As we are on the back nine of our life’s journey, we tend to think about our last build/buy Hot Rod. Even if you’re a person who has kept their Hot Rod for many years, you still think about one more. I know I have my love in the garage now, and with arthritic hands, limited what I can do, I still desire a roadster.
My background is building cars in my garage and that love has never left me. Jane tells me that that is not possible but I still have the desire. I could purchase a reproduction body and frame to replace fabricating with my hands. There are lots of choice bodies in steel and fiberglass, all about the same price. A Deuce is about $10,000 and a model 40 runs about $15,000 in glass or steel. Since this is the “Last Build” I no longer worry about residual value, the kids can deal with the sale.
I have owned many styles of Hot Rods over the years, but prefer an open car with no fenders. My friend Gordon tells me to build one that meets my handicap requirements for driving safely on our busy freeways. That means good brakes and an automatic transmission. He also states “you can forget the creature comforts for our weather, after all, you driving a roadster. Primer and Mexican blankest will provide all you need and keep the build in the budget.
Speaking of a budget, $25K should be tops as you buy one in today’s market for $25-30K. Most of us have enough parts in inventory that we can use in the “Last Build” project to keep the cost down. Engine and transmissions are sitting under the bench just waiting for a new chassis to roll in the garage. All you need at my age (79) is the energy to keep the project going. These are my thoughts on a cold Wednesday in the Valley.