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Old 12-01-2008, 02:14 PM
benmoo's Avatar
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College student, now aspiring hot-rodder

Hey y'all.

I am 21 and graduating from University of Washington this year as a Philosophy major. Oh, and I am a huge car freak! The past couple years I have been neck deep in the import scene, learning everything there is about Hondas. I currently own a 1998 Integra GS-R, which I love to death and it has been a great first car: reliable, easy to work on, and QUICK! If I am every in the position to build/run my own track car, it will without a doubt be in a Honda.

However, I long to create a work of art that is both functional and raw. I want to make a hotrod that will not sit in the garage collecting dust, but rather, something that can be daily driven hard and take the abuse. I've always wanted a mid/late 60's 4-door sedan (redundant?). Like a Ford Galaxie, Lincoln Continental, Ford Fairlane, Chevy Impala, etc. something along those lines. I like these cars for their aesthetic qualities, but the idea of finding antique parts to restore it and keep it running has never appealed to me. Thus, my idea is to do away with restoration, and simply use a classic car as a foundation for this frankenstein creation. Hence why I joined this HOTROD forum.

I have only basic fabrication skills at the moment. I can weld, work on suspension, but not much else. My ideas for the kind of car I want to build far surpass my abilities, but I am a pretty good learner. And if there's anything I've learned that has served me very well it's that Research is key.

I want my hotrod project to go something like this:

- Late 1960's 4-door
- New powertrain (V8, at least 300WHP N/A, reliable)
- New suspension (coil springs, 4 wheel disc brakes, power steering)
- Custom interior

Originally I wanted to swap in a frame from a late model Crown Victoria, but to do all that and be left with a stock V8 that only pushes 200+WHP is really friggin weak. Instead, I figure it would easier to pull the body off the car and focus on modifying and reinforcing the original frame to adapt it to the more modern drivetrain and suspension components.

Pillaging old cars for the suspension should be possible, while the engine/transmission would account for most the cost since this car needs to be able to handle serious abuse. My concern is piling up cost. I figure a budget of roughly $10,000+ is reasonable to buy a rust-free car with intact interior, then spend the majority of the money finding a reliable suspension/powertrain. (I know of the saying cheap/fast/reliable, pick 2, thus I'm picking fast/reliable) Another major cost is my lack of equipment. I don't have a welder, power tools, nor any equipment to pull the body.

So, now I am researching. Which of these base cars would be ideal to start with, both functionally and aesthetically? What is involved to modify the frame to accept modern suspension? What kind of drivetrain will meet my power goals and still retain daily-driven reliability? Is my budget reasonable?

I plan to take at least a full year off to dedicate to this project, because I want to learn everything about cars hands-on: mechanics, engine building, body work, suspension work, frame buildling, etc. It would be easier to tear down an Integra and turn it into a full blown race car, but the cost alone is enough to deter me. Plus, it is my intention to create a work of art, anyone can lego build an import and say they've built a "hotrod".

I am still debating whether or not I want to pursue education to be certified as a mechanic, take classes or become an apprentice to perfect my welding and fabrication techniques. I've always been a huge believer in the philosophy, "Do it right or do it twice." and I intend to accomplish my goals without (major) regret.

If anyone has any constructive criticism I appreciate any and all input. I look forward to contributing to the community here and thanks for reading my lengthy intro.

-Ben

Last edited by benmoo; 12-01-2008 at 03:14 PM.
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Old 12-01-2008, 07:28 PM
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Do you plan on selling it later? If you do a 2 door will have alot better resale value.
Shane
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Old 12-01-2008, 10:27 PM
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Welcome to the site.
Do have any pictures of the Integra?
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Old 12-02-2008, 03:19 AM
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Originally Posted by Chevrolet4x4s
Do you plan on selling it later? If you do a 2 door will have alot better resale value.
Shane
I have no plans to sell this project. I realize that 4 doors are less desirable, which will work in my favor at the start since it should be easier/cheaper to find a rust-free, intact example.

Quote:
Originally Posted by redlightning
Welcome to the site. Do have any pictures of the Integra?
Thanks! I have tons of pictures, here's a couple:

Front.


Rear.


Interior.


Audio.


Suspension.



Engine.
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Old 12-02-2008, 02:05 PM
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Welcome aboard !!!!!!
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Old 12-02-2008, 11:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by benmoo
Hey y'all.

I am 21 and graduating from University of Washington this year as a Philosophy major. Oh, and I am a huge car freak! The past couple years I have been neck deep in the import scene, learning everything there is about Hondas. I currently own a 1998 Integra GS-R, which I love to death and it has been a great first car: reliable, easy to work on, and QUICK! If I am every in the position to build/run my own track car, it will without a doubt be in a Honda.

-Ben
Welcome Philo..er Ben

I'm not 21 anymore..but also a Phil grad..actually went further..stopped before the PHD..(1973 !)that's why I have the small D in docc (my friends always called me Doc)..
I put myself through grad school as a Jaguar mech...and playing guitar.
Racing was more exciting..and guitar paid the bills. Taught for a short while..until spring in Chicago..and racing season... Built a drag car..and hooked a ride SCCA..

Lots of good times for you..

There are 2doors that don't bring big money..but even wagons can make excellent rides. Chevy IIs still are cheap.
I've seen Nova 2drs here in AZ for $1500..no rust Tucson cars.. Lots out there..look around..you'll find it..the car will speak to you..

edit
I just noticed I have a D on this site..!! Everwher else I am docc..

Guess I finally finished..

Last edited by Docc; 12-02-2008 at 11:28 PM.
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Old 12-03-2008, 02:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Docc
Welcome Philo..er Ben

I'm not 21 anymore..but also a Phil grad..actually went further..stopped before the PHD..(1973 !)that's why I have the small D in docc (my friends always called me Doc)..
I put myself through grad school as a Jaguar mech...and playing guitar.
Racing was more exciting..and guitar paid the bills. Taught for a short while..until spring in Chicago..and racing season... Built a drag car..and hooked a ride SCCA..

Lots of good times for you..

There are 2doors that don't bring big money..but even wagons can make excellent rides. Chevy IIs still are cheap.
I've seen Nova 2drs here in AZ for $1500..no rust Tucson cars.. Lots out there..look around..you'll find it..the car will speak to you..

edit
I just noticed I have a D on this site..!! Everwher else I am docc..

Guess I finally finished..
Thanks for the welcome Docc. Glad to know I have philosophic company. =)
I don't think I'll be pursuing a graduate degree in Philosophy, unfortunately. Nor will I be working as a mechanic (although I'd like to). Probably will be jumping right into business, cause I want to save up some cash so I can get a garage so I can buy some tools so I can actually BUILD this monster. lol

I've been debating the 2dr/4dr/wagon choice, but I definitely like the aesthetics of the 4dr the most. I have a 2-door now and I miss being to drive people comfortably.

Still have lots of research ahead of me to find the ideal chassis for what I want to do. What you say is true though, the car will speak to me when I find it. =)
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