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Traditional ...not what your thinking

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Little Wing, Apr 20, 2009.

  1. I lurk more than I post, but I have always been amused that the two most common posts on this board are either "you're doing it wrong! (not traditional)" or "build it the way YOU like it!"

    It's well known in the larger collector car circles that the "hot trends" map to the cars that people of a certain age (i.e. with the means) to buy the car they wanted when they are young but couldn't afford then.

    The recent flourish of traditional rods goes against that trend, which I think is good, and hopefully will lead to appreciating the wide variety of rods, customs (and cars) not just "what is trendy"

    If I built the cars I drooled over in Hot Rod Magazine as a youth, it would be a wildly painted van or a VW. Maybe a V8 Vega. :)

    I was resto-mod before there was a name for it. I've done projects in various other themes. I appreciate cars done in a consistent style, but for the most part what catches my interest is my particular tastes, neither right nor wrong, but they are all mine. I can't afford a giant garage with all the cars I want and I like to drive them so safety concessions to modern technology are perfectly fine to me. Even though it means my cars might never get invited to Pebble Beach...

    One of the best thing I like about this place, the people and the cars, is the legitimacy to the history of modified 'hot rods'. Concours factory original cars have always been preserved and appreciated, we are now seeing some of that same preservation and respect for modified cars. That's awesome.

    --steve

    p.s. does anybody know a good supplier for crushed velvet? :)
     
  2. denis4x4
    Joined: Apr 23, 2005
    Posts: 3,672

    denis4x4
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Colorado

    My neighbor the ran the restoration shop at the Merle Norman Collection and the General Lyon's collection before opening his own shop in Tempe. We get together every afternoon for a toddy and work at solving the problems of the world. One of the subjects that popped up last week was used cars that were available in the '50's and '60's. Model A's were on the back of most lots and rarely cost more than $100. Remember, that a '31 Model A was only 25 years old in the mid-fifties. These were drivers and you could buy them for $10 down and $10.00 a week for 10 weeks.

    These were simpler times and what a lot of you call "traditional" was nothing more than pure innovation. I can't remember a car that I or any of my friends ever built that wasn't updated or refreshed at least once a year. In fact, I still look for new ideas to incorporate on my '29 CCPU or Zipper lakester. Next major project will be disc brakes for my 66 Olds Toronado.

    You don't think that Bruce Crower, Vic Edelbrock, Jr., Chico and a host of other manufacturers aren't always figuring out how to get into your wallet with the latest and greatest speed equipment since sliced bread?

    Consider this; if the speed equipment industry bought into the "traditional" mindset, they all would have gone out of business in 1965!
     
  3. Little Wing
    Joined: Nov 25, 2005
    Posts: 7,501

    Little Wing
    Member
    from Northeast

    denis4x4 --was not the point of what i was asking/saying..

    and perhaps should not have used the "T" word

    and thanks to all who got it and responded without turning th thread into a total clusterfcuk :)
     
  4. I am very impressed with all the responses. It seems there is a huge blur of the word Traditional by the definition that goes with it. For some it means, how it was done, ie flattie-F1 brakes & steering. For others it means to just make it better. Neither is wrong and both can be right.
    I worked for a great old mechanic who would comment on the those who would complain about how they don't make cars like they used to. He was glad they didn't make em they way they used to. Primarily because they were easier to drive and more reliable.
    I respect Ryan for wanting to keep the old distributor in the Tardel~Cochran Coupe. Where I might cave for the reliability of a newer one. He may enjoy the tinkering that comes with changing points, where I may not enjoy that part.
    Just remember, in the 50's a Model A with juice brakes and a Flattie, was using newer components to improve its drivabilty (and coolness). So what Traditional means to you, well, is correct.
     
  5. theHIGHLANDER
    Joined: Jun 3, 2005
    Posts: 8,149

    theHIGHLANDER
    Member

    FWIW, I think this is a great topic. With the membership of TJJ/theH.A.M.B. on the rise I'd say expect more of the "forget that..." responses. Not everyone here gets it. Even more may wish to forget it and I find those replies just as offensive as some above have expressed. I get the feeling that many of those are motivated by the same drive that ends up creating a shitty car, one that looks like "...hurry up and lets go for a ride..." kind of thinking. Not all so don't think I'm pushing some superiority complex here, but a 1st rate traditional rod can be a thing of awe and beauty, something that RESPECTS the ideals and practice of days past. The actual core of this community. Like it or not it's restoration of a different flavor, another thing that seems to be disrespected here from time to time.

    Once again this is not a bash to the overall membership or anyone in general. It's here though or the topic wouldn't come up. And I suppose much like the stance, color, wheels, etc on that perfect car, you know when you see it. I also notice that even though some say "...don't respond if..." those response come in anyway. At that point it's a matter of social graces, or the lack of such. We hope that can be filtered out at times.

    Again, great topic. Thanks 'wing...
     
  6. enjenjo
    Joined: Mar 2, 2001
    Posts: 2,527

    enjenjo
    Member
    from swanton oh

    Seems to me there is a big disconnect between cool and traditional. Ardun heads were cool. Silver paint on the stock heads was traditional. To some people, unless it's a pre 35 Ford, it can't be traditional, but most people were building non fords, and newer than 35. Again, not cool but traditional.
     
  7. Nice to see civil discourse!!
    The thing I remember now about the 40s-50s growing up is that there was a lot more tolerance of ideas. We were happy if our friends just got something to drive. Some had more ability to work on their own cars, but not much money to do it with. There were some that had money and no skills, they usually drove newer more stock type vehicles. No matter what you drove, you wanted to be a little different than the rest. I new one guy that wouldn't let anyone in his garage, until he was ready to show off his latest ideas, so no one could copy him first. Hot rodding was and I think still should be about individal ideas. Trends are boring, and end up with people of like styles grouping together and shunning others of differing styles. They sure miss out on meeting some nice people and maybe having a better time with their cars. Can only look at so many A's, or Camaro's, etc. at one time.

    The car that I'm building now will be my last, will not fit into any special catagory and will be mine, for me.

    Some of the best advice I ever received was: You have one mouth and two ears, listen twice as much as you talk: Thanks Dad

    Enjoy life it's short!! Thanks for listening.
     
  8. 49ratfink
    Joined: Feb 8, 2004
    Posts: 18,022

    49ratfink
    Member
    from California

  9. T-Time
    Joined: Jan 5, 2007
    Posts: 1,627

    T-Time
    Member
    from USA

    Good responses by all, on both sides of the issue.

    "Traditional" is a very broad category. For me, it means built to be a period correct hot rod. But, for others it means something else, such as built with whatever is at hand, or built to have a certain look, or built to have a certain purpose. There's room for all of is under the "traditional" umbrella.

    On the other hand, when I ask a question on this traditional forum about a transverse leaf front axle, I don't expect to be told to forget it and get a IFS instead because Henry's set up wandered and that I'd never be happy with a transverse leaf axle! Or, the response to my T gow job (T body, T frame, and T engine) being that I should take off the body and put it on an A frame, use an A/B engine, and put a T5 behind it! Both of these actually happened on the HAMB! True stories.
     
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2009
  10. 1950ChevySuburban
    Joined: Dec 20, 2006
    Posts: 6,188

    1950ChevySuburban
    Member Emeritus
    from Tucson AZ

    Lots of great adult-minded thinking / ideas in this post. A lot of which I agree with.

    For me, I use "traditional" as a baseline and alter from there as desired. I just try to do it tastefully.
     
  11. x2cracing@msn.com
    Joined: Oct 2, 2007
    Posts: 68

    x2cracing@msn.com
    Member

    everytime this discussion comes up i get more and more confused as to what traditional is supposed to indicate. does it mean restore or does it mean modify in the old standard? i grew up with the hotrod lifestyle back in the 50's and 60's and the reason the 'old parts' went away was because the rodders of the day had modified them to death and were still getting beat on saturday nite. so get on down to the speed shop and get the next generation of speed part and go raceing. in the hotrod world of 'back in the day' it was just the natural progression. I.M.O.
     
  12. BlackMagicKustoms
    Joined: Jul 5, 2006
    Posts: 322

    BlackMagicKustoms
    Member
    from Denton,TX

    Along with the use of traditional there is also an appropriate limiting adjective..nostalgic. This puts a possible time stamp on the desired result of ones work. With the history of the automotive aftermarket and all of its origins, there was a traditional need for bettering of the hobby/sport. And through carefull and yes some times careless measures the continued proliferation of the advancement of technology has maintained just that. A traditional desire for faster, better, more. So fir the nit pickers mabye that is what they need to hear in order to not get their feelings hurt when someone uses inapropriate nomenclature. But there is a limit on how one should title a build in respect to nostalgia. After all it's traditional for steet rodders to LS1 the hell out of everything under the sun, just not nostalgic. (oh yea--90's nostalgic) hee hee
     
  13. RichG
    Joined: Dec 8, 2008
    Posts: 3,919

    RichG
    Member

    ...these are the type of threads that made me want to join the Hamb in the first place.
     
  14. Little Wing
    Joined: Nov 25, 2005
    Posts: 7,501

    Little Wing
    Member
    from Northeast

  15. LB+1
    Joined: Sep 28, 2006
    Posts: 581

    LB+1
    Member
    from 71291

    Traditional Hot Roding is still going strong - Traditional Hot Rods of the late 30's though to say 1953 is not.

    You can still build a Traditional Hot Rod with all era parts. not with newer and better
    parts.

    But every build of today is still Traditional Hot Roding! Joe Cool is out there still going strong!!
     
  16. banjorear
    Joined: Jul 30, 2004
    Posts: 3,837

    banjorear
    Member

    I think it is referring to a late model SBC.
     
  17. axle
    Joined: Mar 3, 2001
    Posts: 3,875

    axle
    Member
    from Drag City

    Traditional = Looking at old Hot Rod magazines

    Traditional = Hamb
     
  18. Little Wing
    Joined: Nov 25, 2005
    Posts: 7,501

    Little Wing
    Member
    from Northeast


    k,,with all the acronims going on anymore,,hard to tell :D
     
  19. denis4x4
    Joined: Apr 23, 2005
    Posts: 3,672

    denis4x4
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Colorado

    BlackMagicKustoms nailed it:

    Along with the use of traditional there is also an appropriate limiting adjective..nostalgic. This puts a possible time stamp on the desired result of ones work. With the history of the automotive aftermarket and all of its origins, there was a traditional need for bettering of the hobby/sport. And through carefull and yes some times careless measures the continued proliferation of the advancement of technology has maintained just that. A traditional desire for faster, better, more. So fir the nit pickers mabye that is what they need to hear in order to not get their feelings hurt when someone uses inapropriate nomenclature. But there is a limit on how one should title a build in respect to nostalgia.
     
  20. havi
    Joined: Dec 30, 2008
    Posts: 1,875

    havi
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Agreed. Sometimes I forget the word nostalgia when talking traditional.
     
  21. Little Wing
    Joined: Nov 25, 2005
    Posts: 7,501

    Little Wing
    Member
    from Northeast

    Yes thats all well and good ,,but my point was and still is. About mechanical info,,and how it is often dismissed for the use of ..something better and newer..


    like for example,,Blacksmithing is an art and a tradition and that tradition/skill ( how it is done ) passed down is the thing im getting at,,,not the labeling of what a car is

    Like Yes they have improved how a forge works ,,but if you have an old one and it works . You wanna find out about it,,,and get helpful information,,, instead of " why do you wanna use that outdated thing "
     
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2009
  22. Mr Haney
    Joined: Jul 17, 2008
    Posts: 1,001

    Mr Haney
    Member

    Tried very hard to stay traditional for 1962 with my hot rod. Fell short with installation 1967 munci, vega steering box. Staying true to the erra is what defines traditional my opinion. I love the vega box and the munci, but it just aint 1962 !

    dilluted like drinking 151 rum with cola in it
     
  23. denis4x4
    Joined: Apr 23, 2005
    Posts: 3,672

    denis4x4
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Colorado

    Little Wing...I understand your frustration in searching for old style techniques. To put things in perspective, the first Model A coupe I chopped was done with a hacksaw and we used clothes hangers for welding rod. I'd rather use a sawzall, angle grinder and Lincoln mig welder today. A lot of stuff we did was trial and error and quite frankly, I forgot how we got to the right results. We didn't have the HAMB or any internet info for that matter. A lot of stuff I did turned into absolute disasters. We learned by doing, not asking the opinion of 65,000 HAMBer's.
     
  24. Mr Haney
    Joined: Jul 17, 2008
    Posts: 1,001

    Mr Haney
    Member

    Funny you mentioned the art of gas welding.....Hamber cold war performed all of the welding on my coupe using the old art. Some of the nicest welds you will ever see. The only modern welding done on my car was the work I did on the frame ! nothing wrong with traditional methods if you have the skill.

     
  25. And that tater is right over the fence:D
    Touch em all 4x4!!!
     
  26. Shifty Shifterton
    Joined: Oct 1, 2006
    Posts: 4,964

    Shifty Shifterton
    Member


    Ahh, blacksmithing. Now you're getting close to my heart. Red hot stuff.

    Crafts are a weird thing. Those who practice them seek out old methods in order to understand, compare, and improve.

    Now if you're studying blacksmithing because your love is traditional cars, then you really don't care about the last 40 years of the craft. You only want to perfect the early methods.

    Now if you're simply a practicioner of the craft it's flipped. You're all about how to make the highest quality things using every resource available. You're probably viewing the automotive blacksmith guy as sacrificing quality for authenticity.

    complex terrain huh?
     
  27. havi
    Joined: Dec 30, 2008
    Posts: 1,875

    havi
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Oxy-acetyl welding and body leading! Yeah, now yer talking!!

    Not to mention panel beating bags, etc...
     
  28. Ther'es a big difference between a "Traditional Hot Rod" and a "Hot Rod". I'm building a hot rod, it's not by any means traditional, but a hot rod none the less. I don't believe there is enough respect given to the true traditional rods being built today, it's tough, I mean really tough to complete a build using period correct parts, that is parts that were avaliable before 1964. I chose to build a hot rod that "resembles" a rod that you may have seen in 1962 or 63, does that mean it's bad, I don't think so, I like this site for the tech threads and the old school hot rod bench talk. Let's everyone take what we can from here and also, give what we can, and remember that without the "Tradition" we have nothing to base our cars on.
     
  29. 49coupe
    Joined: Nov 4, 2005
    Posts: 565

    49coupe
    Member

    The problem with traditional techniques is that few guys remember all of the details unless they are still using them. Lead is a prime example. I know a lot of great body men, none of whom can use lead. My friend John went way out of his way to find an "old timer" who did all the lead work on his car. He had a lot of trouble with the paint because the body guys did not know how to prep it properly. Had he used steel body filler, he would have been fine.

    How many guys really still know how to use round rod to french headlights and taillights? Based on all of the frenching kits everyone is installing on their kustoms these days, not many.

    For me it's also a comfort level. I learned to drive in 1986 and owned a slew of 4 cyl VW rabbits and golfs because of the crazy Ontario insurance rates made owning an American V8 car impossible as a teen, so I'm lost when it comes to points, generators and 6V. Hence I stray to 12V, alternator and petronix conversions. It's what I know. I hate no sychro in low gear on early 3 spds, so I'm swapping in a Super T-10. It feels more natural for me to drive. Therefore, I'd have a hard time understanding why some guys would search and pay big $$ for a LaSalle or modify a '39 with Lincoln gears unless they were trying to build a period perfect car.

    I find this site does a good job of promoting all kinds of hot rods and kustoms.
     
  30. tommy
    Joined: Mar 3, 2001
    Posts: 14,757

    tommy
    Member Emeritus

    Isn't it ironic that this post about CHANGING a technical question about old parts into an opinion poll about using those said old parts, has morphed into an opinion poll about using old parts.:D
     

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