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


Roger Walling
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1 hour ago, Gunsmoke said:

As I see it, the AACA is not unlike many initially well meaning clubs or organizations. They start out with a strong and unifying vision, shaped by the clear and mutual understanding of founders, and then over time, get modified, changed, altered, diluted, weakened, or added to in a manner that the original founders' vision gets lost or replaced. The current AACA "home page" mission statement " The preservation and enjoyment of automotive history of all types" is so vague in today's automotive hobby environment as to be of little help in answering even the most basic question raised by any member/observer. Think about it: Preserving Automotive History? Enjoying Automotive History? Could anyone explain either phrase in a few words? I don't think so. Neither makes any reference to preserving/restoring old cars, which many purists believe is the most important goal/vision of AACA.  Somewhere the phrase "dedicated to the preservation and restoration of antique automobiles" exists in the club's mission, I have not taken the time to look for it, but it should be front and center in bold print for every home page and forum IMHO. p.s. Has it been replaced by advertising banners?

 

Highly developed language is one of the few ways human beings differ from other species. Precise language is the way human beings separate general thoughts/ideas, into more well-defined ideas/thoughts. Conversely, imprecise language leads to such a wide variety of interpretation and use that the topic becomes nearly meaningless. The very word "Antique" is a good example. While it's Latin source refers to old/ancient, in the worlds of furniture. arts and other collectibles it typically refers to old, rare, fine, highly desirable and other adjectives, and in some circles means over 100 years old; the USA even adopted a "100 year old" law in the 1930's related to importing old items. 

 

But today, many car clubs or automotive jurisdictions accept "30 years old" as an age to define Antique Automobile and register them accordingly (usually with some financial benefit in licensing and insuring). This dilution of the term Antique is largely at the root of much of the subsequent chatter. Old school enthusiasts gasp at the thought of a 1990 Chevy Lumina cruising around with Antique Plates and showing up at the local car show next to their 1929 Dodge. They shudder when they see a 1932 Ford fiberglass bodied roadster, blown engine and all that chrome cruising around with an "Antique" plate. 

 

The truth is the hobby as a whole has adopted the "Antique Automobile" term as an unearned badge. I believe no automobile should wear an "Antique Automobile" designation or registration unless it is at least 50 years old, and I'd be even happier if it was 75 years, i.e. as of today, pre the end of WWII. It should be a badge of honor that is earned. Earned because it has survived the rigors of ownership, use, technological change and societal pressures (such as the WWII scrap drive or environmental cleanups). Some might argue that such a badge might be too 'exclusive". That is exactly the point, a badge should be well earned and proudly worn. Wearing this badge should not be blind to the occasional need to put safety (seat belts/better braking/lighting) into a car's functioning, or reliability (6v to 12V, bias/radial), especially if it is to be driven regularly.

 

For cars that are not say 75 years old (1946 and later today), many other terms can be used if "Old Car' is not fancy enough. Each term will have it's own challenges defining itself. Vintage, Classic, Fifties, Muscle Car Era, Fin Era, all have been used in the past, and I would argue there need be no definitive term used to refer to cars that are simply old but not antique. When a 1969 Camaro or '66 Mustang displays at a car show, I see it as a nice example of an era of automotive history that has passed. Same with a '57 Chevrolet or 1963 Austin Healey, great examples of an era passed. I would not consider any of these 4 vehicles as genuinely "Antique". 

 

And when any such cars, Antique (over 75) or otherwise show up with modern drivetrains and chopped, channeled or otherwise modified in both form and function, while I often enjoy looking them over, they should never be considered "antiques", let alone classic, vintage or any other such term. Call them what they are, hot-rods, modifieds, home-builts, customs, show-cars, or at worst, rat-rods. There is room in the "old car" hobby overall for everyone.

 

So this is my diatribe on the challenge initially opened by the poster, and since the word "Antique" is the lead word in this club's title, may explain why so many members shirk at any post which by default dilutes the club's vision. There is no need to be disrespectful or dismissive, simply conveying the club's intention (mission statements) should suffice and will lead to less acrimonious debate.

 

 

 

e preservation and enjoyment of automotive history of all types

 

 I'm sure at least a moderator has looked at this thread and hopefully some high ranking members of the club too. I also hope they look at some other threads where arguments seem to proliferate which means the definition and purpose of the Mission statement need to be clearly stated and better defined. For those who would say the mission statement is fine as is I would point out the endless arguments that prove that clarification is sorely needed.

 

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I once, in a former life, owned a 1964 1/2 Mustang (yes, a real one) that had a 260 v8 with a 3 speed crunch box. It was not restored, but was quite presentable. After driving the car for a few years, almost daily, the engine started to smoke badly. So bad, it was embarrassing, even for me. I was going to have the engine rebuilt, but when done, I'd be in for $3000 and I would still have a 260. I decided to go for  a very low mileage 302 HO from an 89 Mustang and I dropped a T6 kit in it too. But I chose to make it look like a 64 1/2 mustang under the hood. Generator, distributor, etc. The only way one could tell that the combo was not correct, other than the numbers, was to look at the shift handle coming up through the console. This kind of modification, I have no issue with, maybe because I did it. The other day on the Barrett Jackson auction, some guy showed up with a mid fifties Ford product, with (you guessed it) a 350 chevy. My take is that if the modification is done tastefully, no problem, but of course, it's your car....

 

Frank

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Xander, thanks for posting the classic "argument" clip. While it is hilarious, it does get to a common cause of many arguments. One person puts forward the rational or compelling explanation for something, and the other person just disagrees without offering any explanation, or throws in a red herring. 

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One point I think one should consider. If all the cars were restored to original would there be as much interest in all the unique cars we have today?  The beauty of this hobby is the diversity of what people do to THEIR cars. I love an original well kept car especially the pre war cars, but a well done rod is very appealing also. I can’t afford a show car or multiple cars but I keep my 38 in as good of running daily driver condition as possible. I’m not afraid to drive it hundreds of miles but I also make sure I have good road hazard insurance. I’ve been told I shouldn’t drive it as much as I do, I’ve been told I shouldn’t drive it in the rain, I’ve been told I’m ruining  the value of it. 
I tell people I’m 73 the car is 81 (it will be 82 Aug 27th) and it’s going to out last me. I tell people it may be worth less when I die but it’s giving me more joy than money in the bank! I also say it’s my car I get to do what I feel is best for me. 
 

The beauty of this country is we have that right and it is a privilege I have earned with my blood. 
So please don’t tell me a person is wrong doing what they want with their cars as long as it doesn’t put anyone else in danger. 
Have fun. 
Dave S 

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1 hour ago, SC38DLS said:

One point I think one should consider. If all the cars were restored to original would there be as much interest in all the unique cars we have today?  The beauty of this hobby is the diversity of what people do to THEIR cars. I love an original well kept car especially the pre war cars, but a well done rod is very appealing also. I can’t afford a show car or multiple cars but I keep my 38 in as good of running daily driver condition as possible. I’m not afraid to drive it hundreds of miles but I also make sure I have good road hazard insurance. I’ve been told I shouldn’t drive it as much as I do, I’ve been told I shouldn’t drive it in the rain, I’ve been told I’m ruining  the value of it. 
I tell people I’m 73 the car is 81 (it will be 82 Aug 27th) and it’s going to out last me. I tell people it may be worth less when I die but it’s giving me more joy than money in the bank! I also say it’s my car I get to do what I feel is best for me. 
 

The beauty of this country is we have that right and it is a privilege I have earned with my blood. 
So please don’t tell me a person is wrong doing what they want with their cars as long as it doesn’t put anyone else in danger. 
Have fun. 
Dave S 

 

Fortunately, exactly zero people on this forum are saying people shouldn't do what they want with their cars or that it's wrong to modify an old car.

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3 minutes ago, Matt Harwood said:

 

Fortunately, exactly zero people on this forum are saying people shouldn't do what they want with their cars or that it's wrong to modify an old car.

 

Matt, please explain to these folks what the rub here really is.

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"Old school enthusiasts gasp at the thought of a 1990 Chevy Lumina cruising around with Antique Plates and showing up at the local car show next to their 1929 Dodge."

 

😏 This sentence put a wry smile on my face, and brought back many memories! DEJA VU...from 50+ years ago! 😏

 

Back in the early 1960's, my parents were a young couple on a very tight budget. They had scrimped and saved and finally acquired a beautiful 1929 Model A Ford roadster. My dad had an excellent mechanical mind, and was a perfectionist in whatever restoration work he undertook. Thus, one year he was recruited to be a judge at a nearby sanctioned meet.

 

When we arrived in our Model A at the meet where Dad was to judge, we were obliged to park away from the antique cars, in the regular parking lot of a HUGE shopping center where the event was held. Our car had to be parked side-by-side among regular-transportation cars belonging to shoppers. In those days, AACA had a firm cutoff year of 1928...nothing later was welcome on the show field. "What? You drove a V-16 Cadillac here? Or a 29 Packard 5-passenger phaeton?  Sorry, too new. Park over there with the other 'modern cars'" All these cars, including our Model A, were 34 years old...but not welcome on the show field. 

 

I was standing near Dad when a group of prominent local members and fellow judges spied his car out in the parking lot, and said, "Hey, Bill! What the Hell is your roadster doing out there? Bring it in there with the rest of our cars!" But he reminded them that the rules said 1928 and older ONLY. (Now, there is a nice definitive use of words and rules for you!) Some people might have been insulted, and that could very well have been the last time they ever brought their car to a club event...or they may have even given up their memberships altogether (happens all the time, even today!)
 

Of course, as most you know, for the majority of folks the only highly-visible and recognizable difference between most 1929 Model A Fords and most 1928 Model A Fords (excluding the 28 AR model, of course), is the color of the steering wheel (red rubber in 28, black in 29). When the exasperated judges who were friends of my Dad realized this, I overheard them say, "For Pete's sake, Bill! Paint that darn wheel a red-rubber color, call it a 28, and park it with the rest of us at these events!" But Dad refused. He wasn't going to lie. We kept our "not-old-enough" Model A for a couple years, but then sold it so we could buy something old enough to be eligible. 

 

I distinctly recall listening carefully to conversations at judges' meetings after this experience, sitting on the floor and paying attention as the adults discussed and debated many issues. One such issue was whether AACA, the Ohio Region, or even other clubs, should EVER extend eligibility beyond 1931. Clearly, to many people at that time, "...the V8 Ford was the harbinger of the modern car era, and cars of that time had no business being called 'antiques', or being in this club!" One gentleman was famous for awaiting the right moment at these meetings and then proclaiming loudly over all the other voices, "As far as I'm concerned, if it doesn't have a polished brash radiator and wood-felloe wheels, it's just a G#@-D##n USED CAR! Keep 'em out!" After a moment of silent reflection among the others, the conversation would resume--irrespective of that proclamation (which appeared from this guy at every such meeting I ever attended). 

 

All I can say is, we need to welcome everyone and every type of collectible vehicle into the ranks of car enthusiasts, every chance we get!

 

I concede that, if you make a post about putting a later model drivetrain, etc, into an older car on a web forum belonging to a club is PRIMARILY devoted to preservation and restoration, you may get some negative comments. You cannot complain about that, since you have ASKED folks' opinions, and their opinions are what they give you back. But if a slightly modified car is not the preferred "cup of tea" for some folks, I personally believe that it is in the best interest of ALL people, who enjoy ALL special vintage vehicles, to not say anything unfriendly or disparaging of the project. 

 

I do understand that the event I described from my history in the early 1960's was a sanctioned antique car meet, only open to "antique cars." But times do change, and if we REALLY want to attract younger folks to this hobby and the AACA-------then turning our collective noses up at their Lumina or K-car or Pinto by declaring it to be something less than that which the laws of almost every state recognize it to be, is certainly not the way to do it. My opinion.

 

Personally, I certainly would not seek a Lumina or K-car to admire for my own enjoyment, but I would welcome it at any car event that I was in charge of, especially if some enthusiastic newbie to the car hobby was proudly displaying it for all to see. More importantly I would make certain that I went over to it and welcomed it's owner, and make general welcoming/complimentary conversation about his or her vehicle. Those of us who prefer to make it clear that we don't like such "modern iron" should never complain about young people today who are more into video games and loud music than enjoying the ownership of vintage vehicles. Just my opinion. 

 

Enjoy YOUR 55 Chevy, ROGER WALLING! And, as Ricky Nelson wisely sang, "...you, can't please everyone, so you've got to please yourself!👍

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by lump
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Upon further reflection, something else occured to me.

 

When I attended Hershey in previous years, I noticed that LOTS of car enthusiasts at shows like our own Fall Hershey event would be standing around and admiring old Rajo heads, Kingston 5-ball carburetors, split manifolds, and hundreds of other "period-correct" vintage speed parts for "antique" cars. (That's without even mentioning exhaust whistles, musical horns, fatman steering wheels, Southwind or Hadees heaters, marble gear shift knobs, and countless other "period correct" accessories, which are proudly displayed all over the place). 

 

Due to my current work schedule, I have not been to Hershey in years...so kindly forgive me if I am incorrect in this. But I THINK that some of those period-correct vintage speed parts are quite welcome in certain classes on the show field. Is that right? 

 

That brings me to my point. I was (illegally and stupidly) a hard-core street racer back in my day (early 1970's). At one time or another I had various 55-57 Chevy's, and countless different Camaros, Novas, Chevelles, etc. Those cars are now "old enough" for the show field at Hershey, obviously. Well, "back in the day" we street racers, drag racers, and hot rodders were buying yellow Accel Coils, Hedman or Hooker headers, Cragar SS or Super Trick mag wheels, Hurst shifters, Sun or Stewart Warner tachs and gauges, Holley 4-barrel carburetors, Edelbrock or Wieand aluminum intakes, and lots of other stuff that we thought/hoped would either make our cars faster, or at least impress our friends (kind of like car enthusiasts in the 1920's did with Model T speedsters, etc...right?) 

 

So...are those old 1960's-70's speed parts now considered "period-correct vintage speed parts?" 😶🤔🤔

 

So...if a guy has a '55 Chevy, and installs a 350 V8 from a 1967 Camaro, for example, and some headers that were available pre-1995, and an older aluminum intake, a vintage Holley 4-barrel...isn't his car still, "period-correct?" (Not talking about the latest serpentine belt setups, or LS motors with computerized operating systems. Just exploring my own thoughts on this...🤔)

 

I'm NOT advocating any new policies for AACA, etc. But after all, both me and the old muscle cars and hot rods I raced really are getting pretty darn old...and so are the speed parts we used back then. Maybe we should at least look on cars like Roger's 55 Chevy with a little more appreciation?

 

From this point on, I know that I will. 😁

Edited by lump (see edit history)
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Well I have this "Prince On Board Computer" that is "period correct" for the late '70s. In fact a dig in my garage would find many things from the 60s-70s-80s like tripowers and dual quads.. My Judge has "period correct" sway bars, fast steering, delrin bushings, and Pontiac 15x8 wheels.

 

"It's just the same as taking your dog to a dog show. You don't see cats there" The Magic Christian

 

If needed an engine for a '55 I would not put in a 265 , it had no oil filter.

 

Personally have always preferred a good six.

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15 hours ago, Roger Walling said:

 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."

 

 

I understand your point, but to many the AACA is like the hardcore Model A Ford People that demand you use ORIGINAL wiring and fan belts in your "Fine Point" restoration. If you paint the 350 orange 99.9% of the people will think it is a correct '55 engine. Personally if you want to impress me, keep the hood closed, open hoods make the rows of post WWII cars look like an Alligator pit at feeding time. Close everything so nice photos can be taken. Bob 

 

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12 hours ago, Pfeil said:

 

Matt, please explain to these folks what the rub here really is.

 

Hmmm. I guess the points of this thread are these:

 

1) Everyone here agrees that you can do whatever you want with your own car. Nobody cares (but don't be insulted when nobody cares).

 

2) If you modify your car, bear in mind that it may not be to everyone's taste. If you ask for opinions, be prepared for people to disagree with your choices. It isn't personal, but you did ask...

 

3) If you modify your car, please do a good job of it. There's already enough boring junk out there. If you're going to do the work and color outside the lines, go the extra mile and make it special. To many people, a modified car is fine but why make it exactly like everyone else's? I'd rather look at almost any unmodified car rather than yet another garden-variety car with a 350 Chevy, Edelbrock 4-barrel, TH350 automatic, 11-inch GM disc brakes, Cragar SS wheels, and a chrome engine dress-up kit. I am not alone.

 

4) There's exactly zero animosity towards modified cars among the membership here, so don't go looking for problems where none exist. But since this is the AACA, it's important to respect the AACA's mission, which is stock, unmodified cars which are largely as they left the factory. There are plenty of other venues out there that will happily discuss engine swaps and chopped tops and disc brake upgrades and all that. But if you want to discuss how to set the timing on a 1914 Winton, well, this is pretty much the only place that happens. That's pretty special and it's well worth preserving, IMHO. Don't take it personally that your modified car discussion gets pushed away. It isn't because the members here hate you and your modified car, it's because we cherish this forum for what it is and what it represents. There are many other forums that are better geared to help you do what you want if modifications are your thing, but as far as I know, there's only one site like this. Don't take it personally and respect the club.

 

How's that?

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An expansion on point 3: DO start with a common car.  Make your modifications creative, but much of the friction comes from unusual and/or historic vehicles "going under the knife."  There are enough 55 Chevies out there to supply the needs of the restorers and the rodders.  A rodded DeVaux is a loss. 

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All of my cars are potential "Grand Touring" cars and I have equipped for such. That said, almost everything changed is bolt on and the originals are in baggies. I even have the original 14x6 Rallys and a correct date coded long block for the Judge. The major cost would be a set of G-70x14 Goodyears (originals are far past safe use and like modern radials better, they hook up.). I know exactly how the car came from the factory and what is different. I even have a stockpile or NOS parts (the '70 Judge four speed used an aluminum Hurst T-handle with an open "4" (69 has a closed "4") that I've collected to "make it right" if ever desired.

 

Just a rumination but we seem to be splitting again between pre and post WW-II. Cars became quite different in the 50s and 60s as the Interstate system came on line. Before the war priorities were different and not that many cars were on the highways. Post war the 50-70mph passing acceleration became paramount for many. Four speeds were geared to have a passing gear and top was a cruising gear. Of course RPMs were a lot different. My '72 wagon had the "economy" 3.08 gear and turned 3,000 rpm at 70.of course gas was still cheap.

 

Been around long enough to remember when my Goat was too new for many clubs. Of course I came into the AACA via the Reatta forum when my 88 was little over 10 years old. Now at 32 it still doesn't get much respect.

 

Keep in mind that when the AACA was formed, the main purpose was to keep old cars on the road and participate in derbies, regularity runs, and cruises. Little was static like today. Evolution in action ?

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I have always liked customized cars. I have updated some drivetrains on my own stuff, as well.

 

When you walk through a cruise night or car show and find your thoughts drifting the country music songs, maybe the modifications are lacking in creativity. You know, "I'm alone in a bar, my wife left, my dog died, the house burned down......." Takes you back 60 years to a winter night with the J. C. Whitney catalog.

 

image.png.b76c9fa4aa7dae83b5fc1874742e31e3.png

 

 

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1 hour ago, Matt Harwood said:

 

Hmmm. I guess the points of this thread are these:

 

1) Everyone here agrees that you can do whatever you want with your own car. Nobody cares (but don't be insulted when nobody cares).

 

2) If you modify your car, bear in mind that it may not be to everyone's taste. If you ask for opinions, be prepared for people to disagree with your choices. It isn't personal, but you did ask...

 

3) If you modify your car, please do a good job of it. There's already enough boring junk out there. If you're going to do the work and color outside the lines, go the extra mile and make it special. To many people, a modified car is fine but why make it exactly like everyone else's? I'd rather look at almost any unmodified car rather than yet another garden-variety car with a 350 Chevy, Edelbrock 4-barrel, TH350 automatic, 11-inch GM disc brakes, Cragar SS wheels, and a chrome engine dress-up kit. I am not alone.

 

4) There's exactly zero animosity towards modified cars among the membership here, so don't go looking for problems where none exist. But since this is the AACA, it's important to respect the AACA's mission, which is stock, unmodified cars which are largely as they left the factory. There are plenty of other venues out there that will happily discuss engine swaps and chopped tops and disc brake upgrades and all that. But if you want to discuss how to set the timing on a 1914 Winton, well, this is pretty much the only place that happens. That's pretty special and it's well worth preserving, IMHO. Don't take it personally that your modified car discussion gets pushed away. It isn't because the members here hate you and your modified car, it's because we cherish this forum for what it is and what it represents. There are many other forums that are better geared to help you do what you want if modifications are your thing, but as far as I know, there's only one site like this. Don't take it personally and respect the club.

 

How's that?

 

THANK YOU VERY MUCH !    THAT'S PERFECT !   NOW EVERYONE READ THIS !  ESPECIALLY #1 and FOR THIS SITE #4 !

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I keep being tempted to put a nice set of dual quads on my goat. Since I have front and rear Carter AFBs would that be better than Edelbrocks ?

 

" AACA's mission, which is stock, unmodified cars which are largely as they left the factory. " when did it change from keeping older cars running ? Don't think anyone cared in the '30s whether the tires said "no skid".

 

 

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9 hours ago, Pfeil said:

 

4) There's exactly zero animosity towards modified cars among the membership here

 

I cannot agree with this exactly zero comment.

Its not as bad now as it was a few years ago,,, but still, just sayin.

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11 minutes ago, JACK M said:

I knew that, I saw it earlier on in the thread.

I guess it was easier to Quote a more recent post than to go back to the top.

Sorry.

 

I think what Matt was saying was everyone who contributed to the thread was in no objection to modifying cars ( I myself have two) , however this site is for stock vehicles as originally built.

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38 minutes ago, Pfeil said:

 

I think what Matt was saying was everyone who contributed to the thread was in no objection to modifying cars ( I myself have two) , however this site is for stock vehicles as originally built.

 

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here's a thought, drop in the 350 and enjoy driving it. when it comes time to sell, throw that original 265 in with the deal. as far as hood injuries, you haven't lived until you went under the hood of a late 60's- early 70's olds cutlass, and caught you head on that piece that sticks down between the grills every day.

 

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1 hour ago, mercer09 said:

you haven't lived until you went under the hood of a late 60's- early 70's olds cutlass, and caught you head on that piece that sticks down between the grills every day.

 

would it help define your cranium?

 

My first car was my Dad's 1959 Pontiac Catalina Hardtop Coupe with 389 tri-Power that he ran in A/S automatic that I took over in 1965 running F/S A. I know exactly what a head shot that can be.

Image result for 1959 Pontiac engine compartment image

 

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2 hours ago, cheezestaak2000 said:

as far as hood injuries, you haven't lived until you went under the hood of a late 60's- early 70's olds cutlass, and caught you head on that piece that sticks down between the grills every day.

 

For me the "Predator Hood" was on my 1970 Cougar, with a similar drop down center and a voracious appetite for scalp flesh. Which made it difficult to look cool in front of a new girlfriend with a trickle of blood running down my forehead, behind my sunglasses and dripping off my chin. 

Got tired of cracking my noggin so I sold it and bought a '60 Impala. I lost count of how many times I busted my knee on the lower A pillar.

Of course my contortions, howling and moaning did nothing to impress the new girlfriend either. 😄

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I started the thread for the 1950 Riley for sale(not mine) missing the engine and title but for $3000. The seller was going to do a body swap onto a 94 Ford Aerostar which he was throwing in for free. I'm kinda tempted to get it but I would rather find a motor.Good looking body with suicide doors.I could probably sell my 74 MG and have some money to play with. But then I should be thankful for what I have.Greg

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You should use a bmw I4 (or I6) and a 5 speed manual. Buy a rusty or dented parts car, pull the drivetrain and scrap the rest. I am thinking 1983 or earlier and replace the fuel injection with carb(s).

 

You should need to fabricate custom motor mounts, and a transmission support cross member. Hopefully the oil pan will not need to be modified.

 

I am referring to the Riley.

 

 

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