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December, 2015: Wow, Where Does the Time Go?

There was some progress this year. And any progress is good progress. I shouldn’t put things off. I won’t get them done any younger and at the rate I’m going, I won’t get a lot done as I get older. That getting older seems to be showing up more every day.

One thing that has been a real goal was to roll the Comet.

While some people have rolled a car, rolling the Comet was a special challenge as it was to be a good thing, not a bad thing. Finally, with the hoops and braces all in place the Comet rolled over, in place and we can work on it from all angles. Check out the video of it rolling over. Now I just need to get a couple of rust spots fixed and start cleaning it up and putting it back together. Well yeah, it is more than a couple of rust spots, but that’s the fun of it. I like to try and save cars that are usually considered too far gone or at least “not worth the effort.” Of course I’m at the opposite end of the “pay for build” car hobby. I don’t much care to buy a car that fits my definition of a hot rod. But, as I run out of steam, it may be the only choice, but, not yet.

I was thinking of project cars. I am more a HotRod road kill guy, so I got to thinking about what we were doing in the 50’s and early 60’s. Cars that now are classed as rat rods, and people now spend money to get the look, got the look back then, usually because we ran out of money. Paint, chrome, upholstery all cost money and often we had no equipment or ability to do that ourselves. Get a running engine, weld up some kind of mounts and go, yeah, we could do that. Safe, not so much, at least not like a car that parks itself, squawks if the seat belts aren’t hooked up, and beeps if someone is in your blind spot. The blind spot warning is ‘kinda” of a good thing. Sometimes we even had brakes, sort of! My first hotrod was a 1931 Ford pickup, tilt channeled, recessed firewall, suicide front end, 50 Mercury flathead, ‘35 Ford three speed on the floor (not much of a floor) with brakes on the rear, non on the front. Yeah, it stopped. A lot like pulling on the emergency brake and doing a “moonshine 180.”

So, I thought, that ’31 was thirty years old when I started working on it. I maybe spent $300 or so before I parked it in Grandma’s garage and went off to the Army. It’s 2015 and what is a thirty year old car now? Well that would be an ’85 Model something. But, could this still be done for the equivalent of my 1960 budget? The fun of that budget was, after reading an article in my little 5”X7” car mag of the 50’s, (the article as I remember was “How to build a Hot Rod for $500”). They even had paint and upholstery.

What would that budget look like today? Topped out, using $500 in 1960, the inflation adjuster would limit one to $4000. Could one build a hot street rod today for $4000? And how much like a modern day “rat rod” would this build end up being? So what really cheap 1985 car do think would work? Give me an email and we’ll check it out?

E-mail al@creativeclassiccars.com Thanks, and keep the old ones rolling. ------------ Al