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Old 04-02-2006, 01:50 AM
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New to hot rods.

Hey all,

As of late I have been very interested in a hot rods project; more specifically a "rat rod" style project. From some of the posts I have read it seems like some people don't like the term "rat rod" but that is, I feel, the best way to describe it. I am wondering, though, what is the best route for someone with limited mechanical knowledge (no fabrication skills, etc,) to take when wanting to step into this. I think I would like to start with a base of some sort. By that I mean body/chassis work semi-finished. I am ok with engines and other moving parts but I don't have the space or skills to say, fabricate a chassis/body.

I currently own a fox body mustang that has been an on-going project for around 5 years now and while I love it, I am looking for something new. I have been going to car shows with my dad ever since I can remember and I have always dreamed of having a slammed, chopped, white-walled hot rod. I'm not even sure exactly what year I would be looking at but I'm thinking of a 30's Ford pickup.

Does anyone have any insight for me?

Thanks!

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Old 04-02-2006, 06:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PotBellyWill
Hey all,


Does anyone have any insight for me?

Thanks!
Yeah....either learn some fabricating skills, or carry a fat wallet.

I figure if you have basic mechanical skills, you can learn to fabricate things too. Of course, you will need to invest in the tools for this too.

Another option is, you can buy a semi completed project, that has most of the work that you are not familiar with completed. Then you use your mechanical skills to finish it up.
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Old 04-02-2006, 07:25 AM
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What Poncho says........If you are going to slam, chop, and channel...you need to learn to fabricate and do body work....if not you are going to be spending lots of money.
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Old 04-02-2006, 08:46 AM
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Live and learn

Get around people who do their own work and help them out with a project or two...you will meet them at cruisins or possibly here in line..find out who is in your area and hook up with them. CK this site out www.cruisintimes.com or www.cruisintimes.org


Tazz
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Old 04-02-2006, 02:57 PM
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Thanks for the advice, guys. I would love to learn some fabrication skills but I also don't have a whole lot of space (not a huge garage/shop) and like poncho mentioned, the tools. I have been looking at projects for awhile and I think finding something with the basic fabrication already done would be ideal but it's pretty hard to find projects like that because most of the time people want to finish their project before they sell it. It seems that way, anyway.

Thanks again for your help! I will be reading this site as much as I can. I have already started on the beginners guide.

Take care, all!

-Will
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Old 04-02-2006, 03:03 PM
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Keep your eye out....alot of times you can find a project that the owner has not worked on for some time and has lost interest and a lot of times they will sell it. Usually you can save a lot of money this way too. Keep a check on the Classified ads on this site as well as other sites. Getting out and beating the bushes looking around can sometimes pay off too.
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Old 04-02-2006, 03:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Henry Highrise
Keep your eye out....alot of times you can find a project that the owner has not worked on for some time and has lost interest and a lot of times they will sell it. Usually you can save a lot of money this way too. Keep a check on the Classified ads on this site as well as other sites. Getting out and beating the bushes looking around can sometimes pay off too.
Yeah, I have been checking different classifieds and auto trader type of classifieds as well. I know it will take some time and I won't find something right away. Thanks again for your advice. I will be sure to let you guys know when and if I get started with something. In the meantime, it's good to be here where there are people as knowledgable as yourself willing to give advice and share their knowledge.

See ya around,

-Will
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Old 04-02-2006, 05:17 PM
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New to hot rods.

One more thing, tell everyone you know and meet that you are looking for a project car. They don't have to be people that are involved in cars as everyone knows someone who is building a car. These people are always good leads. Someone may tell you they know someone building a hot rod and it may turn out to be a wild goose chase but that person may know of one for sale.
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Old 04-02-2006, 10:37 PM
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If I may, I'll try to explain why I think some of the guys don't care for rat rods. I was born in 1942 and began reading hot rod magazines in the mid fifties and asking a lot of questions of the older guys who had hot flatheads and fast rods.

At that time, hot rods had a very bad name due to the hoodlum connection. If you drove a hot rod, you were a law breaker and a ne'er-do-well. Rods were thrown together with whatever was available because nobody had much money to spend and even if you did have money to spend, nobody made speed parts in those days. You had to make your own with few exceptions. There were bad brakes and bad steering and bad suspension systems and wrecks and killings and mayhem all over the land as a result of street racing.

The hobby was headed for extinction (sp?), so the National Hot Rod Association was formed by Wally Parks and other far-seeing individuals. The NHRA formed clubs, wrote rules to build by and sponsored drag strip races to get the wild children off the steets and to establish build codes for rods so that they were safe.

This movement has been going on for over 50 years and has allowed our hobby to remain pretty much like we want it with the help of NHRA, NSRA, SEMA and other organizations.

Now, enter those who rail against authority and want to build their cars the way they want to without any regard for safety or rules. There are those of us old guys who are afraid that this new breed will bring us back into the public eye as bad guys and hurt the hot rod hobby that if has taken 50 years to clean up and make quasi-legitimate.

Anyway, that's my take on it. You may see it differently.
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Old 04-02-2006, 10:44 PM
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I totally understand where you're coming from techinspector. I really do. However, street racing is still receiving a bad rap, as it should, and it is definitely not the hot rodders who are doing it (around me anyway). It's the idiots in their civics, etc. I live in an area where I would say 1 in 4 cars has some sort of stupid decal or huge muffler hanging out the back. You should see how "safe" some of these idiots are. I race my Mustang and my SRT-4 at the track. I keep that stuff off of the street so you don't have to worry about me.

Anyway, I'm not disagreeing with you at all. This is mearly what I see in my area.

Oh, and home brew, that is another good idea. You can't ever have enough leads or contacts. Thanks!
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