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-   -   Is the era of the fiberglass custom coming to an end? (http://www.hotrodders.com/forum/era-fiberglass-custom-coming-end-231829.html)

Mitchman 04-14-2013 12:17 PM

Is the era of the fiberglass custom coming to an end?
 
Downs is selling their molds, Redneck is rumored to be selling theirs too. So, is the writing on the wall?

Are the days of the fantasy '37 Ford over?

MARTINSR 04-14-2013 12:50 PM

I hope so, :D sorry, I just don't like them. If I wanted a custom looking 37 Ford I would build one out of a 37 Ford. Those bodies aren't "37 Ford" at all in any way shape or form.

No offense, just one man's opinion.

Brian

OneMoreTime 04-14-2013 02:33 PM

It is the economy..Sales just does not warrant keeping them in business. If we still had the fiberglass plant here it would be a consideration to buy some of those molds and have them available on special order..

Sam

sedanbob 04-14-2013 04:32 PM

I think it's all just cycles in the hobby. There are tons of '32 and '33 fiberglass bodies floating around, probably the same with the '37 coast-to-coast style, and they aren't as popular as they once were. Tri-fives and muscle car era cars are very popular now. Enough so that they started making repro bodies of '55 chevys and '60 Camaros.

swvalcon 04-14-2013 04:55 PM

I think it all comes down to who is building cars. A few years ago it was guy's that came of age in the 40's and 50's now it's the baby boomers who grew up with the 55-57 chevs and the muscle cars. Going to be real sad when we hit the later guy's. Try to find a 240z to rebuild.

NEW INTERIORS 04-14-2013 08:21 PM

It's part of our hobby like it are not... Not everyone likes a stock 37 ford... There is a place for ALL Custom cars.. It's what you like that count's....

Someone will come along and buy them and keep them going..I think the hardest part about the glass cars today is getting them titled....:smash:

I was never a stock car look type of guy... I lean more to a chopped, Channeled, And sectioned custom built car anyday... :D

Anyone can have a stock one... Being different is where it's at for me...;)

Wish I had the money to buy everyone of their body mold....:mwink::thumbup:

Irelands child 04-14-2013 08:45 PM

I'm not sure the 'glass cars will disappear, but this economy will sure tighten the availability of body choices as well as manufacturers. When you talk of '37 Ford, I'm not a big fan of the Coast to Coast or OZE phantom bodies either, preferring at least original looking as a beginning. Then there are the other avilable body styles - and in my part of the US (rust belt) there just aren't many salvageable '30s and '40s hulks to make hot rods from at any price. They are either scrapped and total rot or became race cars then scrap. That leaves you with the after market, either 'glass or Brookville type reproductions. Yes, you can still find a '30-'31 Ford, but these too are becoming scarce and expensive as the hot rod market is being pushed that way by the magazines.

Too bad about various manufacturer's disappearing - I always hate seeing a viable hobby business fail

sedanbob 04-14-2013 08:59 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by NEW INTERIORS (Post 1666474)
Wish I had the money to buy everyone of their body mold....:mwink::thumbup:

I feel the same way! I wish I could buy all the Redneck molds. I would also hire a couple of the guys I know that used to use them!

NEW INTERIORS 04-14-2013 09:07 PM

I would buy them in a Min if I could..:thumbup::thumbup:

MARTINSR 04-14-2013 09:13 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Irelands child (Post 1666486)
I'm not sure the 'glass cars will disappear, but this economy will sure tighten the availability of body choices as well as manufacturers. When you talk of '37 Ford, I'm not a big fan of the Coast to Coast or OZE phantom bodies either, preferring at least original looking as a beginning. Then there are the other avilable body styles - and in my part of the US (rust belt) there just aren't many salvageable '30s and '40s hulks to make hot rods from at any price. They are either scrapped and total rot or became race cars then scrap. That leaves you with the after market, either 'glass or Brookville type reproductions. Yes, you can still find a '30-'31 Ford, but these too are becoming scarce and expensive as the hot rod market is being pushed that way by the magazines.

Too bad about various manufacturer's disappearing - I always hate seeing a viable hobby business fail

It's certainly not going to disappear. Neither are the steel body reproductions, have you seen that Bob Drake 40 Coupe body, what a beauty that is.

If anything like my first comment the "custom" off the shelf car may be getting old. Like I said, if you want a custom you make one. It makes no sense to me to buy one of those 37 Ford sort of looking cars like it's a custom when everyone else who buys one is buying the same one so it isn't "custom" at all. That's all I meant. But like I said, it's just my opinion, I understand that. There is no one who likes customized cars more than me, I just don't understand the concept of buying a car like that, but again, it's just my person opinion. It's sort of like the "Hot topic" store, where everyone goes to be "different", well if so many people shop there they aren't that different are they?

The fiberglass and steel reproduction bodies are here to stay. They fill a need and will be here forever. As for the "custom" 37 Ford body we are talking about, I think people have just gotten tired of it.


Brian

bentwings 04-15-2013 12:16 PM

I get more and more guys asking about how I built and titled my plastic car.

As I have noted a number of times, you have to document every purchace very carefully as you may have to prove it is valid sale.

If you use a donor car it too must be titled as you may have to prove ownership of it too.

I would never recommend using parts off a junk car with no title. Even swap meet parts can be bad news unless well documented.

The cost of restoration of a rust bucket is getting so high that is not practical to do this. You can buy a plastic car tht is nearly read to finish and save a lot of work. If you want to customize it, it is far easier to work with 'glass than shape metal....imho.

The hardest part is the interior as there are very few mounting points so you have to fab all of those. It takes carefull planing to get this right. the interior shops don't all have experience doing this so it can get out of hand in a hurriy if you just drop the car off and say"do the interior".

Not all NOS will fit the 'glass cars either. You may have to do a bit of modification to get things to line up or fit. But, What's new about that.???

I agree about the 'glass' customized cars. Not everyone wants one of these. I just saw 2 of these at the Gopher show and frankly I would not want either one. Just too radical for me. Plus they were very high end cars. I could not imagin driving one in the rain or even driving a long distance in them. I guess I just have different ideas of streetrods.

It was surprising that many of the 'old' cars displayed were don by a younger set. 30's to 50's

sedanbob 04-15-2013 12:32 PM

Some years ago Bobby Alloway built a beautiful 'laid-back' coupe. The bodies were available, as were the chassis' modified to fit them. Everything necessary to build one just like Bobby's could be had with just 3 phone calls. I believe what made his coupe so beautiful was not just the design, but the uniqueness of it. As much as I admired his car, I didn't want one just like it. It was his custom, not a production car. Just the way I felt about it.

TucsonJay 04-15-2013 12:50 PM

After over forty years in the custom paint and body biz... and lots of major 'glass work, including prototypes and molds... here is my take on it:

For a body that will see limited sales, metal stamping dies are really not practical because of the major expense. For limited numbers, that leaves 'glass as the logical material.

For a car that will sell hundreds of copies, metal bodies become more realistic.

MARTINSR 04-15-2013 01:29 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by sedanbob (Post 1666719)
Some years ago Bobby Alloway built a beautiful 'laid-back' coupe. The bodies were available, as were the chassis' modified to fit them. Everything necessary to build one just like Bobby's could be had with just 3 phone calls. I believe what made his coupe so beautiful was not just the design, but the uniqueness of it. As much as I admired his car, I didn't want one just like it. It was his custom, not a production car. Just the way I felt about it.

That's exactly how I feel about it.:thumbup:

Brian

Dave57210 04-15-2013 01:31 PM

So now we're into the old argument - "glass is class" versus "steel is real"

However - as swvalcon noted - the vast majority of folks who are interested in hot rods now just cannot relate to something from that era (or even earlier - T's & A's are just not the objects of lust they once were.

Even the shoeboxes are not really in as much demand as they once were either - but 60's Stangs and Camaros - wow! Around here, '57 Chev's are half the price they were a few years ago, while a '67 Camaro seems to have doubled. In my frequent travels through Wa, Or, BC, Alta, Idaho etc I see 30's and 40's cars sitting for sale. A year later they are still sitting there. I see a '55 Dodge sitting for sale for 3 years and still there. When I see a rusty '67 'Stang fastback sitting for sale on my way TO somewhere, it is usually gone by the time I am on my way back. Maybe the owners of the ones for sale for a long time have weird ideas about price, or maybe there is just not enough interest. I suspect that if a '29 A, a '38 Deluxe, a 57 Fairlane and a 67 Mustang were all for sale at the same price, (in roughly the same condition) the pony would sell first.

If there is reduced interest in 30's cars, there will be reduced sales of them whether they are steel or glass.

Prediction: the body molds will somehow make their way to a certain un-named other country (that is now making and selling fiberglass RVs into the North American market) and prices will fall.


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