Roger Walling

 Is it really a sin to install a 350 in a 55 Chev.?

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 Is it really a sin to install a 350 in a 55 Chev.? Or dual master cylinder disk brakes?

  How about seat belts or Radials?

 FM radios? Air conditioning?

 

Many people like vintage cars but need to drive them on today's roads. Should restorations be condemned to spend their life in garages, only to be used on country roads on Sunday?

 

 Some people enjoying driving original six cylinder cars on the highway,  why do they say that you should never change them and enjoy them the way they were built?

 I personally have original restorations, hot rods and restro cars and I enjoy reading this forum.  So why do people say that we should not post anything but original automobiles.

 

 The mast head describes this forum best,

 

General Discussion

"Melting pot forum for everyone interested in antique vehicles."

 

 

 

Edited by Roger Walling (see edit history)

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because everyone doesnt have the same belief as you...................lol!

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There’s an ass for every seat.

What I mean by this is the car hobby is large enough to accommodate a nearly unlimited imagination to modifications.  Some people will love what you have done and others will cringe.  It’s my personal belief that the less modifications you make, there will be a larger number of people who would actually want to own it.  

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Personally l like old cars that are close to original.  Hose clamps, battery changes, newer hoses and belts are ok to keep it running.  Major changes to running gear, paint and trim have their place but it doesn’t do much for me.  I appreciate their ability to engineer the change however I would not be a buyer of it. Changing one SBC like a 283 for a 350 and keeping the rest is not a big deal.  

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Have nothing against originality, on the show field. If going to drive on modern highways then modern equipment is more important. No reason you can't have one set for each. The three biggest improvements in cars in the last 50 years has been tires, lights, and oil. Besides that I have been using seat belts since the early '60s and had to add them then.

 

ps 55 chev had no oil filter, a two speed automagic transmission, and tires that "were not safe in the driveway". If the engine was blown, a 350 (with steel timing gear) and 700R4 would not be a bad replacement that would get much better MPG.

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I think Padgett sums it up perfectly. Crate 350 Chevrolet motors are available for about $1800. You can't build a motor for that. If you have a '55 and up Chevy, why not go that route. As for brakes and seat belts and it makes you and you occupants safer by all means do so. I have been involved in the hobby since the '60s and I see more and more modified cars than restored cars.

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You will limit your buyers if you ever decide to sell.  What do I mean by that?

 

If you keep it original, people interested in original cars and those interested in modifying the car in the future would be potential buyer.

 

Modify the car and you just eliminated half of your buyers pool.

 

Like stated earlier seat belts are safety items, a new and totally different engine is another issue

 

When I was looking for a Triumph TR3 or TR4 back in 2008 there was a nice TR3 for sale.  The only issue was it had a Toyota engine and transmission.  That car was for sale for several years and I don't know if it ever sold.

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To me, it depends on the car. If it's a well preserved survivor,I'd leave it that way. If it's a Nomad or a ragtop, I'd keep it original. Otherwise, make the changes to improve driveability. The original small block and the 283 were sweet runners,too, but low mileage rebuildable ones are getting scarce. 

Sometimes it's a matter of expediency. Back in the early '80's I bought a '72 Chevy C20 pickup to haul my car trailer. It had a tired non numbers matching 350 in it.A friend had a 400 sbc out of a '72 Impala sitting under his work bench,which we ended up rebuilding and installing in the '72. The 4:10 rear end gears were replaced with 3:73s. Finally, a couple of years ago,we replaced the 350 automatic with a 700R4. Power brakes had been added before I got it, when it used to haul a big slide in camper through the Rockies. After trying to back up the car trailer a few times without power steering, we searched for and found a complete p/s setup. My four prewar cars are restored or original and will stay that way under my ownership, but the '72 does a great job as a show,tow,and go unit.

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I'm OK with such upgrades, but it's getting really boring. Like finding a Shelby without Ol' Shel's signature on it, finding a Tri-Five Chevy with a stock 265 or 283 in it is pretty rare anymore. If you want a street rod, go for it. But given that the engines are virtually identical, I think it would be cool to make a 350 look stock--the extra 70 or so cubic inches can make it more powerful. Disc brakes are OK and aren't very visible, although the modern brake boosters and master cylinders always jump out as wildly incorrect. I don't even object to a modern transmission tucked underneath, but if you're changing the transmission, do a 2004R or a 700R4, not a 3-speed TH350 (especially if your goal is "better highway driving and safety"). In short, do a good job with good parts and quality workmanship or don't do anything. There are already plenty of hacked up cars with cheap parts, don't make another one.

 

My philosophy is that you should do what makes you happy. It's just a car and a common one, so you're not hurting some piece of unobtainium. I just like to encourage people to do something that demonstrates more craftsmanship and forethought than just throwing a crate motor in there, a yester-tech TH350 transmission, a cheesy Summit Racing dress-up kit, and goofy braided stainless hose covers on their car and turn it into a generic Tri-Five just like every other ordinary cruise night ho-hum blahmobile. I should note that these garden-variety "builds" are also pretty boring to drive. They don't feel like vintage Chevys anymore. They don't feel particularly modern, but it's like the car has lost its soul. It's like driving a 74 Nova.

 

I will also say that it won't make the car more valuable or easier to sell unless you do it right with good parts. 3-speed transmissions, cut-rate dress-up crap, no A/C, no power steering, and backyard quality are exceedingly common and there are piles and piles of Tri-Five Chevys laying around that are all pretty much identically dull.

 

Modified is great. Just do something that justifies the time and money you'll be spending. And if you don't want to do that, just buy someone else's ho-hum blahmobile already done and enjoy immediately.

 

As far as the forum welcoming and discussing modifications, the AACA is and always has been a club for people who like cars as the factory built them. That doesn't mean the people here don't like modified cars, this just isn't the place for discussing them and there are plenty of outlets for modified car discussions--as far as I know, this is just about the only place for unmodified car discussion. As I've pointed out before, you wouldn't try to take a Mustang to a Corvette show, right? It isn't that the Corvette guys don't like you and your car, it's just the wrong venue.

 

Do what makes you happy. Just do it well and you'll come out OK.

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On another thread someone is trying to pass off new reproduction shift knobs as vintage, and after making a nasty reply another forum member and I were accused of not tolerating that side of the hobby. It’s not true... while I personally prefer the pre 1940 original cars I also have many friends with rat rods as well as some with restoration-mods. one friend with a rodded Rockne kept looking at my Model A and saying it must make me cry to see his cars, actually he had more vision and talent than I did as the car was really nice.
 

It takes as much talent and money to restore the 1972 Ford Pinto I thought was junk in my high school years as older cars and might even be a little harder to find parts for because nobody would have expected them to be desirable (and I blew up three engines in that Pinto leaving less around).  Heck, I got interested in the old cars because of the mid 60’s Mustangs which you could really hop up from stock without much money back when gasoline was well under $1/gallon.
 

As Modeleh says above there’s an ass for every seat, but there’s always going to be some friction between the camps especially if you are trying to pass it off as something that it isn’t.
 

Just think about keeping the original parts for that point in time you might like to reverse it to stock, or sell them to someone who wants to stay stock.

Edited by Mark Wetherbee (see edit history)
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18 minutes ago, Vila said:

You will limit your buyers if you ever decide to sell.

 

Exactly, that was my thought while  reading this. My experience is that many of these modifications are just peer pressure anyway. Correctly repaired and maintained almost anything from the '40's up is good for a transcontinental trip if the owner or "My Mechanic" knew how to fix stuff.

 

Get that car all cobbled up and try to sell it. That's when the whining starts.

Bernie

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I like both, restored and modified cars. If the cars runs and drives I fix and maintain what is there. If going over things, and it looks like it needs this or that? Then a person has a few choices to make. Just like people did with Duesenbergs and Cords back in the day. Find a donor car, and do a heart transplant to avoid the rebuild cost. In the end it does come down to money. Yes you can save over time and eat the restoration costs. But smart money would buy an original car that did not need restoration. Working with a budget, having the desire to own a classic/ collector car. Will make everyone play the numbers game. Offer me $100,000 for my 49 Hudson, and it will look as good as new. Have the market place tell me my car is worth $25,000. And I will have a beer and give the project some thought.🤔

IMG_20200113_175826859.jpg

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I prefer original.  Concerning original drive trains handling "today's" roads, I never have an issue with either my 54 or 60.   I spend my time, while at car shows, looking at the original cars.   This what interests me.  However, if a car owner decides to upgrade this and that then have at it.  It is their car to do as the wish.  I would hope and I think many do, attempt to sell the original parts for those that like to keep theirs original.       

Edited by avgwarhawk (see edit history)
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If I owned a Hudson the second day of working in the engine bay I would be modifying the hood hinge system.

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1 hour ago, Roger Walling said:

 So why do people say that we should not post anything but original automobiles?

 

We admire and discuss authentic restorations because

that is the focus of the A.A.C.A.  We are preserving history

for the future's sake.  Modified cars are a different breed.

 

It's just the same as taking your dog to a dog show.

You don't see cats there.

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This one did not get modified. But my hands would start to shake every time I walked by the car.😀

IMG_20191015_121820804_HDR.jpg

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3 minutes ago, 60FlatTop said:

If I owned a Hudson the second day of working in the engine bay I would be modifying the hood hinge system.

You only collapse the hood on yourself once. And then you pay close attention to those hood supports.😀

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This particular site is dedicated to original automobiles, with the possible exception of the modified category in the Buick section, and when that’s what I want to talk or read about I come here.  When it comes to rods, I head for the HAMB.  I enjoy both and respect that both sites try to keep to their original purpose.  I don’t think it’s too much to ask that we do the same.  Not that this thread is a big deal or somehow wrong, but it’s a subject that’s been done to death, with the same answers, opinions and rationale.  There are obviously a group of strict purists on both sides and then a large group that falls in the middle and can see both sides without having a brain hemorrhage.

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I'm sure many of you guys were alive in those days, but it's escaped our collective memory for some reason: Remember when the Chevy small block (and the tri-five Chevys (55-57) for that matter) were kind of the "underdog" engine and cars? Most young men wanted big blocks or hemis in the mid-sixties through the early 70's, and the sbc and tri-fives were kind of the working class version of muscle cars. Common place and everyday, yet cool to me because they had an appeal that went more or less unnoticed by a lot of the automotive media.  

 

Then "Grumpy" Bill Jenkins built his famous small block Vega that tore up the competition, and American Graffiti came out and the sbc and '55 Chevy started becoming dominant in car culture lore and legend.

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Matt, you bring up a great point about Carroll Shelby's autograph on cars. I ran into Carroll Shelby many years ago at Barrett Jackson in Scottsdale. I told him I had a friend with a Shelby and if I knew he was at Barrett, I would have taken the glove box for him to autograph. Mr. Shelby told me to have my friend sign it himself. I asked him what he meant  he said, "if I autographed the amount of glove doors and air cleaners that have my signature on them, my arm would have fallen off, most are fake". 

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14 minutes ago, Xander Wildeisen said:

You only collapse the hood on yourself once. And then you pay close attention to those hood supports.😀

They are even a tad tricky on the 47.  I bumped it once and have since learned respect and to put proper bolts in it that were substituted with incorrect ones. 

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I don't have a problem with upgrading an older car as long as it still looks mostly original from the outside. No 24" goofy looking mag wheels, no dark tinted windows, no lowered suspension, etc. My '49 Studebaker has A/C, a CD player, a V8 out of a '62 Stude, an upgraded Stude 3 speed manual with overdrive, Cadillac front disc brakes, Ford 9" rear end, seat belts, and more. It will cruise at 70 on the freeway whereas with the original 80 hp flathead 6 and 3 speed with no overdrive going 50 would probably be pushing it....

 

 

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'48's will just sit there and dare you. To the topic, the only modification I could think of justifying would be on a Hudson hood.

 

I use a prop. My issue is just getting around the thing to work.

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Yes, that is the Fox's Commodore 8.

Edited by 60FlatTop (see edit history)
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