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?

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!

Rocker Panels, Who Needs Them? Not This Guy.

You know how sometimes your eyes are bigger than your stomach when you’re at a restaurant?  Well I have that problem with old rusty junk cars.  I see a car that looks like it was likely deemed unrestorable in the early 1980′s, and I decide I need to save it. UGH.  I then drag it out of a ditch, trailer it’s dead body home and unload it into its final resting place in my yard.  Around this moment is when my brain is released from ambition prison, and I say “oh crap, what have I just done?!“  Before long I am knee deep in sandblasting sand, MIG welding wire and receipts for sheetmetal.  Rather than spending a grand on a solid car from Arizona, I spend 10,000 hours restoring a rot box from the north east.  What the heck is wrong with me?  Do other people make bad decisions like this or am I alone here?