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?