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trying to choose a build. how did you choose?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by The_squid, Sep 11, 2013.

  1. Hey guys, been lurking for a good while, I have been searching :D and i have been stumped. Me and my dad are thinking about starting a hot rod together, just since i have been gone so long with deployments and stuff, thought it would be a good way to spend time together. To me, all i can picture is a roadster, a v8 (preferably flathead with the merc crank and 97's) lakes pipes and a 4 speed with wire wheels and skinny tires. I am going to try to do it on a budget, but the more i look the more it adds up.

    Any ideas? I keep flipping between T's and then maybe a truck cab. I like the lakes style, But the t buckets i can find in my price range are going to be fiberglass and i am not sure i am a big fan of the cramped looking seating area and the near vertical steers. :mad: Some one suggested i just build a boat tail speedster, but seems way out of my skill set.

    How did you choose your first hot rod project?
  2. you have to ask yourself...what turns you on the most?
  3. fishnuts.
    Joined: Mar 9, 2013
    Posts: 41

    from wisconsin

    id say thats about it...
  4. its simple,you either find something in your price range that you can live with,or save up for what you just have to have.i had to have a model a,just happend to find one in bad shape for a decent deal

    Joined: Jun 3, 2005
    Posts: 8,162


    All of my projects chose me. Decades ago it was a muscle cars, and I had a "thing" for 69 Camaros. Today I wouldn't cross the street to look at a genuine Yenko. In all those formative years, all the assistance I gave to my dear departed Dad, the one constant was antiques. Dad's was always old pickup trucks, preferably with some form of Cadillac power. There was no shortage of Model As and early V8 stuff either. 2 decades plus of Packard restoration is in there too. So what and how "picked me"? I was always inspired by the R&C Dream Truck. My most ambitious project is a 54 Chevy AD truck in full kustom attire. Running along side of that is a 61 Belair Bubble Top, and a recently acquired 65 GTO. Last but not least Mrs Highlander inspired me to be "found" by a Model A pickup. I shagged one up a couple years ago just to flip, and the week I spent in the garage assembling it and getting it running was some of nicest and most satisfying "me time" I'd spent in a long while. Some shifting around of assets and a short search led me to the 31 Model A pickup I'm running around in now. She says it's "simply adorable" and wants to drive it herself. I think that they both picked me and I like it just fine. Affordable? I might have spent too much in the minds of others, but good deals can be found if you stay the course.

    Think of what you really want and try not to treat like a bag of jelly beans. By that I mean how they're almost all great flavors, but everyone's got a favorite. If you find that the financial aspect is really a problem then you need to learn how to flip stuff for fun and profit. What will happen is the one you really want will tell you, "Hey bud, I'm home." and you might find that it didn't cost you much if anything at all. I started in this game in my early teens even before I could drive. Now at 56 the right ones have told me they're home too. A couple of them are nearly free, some I'm nowhere near upside down, not one dime came from my monthly income. All side deals and flip money over lots of time. I wish I could have kept some past prizes, and wish even more to find them and get em back, but I'm not sorry. Here's the 31 PU that found me:

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  6. gwarren007
    Joined: Apr 3, 2010
    Posts: 381


    I like stationwagons, so I kept asking all of the people I could if they knew where the was a wagon for sale. It took a couple of years, but I found what I was looking for.

    BTW, try to find a rust free body as this will speed up your build and cost you less $$$.
  7. My first build was with/for my 13 year old son (at the direction of a family counselor) We went to the local junk yard, found an old Studebaker that he liked, hauled it home, looked through lots of magazines, had him draw sketches of what he wanted, tempered his desires with adult guidance and built it.
    You obviously have some ideas of what you want, the trick is to get your dad on the same page, and figure out finances. You know your family situation better than us, wives, children, etc. can make it difficult to get a lot of time to work together. Hope this helps!
  8. DaPeach
    Joined: Apr 22, 2009
    Posts: 260

    from NE OH

    with all of these things, you'd completely hate a T
  9. Thanks! this is almost perfect to me. This is exactly what i hope to build, but the T body to me just seems to be missing something... Not sure what it is? Turtle deck would be perfect! Now a retarded question, but google couldn't solve it, and i can't read arabic to well (google here searches for arabic sites) If i find a 27t steel body, can i use a frame from say speedway motors?[​IMG]
  10. Coyote13
    Joined: Apr 25, 2012
    Posts: 73

    from Dallas, TX

    This isn't exactly a cheap hobby. Any way you slice it, you'll be spending hard earned dollars to get your project finished. The more you can or are willing to do yourself, the less it will cost. But at the end of the day, we're dealing with decades old, well used vehicles. At some point you have to actually buy something, whether it's a part or the tools and materials to make a part.

    Many men have suffered much heartache because they simply don't have the time or the coin to finish a project. There are lots of projects in the backs of sheds collecting dust and cobwebs that the owners just couldn't get done. This is a good lesson to you to budget and be patient. OT, but I have a '78 Honda CB750 that's been collecting dust in my garage. In the dust on the gas tank, my girlfriend wrote out "PATIENCE," and it's served as a great reminder to me that this is a labor of love, not something that gets done overnight.

    On the UPSIDE, all of those old, long forgotten projects could potentially be yours, and there's a good chance an old timer might cut you a break on the price, being a new guy and all (or he might totally take advantage of you and take every last cent to your name).

    In any case, only you can decide what speaks to you. I assume your dad is going to be fairly heavily involved in the project, so ask his opinion, see what gets his gears going. There are literally TONS of options out there.
  11. I totally understand. I am really heavy into the acvw scene, my '67 is finally going, but between the 5 vw's i have gotten in various states of repair, and my 62 ranchero, not completely new to the have to spend money thing. But i definitely don't want to do a credit card build!
  12. Belchfire8
    Joined: Sep 18, 2005
    Posts: 1,542


    I found one of mine by looking at a lot of different ones. Some were nice but I didn't get excited when I saw them. Then I pulled in the driveway of a project I had found in an Auto Trader. Before I got out of the car I told my wife "That's the car I'm going to buy", you will know it when you see it. That was in 1991, I still own the car.
  13. VoodooTwin
    Joined: Jul 13, 2011
    Posts: 3,455

    from Noo Yawk

    Model A frames are plentiful and cheap. I'd start with a real Ford frame. Forget the 1-800-Speedway stuff.
  14. thanks! i have noticed while searching ebay, some of the model t's have a small flat area on the rear of the body and others do not. Is this where the turtle deck goes?
  15. Coyote13
    Joined: Apr 25, 2012
    Posts: 73

    from Dallas, TX

    Ah, didn't realize you had experience in "projects," from your post it sounded like you were wandering into the unknown.

    As far as how I came to my project: I missed having a truck (sold mine after high school way back in 2005, gasp!), but I also wanted an old hot rod. I'm also attempting to get a woodworking business off the ground, so I decided it had to be a flatbed for hauling large slabs of wood around. So now I have a '55 F250 daily driver/workaholic which is slowly being "hot rodded"

    "Hot rodded" is in quotes because I'm sure my idea of what a hot rod is differs greatly from the accepted norm here.
  16. if you want to build a T-bucket , build something like this:

  17. F-6Garagerat
    Joined: Apr 12, 2008
    Posts: 2,652


    Yep, x2 to that. Staying away from 1-800 stuff will produce a nicer finished project, modifying early Ford stuff is covered here in volumes.

    In addition to that, scouring Craigslist, going to swap meets etc will give you and dad something to do together until you have enough parts to put some shop time in. Chasing down just the right stuff is half the fun!

    Oh, and my project found me. Buddy of mine came into work one day, showed me a cell phone pic and said,"isn't this the kind of stuff you like to screw around with?"
  18. F-6Garagerat
    Joined: Apr 12, 2008
    Posts: 2,652


    And as far as T Roadsters go, shoot for this


    Posted using the Full Custom H.A.M.B. App!
  19. Yes, definitely have a little bit! Just never really any major fabrication other then floor pans and a few small patch panels, most were solid metal wise.

    that is a pretty awesome work truck!
  20. that is spot on the look I am after. no frills, stripped down roadster. For those in the know, Is it really as hard as everyone says it is to fit a manual under a t? A shipmate who recently left, always bragged about his awesome 40 thousand dollar 70's fad t finally brought it in with its 3 foot wide rear tires and huge window, and it had 3 pedals, but the nearly upright steering column looked ridiculous to me. Why does that happen? I've seen it alot and it looks rather uncomfortable to drive.
  21. You might think along the lines of a tried and true formula like Pete Chapouris did in building this T for his father,,cool car. HRP

  22. DaPeach
    Joined: Apr 22, 2009
    Posts: 260

    from NE OH

    I don't think it's really the difficulty getting it in there, but the lack of space in the bucket for your feet once you get that third pedal in there. My knees are quite bent & I'm only 5'. I wouldn't want a clutch to deal w/ on top of it all...but, I also have a floor mounted column, which creates another obstacle.
  23. nrgwizard
    Joined: Aug 18, 2006
    Posts: 1,275

    from Minn. uSA

    Hey, squid;

    Lots of info on here about T bucket types. Type T bucket into the search drop box, & hope you have a lot of time. :) .

    for starters:

    Chips' thread is very worth the time:

    This one's not bad:

    Worth the price, but some questionable practices, along w/ways to save $$:

    There was a fellow named Ron, went by Youngster , that posted here & on Tbucketeers forum. Drew up plans for frame & suspension bits + instructions on how to build that. Cost: *free* . Very worth having.

    If you're "stuck" on a particular mill, while making it easier for searching, keeping an open mind for other makes of the period may make it easier & cheaper to obtain something interesting. (Something seen less often - not knocking the flattie).

    Or, at the risk of causing myself trouble, since you're already into the acvw, you could roll w/a VolksRod. In the form done by Kent Fuller, Tom Medley, Andy Brizio, Steve Archer, Dode Martin, & others. Not 50's or early 60's era, though. There's some good info here on a few closed threads.

    HTH, FWIW.

  24. Thanks for all the help guys! I love those 2 rods that were posted. Almost exactly what i am after, minus bomber seats.
  25. Thanks for taking the time to post those links! I am not totally against other mills, as long as it is not a small block chevy. (no offense to anyone that runs one) I did a quick search of period correct hot ro engines, but came up mostly dry. how ever the olds rocket came up a few times in magazines i have read. Any info on period correct engines that may be more available then a flat head?

    Volks rod are cool, but for me i like to keep them mostly original with the exception of euro stuff and of course suspension. last car was narrowed 6 inches :D.
  26. Buy the nicest most rust free car you can afford. You wont be sorry
  27. where is the build thread. i am drooling over this car
  28. AHotRod
    Joined: Jul 27, 2001
    Posts: 11,275


  29. teddyt
    Joined: Sep 24, 2010
    Posts: 99

    from U.S.

    It basically boils down to,........what kind of car excites you? In saying that,'s better to try to be realistic about your goals also. Who wouldn't like to have an original 32 Ford 3 window Coupe sitting in their driveway??? But I am pretty sure that will never happen.
    My dream cars would be a 33 Willys or a Anglia Thames. These cars are unfortionately out of my range at this point in my life. But,......I am building a 31 Model A coupe right now and it is a build that I am financially comfortable with. Sounds like fun !
  30. patmanta
    Joined: May 10, 2011
    Posts: 3,648

    from Woburn, MA

    Like the guys here have said already, ignore the mail order bodies and frames. You'll be $10k in before you've even got an engine or wheels. There's plenty of old steel out there.

    Start looking locally. I find stuff on CL where I am all the time.

    My suggestion is that you start with a book on traditional builds and such. It'll help you out quite a bit planning your build and finding the right parts.

    And if you like buckets but hate the seating situation, you would want a 26/27 T or 28-31 Model A body. I think the 30/31 Model A's are a little roomier but I may be mistaken.

    Don't give up on flatheads, there are plenty out there. Just like all these old parts, you just need to be patient until the right part pops up.

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