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With the current world situation regarding the COVID-19 issues, the economy and the general uncertainties in our lives, I’m finding myself wondering about the state of our hobby. I have located a 70’s era Model A street rod with great potential after some accident damage repaired or replaced. The frame is damaged to the point of replacing would be the simplest choice, but that requires total dismantling and starting from ground up. Some sheet metal will need replaced as well, such as a front fender, grill shell and one headlight bucket.
Overall the running gear ( Chevy 350/700R4) is low mileage with traditional dropped front axle and four link/coilovers in the rear.
The car is a very good daily driver and asking price is about $10k, I estimate repair parts to be about $2k. My question is, would this be a good project to undertake and not rebuild something that is no longer desirable or worthwhile?
Last year I drove my T almost daily on errands or shopping trips but almost all car related events were canceled.
Would be interested in other’s opinions or thoughts?
 

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If you enjoy it & can afford it , do it . Not every endeavor in life is about monetary loss or gain ..A house is a hole in the ground you pour money into. A boat is a hole in the water you do the same ......and on and on & its for sure you can't take it with you !
 

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2020 and 2021 is a great time to build. This thing is going to cancel stuff and keep you home more. So why not wrench on something?

Now ground up in my book means your starting with nothing at all. No chassis, no title, and a vague plan how what is in your head is all going to fit together.

You have a running car to start with. Body is body and subject to opinion on whats correct. You can usually drive something with a bit of fender damage kind of thing. If you don't just drive the thing open wheel.

But the frame is a diffrent story. That being said a ladder is not hard to remake when you have another to take measurments from.

Imagine a 2 stall and in one stall you have the car and pile of parts with the stripped tub hanging from the rafters(or under a tarp in a shed). In the next stall you have the new frame on jackstands exactly the same as the busted frame only straight. Then you move everything from one stall to the other until your left with a busted frame.

Simple plan with tons of work and even more measuring and re-measuring.

Now depending on your skills and tools this may take a few months or a few years. But even if you bought the car by March it is realistic that this year will be spent building. I would not plan on driving till spring 2022 at the soonest allowing you to take your time and do it right. Unless you lived down south. But thats not the case in the northern states like Washington or Michigan. By spring 2022 I believe things will settle down enough where shows will be a thing. 2021 will still be restricted even if people do not want to admit it. But 2022 should have everyone vaccinated and ready to enjoy car shows again.

That gives you less then 14 months. Which sounds like tons of time. But it will go fast.

Now 10k is a bit much for me. If I am building something to sell I want to at least to double my cash for what will be 3k in parts and lets say 60 to 120 hours(depending on skill and tools) of labor.
I dont see selling a car like that for more then 17k so I would not touch it for more then $5k. At 8k and lots of time invested it works in my book and would be a fun build. But with 13k invested(at a minimum) I would have trouble making any cash when I went to sell it. The next person would buy it (with the 350/700) and get a nice driver for around 17k. Maybe even as little as 15k.

Some people may think something like a model T will sell for 25 or higher. But for that cash I would expect a built drivetrain, adjustable suspension, nice paint, and an impressive stance.

Now if your building it for you then thats a diffrent story. But projects are more fun when you can build them, drive them for a summer or two making memories, then sell them pocketing some cash to build the next.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Cereal,
You make some very good points in your comments. I agree the initial cost of $10k is too much for the condition of the car as the paint and interior need to be redone to increase the market value.
 

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hotrods are forever, but, the older crowd and them lovely vickies are a dying breed. I like the look, but not interested in owning one. ZZ Top had their Eliminator car at the right time, those times have past. Just go to your local auction, rods dont pull money like they used to.
sad. but true.
 

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hotrods are forever, but, the older crowd and them lovely vickies are a dying breed. I like the look, but not interested in owning one. ZZ Top had their Eliminator car at the right time, those times have past. Just go to your local auction, rods dont pull money like they used to.
sad. but true.
And you're how old ?
 

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And you're how old ?
Age doesn't really matter here. I’m heavily in the car scene, I would have figured the 1983 ZZ Top Eliminator reference would have given a clue I’m not 16.

Doesn’t matter though, the proof of the dying breed is at your local shows, on tv at the auctions, and the LA Roadster shows. What once was a 150k build, now only sells for 30 or 40K.

And, please, let’s start a healthy discussion, if you feel I’m off base, please, let’s chat, I’m sure others will chime in as well. Some good, healthy armchair COVID discussions.
 

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Age colors your frame of reference , a 20 year old has a far different outlook than a 80 year old . There's no hiding behind the " net anonymity" if you want honest dissertation .
 

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If market value is of concern then cars is a loser. I could care less what my cars are worth. I enjoy them. Does a guy care about the cost of a round of drinks or the greens fees? Gas at the pump is what the price is. Things that fit this requirement are cool: you can eat it, you can drink it, you can drive it, or it gives you comfort. These are the things that matter. Surely the government nor COVID is going to help you. Gotta take the bull by the horns and do what you really want.
 

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If new content on this form is any indicator hot rodding as we knew it looks like it’s in decline. Harley Davidson seems to be in the same boat, so to speak.

While I’m hoping that much of this is Covid doldrums when you start to add in atmospheric effects of CO2, the degeneration of the earth’s magnetic field, quieting of the sun, etc. the future has a lot of certain uncertainties right now so where all of this is going is to take time to sort out.

Bogie
 

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You need to start with what people think a hot rod is.

When I think of a hotrod I do not think of a shape I think of a time. A hot rod in my book goes "60 under 6". I don't care what it looks like. If it can not get it's butt up to 60mph in under 6 seconds then it is just a car or a truck.

This may seem unrealistic to some. But most modern performance oriented rides can hit this mark with some minor mods and tuning.



The saving grace is all this talk about electric. Currently electric is expensive to convert. The batteries are still rather heavy/expensive limiting range and the motors still take a good amount of work to run stand alone. The people making the stand alone kits know this so those prices are also still high.
But as the market becomes saturated with electric motors and battery packs(within 10 years). That will allow for lower cost aftermarket options and eventually a manufacture will make a motor that can be run standalone fairly easily.

My money is on the "heavy duty"(over 10k trucks) electric engines to be run with the lighter car battery packs in a hot rod application. The heavier duty controllers seem like they will be less complicated as they are supplemental to a smaller engine and simply add torque vs the controller running the entire engine which allows for fewer "limiters".

Now I am talking about 10 maybe even 12 years out here. But I have been in a "hot rod" prius and frankly once the motors and the battery packs become better that "hot rod" that takes 8 seconds to get up to 60mph will be a burden as it is passed by minivans.
 

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I could care less what my cars are worth. I enjoy them.
Very true sir. I know ive ‘lost’ hundreds of thousands, but the memories are priceless..

If new content on this form is any indicator hot rodding as we knew it looks like it’s in decline. Harley Davidson seems to be in the same boat…
This is also very sadly true.

You need to start with what people think a hot rod is.

that "hot rod" that takes 8 seconds to get up to 60mph will be a burden as it is passed by minivans.
This is probably the most important one here. “what people think a hot rod is…” To me, a hot rod, is a traditionally built Vickie, seems to you, anything that can do 60 in 6. I respect that. Same thing as the ‘ratrod’ term, to me, it’ll always be a jalopy. I do love a vehicle that can do 0 to 60mph in a few seconds. That surely is a smile maker.
 

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There is ebb and flow in hot rodding through the years, but I believe it's my calling to drive mine as much as possible, and let folks, esp. younger ones, see it on the road. Awareness of what's possible is a precursor to interest in owning/building one. Keep 'em driving. Street is neat !
 

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This is an interesting post. I myself have been wondering with all this covid stuff and the Green Deal plan that Biden and so many others are trying to push etc I wonder how stuff will look ten years from now. I have been collecting after market parts as much as I can along the way to have stuff stocked up on as it seems the small block chevy stuff especially things ilke simple parts like distributors, and other stuff for them are starting to get less and less for options compared to ten years ago when you could get a lot of different options to choose from name brand wise.

I wonder how many more years carburetors from Holley will be available and parts for them before they become like the old Qjet and parts will become hard to come by. To me a hotrod is anything that is fast and a person has put some stuff into it and time and tuning or its already from the factory like that and runs fast but heck even the little tiny wannabe rice grinder guys think they have a fast and furious car because of the funny sounding exhaust system they have which sound to me like a duck call going off in a way but yet they have no power or any performance mods except that sound and nothing else and they think they are super fast lol.

I live in a small town of only about 20'000 and nothing but a bunch of auto stores and pizza and fast food shops and a super Walmart and that is about it and they are all over the place and sit at the lights and sit there and rev the heck out of them things and then on the highway lol look out they take off and think there little cars are super fast with only being lucky to have a 125 horsepower or so.

A young man across the street sits out in his yard and will rev his little four banger Honda Civic to make the rev limiter go off and I am surprised he has not blown up his car yet as he runs the heck out of it and drives down the street like he has nitrous under the hood. What today's young folks consider hotrods are different then what the older folks like me consider a hotrod. I am only 45 but grew up in the last generation to see some of the old school era classic hotrods being driven around.

I feel like the hotrod industry will be changed quite a bit in the next couple of years and to me it looks not for the good for the older classic style hotrodders like myself.
 

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I think the handwriting is on the wall. If they don't legislate us out, they will force us out with the price of gasoline.
 

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I agree with all the junk going in in D.C. and all the nonsense with everything needing to be electric which in return means more fossil fuels needing to be used to make more electricity. As my Father says you can't fix stupid. Electricity will become that much more expensive and California has in there agenda to not allow gasoline or diesel vehicles being sold starting in 2030 on dealer lots and only electric stuff being allowed to be sold and everyone else will follow the same route which is sad.
 

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The grid can't function correctly with what's going on in Texas. There are 276 million registered vehicles in the U.S. The grid would have to provide an extra 400 million gallons of gasoline a day worth of electricity. I'm no expert by any means, but I don't see the grid supporting that. I would hate to see what happens when all those vehicles plug in for the night.
 

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Say it with me.
Supercritical CO2.

If you take C02 from say dry ice(not pure but easy to get a hold of) and put it in a sealed jar slightly chilled it will turn into a liquid(while making a bit of static pressure.
You take CO2 in its liquid state then heat it up until it becomes supercritical.
In this supercritical state the pressure is high enough to run turbines. Once through the turbine you cool the sCO2 and it returns to a liquid. This creates a closed system with minimal leakage. That leakage is safe.

This allows for not only smaller turbines but a much safer setup. The sCO2 can be heated in a variety of ways and cooled using stream water. It does not even need to be clean water.


A sCO2 turbine generatior building could take the footprint of a gas station and be able to power city blocks.

Right now more and more nucular turbines are switching over to sCO2. It has been ongoing for years. There are tons of applications for the stuff. The downsides are becoming apprent in the hot rod community.

The price of CO2 has gone up and if your wondering why now you know.

I have been flirting with building a sCO2 engine for years. My current fun build is not to this point yet. But it is the platform I plan on running a sCO2 engine in.
I plan on having the wheels moving within a year.
 
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