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Where have all the builders gone

Old 12-24-2022, 12:17 PM
  #1576  
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Originally Posted by combatpigg
Same here brother..!
but no more Rust Bucket / Basket Cases for this old man to tackle.
It's all the nasty body work that I'm just too old to deal with
My plan is to buy a decently restored Model A Ford....then sell off the stock running gear and so this limits the work to just installing the modern mechanical stuff..[which is fun].
Of course I might need to lie to the Seller a little bit if he asks me what my plans are for the car that he has lovingly restored to original condition.
I'll just tell him that I plan to drive it and to enjoy it "AS IS"..[which isn't too much of a lie if I drive the car home "as is" before dismantling it, chopping the top, channeling it, gutting the original interior, etc....]
If you make a post in full size cars I'd love to see what your working on.
Old 12-24-2022, 12:46 PM
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I'm not sure but I think I spotted some guys who used to build their own models standing in line down at the Cannabis Shop.....
Old 12-24-2022, 12:48 PM
  #1578  
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Originally Posted by combatpigg
I'm not sure but I think I spotted some guys who used to build their own models standing in line down at the Cannabis Shop.....
Well seems some of the glue has been hard to come by!
Old 12-24-2022, 01:17 PM
  #1579  
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Originally Posted by gow589
Well seems some of the glue has been hard to come by!
When Dopers crash they just stand there for several minutes like nothing happened but still "enjoying the experience, man".
Old 12-24-2022, 01:29 PM
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Originally Posted by gow589
If you make a post in full size cars I'd love to see what your working on.
A 1978 Datsun 280Z with [240Z bumpers]
I built a full frame [all except for the original front crossmember / rack mount]..and put in a Ford 347 Stroker, TKO 5 speed and a narrowed 9 inch with 4:10s and a pair of R 325 M&H Racemasters.
Found a machinist on ebay who makes 5 lug front hubs out of aluminum..otherwise I would have had mismatched wheels.
Thankfully partial patch panels were still available for all of the usual rust out areas. Thank God for that .
The car ended up weighing about 2700 pounds and I guess it would do 12s in the 1/4 mile.
How about you...?
Old 12-24-2022, 01:33 PM
  #1581  
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Originally Posted by combatpigg
A 1978 Datsun 280Z with [240Z bumpers]
I built a full frame [all except for the original front crossmember / rack mount]..and put in a Ford 347 Stroker, TKO 5 speed and a narrowed 9 inch with 4:10s and a pair of R 325 M&H Racemasters.
Found a machinist on ebay who makes 5 lug front hubs out of aluminum..otherwise I would have had mismatched wheels.
Thankfully partial patch panels were still available for all of the usual rust out areas. Thank God for that .
The car ended up weighing about 2700 pounds and I guess it would do 12s in the 1/4 mile.
How about you...?
This would be easier than words: https://www.youtube.com/@gabcwabc2491

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Old 12-24-2022, 01:36 PM
  #1582  
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I'd call that a hobby, not a pass time!
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Old 12-24-2022, 04:13 PM
  #1583  
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Originally Posted by gow589
This would be easier than words: https://www.youtube.com/@gabcwabc2491
WOW..!!
Great job documenting the Panterra rebuild.
Lots of evil comes to the surface after sandblasting.
It seems to take for ever to get all the sand blown out of every nook and cranny.
The car looked pretty good in the "before" photos.
Did you have the previous owner arrested for driving it in the rain and for overlap welding the flares...?
Old 12-24-2022, 05:26 PM
  #1584  
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Originally Posted by combatpigg
When Dopers crash they just stand there for several minutes like nothing happened but still "enjoying the experience, man".
Flashbacks are like way cool, man.

It's all about the groove.

Dig it, man?
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Old 12-25-2022, 07:21 AM
  #1585  
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Originally Posted by combatpigg
WOW..!!
Great job documenting the Panterra rebuild.
Lots of evil comes to the surface after sandblasting.
It seems to take for ever to get all the sand blown out of every nook and cranny.
The car looked pretty good in the "before" photos.
Did you have the previous owner arrested for driving it in the rain and for overlap welding the flares...?
Thanks, Still like to see a photo of yours. Merry Christmas!
Old 12-25-2022, 08:40 AM
  #1586  
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I guess old cars must be a common "other hobby". I have a Bugeyed Sprite that I have had since the 1980's. I tried to buy a Model A coupe at auction last summer. It had supposedly run within the last couple of years and was very scruffy. A couple of guys got in a battle over what should have been a $3000 car and ran it up over 10 grand. I did manage to snag a 41 Chevy, so not too disappointed.
Old 12-25-2022, 11:28 AM
  #1587  
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Originally Posted by gow589
Thanks, Still like to see a photo of yours. Merry Christmas!
It's been a while since I spent any time at RCU and it looks like they had to do a "data dump"...so all the photos I uploaded to the 1/2A forum are gone....plus all my old construction photos were lost with my old computer.
Too bad but those construction photos dont do justice to how much restoration work was required... one MIG trigger shot at a time.
I'll make a point of cleaning the "old Z:" that has 10,000 miles on it now , then upload some photos..[and this time put them on a thumb drive].
Old 12-25-2022, 11:45 AM
  #1588  
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Originally Posted by mgnostic
I guess old cars must be a common "other hobby". I have a Bugeyed Sprite that I have had since the 1980's. I tried to buy a Model A coupe at auction last summer. It had supposedly run within the last couple of years and was very scruffy. A couple of guys got in a battle over what should have been a $3000 car and ran it up over 10 grand. I did manage to snag a 41 Chevy, so not too disappointed.
Hey Mr Kirk....what's it like driving your British "go cart" with all of the goddamn monster trucks that are out there nowadays...?
In a panic stop situation at least you can safely slide under those 4 foot high rear bumpers...maybe even watch traffic ahead from the view looking underneath those GD Monster Trucks..?
How does anyone under 6 foot 5 load anything heavy into the back of those GD Monster Trucks...?
My neighbor has an old MG that he restored and I was really impressed with the parts catalogs he has with what looked like great parts support at a reasonable cost.
The problem with restorations parts in general has become the poor quality if they come from China, but the British sports car parts my neighbor has used look like refurbished originals.
If you are interested in old cars there is a great forum called the HAMB / Jalopy Journal that is a wealth of information.

Last edited by combatpigg; 12-25-2022 at 02:44 PM.
Old 12-26-2022, 06:54 AM
  #1589  
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Originally Posted by mgnostic
I guess old cars must be a common "other hobby". I have a Bugeyed Sprite that I have had since the 1980's. I tried to buy a Model A coupe at auction last summer. It had supposedly run within the last couple of years and was very scruffy. A couple of guys got in a battle over what should have been a $3000 car and ran it up over 10 grand. I did manage to snag a 41 Chevy, so not too disappointed.
You know the model A cost may not be that out of line. There are so many fiberglass hot rods, any descent model A body and frame still bring a lot. Model T's not so much. Amazing how many of those things are still around.
Old 12-26-2022, 06:57 AM
  #1590  
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Originally Posted by combatpigg
Hey Mr Kirk....what's it like driving your British "go cart" with all of the goddamn monster trucks that are out there nowadays...?
In a panic stop situation at least you can safely slide under those 4 foot high rear bumpers...maybe even watch traffic ahead from the view looking underneath those GD Monster Trucks..?
How does anyone under 6 foot 5 load anything heavy into the back of those GD Monster Trucks...?
My neighbor has an old MG that he restored and I was really impressed with the parts catalogs he has with what looked like great parts support at a reasonable cost.
The problem with restorations parts in general has become the poor quality if they come from China, but the British sports car parts my neighbor has used look like refurbished originals.
If you are interested in old cars there is a great forum called the HAMB / Jalopy Journal that is a wealth of information.
My MGB is a V6 conversion, coil over suspension, 4-wheel disk brakes, modern electrical system and more. Been a fantastic daily driver. Conversion weight is the same as stock too. And yes you can build a new MG from available parts. Doing a frame off on a 76 Cutlass now and it is the opposite. It is not quite as collectable as the older ones and there is very little available. It's the only car I am keeping stock, since it has the 455 and t-tops. Makes it a little rare. Makes restoration a challenge.
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Old 12-26-2022, 08:39 AM
  #1591  
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Originally Posted by combatpigg
Hey Mr Kirk....what's it like driving your British "go cart" with all of the goddamn monster trucks that are out there nowadays...?
In a panic stop situation at least you can safely slide under those 4 foot high rear bumpers...maybe even watch traffic ahead from the view looking underneath those GD Monster Trucks..?
How does anyone under 6 foot 5 load anything heavy into the back of those GD Monster Trucks...?
My neighbor has an old MG that he restored and I was really impressed with the parts catalogs he has with what looked like great parts support at a reasonable cost.
The problem with restorations parts in general has become the poor quality if they come from China, but the British sports car parts my neighbor has used look like refurbished originals.
If you are interested in old cars there is a great forum called the HAMB / Jalopy Journal that is a wealth of information.
It's not quite as low as a Lotus 7 but I have seen a few semi trailers that I could drive under. My Bugeye will eventually run up to the speed limit but I try to stay off the interstate. Regarding monster trucks, I once saw a photo of an MGB parked next to a monster truck. The bumper sticker on the B said "MGB, when you are okay with the size of your privates".
The parts supply for Sprite- Midgets and MGBs is generally quite good. There was a lot of parts overlap with more mainstream cars so NOS parts can be had and the restoration market kicked in while the MGB was still in production. Some of the British made parts are still made on original machinery. It doesn't hurt that a lot of British car design dates to a time when car parts were meant to be rebuilt.
I visit the HAMB on a regular basis.
Old 12-26-2022, 09:24 AM
  #1592  
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I have a 1974 Rover myself.



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Old 12-26-2022, 11:52 AM
  #1593  
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Originally Posted by mgnostic
It's not quite as low as a Lotus 7 but I have seen a few semi trailers that I could drive under. My Bugeye will eventually run up to the speed limit but I try to stay off the interstate. Regarding monster trucks, I once saw a photo of an MGB parked next to a monster truck. The bumper sticker on the B said "MGB, when you are okay with the size of your privates".
The parts supply for Sprite- Midgets and MGBs is generally quite good. There was a lot of parts overlap with more mainstream cars so NOS parts can be had and the restoration market kicked in while the MGB was still in production. Some of the British made parts are still made on original machinery. It doesn't hurt that a lot of British car design dates to a time when car parts were meant to be rebuilt.
I visit the HAMB on a regular basis.
Have you ever watched the restoration show called Wheeler Dealers...?
It's one of the best shows because the show focuses on the actual hands on process of fixing the car.
Mike is the in charge of procurement and "mission support" and Mike has had [over the years] a couple of WIZARDS doing the actrual work on the cars.
What impressed me most about the show were all of the craftsmen in Europe that Mike could send worn out original, "one of a kind" parts ....... in order to have them rebuilt.
Things like original clutch disks, brake shoes, wheels, steering boxes, master cylinders, banged up bumpers and trim, etc.

Last edited by combatpigg; 12-26-2022 at 11:55 AM.
Old 12-26-2022, 12:29 PM
  #1594  
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Originally Posted by combatpigg
A 1978 Datsun 280Z with [240Z bumpers]
I built a full frame [all except for the original front crossmember / rack mount]..and put in a Ford 347 Stroker, TKO 5 speed and a narrowed 9 inch with 4:10s and a pair of R 325 M&H Racemasters.
I had read (years ago) a few articles that said that the Datsun 240Z and 280Z were one of the best deals/bargains ever .... as far as buying a new car .... even to this day.
Old 12-27-2022, 08:51 AM
  #1595  
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Originally Posted by combatpigg
Have you ever watched the restoration show called Wheeler Dealers...?
It's one of the best shows because the show focuses on the actual hands on process of fixing the car.
Mike is the in charge of procurement and "mission support" and Mike has had [over the years] a couple of WIZARDS doing the actrual work on the cars.
What impressed me most about the show were all of the craftsmen in Europe that Mike could send worn out original, "one of a kind" parts ....... in order to have them rebuilt.
Things like original clutch disks, brake shoes, wheels, steering boxes, master cylinders, banged up bumpers and trim, etc.
I was a fan of the show until Edd China left. My personal interest is much more in the mechanics than the deals. I felt pretty much the same about Fast-N-Loud after Aaron Kaufman left the show. The build a car in a week drama never did anything for me, it was just something I put up with to see the cars. I get a chuckle out of Roadkill, they seem to have fun even when the screw up. I'm probably not a very representative audience member though. I'll watch two hours of U-toob videos of some guy talking about how to butt weld sheet metal or the minutia of assembling a 40 Ford rear axel.
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Old 12-27-2022, 01:25 PM
  #1596  
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Originally Posted by mgnostic
I was a fan of the show until Edd China left. My personal interest is much more in the mechanics than the deals. I felt pretty much the same about Fast-N-Loud after Aaron Kaufman left the show. The build a car in a week drama never did anything for me, it was just something I put up with to see the cars. I get a chuckle out of Roadkill, they seem to have fun even when the screw up. I'm probably not a very representative audience member though. I'll watch two hours of U-toob videos of some guy talking about how to butt weld sheet metal or the minutia of assembling a 40 Ford rear axel.
Yep///Roadkill should get Honorable Mention for imagination, technical merit and zero drama / honest to goodness presentation.
The wheelstanding 1940s[?] truck with a V-Drive from a boat and the Chevy Monza[?] with leaf blower turbocharging are a couple projects that come to mind.
Old 12-27-2022, 01:34 PM
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Originally Posted by BalsaBob
I had read (years ago) a few articles that said that the Datsun 240Z and 280Z were one of the best deals/bargains ever .... as far as buying a new car .... even to this day.
The one I bought sat in a farmers field rusting away for at least 20 years.
I drove past it everyday on the way to work.
Over the years the car sunk into the mud almost up to the floorpan.
I had a tow truck fetch it..but not before he had me sign a damage waiver.
I have seen good deals on them in the national listings.
They are made out of very thin and easy to warp metal...so it's pretty hard to strip them without creating some ripples here and there.
The Z Car Forums are where I found links to the providers of parts support especially for all the reproduction "body rubber".
Old 12-28-2022, 09:12 AM
  #1598  
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I have read that the Datsun Z cars were one of the nails on the coffin of the British sports car industry. Well, one of the many nails. They were most of the things that people liked in a British sports car and they were reliable and more modern. Fast forward 25 years and I had a first gen Mazda Miata. The MGB was more comfortable to drive but the Miata was dead reliable and had one of the best convertible tops ever designed.
Combat, how rusty was the Z? I've visited your area of Washington and it doesn't seem like it would be the land of rust free automobiles.
Old 12-28-2022, 09:17 AM
  #1599  
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Originally Posted by mgnostic
I have read that the Datsun Z cars were one of the nails on the coffin of the British sports car industry. Well, one of the many nails. They were most of the things that people liked in a British sports car and they were reliable and more modern. Fast forward 25 years and I had a first gen Mazda Miata. The MGB was more comfortable to drive but the Miata was dead reliable and had one of the best convertible tops ever designed.
Combat, how rusty was the Z? I've visited your area of Washington and it doesn't seem like it would be the land of rust free automobiles.
The car companies owned by British Leland such as MGB were all fighting amongst themselves while the rest of the world passed them by. The uni-body of the MGB was quite advanced but advancement stopped right there. That was the death nail for these companies. Just think if the MGB had been modernized with one of their V6's, better suspension, 4 wheel disc brakes and improvement on the rubber bumper design. The Miata has always been though of as the MGB replacement.
Old 12-29-2022, 11:19 PM
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Originally Posted by mgnostic
Combat, how rusty was the Z? I've visited your area of Washington and it doesn't seem like it would be the land of rust free automobiles.
The frame rails, floor, lower body sections, rear wheel houses, rocker panels were basically mush..the factory used the thinnest metal for everything they thought they could get away with to keep the car light.
The Tow Truck driver needed to use a floor jack in the mud to get his tow strap situated. As he pumped on the jack the frame just kept caving in.
Amazingly the doors and hatches all worked real well.
The vinyl / foam rubber dashboard [that looked very cool when they were new] looked like petrified dinosaur poop. The replacement dash with no gauges switches or controls cost something like $2000 so I used my model airplane skills to build one out of 1/4" plywood, fiberglass, aluminum and cheap generic gauges.
Not nearly as pretty as the original...but It works for me.
Pictures are coming soon once a new battery pack arrives for my camera.
I used generic one size fits all stuff everywhere I could to save money......Corbeau bucket seats, "universal fit" radiator and fan combo, Jaz fuel tank, "Hot Rod" heater box w/fan control and it took 3 "you weld it" sprint car header kits to have enough material to make the headers.
I went total "bargain basement" by shooting the car with Summit Racing single stage urethane. I had so many failed attempts that needed to be sanded back down and resprayed that it really tested my love of the hobby..... but years later the extra coats of paint has proved to be useful because I have been able to "rub out" some rock chips without hitting the primer...LOL.
This will be the 6th year since the car was painted and the body work has held up thanks to the modern primer and paint systems.
Oh yeah I even made a low budget hood scoop by cutting a few slits in the hood, then easily hand forming about a 2 inch rise.
Then with my incredible model airplane skills I silver soldered 1/8" music wire to form a lip on the new opening and it turned out pretty good.
No windshield wiper motor is available so the Z Car Forum Experts have a "build thread" showing how to adapt a modern Honda wiper motor ...problem solved thanks to the free advice of others.
A real problem solver for doing the interior was carpet that has NO WOVEN BACKING. You can mold this stuff around any contour with brush on contact cement. Go easy on the cement or it will squish through to the surface and look like you know what.

Last edited by combatpigg; 12-30-2022 at 06:40 AM.

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