk over and look close enough to notice your period gauges or rare WWII mil-spec aircraft clamps.the overall look and stance draws you in, and the details hold your interest once your there.
    cretin likes this.
  11. mike bowling
    Joined: Jan 1, 2013
    Posts: 3,437

    mike bowling

    An "old style" build, done with "authentic" parts ( read; not re-pop) is a great approach to try to keep with the ideas utilized by early hot rodders UNTIL the cars being built take on a mass produced, "cookie cutter" look. There's no "blueprint" or "formula" you have to follow other than "SAFETY FIRST". You're not the first one down the path; learn from what others have done , and pick and choose what looks good to YOU.

    Not making any friends in the "traditional" dept. I know, but that term is so overused it's ridiculous.
    Most kids around here in the 50's building cars were doing it with whatever they could get their hands on, in their parent's driveway or backyard, with limited funds and tools. ( 1/4 " drill, angle iron, nuts and bolts, mismatched mostly). If you had a welder you "borrowed " wire coat hangers from Mom, or the local dry cleaners trash.
    Going out and spending $3500. on a quick change for "looks" and to be "period correct" ain't gonna happen at my place- I've always made do with what I could beg, borrow ,or stea.... er borrow permanently. "Midnight Auto Supply" was a big sponsor of early car guys where I lived.

    God bless you if you've got 40 grand (or more) to make a "new" build look old, but I got my first car in 1965 for $150. bucks ( '40 Ford coupe, '56 olds motor with trips) and am still a penny pincher who likes to hit a reasonable cut-off amount and build a safe, dependable ride for FUN more than anything else. If it's not fun, it's work.

    .02 rant to start the week
    Carry on, Gentlemen.
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2016
    RustyDogg and Late to the Party like this.
  12. falcongeorge
    Joined: Aug 26, 2010
    Posts: 18,341

    from BC

    Like I have already said, the parts aren't expensive, it takes EFFORT to find them.
    The drag star for my olds was $200, I bought two 94s at the last swap I was at, one was $25, the other was $30. I already had the other 4. I paid $150 for my synchro-loc, and it is actually the one to fit a Ford X member, RARE piece. A new comp plus will run you close to $500 with the installation kit. Spending cubic dollars isn't how you get the right pieces, you hunt for them.
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2016
  13. mike bowling
    Joined: Jan 1, 2013
    Posts: 3,437

    mike bowling

    I'm totally on board with that- spent all morning yesterday at a local swap meet digging through piles of stuff. Effort and TIME- I respect a guy a hell of a lot more who takes 4-5 years putting something together "refurbishing" swap meet parts, or trading parts, labor, pizza or whatever, than some "dude" ( hipster) that decides to be an instant "hot rod guy" and whips out the checkbook. Those are the A-holes that drive everything through the roof for everyone else. Plus the internet "gougers", and stupid "reality" TV shows ( that are very unrealistic).
    Like Cyndi Lauper said "Money changes Everything" ( usually not for the better).
    chiro, RustyDogg, steinauge and 2 others like this.
  14. dumprat
    Joined: Dec 27, 2006
    Posts: 2,386

    from b.c.

    The simple fact that traditional parts are cheap of free has always been a big part of why I like these type of cars.

    It is about what you can find or build, not what you can order online or out of a catalog.
    RustyDogg likes this.
  15. Blownolds
    Joined: Mar 31, 2001
    Posts: 2,335

    from So Cal

    An older thread perhaps, but I just saw this and wanted to make one comment. That is, if the parts don't have a lot of value behind them, then they tend to get scrapped... which is not good for the hobby, regardless of the finances of the guys looking for the parts. True fact. I myself scrapped out a few tons of great old stuff because I couldn't find a buyer for them even at cheap prices, and could not keep storing the parts. Wouldn't have done that if people were paying more money than the scrap yard, but the truth was that I needed cash for groceries at the time and the rest is history...
    This same story has been playing on repeat for decades, lots of guys have scrapped the parts because there was no money behind the parts and storage couldn't be justified any longer. Storage costs money, folks. And sometimes a seller actually needs to get some money in from somewhere-- where doesn't matter when it gets bad enough.
    Tons and tons and tons of parts, gone forever. And that wouldn't have happened to such a large degree if there was real monetary value behind the parts.
    I'm not a big fan of the instant hot-rodder with huge money, however the hobby at large is only healthy when there is monetary value to it. And that will never again happen to the parts that have been melted down forever (well, not forever, much of that is probably now being used as re-bar in Chinese buildings, eh?)
    So, cheap parts would be great... but that's really idealistsic and not necessarily good for the hobby long-term. It does get more and more difficult to source parts with every truckload that is disposed of. Not to mention all the old-car salvage yards that closed down and crushed out over the last 25 years!
    As an aside, I also know that large numbers of plating shops, crank and machine shops, and more have gone out of business over the last 20 years simply because there wasn't enough money coming in to keep up with the overhead/costs. And the fewer cars and parts left, the worse that will be.
    It's an economic problem! As in, the economics of cars and parts.
  16. ChuckleHead_Al
    Joined: Mar 29, 2004
    Posts: 1,790


    It sucks being poor, I follow guys on Instagram who seem to have butt loads of cash and can buy just about every part I wished I had on my roadster. I've had to compromise on a things here and there, it sucks, beyond my control and being a single dad doesn't help. I've traded parts, sold stuff I wish I could've saved for a future project and worse it's taking me almost 4 years to get to the point of turning on the flathead and moving the car back and forth on my driveway. The guys who say it takes effort to look for parts to get them cheap BS, that shit has not happened to me.
  17. dumprat
    Joined: Dec 27, 2006
    Posts: 2,386

    from b.c.

    It does suck being poor. But the truth about it is you need to work harder and smarter than a guy with pockets full of cash.

    Rebuild parts that seem beyond use.
    Trade for stuff that you can't buy
    Scrounge through other guys piles of cast off parts
    And Craigslist is your friend if you have the time to wait and watch deals come up on cool guy parts that you couldn't afford otherwise.
    Just Gary and LOU WELLS like this.
  18. steel rebel
    Joined: Jun 14, 2006
    Posts: 3,604

    steel rebel
    Member Emeritus

    All these finds are easier for us that build and keep our rods for years and years. Plus you need to scrounge the flee markets, garage sales, antique shops, and swaps.

    Horne manifold, four odd chrome 97 carbs. and scoops. Yeah I know the hose clamps are new. Sorry.

    '49 Ford truck 3.78 open drive center.
    Old Ford truck reversed rims a garage sale find.
    Tornado headlight brackets a recent swap find I let a friend have them that needed them more than I for the same price.

    Probably my favorite garage sale find. Actually my wife noticed it on a table and altered me. Thanks Hon. Paid $1 for it and the guy selling the stuff said his late brotherinlaw cast it in High School before WWII.

    These old things George I found them on eBay when I needed them. Actually the engine was an eBay find too a '50s built loaded Cad. engine. Kinda sad story lately I blew a freeze plug and fried it. Not sure how bad but the oil is white and steem is coming out of the left exhaust. Job for another day.
    LOU WELLS and falcongeorge like this.
  19. chiro
    Joined: Jun 23, 2008
    Posts: 780


    Six years of scrounging, begging, borrowing but not stealing. Refurbishing old parts. Going to countless swap meets, etc. and I am finally driving my "period correct" hot rod. It has the old hose clamps too! All the parts are older than 1950 except for the first generation Mustang bucket seats with amazing patina that make them fit the build bought at the Carlisle swap meet for $110.00 for the pair (yes, I'm CHEAP). Not willing to settle for anything but the right parts (and being cheap) means being patient and buying what I could when the funds became available. No compromises and I am happy in the knowing that the car is built the way I want it and not some gold chainer thing with disc brakes and an electric fan. I am proud that all the parts are old, the sweat equity I put into it and the help I got here on the HAMB and from friends with skills and equipment that I didn't have to do certain parts of the fabrication that were beyond my skill set (critical welding and such).

    I bought my fair share of parts at swap meets knowing they were under priced and then turned them for a modest profit to fund the build. I also have way more parts that I bought because I wasn't sure of the direction I wanted to go on certain aspects of the ride (My wife has called me a headlight and tail light hoarder:)). Even after the build was roadworthy, I almost bought more tail lights at Hershey this year. I really had to hold myself back on those SWEET Hudson tails at $120.00 for the pair (I really did NOT need them).

    When I took my ride to show it to my Hot Rod guru who is 75 this year and has been building flathead powered rods since he was 14, the greatest compliment he could have said was, "It's PERFECT. I would leave it just the way it is and drive the SHIT out of it." That from a guy that DOES build rods for the gold chainer set and they are GORGEOUS. He appreciated and noticed every detail. My ride is not pretty. It's mostly old primer and rust but it's authentic and I love it.

    The sum is MORE than the parts. It's those RIGHT parts (the ones maybe only YOU care about). It's sweat, fabrication, a vision of the final product and a willingness to wait and work hard to pull it off so the end result is the satisfaction in your gut that you did it right.

  20. steel rebel
    Joined: Jun 14, 2006
    Posts: 3,604

    steel rebel
    Member Emeritus

    Pictures Andy PICTURES!!!!!!!
    mike bowling likes this.
  21. I have to chime in on this thread.
    Vintage Hot Rodding is a state of mind.
    If you've been around here a while you start to
    "get it". Mostly there is a theme here that
    unites most of us, but we approach it from different points.
    I've played with cars my whole life, and I'm 66,
    but I never "built" a car. Mostly I rescue cars, and certainly
    parts, but I don't keep parts for my projects because mostly
    I find the car, get it to run and drive, drive it,
    add some of what I think are cool parts, and pass it
    on to somebody who sees what I saw only wants to
    take it further or in a different direction
    I don't need a car to be done, just functional.
    I tend to leave things together for as long as possible
    because I don't have the patience to spend the time,
    and I personally would rather drive and find
    than build.
    I am in awe of what the guys here that build come up with.
    The creativity and resourcefullness is amazing.
    I certainly respect and understand the building process
    and that it is definately it's own reward.
    As far as the amount of money spent, every area of cars
    is the same. There are people that love cars and have
    the money to pay for work done, or to buy a high dollar
    car that somebody else built. They are just as legitimate, even if they
    don't build it themselves, but they may have just as much
    soul as the guy building.
    My '31 was built by someone else. He is a guy that loves
    the building process. His joy came from the build, getting it "right"
    with the "right" parts. I was fortunate to be in the right place at the right
    time, and I bought a car that took about a year to build, that would
    have taken me 5 or more years, if I ever got it back to the road.
    Buying the car and what followed for me was to turn me into that
    kid in 1952. It gave me a bunch of new, great friends. I found my nitch.
    I love the people as much as the cars, and digging around old barns
    and garages, to scrounge up the stuff I sell here. Almost everything
    I find has it's own story, and the guys I get the parts from
    love telling the stories. Many like the idea that there stuff is going
    to guys that "get it" like they did. I find a lot of parts that I probably
    would never use myself, although I would like to. I usually
    buy them anyway because I usually can find someone that will.
    As far as high dollar verses low dollar, I have never seen as much
    enthusiasm for cars of all dollars than we have here. I love
    how a beater with a soul, or an anscient build that was resurected,
    gets the attention it does. Also, the big dollar cars that also have the soul.
    They deserve and get respect to, and to give us a window to the rich kid's
    past as well as the junkyard kid!
    Besides, we all need goals we may not reach.
    I still want a '32, any '32. an a '39-'40.
    I never had enough cash, then or now. but I do have the '31.
    I still play all the time, drive great cars, and live the life as I see it.
    This whole thing is supposed to be fun!
    Build, buy, drive, just do it!
  22. classiccarjack
    Joined: Jun 30, 2009
    Posts: 1,438


    As a car builder(for other people who paid me to build theirs), and a guy who has saved cars, just like you have(for myself because I don't have a fat wallet either), I admire your insight on this subject. You nailed it in so many ways!

    I just picked up a couple of trucks in the past year that I always dreamed of owning. I traveled cross country and met up with other HAMB members and bought parts from them. I got introduced to a secret location that has Acres of old cars and bought a complete front end from a 47 Ford there. What a year and what a adventure! I just pray that someway, somehow, I can hold on to my dream and finish my projects without having to sell them off due to a family emergency.... And keep buying parts from more HAMB guys along the way until I can hear one of my trucks come back to life again....

    I personally want to thank everyone here for keeping this hobby alive!

    Sent from my XT1585 using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
    Hendee and Tony Martino like this.
  23. Hey Jack,
    Thanks for the kind words!
    I like your attitude and enthusiasm!
    Nice to know others feel like I do!
    Keep at it!
  24. mike bowling
    Joined: Jan 1, 2013
    Posts: 3,437

    mike bowling

    So, Tony, you still talkin' to Hot Rods?
    You're like the "Car Whisperer", man.
    I love it when you advise people to listen to their car; mine usually say " Get off yer ass and finish me!"
    And I see the tire and wheel business is still going strong..............

    "Fun" is the name of the game.
    Happy Thanksgiving!
    Tony Martino likes this.
  25. tfeverfred
    Joined: Nov 11, 2006
    Posts: 15,796


    Tony Martino likes this.
  26. Hey Mike!
    Thank you for the kind words!
    It's nice to know that people DON"T think I'm crazy!
    Being able to listen is blessing.... and a curse!
    I hear them talking every day.
    I even have a "Car of the Day!" in my head.
    I seem to be able to find one whenever I look.
    Today's car of the day, a '49 Lincoln Cosmopolitan!
    This one wants some speed equipment on the big
    flatty that is still running under the hood!And DUALS!
    It's only about 15 miles away from me!
    Happy Thanksgiving to you also!
  27. chiro
    Joined: Jun 23, 2008
    Posts: 780


  28. Two quotes I copied from other threads that apply here:

    “A car with a bunch of stuff on it aimed at making it look mean doesn’t work. Sinister comes from subtraction, not addition.” -Ryan

    “Perfection is achieved- not when there is nothing more to add- but when there is nothing more to remove.” -Antoine de St. Exupery
  29. Lots of great stuff on this thread . . . much of it I agree with (not that anybody should care about that!). I've found that I really just like vintage design in general --> whether it is automobiles, tractors, a fine barber chair, a locomotive, print work, logos, etc.. There is something about things like 'Art Deco' style that reaches out to me. You look at an old Stewart Warner crescent needle gauge, you look at the pattern work of somebody like Eddie Meyer, you look at many of the quality forgings on our early Fords, you look at the original castings from Halibrand . . . the old Hilborn injectors . . . the Enderle injector with the ribs on top - very functional products (they had to be), but also beautiful to look at, touch, work on, etc.. Just look at a flathead 21A connecting rod - which a great piece of work and really strong for the purpose it was built for. Look at the grille on a 34 Ford - the way the angle of it matches the cowl . . . matches the A-pillars, etc.. All the little things matter to us - in whatever period we're building in.

    The thing I don't like (even though I've had to do it many times) is to not be able to stick to a plan or build era/style and miss-match too many different parts (from different periods) in the process. In many cases there are damn good reasons for doing this -> like "I have the parts, I'm going to use them", . . . or I don't have the time/money to find what I'd really like to put on the car. But there is a BIG difference when we're making a realistic compromise and we KNOW we're doing it (even if we don't like it) - versus NOT knowing we're doing it and the end result looks schizophrenic - you can't tell what the Hell the person was thinking or doing . . . is it a 40's car, a 50's car, a 60's car - what is it???

    As I've gotten older, I make fewer compromises - and my builds take a long time (cause I'm not willing to make as many AND I have another car to drive!) . . . a few more $$$ in hand helps . . . but it is TIME that is the big bastard that we all fight in the end. I make and fabricate a lot of stuff - and I'm too much of a perfectionist . . . cause nice French curves matter, brackets matter, welds matter . . . anything I touch, I try to do the best I can . . . that is why we do these things and why we're on the HAMB.

    Enough of this babble . . . I may start to think my damn opinion matters! LOL :)

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