Friday’s Frames

I have always enjoyed building my own frames for my Hot Rods. I used to prefer the original frames over the reproductions, especially the square tubing look of the non-rounded corners of the early reproductions. I found the component fit was much better than the reproductions. I worked with Mike Martens when he first started making Deuce chassis and selling them under the name of Martin Fabrication. He worked in conjunction with Brown Mold who produced one of the first glass Deuce roadster bodies. I was still able to find all the Deuce chassis I needed back in the 70’s-80’s. Then the Deuce Factory came out with the stamped rails and later ASC came out with both the Deuce and Model 40 stamped rails. David Gale built chassis under the name of  Just-A-Hobby and was successful in supply most of the well known builders like Boyd, Brizio and other. Other builders like JW came out with their version and the market changed considerably for anyone wanting a fresh non-pitted chassis with all new components. SO-CAL came out with a market leader with a price point that was hard to beat even if you built it yourself like I do. I still prefer the original frames but they are hard to locate in good condition and a decent price.

The last frame I put in my jig was pair of ASC 34 rails with aftermarket front and rear cross members. I built the center section out of DOM 1/1/2″ round tubing. I found the rails to be fairly accurate and they pulled into the jig with some persuasion. I would have preferred an original chassis but wouldn’t step up to the several thousand dollar price tag. I finished my chassis complete with suspension for around $1,500 dollars. I’ll admit they are a lot of work boxing, welding and fitting all the components but that’s what I like to do. My father used to say, “Son we can build that for a lot less.” I never forgot that lesson.

I look at the Hot Rods being built in the various shops and most are built on reproduction chassis. They are just more cost affective when you are talking $100+/hour labor rates. I still advertise for Model chassis and find some that are within my budget but have found most to be over priced and in poor shape. Like Brookville bodies the hot Rod world soon learned that they make the build go faster and less expensive that restoring a real one.

My friend Frank, told me that he only buys Ducks, not Decoys!!! Here are some Ducks and Decoys for your to enjoy. Have a great weekend.

Stay Tooned!



click on photo for a larger image


This model 40 is in the condition I like to find them. Normally run between $1,500 and $2,000. I have seen them for $5,00o in my searches. This is a Duck!


I like the original chassis for ease of the build. Box front and rear, add rear x-member and P&J components and you are done.

Miller Meet and 34 ProgressShots 031

If you like the Model-A spring then just install a Model-A crossmember.


SFSS built this roller using very traditional components.

carter 089_std

If you prefer coil overs, which I do, then have your tubing bent or purchase one from P&J.


Some builders really achieve a artistic look to their chassis like the one. Lots of work but looks great.


Old school guys simply modify the original center section for transmission clearance.


Roy does build some stock chassis if the customer insists. P&J set up using top mounted cross bar.


You can tell I like the QC in my chassis but they are not for everyone.


Cornhusker has been building frames for many years and have proven to be very road worthy.


Gary installed a 34 roadster body on his chassis.

1932 Ford


The stock Deuce chassis brings some good money if you must have a Duck and not a Decoy.


Chassis engineering center X-member kit is used by many people today who want the older look.


Henry at Steadfast is an artist when designing his chassis. Round tubing and sculptured motor mounts are his trademark.


Ionia Rod Shop has a new X-member patterned after the 46-48 Ford. They are the leader in the dimpled hole look for boxing plates and center X’s.


The earlier style is still popular with Ionia. They do some nice work in MI.


AMBR chassis built by Cory started with a SO-CAL unit and made it look old.


The finished product was well thought out and executed by Cory.


Walden Speed Shop builds a super strong Deuce chassis.


Industrial Chassis offers these rear legs for a stock Deuce chassis.


SO-CAL chassis is simple in design and proven dependable over the years.


Pete installed a Deuce 3-window on his chassis.

Comments 2

  1. Those dimpled holes look good in the photos and on the show room, makes for a very difficult clean-up after any amount of driving.

    Looks like many builders miss-use the neat exhaust bushings by mounting them with the bolt horizontal.
    The mounting tabs should be slotted parallel to the pipes to allow for expansion. Most people (including myself) mount the exhaust system way too tight.

    A triangulated 4-bar creates a lot of twist on the bars and will destroy urethane bushings if used on both ends in short order. I use heim bushings on one end to aleviate this problem.

  2. Valuable information. Lucky me I found your website by accident, and I’m stunned why this accident didn’t took place in advance! I bookmarked it.

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