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Hot Rods Wht is the story with these roadster bodies?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Groovy, Feb 28, 2019.

  1. gene-koning
    Joined: Oct 28, 2016
    Posts: 1,539


    In some cases, holes need to be reamed out to get panels to align because the panel may not have been perfectly centered when it got stamped, or when the holes got punched. There are acceptable tolerances because sometimes things don't go according to plan. If a company is stamping out panels and the material stop is one thread on the stop bolt off on one side, the entire number of parts that got stamped that day, shift, or hour, are all off. The tolerance allows those incorrectly stamped panels to be used rather then scrap the entire bunch.
    When parts are supplied by the lowest bidder, then assembled into one unit, sometimes the bunch of parts that got put together don't always fit as designed. If one part is at one end of the acceptable standard, and the part that joins it is at the other end of the accepted standard, their fit becomes a bit challenging.
    Rest assured, Henry understood the process of building automobiles. As long as they looked pretty much the same rolling down the assemble line and out to door to the buying public, there has to be some level of allowing the individual parts to be off from the designed pattern. Otherwise there is a lot of waste, and waste costs money. Henry definitely understood the requirement to cut down on waste at every level. + or - 1/4" was probably the industry standard back when these cars were new, and that tolerance carried through into the 60s as far as body standards were concerned. Gene
  2. alanp561
    Joined: Oct 1, 2017
    Posts: 883


    As demonstrated by the lowest bidder supplied O rings in the Challenger Space Shuttle disaster.
  3. dirty old man
    Joined: Feb 2, 2008
    Posts: 8,343

    dirty old man

    I built my roadster from a stalled out project that started with a "rolling chassis" Brookville 30/31 "A" body on a '32 frame repro also supplied by Brookville that was pinched in front and bobbed & notched in the rear when built in order for the "A" body to fit.
    I was around 70 when I started the build, now I'm 81 and enjoying a hot rod that I think I can lay claim to building myself (except for body and paint work done by a good friend). In the process I used EVERY machine tool in my well equipped shop including lathe, mill, drill press, and all 4 types of welders I have (tig, mig, stick, and OA).
    But I'm being honest when I say that at my age I would have never been able to do the extensive rust repairs and frame modifications that would have been required on any old bodies and frames available.
    I also agree with the statements above that this is a hot rod site, not a restoration site, and having spent time in auto assembly plants both on the assembly line and later as a journeyman toolmaker, I also agree the tolerances years ago left a bit to be desired when compared to some of what some here seem to think.
  4. DDDenny
    Joined: Feb 6, 2015
    Posts: 12,879

    from oregon

  5. Looks like something from the time machine. HRP

    old bodys.jpg
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2019
  6. Yeah! Even Henry built belly buttons! :D
    lothiandon1940 likes this.
  7. Atwater Mike
    Joined: May 31, 2002
    Posts: 9,851

    Atwater Mike

    1/4" deviation in Henry's '32s? During an enormous hunger march amidst the world's depression?
    Think of how 'lucky' we are to have had the '32 Fords, all of 'em!

    I remember seeing some of Frank Kurtis's Midgets in crate form, in the '50s.
    How I lusted for one of those...imagined it arriving by truck, lowered down on the load gate...

    But this pic of the new red Speedway '32s? Much as I could use a '32 Hiboy, they just aren't 'tugging my chain'! Must be the numbers. (14 at one time)
    Or the other ones. The 50 thousand ones.
    Or my 'chain'. Mine's not gold.:cool:
    alanp561 likes this.
  8. Kan Kustom
    Joined: Jul 20, 2009
    Posts: 2,337

    Kan Kustom

    I was agreeing with Speedway as like I said , I have had unmolested originals that measured up to 3/8" off from each other and I know a reputable guy who told me he has had differences of 1/2". I am not saying the bodies can't be improved. I am just saying to build a hotrod like were done back in the day ,these measurments were acceptable.
  9. finn
    Joined: Jan 25, 2006
    Posts: 624


    The space shuttle disaster was a case of design error, not low bidder.

    The material specified in the design was incapable of performing at the low temperatures encountered at altitude.

    As far as tolerances go, all processes yield a finished part with a dimensional deviation around a mean. A well controlled process will have a smaller deviation, but there will still be a deviation.
    48fordnut, Hnstray, dirt t and 5 others like this.
  10. patsurf
    Joined: Jan 18, 2018
    Posts: 262


    are you 1/2 lawyer and 1/2 engineer??
  11. Man. Someone has way too much time on their hands.
  12. X-cpe
    Joined: Mar 9, 2018
    Posts: 782


    When he was up in his space capsule John Glenn recalled thinking "Everything on here was supplied by the lowest bidder."

    Almost every spec on a car has a plus or minus tolerance. We've all known people who've had the same car and one was rocket and one was a slug. In one case the plus and minus aligned great and on the other they were fighting each other. We couldn't afford DD cars where everything was held to blueprint specs. On our toys we can be as anal as our budgets and skills allow.
  13. Petejoe
    Joined: Nov 27, 2002
    Posts: 10,264

    from Zoar, Ohio

    Spent a good part of my life in the QC and assembly of semi Truck bodies.
    Tolerances on parts were set and adhered to a high standard up until they entered the door.
    After that it was all a matter of getting them together so they generally look and operate correctly.
    A lot of holes were reamed and sheet metal rebent before body and paint work.
    I’m sure Fords were assembled the same way at those times.
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2019
    lewk, Blues4U, lothiandon1940 and 3 others like this.
  14. Mr48chev
    Joined: Dec 28, 2007
    Posts: 26,089


    Boy howdy this got out of hand quick.
    Yes the price is a bit steep for one you still have to put a drivetrain in but on the other hand there are plenty of guys out there that have more money than time or skills for that matter. Truth is at my 72 years old right now if I had the money for one I'd seriously consider it. Eveything else I need is out in the garage and with a motor mount change and a few extra bucks to redo a shed dwelling engine I have I could have an interesting car that wouldn't quite be a belly button special.
    That roadster that someone posted the link to is interesting but I have to be a bit suspect of any vehicle that someone mounts speakers in the engine compartment. what the hell is the reason for that?
    Blue One and Fordor Ron like this.
  15. wicarnut
    Joined: Oct 29, 2009
    Posts: 3,344


    IMO for the semi/unskilled backyard builder it's not that out of line. 50K plus buying, bolting the rest together, guessing, 10/15K, 65K on the road, running, driving, a nice 32 steel Roadster is reasonable if you're in that $$$ range for your Toys. I believe Brizio starts at 125 K for a basic car, Alloway similar I'm told. This $$$ is more than I'm willing to spend as I sold my 32 3 widow (pics in my albums) for 38K 3 years ago and it was a very nice car. I like the Dearborn Deuce style Roadster and I'm thinking/daydreaming minimum 50K/60 K if I put it all together, farm out paint/upholstery, again beyond what I want to spend, but it's fun to daydream. Speedway IMO fills the gap and many of their products are good, with some import "Stuff" just like everyone else.
  16. Hot Rods Ta Hell
    Joined: Apr 20, 2008
    Posts: 3,940

    Hot Rods Ta Hell

    "This custom '32 all steel, production-line roadster fills the gap between the do-it-yourself builder and the $150,000 custom built cars. "

    It may be a good way to get into a new build Roadster in a matter of weeks rather than months or years. The price isn't bad for an individual that has planned on building an (all new, red) 32 Roadster, be it a first time Rodder or an established guy with $$$ that is Jonesing to add a Roadster to his stable AND drive it this season.

    Price out a steel roadster body and chassis, prep and paint work, plumbed chassis, interior, radiator, wiring, dash, etc. With shop rates what they are you'll be at 50k real quick. And you may have to wait a year or two for the shop to deliver it at this stage.
    Order a crate engine, your choice of wheels and tires and the rest of the parts and start assembling. No fab, welding, grinding, painting...
    Easily be driving it this Spring.
    While not my cup of tea (oh, what I could do with 50k!!!) it does have a market/buyer.
    Blues4U, clem, 36-3window and 6 others like this.
  17. Gman0046
    Joined: Jul 24, 2005
    Posts: 5,765


    As Hot Rods Ta Hell stated having one of those cookie cutters built would easily exceed 50K. The sad part is you'd then have something you be lucky to get 25K for.
    Atwater Mike likes this.
    Joined: Jun 3, 2005
    Posts: 7,862


    Tolerance is over rated. The finest most expensive (then and today) custom coachwork was 1-off stuff built mostly by hand, employed expert craftsmen, used the finest materials. They're pretty fricken far off in some ways, spot on in others. Fast fwd to the 60s-70s, if you ever get the chance to measure a (cough-cough) 'Cuda (cough-cough) you'll find that the front fender opening started life with a difference of 3/4" from 1 side to the other (I think the pass side is bigger). Most every GM 'F' body has a difference of 3/8"-5/8" in the rear 1/4 panel placing the front of that wheel opening closer to your slicks (!) and has you scratching your head as to where the whisp of smoke came from just before you crossed the traps. Driver's side was closer, I think, and I figured right away how to correct the clearance issue when I was doing racer/pro street stuff 20 years ago. My beloved Packards are a bit off here and there. Of course, they were lucky to do 10% of the voulume the majors did, and the more repetition the more accurate the product from 1 car to the next. What's important is where those differences are and how they effect the finished product, Ford, Chevy, Mopar, hell even Packard. When rod parts builders throw that tolerance in the mix, then "Willies" fender doesn't fit "Joes" chassis or body because they took the extreme of tolerances in opposite directions.

    If this sounds like I'm a student of Bruise and Burn University, well, you're right. On topic? That really is a good deal considering the sum of it's parts and a sly customer knowing exactly what they want from it. Let's face it, the formula is popular and it works or there wouldn't be so many out there.
    slim38, lothiandon1940, egads and 4 others like this.

  19. Some guys budget and fund as they go build,
    Say a conservative budget of 2000 a month for a build
    Easy to get 50gs deep into a car like that at that stage after 2 years.
  20. jazz1
    Joined: Apr 30, 2011
    Posts: 1,475


    Walmart? One aisle over from the BBQ's?
    They do look great from here.
    VANDENPLAS likes this.
  21. Ghost28
    Joined: Nov 23, 2008
    Posts: 3,147


  22. BamaMav
    Joined: Jun 19, 2011
    Posts: 3,717

    from Berry, AL

    Some guys build, some buy, it's all good. I have to take junk and build off of it because I can't afford to buy the premo good stuff. Doesn't bother me, as long as it's fun. If you can afford to buy it and then drive it, that's great. Can't see the investment on a static display year round in some climate controlled building though. They're meant to be driven, often.
    keywestjack, X-cpe and wicarnut like this.
  23. The37Kid
    Joined: Apr 30, 2004
    Posts: 26,293


    There still is a market for originals, I rather have a real one, don't care if it runs or not. Bob
    VANDENPLAS likes this.
  24. finn
    Joined: Jan 25, 2006
    Posts: 624


    No. 100% engineer, but I worked pretty closely with the engineering teams of the Oem gasket and seal manufacturers at the time of the disaster.

    Needless to say, they were pretty up to date on what led to the failure. It affected their livelihood. It’s a small, closely knit technical community.
    Hnstray, Blues4U, clem and 1 other person like this.
  25. The37Kid
    Joined: Apr 30, 2004
    Posts: 26,293


    Was it the gasket or the cold weather? I think about that every time I drive past the factory that made it. Bob
  26. town sedan
    Joined: Aug 18, 2011
    Posts: 1,120

    town sedan

    I thought it was from banging on the rocket with sticks to get the ice off.
  27. adam401
    Joined: Dec 27, 2007
    Posts: 1,825


    I build my own stuff and like original Henry steel but I'd love to have one of those roadsters. I think there's a lot of value there for the money. I can't afford it but pretty cool concept.
    Montana1 and lothiandon1940 like this.
  28. The37Kid
    Joined: Apr 30, 2004
    Posts: 26,293


    I know you have to spend money to make money, so lets say each roadster cost $25,000. to build, parts & labor, the 14 sitting there equal $350,000.00.

    VANDENPLAS likes this.
  29. Two grand a month is a conservative budget? not where I live! :rolleyes:

    I'm lucky if I come up with 200 bucks a month. HRP
    lewk, Nailhead Jason, RICH B and 8 others like this.
  30. 4dsrus
    Joined: Feb 23, 2007
    Posts: 16


    Their own, made in South Africa.
    clem likes this.

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