Today’s Crazy Idea: Turn 1960′s Metal Into 1930′s Metal.

If you have been following the 1A Auto Nutt’s and Bolts blog, you have no doubt seen the pictures of the 60 Pontiac Ventura rot box that is waiting patiently awaiting some love in my garage.  If you are sick of hearing about it, I’m sorry, but it is weighing on my brain, and I need to get my thoughts straightened out.  So yea, I have spent a lot of time recently trying to figure out what the heck I’m going to do with it.  It definitely doesn’t make sense financially to restore it back to original, because you can easily find clean drivable examples for sale for less money than it would be to restore this (and that doesn’t include my 1000+ hours of my “free” labor.)  That fact has definitely been established.

So my latest wild and crazy idea is to turn it into a 1930′s style hot rod. (Disclosure: Yes, I was somewhat inspired from Gary Campesi’s paintings from the other day.)  Anyway, I would do this by cutting it up and shrinking the body into a 2 seater, almost like a T-bucket but with all the sexy 1960′s body lines.  Then I would drop it on a home made chassis and suspension. I’d probably power it with something more modern like a 4G64, L92, 2JZ, or maybe a KA24DET. No matter which I choose, it would be backed by a manual transmission, because that’s how I roll.  Wrap some giant brakes and big wheels around the whole thing, and I feel like it could be pretty slick.  Other than the injected engine, I would keep everything super simple, no crazy options.  Just simplistic beauty.

Unfortunately I couldn’t find anything similar on the internet (imagine that?), but these four pictures are the closest to the idea itself.  Obviously none are 1960 Pontiac’s, but…. well…. you get the idea…

So what do you think? Stupid? Awesome? or just plain “no”?

Picture Credit:

Willys: http://randyellisdesign.com/photo-gallery/custom-fabrication/willys-hot-rod/

Gary’s amazing art : http://www.hubgarage.com/mygarage/GaryC/vehicles

RPOTD: The Lines of a ’60 Edition

Random Picture Of The Day

While staring at the back of the soda blasted 60 Pontiac Ventura in my garage yesterday I realized just how cool the lines are on the back of it.  If you love bare metal, leave me a comment below.  Who’s with me?

Hot Rod Art by Gary Campesi

While cruising the wild wide world web of internet, I landed on an fantastic web page.  It seems to be the home of Gary Campesi’s hotrod renderings.  His work isn’t just a rendering though, they actually seems to capture a moment, just like a really great photographer does.  The word “amazing” isn’t strong enough to describe this kind of talent.  My eyes nearly popped out of my head when  I first spotted this.  Apparently he sells prints of his work, though I can’t seem to find prices or how to purchase them?  I personally think a hardcover book would be ideal so that enthusiasts like myself can enjoy the whole collection.  It would be a tragedy to have one by itself!  Enough of my 2 cents though…..  Be sure to check his website for all of the rest of his work, you won’t be disappointed.   You may want to grab a coffee though because there are hundreds of absolutely brilliant pieces of art to see.

See more of Gary Campesi’s amazing work at:

http://www.hubgarage.com/mygarage/GaryC/vehicles

Rusty Yet Appealing: 1933 Chevy Edition

What would you guys and gals value this car at?

Each weekend I find myself at car shows, junkyards, swap meets, and generally surrounded by the car culture.  This past weekend I was at a swap meet that we call “Amherst”, but it’s actually called “Cruising To Amherst”.  I have been going there on the last Sunday of every month for as long as I can remember, and it is always a great time.  There is never a lack of bizarre cars for sale or interesting people people to watch.  I usually bump in to old friends, co workers, and sometimes even cars and parts that I used to own!

This month was no exception for interesting people and cars.  One of my favorites was a 1933 (I think?) Chevy that appeared to have been freshly pulled out of a barn.  The body itself wasn’t that bad, but the running boards on the sides were almost completely rotted away.  I don’t really know how that’s possible, but hey, whatever.  The frame was cover in grease from looooong ago so it wasn’t too bad looking in the grand scheme of New England cars.  I was afraid to ask what the price tag was, because I’m often left flabbergasted, and I wasn’t mentally prepared for that type of risk so early in the morning.  If I had to put a number on it, I think $1500 is probably a fair estimate of value for a car like this.

Pro’s:
- It was a complete car
- You won’t need to hunt down little odds and ends that nickle and dime you to death.
- You may be able to get free delivery if your local?
- Cool looking car
- The metal is fairly straight

Con’s:
- Quite Rusty
- Needs lots of time and money invested to restore it
- 4 Doors, not as desirable as the coupe
- Your significant other will not like this in the yard / garage / property.  You may be kicked out of the house.

1A Auto Blog Readers:  What would you guys and gals value this car at?

So You Want to Build a Luxury Hotrod…

In my never ending search for greatness on the internet, I came across some sad looking cars that gave me a really great idea (for you, not me…).  Ok, are you ready for this?  These four words might change your world forever, so I hope you are sitting down. Seriously.  Ok… here goes….   “Rolls Royce Hot Rod”.  That’s right folks!  Live the life of luxury with hand built quality, the finest metals, and do it on the cheap! “But how!?” Well, with the Nutt’s & Bolts Blog Guide to greatness of course!!

Nutt’s & Bolts Blog complete guide to greatness – Now featuring  more Luxury!

Step 1) Start with a parted out Rolls from eBay for like $700. Doors and trunk lid are recommended but not completely necessary.  (Home made tube doors will work fine in a pinch.)

Step 2) Build a custom boxed steel frame, with a junkyard IFS, and a usable junkyard rear differential (welded of course).

Step 3) Pull that spare 350 out from your shed, and shove a 8-71 blower on it. (Trust me on this, do what I say, and you will be the coolest person in your neighborhood.)

Step 4) Gut the interior of the car of anything that has mass. Throw it all in the trash or sell on eBay for maximum money recoupage.

Step 5) Rig up a manual transmission of your liking with a universal hydraulic master cylinder setup.  Piece of cake.

Step6) Add drag radials to the back & tub floor pan as necessary. Any wheels that bolt onto the front will be fine. Black steelies maybe?

Step 7) Be sure to paint it flat black, and get the car as low to the ground as possible.  It’s the only way to succeed.

Step 8 ) Burnouts, donuts, and jealous friends and neighbors will soon follow.  Be ready for high 5′s, gift baskets, and invites to pool parties. So much win, for so little investment.

mean rolls royce

Pictures borrowed from:

Ebay item number 190433491734

Ebay item number 190433491718

http://autoclerks.com/

Who and what is Hot Rodding?

In the early days of hot rodding, there were guys putting big engines from big cars into vehicles that they had no business powering.  Flathead V8′s, Zephyr transmissions, multiple carb’s (sometimes even hooked up!), and quick change rear ends were all the rage.  Each hot rod builder wanted to be faster, lower, smoother, and more custom than the next guy.  Car customizing was pushing the limits of what could safely be driven on the street.  As cars evolved so did the hot rodding scene.  Muscle cars came and went and so did the days of factory emissions parts stealing your horsepower.  After writing yesterday’s blog about what to do with my 1960 Pontiac project car,  I began to wonder who really is driving this hot rod scene forward in 2010?  What is a hot rod? Who is still customizing cars and is it the same style as it was several decades ago?  Has everything been done?!  Is hot rodding only hot rodding if it is an old car? American? Foreign?  Gosh, so many tough questions.

In high school, my friends and I were minitruckers (don’t hate!), so we were all about laying our trucks as low to the ground as possible and tucking lug nuts in the fenders.  If some part of the truck prevented us from being low, it would simply be removed.  One cool fall day I was building a boxed steel frame, triangulated 4-link suspension, and air ride setup for a friends Toyota truck, and my dad walked outside and watched me work for a few minutes.  He then said “This is just like what we used to do when I was a kid.  This is hot rodding.”  For whatever reason those words stuck with me, and in my mind it holds true.  I feel like if you are modifying your car in a way that other people aren’t doing, don’t like, or don’t understand, you are probably hot rodding.

What’s your definition of Hotrodding? Who is doing it?


Picture borrowed from:

Speedhunters.com


When Doesn’t it Make Sense to Restore a Car?

Once in a while I get a call from a friend that says to me “I have XXX wrong with my car, should I fix it or cut my losses and just get something else?”  This can be a really easy question or a really tough question depending on the car and the problem that is ailing it.  When doing all of your own work, it is much easier to justify fixing a car because you don’t have to pay the labor.  The downfall to this is that it also means you can justify fixing cars that normally should be junked.  Well folks, now I have found myself in this position, and I’m asking the Nutts & Bolts Auto Blog readers for opinions.

I got a 1960 Pontiac Ventura in trade for some work on a 1964 GTO a couple years ago.  It was a complete car when I got it, and I even got it running again, but it is in rough shape.  It hasn’t been registered since the mid 1980′s, and it has been outside the entire time since, so finding solid portions of the body is not easy.  That being said, I am more ambitious than most, so I pulled the body from the frame, rebuilt the frame and suspension, and set the body back on it temporarily.

Recently, I had a friend (homesteadblast.com) soda blast the entire body of the car for me.  Ugh.  What we found was disheartening.  At the bare minimum, it needs all new floors and floor supports from front to rear, quarter panels, inner and outer rocker panels, a tailpan, lower fenders & doors.  Yeap, basically a new body minus the roof.  All of the glass is broken as well, which is a real financial drag.  To restore this back to original, the replacement sheetmetal alone would be in the multiple thousands of dollars.  Never mind the wiring, plumbing, trim, interior, and little odds and ends.  By the time the car is nice, I bet I would have well over $7500 in materials and several hundred (thousand?) hours of my own labor.  It’s value when done? Probably slightly less than what I have invested.

The 2nd option is throw originality to the wind, and basically “hot rod” the heck out of the car to suite my own bizarre tastes.  This option would be cheaper and faster because I could make my own floor braces out of boxed steel, do some simple bead-rolled floor pans, a basic DIY-style wiring kit, and use junkyard parts for the rest…

The 3rd and final option is to find a more suitable home for the car and just buy something fully drivable instead.

Ugh. I don’t know what to do. Help!

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