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54chevycjc

Antique flatbed conversion, like in the grapes of wrath.

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Even though I am only 17, I have always wanted to build a car like the Hudson of the grapes of wrath, or the Olds of the beverly hillbillies, or any other car/truck of the sort. Now that I am getting closer to the age where it is possable, I was wondering If anybody has plans, or tips/tricks, photos, referances, links to websites... ANYTHING, that would help. I want to do it to a car, not as common or stereotypical as the model T or A ford ( great cars though). I was thinking of somthing that would stand out a little. I am not going to do it to a rare and valuble olds, but somthing like a Hudson, Chevrolet, or maby even a Buick or Dodge.

Again, any help is appreciated.

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shouldn't be too difficult...just find an old beat up car or truck...they are around.

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Any 17-year-old who even knows about The Grapes of Wrath, whether book or movie, has my respect. I commented to a friend a couple weeks back that most high-schoolers now probably know little to nothing about any of the great 20th-century American authors like Steinbeck, Fitzgerald or Vonnegut since schools teach to the SOL tests now and don't encourage teenagers to branch out in their reading. I for one am looking forward to the new movie version of The Great Gatsby. Fitzgerald at his best was incredible.

The BH Olds was a 1921 Economy Truck. They aren't ridiculously valuable, but they're not common either (since Olds built the Economy Truck 1919-1923). I expect a Hudson truck might be easier to find since they were produced far longer than the ET. You'll also find that the farther you go from mainstream vehicles like a T or A, or comparable years Chevy, the more difficult the parts chase might be. R U up to the challenge?

Sounds like an interesting project and concept. Good luck.

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Thank you for the kind words, and yes kids that like and admire history are few and far between. I am actually a civil war reenactor myself, but I have always had a place in my heart for all major times in american history.

However, you seem to miss my point. I am looking to take a sedan, chop the back off of it, AND TURN IT INTO A TRUCK. If you remember, in the grapes of wrath, it said they cut the back off of a hudson SEDAN with a cold chisle.

And yes, I think I am up to the challange. I helped my dad with his 54 chevy hotrod for the longest time, and I have two uncles that should have been mechanics. Just finding the car would be the hardest part. I got to watch, I got to wait, It might be years untill I find the right car. but I think in the long run, It will be worth it.

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Do as you wish, but please don't butcher up a restorable old car to concoct a contraption that you will soon tire of.

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What ever car you pick out for this project, remember that you will have to follow the laws when registering it.

Safety items on the original car must be present on the striped down version (windshield washers, inside door guards, back up lights etc.

Imitition controls will also be required.

If you use parts from another vechicle, be ready to produce a bill of sale, including the vin of the donor vechicle.

Also DO NOT relocate or remove the part with the VIN!

I like your idea, I was going to replace the body on an Econoline with wood

(1920'S style) but never got around to it.

Edited by Roger Walling (see edit history)

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A 17 yr old WBTS re-enactor in the Sesquicentennial years. Beyond cool. Now, youngun, which side do you fight for? or are you like a guy I used to work with who had complete kits for both Armies of the Potomac and Northern Virginia and played for whoever was short-handed that day?

I see what your intent is now. I had thought you actually wanted a factory-built truck as a starting point.

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What ever car you pick out for this project, remember that you will have to follow the laws when registering it.

Safety items on the original car must be present on the striped down version (windshield washers, inside door guards, back up lights etc.

Imitition controls will also be required.

.

I doubt that the Joad's car had these features, nor would any old donor car that he decides to use.

I think you mean emission controls???? Again, depression era cars did't have smog pumps or cats

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Tell Mama there are worse things to be than a Confederate re-enactor, and to quit conjuring up dread images of Rebel sovereignty. Even we who are descended from Confederate military and governance know that had the Confederacy won and our taxes were paid to Richmond, Montgomery or Atlanta instead of DC, odds are great there wouldn't be a lot of difference from what we currently have. The Joads would still have cut up a sedan and left the Dust Bowl for California, and scoundrels would still have taken over politics.

Besides, I've never seen a young soldier who didn't stand tall dressed in Confederate Grey!

Now, if it's a financial thing she can be forgiven- the expense of outfitting is why I have never done re-enactments. Old cars are an expensive enough hobby.

Edited by rocketraider (see edit history)

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I doubt that the Joad's car had these features, nor would any old donor car that he decides to use.

I think you mean emission controls???? Again, depression era cars did't have smog pumps or cats

I believe that he was going to use a late model donor car or truck, in that case, he would need emission controls, washers ect. by law in most states, as it would be consitered a 2013 or at the least, the year of manufacture of the donor.

(To be spacific, to me a 55 is a late model car)

Edited by Roger Walling (see edit history)

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There are quite a few cars of the twenties and early thirties, with wood framed bodies, that are now falling apart and beyond restoring except by an expert. Just last week on the local Kijiji there was a twenties Franklin, complete but body in pieces, for under $3000.

I don't see anything wrong with turning a car like that into a depression era truck although, perhaps not a Franklin.

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I don't think sedans made into trucks are rare, especially if you're not looking for a specific make, model or year. A twenties sedan chopped off is effectively a chassis... rebuilding the sedan body would be prohibitive, even if closed cars weren't still considered the "poor relation." So, I say just keep looking. When you find one, you probably won't be paying anything at all for the body.

I even know someone who made a pickup out of a cut off Franklin...

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I gotta laugh at the optimism of this seller on eBay. Get a mismatched conglomeration of parts not good enough to use on a restoration and some homemade stuff,call it a hillbilly truck and tell people what a deal they're getting. The cab is a reconfigured 29 4dr, old fence board bed, wooden windshield,chicken wire instead of glass, feedbag interior. Buy it now for $12,500. Ford : Model A truck in Ford | eBay Motors

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There are a lot of chassis-and-cowls floating around if you look carefully, but you might be better off to build a new frame so that you can title it as a "street rod" (yes, I know....) or whatever your state considers a homebrew old time looking car to be. A lot of times it helps to have an engine that does not have a VIN, such as an engine out of farm equipment, boats, or with a block sold as a replacement part. I would get a copy of the motor vehicle regulations from your state and read it carefully and get a bill of sale on all major components. I would not cut up an otherwise good car to do this.

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Thanks for the thoughts, but I was not planning on starting from the ground up. nor, was I looking to cut up a "good" car. I was wanting to use a car that was just barely compleat, and would not take a lot to get to run. (if it ran decent already i would take it though) just somthing with rust on the body, a non excelent interior. just a little more compleat that a project car.

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I have decided that when i get an antique car, i will not cut it up to turn into a truck. I will probably just tie a matress to the top, and some spares on the back. call it a dust bowl car. that way, if i want to take off the modifications i just undo some rope.

however, if anybody has photos of cars that look similer to dust bowl refugees, feel free to post them. always like to draw cars of that era (I am an artist).

moderators, please do not close this thread, even though the question has been answerd, i would like to keep this up, so if anyone has pics or historical info of modification made to cars in the 1930s, thay can post them.

thank you.

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There are a lot of chassis-and-cowls floating around if you look carefully, but you might be better off to build a new frame so that you can title it as a "street rod" (yes, I know....) or whatever your state considers a homebrew old time looking car to be. A lot of times it helps to have an engine that does not have a VIN, such as an engine out of farm equipment, boats, or with a block sold as a replacement part. I would get a copy of the motor vehicle regulations from your state and read it carefully and get a bill of sale on all major components. I would not cut up an otherwise good car to do this.

That is very GOOD advice. Most engines 1956 and earlier have an 'engine' number and not a VIN.

The 1956 and earlier cars have a 'serial' number (not a VIN). Many of those cars have 'engine' numbers that do not match the 'serial' numbers.

Sent from my BlackBerry 9370 using Tapatalk

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I have decided that when i get an antique car, i will not cut it up to turn into a truck. I will probably just tie a matress to the top, and some spares on the back. call it a dust bowl car. that way, if i want to take off the modifications i just undo some rope. However, if anybody has photos of cars that look similer to dust bowl refugees, feel free to post them. always like to draw cars of that era (I am an artist). Moderators, please do not close this thread, even though the question has been answerd, i would like to keep this up, so if anyone has pics or historical info of modification made to cars in the 1930s, thay can post them.

thank you.

Here's my 1929 Model A Ford named "Jethro" - I call him my Grapes of Wrath Okie Dustbowl Buggy. I found him in a dirt floored garage locally in 2004 and he still had his Texas 1953 license plates on him; hadn't been moved for 51 years. There was no engine or transmission, no tires, no glass, no interior, just the frame and body. I installed a newly rebuilt engine and transmission, bought new tires, installed new safety plate glass, rebuilt the brakes and found some original Model A seats with the original ragged upholstery and drive him "as found." He's a big hit at parades and in 2005 I tied a rusty set of bedsprings on top, assorted old suitcases, a turkey coop, a horsecollar, an old rocker, and miscellaneous sorts of other junk and entered him in the Sun City Texas Show and Shine Car Show. Out of 150 entries including some very high dollar cars such as XKE Jags, Corvettes, a $150,000 Saleen Mustang, several very nice street rods with very expensive paint jobs, some restored Model A's, etc. and Jethro received the People's Choice Award/Best of Show trophy. Everyone who walked by him said, "Now that's the way I remember them and how they're supposed to look!" The second picture was taken as the wardrobe assistant was getting me into period costume so I could drive him in the next scene of a movie he was featured in; the writer and director had their choice of many restored Model A's but they loved Jethro and commented, "Now THAT's patina that can't be reproduced!" They decided to use him in several different scenes. The last picture was taken at a Sun City Texas party on April 16th where the group celebrated having paid their taxes the previous day and everyone came dressed in appropriate attire - one guy even was wearing a barrel with suspenders showing they had nothing left. They asked me to bring Jethro so each couple could have their picture taken standing next to him with their "taxes finally paid" clothing. In the last two pictures you might be able to see his custom-made radiator cap with an antique faucet and the porcelain button on top saying "HOT" - lots of people try to turn the faucet on to see if they get hot water - and yes, there have been times when he had steam coming out of the faucet.:eek:

Since you say you're 17 I assume you're not married - a car like Jethro gets more comments at parades and car shows than an expensive restored car . . . can you say, "Chick Magnet"? :cool:

Good luck finding your Dustbowl Buggy, they're fun!!!

Fred

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Edited by Texas Old Car Guy (see edit history)

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Say what you want about bright, shiny, restored cars, but I think you're on the right track here. The 1912 International Harvester below gets more views than just about anything else on our website and when people come into the shop and see it, they can't stop looking at it. I've had guys come to inspect a different car and spend more time looking at this. It's 100% original, but has obviously been dressed up for display in a museum or something like that with some "intentional" patina such as simulated bird droppings on the fenders and headlights. It actually runs and drives quite well.

Find a neat old pickup and dress it up for fun!

Vintage Motor Cars :: 1912 International Harvester Model MW Pickup

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It's 100% original, but has obviously been dressed up for display in a museum or something like that with some "intentional" patina such as simulated bird droppings on the fenders and headlights.

Matt:

Great looking vehicle! My "Jethro" in the above post photos has real bird droppings; can't get more vintage patina than that. :o

Fred

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