The Jalopy Journal
Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by JimSibley, Sep 24, 2017.
That is an apropos username.
The Chevy was in pieces in 1973 when I bought, it was a puzzle that I, with little real world experience, was able to get back on the road. Four years ago I needed a new retirement project (watching TV just doesn't cut it) and I decided on building a 53 or 54 Studebaker, after I bought the one in the avatar I thought I'd build it in a year. I took all of three years to fix all of the rust plus I bought three other cars for parts. For me, it was a project, probably money losing, but it helped me keep my sanity I corresponded with another Studebaker restorer, he told me he thought he had bought a decent car but when he "dug" deeper it turns out that it was a bondo rust queen so buying a "nice" car may not always pay off. I need another project but don't have any more room and I don't want to sell anything
I've built cars that I started with a roof and a cowl and both had rust. But my own cars are built with very solid original body's. Yes you can save anything but its shit work after you don't need to prove it can be done.
Get the cleanest vehicle you can to start with.
It seem that rough cars are overpriced now days, you could buy a pretty good body 10 years ago for what junk cost lately. HRP
At one point, I built my share of cars from the ground up, one piece at a time. Now, I see that’s not for me. I all depends on the parts, the individual, and the timing in your life. If you have too many other priorities, something is going to suffer.
Hopelessly shot is usually all I can afford!
I'm very thrifty with both my time and my money. I find it saves both to start with a decent car to begin with.
I generally don’t start with nice stuff. Im cheap, and usually cut enough out of car whether it is nice or not. I go with more race builds with full chassis, so a decent roof and quarters are all I really am concerned with. The 53 stude I have now is so far gone that most wouldn’t even use it as a parts car... It has a good roof, bolt-on rear quarters, and a clear title. I feel like Im giving the car a second chance at youth. It will be coveted again.
Myself I have no use or place for garage art ( top dollar builds or restoration) I build my toys to play with and being the cheap fuck that I am that means they’re rough, my biggest concern is they be as complete and unmolested as possible.
I don't mind putting the saw to a rough car.
Can't say I'd want to have a rotted out rust bucket for every build. But once in awhile it's OK to do one, just to keep myself occupied, and busy. My last one sat in a field for decades, and had no windows in it the entire time. So except for the trunk pan it was pretty much gone in the bottom 4"-5" everywhere. Then all the fender to body mounting surfaces were also rusted away too. I spent 6 months, 5 days a week just replacing rusty metal, before I could even begin to address the rest of the build! Really can't describe it as "fun", but it was rewarding as various areas became solid, and looking good.
NOPE. Been there, done that, too many times.
I'm older and wiser now.
I no longer have the youthfulness or the energy to spend months doing major rust/panel/floor repair JUST to get something back to a "useable" body.
If I had $10 for everting I've said or thought 'no more rust buckets" The money would be there for ...
the next Rust bucket
One thing about saving a rust bucket, what ever you do to it is an improvement!
It gives you a chance to take chances.
If it started out as junk, you just can't hurt it anymore. If you screw it up, it was still junk before you started, so no big loss. If you bought into it cheap enough, all you can loose some time and material, but gain a lot of experience. Sometimes learning what not to do is more valuable then learning what to do. Gene
It is amazing that anyone would want to start from a wreck of a car. It does not matter how bad it is, why? There are always versions of any choice of old hot rods or cars that people like to have as a cool cruiser. But, even back in the late 50s early 60s, no one had the time or money to buy a wreck of an old car. Two teenagers had school, jobs and family obligations to take care of before traipsing into the back yard to work on a beat up old car.
Our friends were in the same boat. Why start with something that is going to take so long to work on, have nightmares about fit and finish, while others started their hot rods with a minimal conversion? The whole idea of hot rodding is to have fun modifying an old car to make it work for you. But, I see where some people have a different vision of how far back to go to get the cheapest, oldest or rare car to be one of a kind.
Hot rodding was never like that. It was an old Model A Coupe or any of the early Ford Coupes or Sedans that we could find in the neighborhood. Then, to modify and make, go faster with some new power. The story of struggling from a rusted out heap to a show quality car is only in magazines after years of work. Or, someone dropped off a wreck at a custom hot rod shop to let them do their stuff.
The early idea of one of a kind hot rod for daily driving or even just for Saturday-Sunday cruises is no more, IOHO. There are and have been all sorts of builds of rare or unusual hot rods for everyone to "ohh and ahh." The choice is always yours to take and get busy. We have gone through several stages of hot rod/drag racing builds and it is fun to enjoy the fruits of the labor it took to modify or get the hot rod on the road for total enjoyment.
But, we took apart a nice rolling old car that had to get some modification to make it run first. then the modifying took place. body work was a minimum, but the high performance modifications were the main thing and that took some time.
If there are those who still like the vast metal working to create something virtually from scratch, more power to you. For the majority of enthusiasts young or old, it is not worth the effort for the amount of time and money involved. It is the fun factor of driving around and enjoying what hot rods have to offer. Young or old. YRMV
I know this sounds weird, but I remember watching the old Boris Karloff "Frankenstein" movie as a kid. The monster wanted to kill people and the towns people wanted to kill it. Dr. Frankenstein kept defending his creation and felt the creature just needed some more tweaking to be fine. I thought that was weird the Dr. felt like that but now that I've had some put together some "creature" vehicles, I feel a proudness that it runs well, etc!! 99% of people have no idea how much thinking, measuring, car crafting goes into a Frankenstein type vehicle. But to answer the question, yes I would rather start with a perfect old car to make mine, but I can't afford that!!
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