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Old 05-18-2005, 08:06 PM
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what's so bad about fiberglass?

I just don;t understand what is so bad about fiberglass? When done properly it's just as good if not better than metal, no rust, do dents, and it's lighter. So why is everyone so against it being used on cars, and as long as it looks perfect, why does everybody care about it so much when looking at a car?

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Old 05-18-2005, 08:34 PM
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The "steel is real" crowd hates what they refer to as Tuperware cars. I think it's because they look better and are easier to build than a rusted hulk. What is a steel body worth if it is primarily Bondo and filler primer? Fiberglass is far easier to work and build with.

Vince

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Old 05-18-2005, 08:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by efhill321
and as long as it looks perfect, why does everybody care about it so much when looking at a car?

Well...........most of it is not perfect.......

And most reproduction fiberglass is NOT correct shape wise. It is very difficult to get curves, lines and the shapes that you can get from metal...in fiberglass. The fiberglass guys cut down on the time to make molds by leaving off stuff. The less detail in the mold also means the easier it comes out of the mold

Wescott and Gibbons makes fairly good repro bodies.......( their 32's, maybe others too )....but a lot of the fiberglass guys make the doors longer, or try to IMPROVE the classic looks.


Just my 2 cents............and yes I have two non fiberglass hot rods..... ( so I may be biased )

.
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Old 05-18-2005, 09:39 PM
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The "steel is real" guys are pretty much snobs if you ask me. There are just so many "steel" cars to go around and in most parts of the country all the rebuildable rod material has already been snapped up and what hasn't, has long ago rusted away to nothingness. The "steel is real" guys don't seem to realize this and would begrudge anyone else the opportunity to own and drive one of those classic rods. IMHO anyway.

One other thing, anyone who has built a "glass" car will tell you that they are no easier to build than steel. There are a host of unique problems encountered when working with glass (getting it smooth for one thing) not to mention special electrical grounding requirements, reinforcing requirements etc. that make it just as difficult as a steel car.

Glass is here to stay and there is nothing the "steel is real" guys can do about it. There are already more Deuces and Model A's on the road than Ford ever produced and the "steel" guys will eventually be out numbered. I probably should mention that this "attitude" isn't all that prevalent in the street rod community but when it does show up it's mainly just the Deuce and Model "A" guys. The rest of the street rodders just don't seem to be as hard over against glass cars.

Don't get me wrong, if I could have steel I would, but just try to find a deuce 3 window in Ohio, it's impossible. I bought my glass body simply because in the mid west, there simply weren't any steel ones available. Not every place is like southern California where steel doesn't rust that quickly and most of us just have to settle for what we can get, especially in 20's-30's vehicles.
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Old 05-18-2005, 10:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 302/Z28
Fiberglass is far easier to work and build with.
I've built and owned glass cars and metal cars and have no particular ax to grind in either direction but I do want to clarify the contention that "glass is far easier". I really think it boils down to the person doing the building. Some people just have a more natural affinity for understanding and working with fiberglass while others will have a more natural ability for shaping and working in metal. Having scratch built bodies out of both materials (nothing bought off the shelf) I'd have to say that for me, metal was the easier and less frustrating material to work with. To do glass correctly is as challenging and time consuming as metal in my opinion, if not more so.

Obviously, if you are simply putting together a glass T bucket, with no opening doors and no body changes, it's going to be a lot easier than if you are restoring a rusted original '23 hulk. But when you get into the more detailed bodies with doors, trunks, complex curves, detailed moldings etc, glass can be a very difficult material to work with.

Actually, I think glass gets its bad rap from people who think all glass cars are just bolting a T bucket body onto a pre-made chassis. In their eyes glass is "cheap and easy" whereas metal cars are "expensive and difficult" to build. Personally, that has just not been my experience. The guys that build glass cars right know how much work is involved and it is equivalent to, if not more than, the work involved in a metal car.

I would also respectfully disagree a bit with efhill's point that glass cars are lighter than metal cars. When a glass body is built properly, with the correct reinforcement, it will often come out about the same weight, or in some cases even heavier, than a metal body. I would venture to guess that a vette body is heavier than many other sports car bodies of comparable size but done in metal. Again, if it's a simple glass T bucket vs. an original '23 metal car, the glass might be lighter. But when you get into the more complex cars with doors etc, the strength of the body must be increased greatly...and that means more layers of glass and a good deal of metal reinforcement...adding up to a good deal more weight.

Again, I'm not lobbying for either material. And I'd really like to see the "glass vs. metal" wars come to an end. The fact is, there are some great glass rods out there and there are some great metal rods out there. And it only seems fitting that we give due respect to the people who can build in glass just as we give due respect to those who can build in metal. For me, it doesn't make the slightest bit of difference what the car is made of. If it looks good, that's all that counts.
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Old 05-18-2005, 10:40 PM
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Steel is more stable, period. If you can find the steel you want and it isn't a rust bucket, it can be made into a better car. 'Glas never really stabilizes and surfaces eventually begin to show waves, cloth print through, etc. Take a critical look at any unrestored Corvette 10 years old or older. 'Glas is lighter in racing form - epoxy resin, high strength cloth, few layers. Street 'glas must be much thicker and have a lot more reinforcing to stand up to daily abuse so is much heavier.

That being said, the advent of 'glas reproductions is a boon to the rodder who came late to the scene and has no hope of ever finding the steel car of his dreams. It is definitely not easy but a 'glas car can be made every bit as good as a steel original. Anyone who looks down on a 'glas car is a fool.
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Old 05-19-2005, 12:51 AM
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Quote:
And I'd really like to see the "glass vs. metal" wars come to an end
Dang, I missed that war My coupe will be all steel, I lucked out in that respect, 2 fenders are getting extensive repair to keep it that way. 1600 bucks for replacement glass fnders was a great motivator. Something to brag about? Nah, It's the last thing I think of at a car show or when a rod goes by is if it is glass or steel. My opinion, I love the history, the people that have designed, built, and have seen their cars put into production by the factories, whether it's Harley Earl or Buick. Have you ever read Hemmings Classic cars Magazine? Lots of great history. Buick was a flop, but his name lives on with the car. Building fiberglass reproductions, it's all rodding, the hobby is more alive now than at any time in history, us baby boomers are making it happen. Dan
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Old 05-19-2005, 06:22 AM
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Well there is still plenty of old tin out there and not all of it is rusted away. I don't really hate glass cars per se but mine will be metal.
Basically there are always more than one camp and that is what gives us diversity. Metal cars are still at the top of the heap for respect and if you want that respect then don't build a plastic car and then snivel because the metal guys don't give it too you. Metalworking is an art like black smithing. There is just no way that making something from glass will ever have the romance of pounding out something on a planishing hammer or english wheel. To each his own.
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Old 05-19-2005, 06:23 AM
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Not that Glass is bad......

but I prefer the steel body's best. One of my cars has a glass front end and trunk lid so I have a little of both in that car. I just wouldn't buy a totally glass car without a roll cage and rally good seats properly fastened to the frame.


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Old 05-19-2005, 09:14 AM
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Wow. This is subject to many people opinions based on someone elses experience, from what I see. Then it become folk lore.

Early fiberglass repops were less than perfect. There's alot to making them come out correct. Curing seems to be the stumbling block. Also, the laying of the fabric.It seems that JUST now, are the manufacturers finding out how to reduce the manufacturing errors. Price per copy is coming up, so they have a little more margin to work with. If a mfr can make a couple extra bucks by making a better car, they will. The consumer is JUST realizing how much time it takes to make them right, so they will spend a few more bucks to get a better unit to start with.

Some of the early glass cars/parts would get starbursts from stone chips,or spider webs from shrinkage. Something as simple as a thick layer of undercoating would correct it (fenders). Or the wrong paint product would affect the finish would be attributed to the fiberglass, instead of the applier using the wrong product.

The finish was not up to par on some, due to the person taking shortcuts. Glass could be bought much cheaper than "good, straight" steel. The same guy taking the glass shortcut would maintain that thought process through the whole build.

Some guys who NEVER DROVE a rod, let alone BUILT one, would express their opinion, because they heard it from someone else.


There is no doubt that glass takes as much or more time than steel, to get it straight. I personally have never done a glass body. I have friends that have. I have been with them, when they cut front fenders AT LEAST 24", because of defects that needed corrections, to make it fit the body lines. I personally had to cut STEEL repops to make them fit. (goodmark) , so you have to alter things, if you want them right.

Its also perception. People THINK that a new glass car doesn't take as much work as steel, so its not worth as much in sweat-equity. (WRONG !!)

When its all said and done, I don't care if its steel or glass. I just HATE to see something done half-***. If you did your best, and are happy with it, thats cool. For me, I'm not satisfied until I can't pick out a flaw. I'm never happy with my cars. Someone polish up that Riddler, cause I DON'T WANT FINGERPRINTS, FOOSE!!!
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Old 05-19-2005, 02:48 PM
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Whatever floats your boat...

Opinions are opinions, everyone's entitle to one. Theres the "real steel" crowd who are die hard old tin enthusiaists, and theres guys that only build glass rods on big bucks. I'm in between, nothing wrong with glass. I'd rather have steel than glass, but I wouldnt mind glass at all. I have no hope finding a '32 3W coupe ever, so my plan is once I'm in my 30s to buy a glass kit. But right now I dont have the money to afford a t-bucket glass body, so I bought a steel 1919 model T truck body for $90 canadian (60 american). It's warped and needs a lot of body work, but thats all I can afford. Plus hammering out steel doesnt cost anything, except time. Working with fiberglass can get exspensive.



MIke
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Old 05-19-2005, 04:46 PM
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[QUOTE=Centerline]There are already more Deuces and Model A's on the road than Ford ever produced and the "steel" guys will eventually be out numbered. QUOTE]


Horse POO........just do the math..........Henry made over 4 million Model A's and over 300,000 Deuces.......That means there are over 4.3 MILLION Model A's and 32's on the road........I don't think so.....

There are plenty of steel Fords out there.........for sale........



A friend of mine just bought this STEEL 32 3W ...for less than the price of a Gibbons rolling chassis and a new GM crate engine.



This all steel 32 3W was built for less than the price of the above orange car.



I just bought this all steel 32 3W a few months ago.



This steel 32 3W was bought last summer at the NATS in KY. by a friend of mine......

ALL 4 of these cars were at a Friday lunch together a few weeks ago.....just a bunch of rodders getting together and eating lunch.

A fiberglass car is harder to build...IMHO.........the fit, the weatherstripping, non Ford parts........and they , as a general rule, look like hell in a dark color. As a Matter of fact, most fiberglass manufacturers strongly discourage dark colors on their bodies. Most rodders who have been around can just look at a fiberglass car and tell it is fiberglass. For example, the Outlaw 1932 3W coupe body has a 34 Chevrolet shaped back window........not the correct one for a 32 3W. Outlaw does make a good, sound structure body but it just looks " plastic " due to it's lack of original 32 Ford features and shapes. The windshield has to be glued in, no frame. They have no cowl vent, or 3 door hinges showing. There is no reveal on the cowl and a lot of the 32 bodies out there are even worse.


I have never owned a fiberglass car except for a Corvette.........but have no problem with anyone else owning them. I just have a problem with poorly constructed vehicles...steel or otherwise.

As a side note..........we had a fellow get all upset because he won " Best Non Ford " in his fiberglass 32 Ford street rod. And we asked him to show us JUST ONE original 1932 Ford part on the car...........and he could not.

.
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Old 05-19-2005, 06:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Deuce
Quote:
Originally Posted by Centerline
There are already more Deuces and Model A's on the road than Ford ever produced and the "steel" guys will eventually be out numbered.

Horse POO........just do the math..........Henry made over 4 million Model A's and over 300,000 Deuces.......That means there are over 4.3 MILLION Model A's and 32's on the road........I don't think so.....
I stand corrected.... what I really meant to say was that there are more glass deuces and Model A's on the road today than steel.

3 of the 4 cars you show have already been rodded. The other is a great original find. One in a million I'd say. Finding an unmolested deuce or model A is not easy to do and when you do find them, they're not cheap by any means. Buying a complete car or driver is much easier, but for those of us who prefer to 'build their own' the deuce and model A market is pretty much all but dried up, with the exception of the occasional barn find.
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Old 05-19-2005, 06:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Deuce
Quote:
Originally Posted by Centerline
There are already more Deuces and Model A's on the road than Ford ever produced and the "steel" guys will eventually be out numbered.

Horse POO........just do the math..........Henry made over 4 million Model A's and over 300,000 Deuces.......That means there are over 4.3 MILLION Model A's and 32's on the road........I don't think so.....
I stand corrected.... what I really meant to say was that there are more glass deuces and Model A's on the road today than steel.

3 of the 4 cars you show have already been rodded. The other is a great original find. One in a million I'd say. Finding an unmolested deuce or model A is not easy to do and when you do find them, they're not cheap by any means. Buying a complete car or driver is much easier, but for those of us who prefer to 'build their own' the deuce and model A market is pretty much all but dried up, with the exception of the occasional barn find.

Quote:
As a side note..........we had a fellow get all upset because he won " Best Non Ford " in his fiberglass 32 Ford street rod. And we asked him to show us JUST ONE original 1932 Ford part on the car...........and he could not.
I'm not surprised. At least mine will have an original grill.
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Old 05-19-2005, 08:49 PM
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You lump A and deuces together. Maybe more glass deuces, I couldn't say but I'd bet there is still more original metal A s. They are still easy to find and $2500 or so will buy you a good A coupe body. Deuce coope bodys will fetch ten times that amount, if you can even find one. The only way I will ever own a 32 would be a glass one. For my money I can have just as much fun in an A coupe or maybe a 32-34 Plymouth or Dodge (better looking cars than Fords and a fraction of the cost). Oh and FWIW I am building my own A based rod right now.
If I had a 63 or 64 Galaxy it would have as many lightweight Fiberglass parts as I could bolt on it.
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