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Customs Why are customs dying?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Roothawg, Jun 8, 2021.

  1. Flogknaw
    Joined: Nov 25, 2016
    Posts: 205

    from Texas

    Being someone who is one of the younger people, I can 100% agree on how everything is through the roof price wise, I’ve got a 1966 Chevy impala (just shy of the HAMB cut off) that’s a bondo factory, going all over the internet even cars that are total crap and shouldn’t be worth more than 2k are posted online for 5-8k, being a 22 year old with barely any money coming in, it’s a bummer
  2. Understood and glad you are into the old stuff as a young guy. Don’t be discouraged by what you see in prices out there right now. There are still deals to be had, just not advertised typically. Word of mouth is how I have bought probably the last 6-10 old cars. I won’t typically pay the prices of the advertised stuff. As you mention, it is overpriced junk all too often. I recently was looking for something 64 or older as a driver and looked at several that were overpriced. Then, a co-worker walked up one day and told me about my now daily driver 60 Thunderbird for a pretty good deal that his father in law was selling. Just takes patience to be in this hobby on the cheap.
  3. Then you get hosed on the price of repair parts.... LOL
    guthriesmith likes this.
  4. might seem that way if you have been following along on my thread. But, including new tires, I have probably only spent about $500 on it so far... :D
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2021
  5. What part of Texas are you in?
  6. Last edited: Jun 10, 2021
  7. BamaMav
    Joined: Jun 19, 2011
    Posts: 6,744

    from Berry, AL

    That last line pretty well sums it up, there are cars being built, but not acceptable on here. Cars that fit here are mostly restored cars, or cars built to restored specs.

    I just prefer the lines of pre 1949 cars, I don’t care what’s under the hood. Stock engine or new crate, it’s all good. Unless it’s a diesel forklift motor, then I will raise my eyebrows...
    K13, guthriesmith and Roothawg like this.
  8. panhead_pete
    Joined: Feb 22, 2006
    Posts: 3,487


    If you think customs are dead maybe follow along what Jesse and his crew do at Lordz of Custom in LA. They are still building and driving some epic customs and have young guys learning.
    LOST ANGEL and anthony myrick like this.
  9. 51 mercules
    Joined: Nov 29, 2008
    Posts: 3,871

    51 mercules

    I don't know if they ae dying, but there have been a lot of trends over the years from hot rodding, customs, show rods, low riders, muscle cars, bugs, mini trucks, street rods, rat rods and tuner cars. I have friends who have kids that aren't interested in driving. I also have friends that have kids or grand kids that aren't interested in their parents hotrods or custom cars. The younger guys that I know are interested in tuner cars and newer cars like mustangs and challengers. Trends change, but I still like traditional hotrods and customs. I bought my 51 Merc mild custom survivor in in 2008 and just recently got it running and have about 15 grand into the whole thing. [​IMG]
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2021
  10. We have a forklift with a 4bt.
    gimpyshotrods likes this.
  11. Roothawg
    Joined: Mar 14, 2001
    Posts: 24,578


    I hear ya. I have 2 grown kids that will probably just have an auction when I die. My 18 year old nephew likes hot rods (see the Okie Apache build thread). He is working for a high end restoration shop(Boss Mustangs etc.) now for the summer. He soaking up knowledge like a sponge. I told him to teach his old Uncle what he learns. The problem with him, is he loves all original things. He is infatuated with putting things back exactly the way they came new. So, as far as customs, I don't see him ever embracing it.
  12. [​IMG]


    My ‘51 made the rod to kustom transition over a more than twenty year period. West Coast Kustoms’ annual Memorial Day event in Santa Maria is doing well, though recently delayed due to COVID. Kustoms are not at all dead, but it takes time and patience to build one. Even a mild one like mine took a long time to find appropriate parts from old cars.
  13. Roothawg
    Joined: Mar 14, 2001
    Posts: 24,578


    Looking good!
    Russ B likes this.
  14. He will.
    My son at 15 wasnt much into old rides. at 18 he digs em. Right now it’s old Jeeps.
    His favorite ride at the last show we were at was a custom 59 Chevy.
    You’ll be surprised what happens after they start digging em.
    210superair likes this.
  16. 210superair
    Joined: Jun 23, 2020
    Posts: 1,952

    from Michigan

    And that's cool too, old jeeps are great. I own a mild custom, but I can dig all kinds of rides... There's not much I wouldn't want to own, as long as it's cool.
    anthony myrick likes this.
  17. I like the hot rod version
  18. egads
    Joined: Aug 23, 2011
    Posts: 1,419


    What's wrong with a 4 door made into a custom? The Galaxie is mine but look through the little pages magazine's sometime. Quite a few 4 door's back then. 2016_Stray_Kat_500_179-M.jpg
  19. Flogknaw
    Joined: Nov 25, 2016
    Posts: 205

    from Texas

    Central, North of Austin
  20. 97
    Joined: May 18, 2005
    Posts: 1,983


    I think you are preaching to the wrong crowd.... and that's not the whole HAMB, it's the 10% you spoke of , remembering those that follow the HAMB are most likely less than 10% of car guys (thankfully). Back to the 10% of Hambers who would maybe build a custom, I think ONLY 10% of them actually know what constitutes a traditional custom.... 10% of 10% of 10% of car guys? !
    SO the issue comes back to you guys, it's a matter of spreading the word and exciting the other 90%! I have often thought about a custom, BUT I have to admit I don't even really know what nosed and decked means , I have learned more about what a traditional custom is and what parts are used to build the various traditional customs in the first page of this thread than I have learned about them in the last 50 plus years of owning my RPU and building numerous old American cars for myself and friends.
    I think I now know about nosed , but I could be wrong! I do know what some cars look like stock, but ....I am just a learner really.
    What I am saying is that if you trad custom guys want the 0.1% to grow you need to educate and make the sector attractive.... target those young guys already working/learning the skills , who have some of the ability and facility , and time in their lives for a long term project...... and that brings up the other issue, it seems to me that many US cities/ area authorities etc prevent the building of customs with their rules about non op cars ...where does a younger guy get to build?

    P.S. What is CCR ? Where is it ?
  21. Not a custom
    jimmy six likes this.
  22. dmikulec
    Joined: Nov 8, 2009
    Posts: 590


    Love this thread. :cool:

    Some of us, regardless of age are just getting started. Mine... just call her Blank Canvas for now. Shooting for a mild custom, something I may have done in high school if I'd of had the chance. Inspired by the usual suspects of course; gone but not forgotten.

  23. Roothawg
    Joined: Mar 14, 2001
    Posts: 24,578


    Nosed and decked means removing the hood ornament and the deck lid emblem to smooth up the lines.

    CCR is here. It's in Indianapolis, Indiana I
    egads and 97 like this.
  24. Where do young guys learn? Here, YouTube, schools, work, asking questions, just doing it, making mistakes, learn to weld, buy some tools, build what you can afford, build something easy and work from there.
    Bama is a good state for old rides, no inspections and no titles needed.
    dmikulec likes this.
  25. 97
    Joined: May 18, 2005
    Posts: 1,983


    Yes, I agree, but apart from "Here" and maybe youtube customs and custom culture is like an exclusive almost closed shop secret society to a lot of people. Young guys will get there but first they have to be infected and excited and that will only happen if those that "know" and already own customs go out there and be seen, car shows usually only attract people already in the know, because the advertising is aimed at them, using the cars and making the lifestyle look attractive is what will bring in new blood.
    I am 10,000 miles away and the only reason I read this thread in the first place was that it came up as "featured" and I wondered what Roothawg was going to see . "CCR" is a closed shop reference to what I now know is Custom Car Revival" Often it is counterproductive to use acronyms, it may portray the writer as part of the crowd, but does not tell someone outside the circle, the reality.

    This is my answer to the title question, it is not definative and I can no longer be called a young guy, I was 19 until a couple of years a go reality set in when I had a heart attack! Now I am a bit more careful and think I am probably a more responsible 31 or so , others will tell you I should act my age and admit I was born in 55!
  26. “Being seen”. Unless it’s at a show or traveling on an uncovered trailer, most customs sit in a garage unseen.
    “Infected” or “influenced”how do you do that? Well, maybe the older guys, instead of complaining about tuner cars, lifted, bla bla bla, start talking to these younger guys.
    Maybe offer some advice to the neighborhood kid with the loud civic. Crap, maybe show the kid how to do something.
    I do my part as best as I can. I don’t have but maybe one student that had a “custom” I can post here. However, customizing is customizing.
    In my 10 years of teaching, we have shaved door handles, swapped sides with tailgate handles, completed a subframe graft, smoothed a firewall, shaved a gas lid door, fabricated patch panels, moved pedals, built custom steering parts, engine swapped, built engine mounts, boxed frame rails, C notches, lowering blocks, IFS and IRS swaps, shortened drive shafts, shortened a school bus, body dropped a mini truck, built custom inner fender wells, correct bump steer, installed drop spindles, drop springs, tucked bumpers, shaved windshield squirters. shaved an antenna, radiued wheel openings, built floors, corrected pinion angles/drive line angles, shot candy, pearls and small flake.
    How, well I have a course called “metal cut and weld”. Most all those procedures listed fit that. Under mechanical lessons for suspension, that covers the other. The custom paint is a given for when we cover painting.
    So, I don’t know how other people influence, bur I try to do my part.
    None of my guys have anything that can be called a traditional custom but the methods and techniques crossover from resto/collision/custom.......
    Really want to help inspire, maybe get the car club guys to sponsor shows or move the cruise in at the local school.
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2021
    Bruce Dern, 49Olds, BamaMav and 4 others like this.
  27. BrerHair
    Joined: Jan 30, 2007
    Posts: 5,009


    This makes me think about the large number of Hambers that have moved on from here, no doubt due to FB and IG. The Bombers, the incredible Japanese crowd, the Chicano crowd, not to mention some talented pros. And some talented amateurs. OT, sorry, but probably not worth starting a thread about, so there it is. The HAMB is still a fairly healthy place, folks leave, folks join, but still ....
    williebill, Special Ed and dmikulec like this.
  28. F-ONE
    Joined: Mar 27, 2008
    Posts: 3,271

    from Alabama

    I admire you and what you do.
    Those people need it. One of my best friends and his wife are JEFCOED teachers. I know there's a lot of heartbreak from that job. There's probably things you should not take home, but you do because you care. I know it can be frustrating but the rewards and accomplishments are great. What you share shall stay with them their entire lives..
    anthony myrick likes this.
  29. slickhale
    Joined: Dec 19, 2010
    Posts: 772

    from Phoenix

    I think there are a lot of “Kustoms” being built, it seems like they never get finished though. I follow a lot of pages of some serious custom work, I rarely see them completed. I get it, I’ve been there. The last 10% of a project is the nut up or shut up point. Most never make it and get sold as projects. It’s not for a lack of trying, that last bit of pushing a project past a cool looking primered car to a finished custom is a daunting task. I think we will see a resurgence of the custom scene somewhat, at least I hope. There are a lot of 90% cars just waiting for the chance.
  30. I guess my posting of the bomb is kinda if a lighthearted joke.
    Stock body, lowered+tons of accessories (usually the opposite for a custom) is generally a low rider/bomb. A couple of my favorite styles
    I guess the misconception I don’t understand is the “no body mods” part some associate with slammed customs. You may not like a slammed car but the term “no body mods” does not apply to the majority of them.
    I guess floor, wheel house and all the other “body mods” required to do this is unknown to those not familiar with how these are built.
    I have “nosed and decked a couple cars. That’s a much simpler body mod than raising a floor or wheel house.
    The fact is there are 100% more pre65 examples for a custom with adjustable suspension than a pre65 example for a hotrod with a 350/350 combo.
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2021

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