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Street Rod Components

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Date: 2/26/2018 7:47 PM PST

Last week I spoke about the advent of the reproduction body segment of the hot/street rod industry. Because of them, and the growth that happened to the hobby and industry, the numbers of participants in the hobby grew dramatically. With this tremendous growth came a large influx of money into the hobby. This growth allowed several companies that had the capability to stamp steel body panels to grow their offerings to the point of offering complete bodies. A few entrepreneurs that did not have the stamping capabilities jumped in and contracted with stampers to offer steel bodies also.

Now, as with the fiberglass bodies, some of the steel offerings may not have been of the highest quality either, but as time passed, the quality has improved also. Now the steel repro bodies are excellent too. Plus, some of the steel bodies are priced so close to the fiberglass bodies, budget becomes less of a factor in choosing. Budget does factor in though when deciding to find an original or use a repro body. With the possible exception of the Model "A" Ford bodies, the asking prices of decent original 32 to 34 Fords is oft times nearing that of a good repro, yet they may need several thousand dollars worth of repair work. This then makes the repro bodies quite a bargain, plus a major time savings. It takes time and money to rebuild a beat up old car body.

So, now with the availability of good repro bodies, in many styles, the debate whether to use original or repro comes down to ego. So, if your ego isn't so big, or fragile, why not consider the repro body for your next build. It just may be easier on the budget and get you on the road quicker, and what could be better than driving your hot rod with a bunch of your friends?

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Date: 2/20/2018 8:04 PM PST

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.

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Date: 2/11/2018 12:29 PM PST

This hobby of ours has a great way of generating friends for us. When people gather together with similar interests, they tend to form friendships. We all need friends, I mean where else will we find guys crazy enough to get up at ridiculous hours to go to a swap meet or to go chase down a lead on a new project. We need our car friends to help us not start to agree with our "other" friends that we are nuts!

I have just recently had contact, through an online forum, with a guy that we shared parts of a project that we did some 35 years ago. I haven't seen or talked to him since we finished that project and now; he has a new car that he has just finished that is a beautiful custom and I can't wait to see it in person. The interesting thing is that a customer of mine had sent me some updates of his progress over the last year or two, so I knew of the build. Now, this customer is becoming a friend too. This network of crazy hot rodders becomes a large "family" of friends. Now, when I travel around the country, I have friends to see all over it.

I have another friend that I have known for probably 50 years. We talk on the phone every couple of weeks, even though we live 500 miles apart now. I have built one of his cars three times, in different styles, another one just once and he has one of my old personal builds. He has a friend that I just met a couple of years ago, not through him, that now I call a friend. He is another guy with too many cars and projects, just like me, and most of my friends.

So, now take your hot rod or custom out with some old friends and make some new ones.

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Date: 2/3/2018 9:11 PM PST

We just returned from the annual Winter Turlock Swap Meet put on by the Modesto Area A's. We had a great time but didn't buy much. I noticed that prices for raw materials, that is, the old cars and parts, has gotten to the point of crazy. I know some of you will say, "Its all original Henry steel". Two things here. One, the cost of building hot rods has gotten to the point that it is restricting the who can play. If we all want the younger people to get into this hobby, so it can continue on, we are going to have to help make it somewhat affordable for them. I realize that there are only so many 32 Ford sedans or 34 Ford coupes left but, unless these people that have these old hulks have figured out how to take them with them when they leave this earth, they might want to rethink their prices. Two, (remember I said there were two things here), it looks like a lot of these project cars the people don't really want to sell, they are just fishing or want others to know that they have them. I mean really, 11K for a beat up rusty 32 tudor body on a hacked up frame? I realize that ego has a lot to do with our hobby, and that isn't all bad but don't let your ego keep others out.
That's my rant for today. Please enjoy our hobby and encourage others to join, we're losing participants everyday.

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