cboy said:The sad thing is that unless you're an old retired guy like me with enough spendable income laying around, these prices are way out of reach - especially for young people just getting into hotrodding. And that is a shame.
I've often tried to figure out how someone could build a rod the old fashioned way...and with an old fashioned price tag. My criteria is pretty basic. Fenderless, early 30's body style, V8/auto, a safe and solid chassis with a "clean" front suspension and a fairly traditional look. And my target price tag? How about $3,000 (streetable - in primer - unfinished interior - and all labor done by the owner.)
Impossible? Probably. But it would be a gas if we could toss together some ideas and come up with suitable, easy to find, junkyard donor vehicles to meet the criteria.
Here's what I've come up with as I've daydreamed about such a project. Feel free to kibitz or add your own ideas.
1) Use a mini truck chassis. My personal preference would be a pre 89 Ford Ranger because you get a) the forged twin I beam front suspension which gives the appearance of a dropped "A" axle - see pics of my '32 in my gallery or project file to get an idea how this looks, b) the ability to clean up the front end by shaving off the spring and shock towers and replacing them with coil overs and a simple mounting bracket, and c) the Ford 8.8 rear end which will hold up to mild rodding and d) a stock wheelbase which could be made to work (108" for short bed, 114' for long bed) The major drawback to this chassis (at least as I see it) is that a lot of folks complain about the inability to keep the I-beam suspension in proper alignment once you start messing with stock ride height.
2) Any cheap donor vehicle with either a chevy 350/350 or a ford 302/C4 combo already in it- and be sure to save the wiring harness, ignition, dash switches, wiper motor, etc. etc. for possible use.
3) A hand built body. It's just the conclusion I've come to after looking at every conceivable alternative. Either that or stumble onto some amazing barnyard find. The drawback to a hand formed body is that most of us have very limited tools/experience for this sort of venture so the body style would have to be quite simple - to my way of thinking the model A roadster couldn't get much simpler. I'm not talking about a perfect replica here by any means. I'm talking about fashioning a roadster body that has the simple classic line of the "A".
The idea here isn't to come up with a show winning perfect rod - but rather to build a safe, fun, traditional looking streetrod - with a price tag nearly anyone can afford.
Hope I didn't steal your thread, Nightfire, but I'd really be interested if others have thought about doing something similar and the ideas they've come up with.
Yup, I remember that thread Mike. I got so carried away with the idea I hit the local bone yard today to do a little research. Seems the Ranger wouldn't be the greatest candidate after all - at least for what I had in mind. The I-Beams in all the early Rangers aren't the good looking ones like I thought. Plus they would pose some mounting problems. The best candidate for my idea looks like either an f-100 or an f-150 from '73-81 (the 2wd version). These have the right I-beams and if one found the right truck it would have a V8, a c4 or c6 tranny AND a 9" rear end - all in one donor vehicle. Not too shabby.Nightfire said:T if you remember, I still wanna build a 2.5k rod on a chevy s10, chevy luv or a ranger myself...