I have been spending a lot of time searching for cars for my friends and readers. It seems money is back in circulation and available to purchase hot rods. Sometimes the cars just fall into my lap and other times I advertise for them. In either case, I can still find good cars for a fair market price. Rust free has a different meaning in different parts of the country and California sheet metal is second to none when it comes to a clean chassis and rust free bodies. Don’t get me wrong, we have our share of rust buckets also but most of the cars I look at are really nice and will require minimum rust repair. Floor boards seem to be the biggest problem in woodies but replacement panels are available and relatively easy to replace. Patch panels in general require a competent welder to keep the warpage down to a minimum. If you want a hot rod you are probably going to have to repair some panels so don’t let that stop you. If you must have a metal finished body then be prepared to pay some serious money to those talented metal guys. If you can live with some bondo you can save a lot of money by skimming your work yourself (even the pros do this) to make it straight. I finished my firewall today and it will require some pink lead to make it perfect for painting. Purchasing your next project can be fun and exciting so-“go for it”.
Selecting a qualified builder to help you or do the hard stuff is not a difficult job but can be frustrating when things don’t go as planned. Make sure you receive a written estimate of the what work will be performed, when it will be completed and how much it will cost you. You don’t want any surprises during the build or at the end. If you make changes make sure you document the change in writing. Contracts are not necessary unless you are having the complete car built. Most builders require an initial payment for parts and materials and a weekly/monthly amount during the duration of the build. If you choose to go with a shop on a per hour basis then make sure the work is documented and not just a one line bill. Un-itemized bills are usually padded to cover the shops expenses not the actual work (sort of like your expense report). A good rule to remember is top quality cars like come out of Brizio’s and other high end shops are very costly. Small shops may or may not provide the same quality and only your relationship (expectations) with the builder will determine if you get what you paid for.
In conclusion, building a car will provide you with a fabulous experience if you plan your build and build your plan. Deviation can be costly.
Happy building this Winter!
Starting with a project like this may seem like a good deal, but if you have to tear it all apart to make it yours you may want to start with just a body and frame. If you have to pay someone to take it apart you will be spending $$$ on labor. I like projects like this because they are all there with lots of parts you can sell/trade if you don’t need them.
This woody has been sitting on a residential street for over a year and has not sold. The car is solid but the wood is really in need of repair and refinishing. The price is $50K and would require taking the wood off to repair. I think that scares most people. I was tempted.
Bill has a project woody that he is removing the varnish and bleaching the wood. If you have the time and your wood is this good the car is worth purchasing.
Bills rear floor pan is really nice and will clean up with minimal work.
New pans and running boards make it easy to save the valuable 40 woody.
Once installed the end result is stunning for the old woody. Mike Nickels can make your wood perfect if you have a good floorpan and cowl. Don’t forget all the brackets required.
After several months of hard work your woody could look like this one.
If you don’t want to go through all the work to build one then you may want to consider a done project which will provide you instant gratification.
If money is no object you can have Steve build your dreams like this beautiful 36 roadster.
Curvy may need some steel wheels to ride on. The red matches the interior color.
Today’s Woody Lover!
Our host for the Malibu Christmas parade will make sure all of our dreams come true.