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Hot Rods Why did they survive?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Corvette Fever, May 22, 2017.

  1. Corvette Fever
    Joined: Feb 18, 2014
    Posts: 131

    Corvette Fever
    from Michigan

    Have you ever wondered why your car was lucky enough to survive the ravages of time when so many others didn't Most of our cars went through a long period of time when they were basically worthless. Some of them would have been hard to give away.
    My 53T&C is a classic example. Chrysler wagons were high on many people's list of ( I gotta have one of those) much less a candidate for a hot rod.
    Probably the only reason it made it was that it was fortunate enough to be in Southern California desert town.
    What's your cars story?

    Sent from my iPad using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
  2. Kan Kustom
    Joined: Jul 20, 2009
    Posts: 2,635

    Kan Kustom

    All of mine are stubborn like me and won't go away. I know because every time I work on any of them , they are never very cooperative.
    dana barlow, hendelec, Jet96 and 7 others like this.
  3. The37Kid
    Joined: Apr 30, 2004
    Posts: 27,335


    All of mine were apart or a collection of parts, parts are easier to hide I think. Bob
  4. I feel that mine sat for many years in a dry place, possibly in a shed or under cover somewhere. It looks like one side was exposed more to the elements than the other judging from the sun damaged interior. I know the car originated in San Jose Ca and made its way to Denver where I found it.
    lothiandon1940 likes this.

  5. wicarnut
    Joined: Oct 29, 2009
    Posts: 4,230


    51 Merc 5-07-17 002.JPG 100_1095.JPG My 2 old rides at this time, 51 Merc, Colorado car, 51 Buick, Texas car, have history on cars, both solid cars w/ some rust repair on Merc, Very little repair on Buick. You like I are in the rust belt for cars and most that get built come from other parts of the country. IMO one of the reasons the hobby has grown in my lifetime like it did is the availability of so many aftermarket parts, from floorplans, suspension kits, brakes, trim, bodies/parts, engines, companies that produce frames to complete rollers to turn key rides. This site is about old school, back in the day when you had to make everything, was not much available for help,(junkyards) parts wise and few had the skills/equipment in comparison to today's men, $$$ factor, few men had the money like today (last 20/30/40 years) you can see this in the old Pic's, yes there was some beautiful cars, small in number compared to the norm of the true old days (30's-40's before my time) I stared with my cars in 1964 in Milwaukee Wisconsin and my 50's cars were all ready rusted junk in the 60's, lots of patches/Bondo/driveway paint jobs, lived w/ my sister at this time, no garage so all work was done outside on gravel pad behind her house. Certain Iconic cars Tri5Chevys, 32/40 Fords, old Corvettes had a big enough following that saved many of them, like the resurgence of 60's70's muscle cars are enjoying now, that is my generation of Hot Rod (69 now), never had one, probably won't buy one anymore, I had 50's cars and liked the 32/40's cars, my Father's generation was the true old school Hot Rodder.
    Last edited: May 22, 2017
  6. Joliet Jake
    Joined: Dec 6, 2007
    Posts: 493

    Joliet Jake
    from Jax, FL

    I have always wondered about how my 62 Chevy II survived. I sold it in 1979, it was resold a month later then vanished. Many years later I saw it sitting on a trailer looking very tired and beaten down at that point I tried to forget about it and moved on with life and moved over 900 miles away. Fast forward to the winter of 2005, while back home visiting family, my brother in law said lets try and find the old Chevy II. Two calls later and he found it sitting in a pole barn, it had been through multiple owners and barns over 26 odd years. I bought it back a few weeks later and hauled it back to Florida, I have restored it back to what it was before and then some, at the time it was barely "drivable" the only thing that survived was the body, the rest had to be completely rebuilt or was junk, mostly junk. Today it's stronger, faster, quicker, more reliable and better looking than it ever was.
  7. mgtstumpy
    Joined: Jul 20, 2006
    Posts: 8,215


    • My first car was a local GM Holden and was a a rare early production series registered in mid 1948. It was a one owner log book car with original license plates when I purchased it around 1975. The car spent it's entire life in my home town where it was built.
    • My 35 tub went off the road in 1965 and was literally a barn find when purchased by the second owner in 1986 after first seeing it in 1979, making me the the third owner when I purchased it in 2000. It was a work in progress and only a roller with boxes of spare parts. It was complete with only minor rust and had been well cared for over the years. It was built locally and spent it's entire life not far from me.
    • My 46 Olds came from Texas and was a dry weather car when it came into Australia in 1990. It sat for years in a shed until purchased by me around 2005 as a complete rolling car. When I stripped it, there was only minimal rust and 2" of sand in the doors. It was a Lansing MI built car and had 1967 license plates on it, I've no idea how many owners it had before it was exported but it had two (2) before me down here, one of them being the importer and the other who I bought it from as a rolling project. It was pretty much identical to when it came into the country and had not been touched or pulled apart..
    lothiandon1940 likes this.
  8. Pictures, guys, pictures. We can only try to visualize your cars without pictures!!:D.......Notice that I didn't say, "Without pictures it didn't happen".;)
  9. mgtstumpy
    Joined: Jul 20, 2006
    Posts: 8,215


    No pictures of 48 Holden but this is my 35 Chevy and 46 Olds.
    35.1.jpg Olds in garage.jpg
    Forgot this OT 66 Fairlane GTA convertible. It was very sad but was a complete roller when purchased in 1988. I converted it to RHD during restoration process.
    Top frame1.jpg GTA.JPG
  10. Hot Rods Ta Hell
    Joined: Apr 20, 2008
    Posts: 4,093

    Hot Rods Ta Hell

    The "I'm gonna fix it up someday" (or hoarder) answer has been present for 50+ years in the old car game. We like to bitch about the guy with a decades long yard full of old cars that he won't sell, but when he picked up many of those they were probably almost ready for scrap as they had little value. If he hadn't done that, they wouldn't be here for us when he eventually sells or his family sells off his estate.
    Sometimes there's an emotional attachment and if there's room and the car isn't in the way, it sits in a garage or yard.
    HOA's and city "beautification/zoning" rules have squeezed out many neighborhoods.

    "Old School" wrecking yards; Acres of old hulks that had/have sat for decades. Almost never crushing anything. Some are still present or have been sold off/crushed out.
    EPA, rezoning, real estate values, housing developments, and the old (stubborn) owner's passing away have diminished a large percentage of them.

    Low value back then; Vehicle quits running and it gets put out to pasture or behind an out building. Plenty of room to store it (and use it for parts). Years ago, old broken cars were pretty worthless. Some still are. Park it out back. It's what people did.
    Dumped in the woods, etc. Blown up cars got towed and dumped in remote areas. We're still finding them.

    Parts; as 37 kid said. Enough parts to build a lot of cars.
    Squablow likes this.
  11. My Deuce tudor had 3 gave it to Brenda's owners,and I've owned it twice.



    The Ranch Wagon was purchased new of the show room floor at Blue Ridge Motors here in Anderson by Brenda's grandmother and she used it for delivery's and daily driving,after she replaced it with a VW van she gave it to Brenda's dad,Clyde for a hunting/fishing car then he decided to sell it and then he gave it to Brenda.

    We drove it for a while until a spindle froze up and we parked it in the barn,many years later we pulled it out and I restored it.

    Not sure if survive would be the correct terminology but this car would not still be around had it not been for the strong family history,no one else would be that dumb! :rolleyes::D HRP





    Last edited: May 22, 2017
  12. I'll play. Mine was a '53 Plymouth Suburban wagon. For many months I was searching (without much success) for a "cool" late 40s early 50s two door hardtop that I could afford. I came across the Plymouth with "For Sale" signs in the Co-op parking lot in Palo Alto CA in 1976. I waited around fore the owner to come out and struck up a conversation with him. He and his wife had used it as a loan car from a mechanical shop while the were having the engine of their '38 Buick rebuilt. To make a long story short his wife fell in love with the car and bought it from Ellisons when their Buick was finished. It was pretty rough bodywise but ran very well with the exception of needing U-joints. He said they were moving to Nevada and didn't want to spend the money to repair it so it was up for sale.
    I was driving my custom painted VW bug at the time and he said he hoped to sell it to someone who would "fix it up" and was pretty impressed with how my bug looked. Took it for about a half day test drive. And decided I kind of wanted it but didn't want to pay the asking price of $500. Couldn't agree on a price and left it at that. Around 3 weeks later he called me back and said the were moving in a couple days and to make him an offer. I thought about it and said $325. About 30 seconds of silence and he said "Sold". So I picked it up that evening and drove it home. The U-joints had gotten worse so I decided replacing them before driving it more was imperative. Bought a pair but decided to have a mechanic I knew in San Jose to do the work since I wasn't that familiar with American car repairs any longer, and had experienced major difficulties work on the driveline of my Olds back in high school.
    I did a lengthy body refurbishment over a couple years and painted it at a body shop where I knew the owner of who let me prep and paint it there. Shot it with acrylic lacquer which was "state of the art" at that time. I followed Freds advice and basically sent it out for a new interior (the original was one of the ugliest greens I had ever seen) before color sanding and polishing it. Basically I waited about a year per Fred.
    The old girl was looking really sharp now so I kept it garaged and only drove it on weekends. After I moved back to Mountain View I had no garage anymore so I parked it outside at may parents house with a cover for about 2 or 3 years. My parents wanted my parking space to plant a garden so I moved to to where I lived. Had a carport but no garage. One night some low life(s) stole all the car covers in the complex. I kind of got lazy and did nothing with it except start it up and an occasional got trip to the gas station. The wheel cylinders began leaking so I finally had it towed to a shop and had the entire brake system rebuilt, tune up, 4 new tires a rear trans seal and some other minor mechanical work done. Also had some Langdon headers and a new exhaust system installed. I took it to the shop where I worked and did a detail on it. Had a lot of fun driving it again until one night I was driving, and the first time I used the turnsignals with the lights on the flasher unit started smoking. Now there are no brake lights or turnsignal so I don't want to drive it. 30 years have taken their toll on the old lacquer paint so I think it might be time to fix the electrical problems and sell it before it starts to become a candidate for the sitting and rotting thread.
    Yup, I'm just getting too old for this shit. This is how it looks now. Still looks "OK" but definately a "10 footer". LOL


    In progress 1st "restoration"

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: May 22, 2017
  13. I just bought this one. unrestored, mechanical brake car. 526.JPG Don't know the whole back story but I bought it in Florida, that guy bought it out of Arizona, but came from Colorado before that.
    Dave Mc, hendelec, Pete L. and 11 others like this.
  14. wicarnut
    Joined: Oct 29, 2009
    Posts: 4,230


    IMG_0546.JPG IMG_0547.JPG . This is my survivor story, the race car never left my family, Dad built this after WW2 raced thru 1974,we went to a new Edmunds/Sesco car in 75 and told my Dad let that sit and when you're gone and I'm old, I'll restore it. He's been gone since 87 and Damit, I'm old, Had in storage from 75- 2010, been putzn with now and then, might finish it up this year, maybe, as my motto is "Nothing Happens Fast Anymore" Have 1 other survivor story, OT Camaro ragtop, purchased new 28 years ago, A Very Nice Survivor Car.
    Last edited: May 22, 2017
  15. indyjps
    Joined: Feb 21, 2007
    Posts: 3,935


    Most of the old cars available today either were someones pride and joy and were treated well - Cherry.
    OR, they were broken / sitting for long period of time - Castoff. Until someone saved it. The ones that saw daily driver duty just got used up.

    So what was yours, Cherry or Castoff. Ive got 1 of each.
  16. El Caballo
    Joined: Mar 3, 2001
    Posts: 5,896

    El Caballo

    I think mine was used as a display vehicle with one of those stick on signs on the front door, for some period of time. There is a square portion of heavy patina on the passenger side door that could be nothing else IMHO. I'm sure it probably belonged to an older couple when new, who else would get a bare bones, more door, Biscayne, 235 with a three on the tree?
  17. [​IMG]

    Tim,this car is a beauty just as it sits! HRP
  18. belair
    Joined: Jul 10, 2006
    Posts: 8,531


    My dad's 57 Chevy ht survived because the idiots who had it put a stick in an automatic car and didn't put in a pilot bushing. Trans failed before they could wrap it around a telephone pole and they weren't smart enough to fix it. He bought it sitting in their mother's garage.
    lothiandon1940 likes this.
  19. wicarnut
    Joined: Oct 29, 2009
    Posts: 4,230


    Check back to my post #5 and post#14 agree with you on Pic's deal. (Tons of BS on HAMB with No Pic's) I like many, some Pic's got lost through the years and am thankful for the ones I have, always thought about pic's, wanted them, as I figured when old wanted the memories and proof of my life, figured if I end up just another old goof at the bar and nobody believed me, I'd go home and get my scrapbooks, funny, ended up just another old fart, BUT not at the tavern LOL.
    Last edited: May 22, 2017
    lothiandon1940 likes this.
  20. TagMan
    Joined: Dec 12, 2002
    Posts: 6,049


    My '37 Chevy Sports Coupe (rumble seat) was originally sold to a guy who lived on Long Island who, according to the 2nd Owner I purchased the car from, only drove it to work in the Summer and had cardboard cut-outs for the windows to prevent sun damage to the interior when he parked it outside. In the Winter, it was put up in storage.

    The 2nd owner, who lived in Middleton, Connecticut, bought it around 1960 and only used it to take his kids down to the beach on Long Island Sound. I can trust his word on that, as I had to clean a ton of sand out of the rumble seat area! after his kids were grown & gone, his tastes turned more to collecting "high-end" show cars and the little black coupe was placed in storage in the back of his warehouse. He decided to sell the car in 1993.

    On a cold day in February, 1993, I went out to the mailbox and there was the latest Hemmings Motor News. I glanced through the "For Sale" ads and saw the coupe listed. I called as soon as I got in the house, took a 9-hour drive to CT. and bought the car. Since I've had it, I removed the 216 and rebuilt & installed a 235, as I wanted to tour in it. I also found an overdrive unit in a '38 Chevy torque tube, which I bought & installed, as I intended to tour with it. 23 years later, little else has been done to it (even original paint) and I intend to keep it that way, just fixing what fails and driving the bejesus out of it. We've been to Maine several times, twice to Kentucky, out to Rapid City, S.D. and into Wyoming and several other trips with it. I've never had a serious breakdown and the little black coupe just keeps on going.....
  21. My old heap is pretty rusty down low but it had paint which saved most of it. If you can go by the plate mine was parked in '62 or '63. The story I get was that is set in a field for 7 years before the guy I got it from found it.

    A sedans are popular now but I am not sure that they were popular hot rod fodder in '62. Deuces were still cheap back then. LOL
    Last edited: May 22, 2017
    hendelec likes this.
  22. Why did they survive? Destiny!
  23. Paul
    Joined: Aug 29, 2002
    Posts: 15,025


    nope, never thought about it.
    I do know quite a few cars did not survive me.
    The one I have now didn't actually survive either,
    it was reassembled from scraps of several cars that died long ago.
    hendelec and lothiandon1940 like this.
  24. ebfabman
    Joined: Mar 10, 2009
    Posts: 653


    IMG_5578-1.jpg Late '50's built '51 Merc mild custom. The builder in his late 80's tells me the paint that still shines up nice today was sprayed and rubbed in 1958. Pin striped shortly afterward. Every owner took good care of it all its life so far. I have show pics of it as far back as the early '70's.
    Last edited: May 22, 2017
  25. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 46,865


    My 59 chevy pickup survived, because I got it when it was at it's lowest value. A lady we knew needed rent money, so my dad paid her a couple hundred bucks for this old truck. It burned a quart of oil on the ten mile drive home. I was 15, and into cars, so I immediately pulled the 235 out and spent a few months overhauling it. A couple years later I put a 396 in it, and kept playing with it...and still drive it around.



    My Suburban was kept by a family in Globe, AZ for many years, it was quite decrepit when I got it in 1998. But I was able to get it running easily, just added gas and brake fluid, and was driving it around. Then I worked on it off and on for 15 years, and finally finished it in 2013.



    I think my Chevy II was driven and abused, like most old cars were, then ended up becoming a parts car after it was wrecked, and the attempted repair on the quarter panel went south (it appears that whoever was working on it had only half a clue). I got the car a few years ago, it was probably going to get scrapped.


    vtx1800, Dave Mc, dana barlow and 9 others like this.
  26. 49ratfink
    Joined: Feb 8, 2004
    Posts: 17,850

    from California

    my ugly 61 dodge survived because the first owner owned it until some time in the 80's and only put 90,000 miles on it. I bought it from the 2nd owner around 1987.

    my 49 Chevy survived because it had never been wrecked, it was built and sold in Oakland, and never left as far as I know. 1 paint job with primer over that. and only 1 door had body work on it. got some rust sitting in my back yard for 10 years, it has been inside for the last 20.
  27. boo
    Joined: Jul 6, 2005
    Posts: 548

    from stuart,fl.

    made me think where i got my cars, 2000 while looking for a model A wagon i found a bunch of cars in a barn, i bought a 34 cabriolet and a 34 roadster that came from argentina ben there sence 1962, roadst ,awsom, cab ok, it's finished now rdst still on the rack. 1969 ford talladaga, in a barn in dunellon fl, finished now. 27-T cpe alabama, put in barn in 1964, came w/poloriod of it, finishing it this week. 1940 std cpe in a garage in daytona beach, had been david piersons car in 50's - 67, finished model A trk stored sence 67 in abarn west of town bought it from my 4th grade teacher, putting on new tires this week, this trk was in a 1947 book looks same, why i'm putting on orig tires & whls. 1929 Mdl A phaeton, was in garge or barn in calif. sence lt 50's or ely 60's bought wife and i drove it home to fla., only had to change the motor once in az, runs good now. 76 toyota land cruiser in shed , no motor, put in a ford 302, awsom. 1934 ford 2d from a musieum, sold it OH! almost forgot, found one in the back of my mind, decided to build my own car from scratch, 1991, its a 1957ish sports car, alum body, came out awsom, the man bainting it called 2 sentences ago and said probly be don in june, WOW only been 26 years .......
  28. manyolcars
    Joined: Mar 30, 2001
    Posts: 8,368


    I remember riding in Grandpas 1937 Ford pickup. When he quit driving it in the early 1960s I begged him to give it to me. I got his 1954 Ford Mainline too. And his 1940 Farmall. I got Grandpas cornbinder too. Its a John Deere made in Canada.
  29. Some vehicles were taken really good care of, some broke down and were tucked away before they had a chance to get rusty from the salt on the roads (in some areas) in the winter and some were seldom driven to be able to survive.
  30. Joatha
    Joined: Jul 6, 2008
    Posts: 184


    I love those Suburbans. I'd offer to buy yours but right now if I bring home another car, I'll be selling them all to pay for the divorce! Maybe someday I'll get one, though! And, yours is even the color I'd want.

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