The debate over the use of original or reproduction bodies has raged since the first repro body was built. The pioneers of the fiberglass reproduction body industry thought they were doing rodders a great service by providing new bodies in their favorite styles, so that they could build the hot rods of their dreams. While the first offerings may have been a little crude, especially by today's standards, they were still a boon to the hot rod hobby. Many a hot rod were built using those early roadster bodies. And with the advent of the reproduction body industry, the repro chassis and suspension component industry grew. Without the repro bodies, the repro chassis builders would have had a very limited market for their goods. True, when the early chassis component manufacturers such as Gene Scott's PSI industries started, there was still a large selection of original early cars to build hot rods out of but, even in the 60's, the suspension component manufacturers knew that the supply of original cars wouldn't last forever.
With the proliferation of repro body manufacturers and their many styles of bodies, the chassis manufacturers grew in numbers also. As time went on, the quality and accuracy of the repro bodies continued to improve to the point that quite often one couldn't tell the difference between and nice original and a repro, with out asking the owner. This higher quality body also demanded higher quality chassis. As the industry grew, the ability to build a complete early car using all reproduction parts became a reality. With this growth, the accessory manufacturers for these cars also grew, which made the restoration and rodding of original cars even easier, and often less expensive.
So, with the advent of the repro body manufacturers, the entire hot rod/ street rod industry has become quite large and has made it so that thousands of enthusiasts can participate. So, thank you all of you repro body builders for the phenomenal growth of the street/hot rod hobby.
Nest week, fiberglass versus steel repro parts. Stay tuned.