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kreb
kreb Dork
9/13/11 10:13 p.m.

I know a guy who owns something very like this:

It weighs in at about 3500 lbs. flexi chasis. handles like a truck and.... I love it!

Does anyone here have experience with cars from the postwar era in terms of making them something that will handle a windy road respectably? One method would be to put it on a later model chasis. Another would be the ol' front clip trick. Is there any hope for working with stock components and simply stiffening things up and adding decent brakes? There's really some lovely steel from this period, and some of it goes fairly cheaply.

alex
alex SuperDork
9/13/11 10:29 p.m.

I like this thread already.

Aeromoto
Aeromoto New Reader
9/13/11 10:50 p.m.

I'm sure some of those vintage stock car forums might have some info.

speedbiu
speedbiu Reader
9/13/11 11:01 p.m.

I want one!!!

pres589
pres589 Dork
9/13/11 11:14 p.m.

There's someone on this forum that has a '53 Chevrolet that from the pictures looked very nicely done. I hope that person shows up in this thread.

Appleseed
Appleseed SuperDork
9/14/11 12:11 a.m.

The 1949 was the original muscle car, despite the Pontiac advertisements. 303 ci and a midsized chassis? Check.

CarKid1989
CarKid1989 Dork
9/14/11 12:17 a.m.

i know of one sitting in a field, under some brush, on a farm. Its slowly returning to the ground. A shame really.

fasted58
fasted58 Dork
9/14/11 12:32 a.m.

Entertained that thought for a early to mid 50s Buick or Olds w/ late 60s/ 70s chassis w/ late model engine and suspension updates or Camaro/ Nova clip and tube frame.

That '50 has really nice lines

good luck... and post build pics

spitfirebill
spitfirebill SuperDork
9/14/11 7:19 a.m.

I walked into an antique shop in Florence SC about 1990 and they had a 1949 fastback inside the builoding. I loved that car and it looked like it could ahve been put on the road with little effort. Of course the owner knew what he had and said he was going to restore it as a race car.

This guy also had a LeRhone rotary aircraft engine. This was my kind of guy.

Streetwiseguy
Streetwiseguy Dork
9/14/11 8:10 a.m.

You almost have to fabricate stuff because things are the wrong dimension now- That looks like a huge car, but its actually quite a bit narrower than anything modern enough to supply donors clips.

The exception is small trucks, but the drop in the frame is wrong on them, so the body sits too high.

I am in the middle of adapting a Dakota clip into a 54 Coronet Suburban 2 door wagon, and I'm going to have to use modern offset wheels to fit inside the wheelwells.

The suspension and steering in cars of that vintage is awful. Improving a knee action front end is....challenging, shall we say.

alex
alex SuperDork
9/14/11 8:23 a.m.

Talk to patgizz:

http://grassrootsmotorsports.com/reader-rides/173/

And jhaas:

http://grassrootsmotorsports.com/articles/forty-niner/

kreb
kreb Dork
9/14/11 8:27 a.m.

Glen at Oliveria Engineering has one of these amongst his many Alfas and what not, and while it's certainly bigger than the European cars it sits with, aesthetically it belongs. It's lean and powerful enough that the moniker "the first muscle car" isn't out of line. Thanks for the feedback and info. I've noticed that there's a Chevy of the same period that isn't as well-known, and has very similar lines. There may just be one of these in my future.

Totally off-base, but my step-father met my mother when he noticed her doing a brake job on her '53 Chevy at the curb in the street. She was too poor to hire anyone, so she took a class at the local community college to learn how. Step-dad admires her spunk and resourcefulness, and...... the rest is history.

iceracer
iceracer SuperDork
9/14/11 8:57 a.m.

Put in a roll cage to stiffen the chassis. A little rework with the suspension to get better travel. Stiffer springs and modern shocks, plus wider wheels and up to date radial tires will do wonders. Many of those cars didn't even have anti-roll bars.

44Dwarf
44Dwarf Dork
9/14/11 10:49 a.m.

For brakes: http://www.scarebird.com/index.php?id=0

For chassis: Roll cage will add vertical stiffness and if cross braced should help torsional too.

MadScientistMatt
MadScientistMatt Dork
9/14/11 12:06 p.m.

I'd expect it to have a C-channel frame - if that's the case, boxing the frame should pay off pretty well too.

AngryCorvair
AngryCorvair SuperDork
9/14/11 12:20 p.m.

pretty sure the front end has kingpins instead of ball joints, and it's a closed driveline with a torque tube instead of typical open driveline with u-jointed driveshaft. rear axle is located by leaf springs. IDK how far springs and bars will get you on one of these cars, but it may be worth some effort if you don't want to do a chassis swap.

hrdlydangerous
hrdlydangerous Reader
9/14/11 4:56 p.m.
AngryCorvair wrote: pretty sure the front end has kingpins instead of ball joints, and it's a closed driveline with a torque tube instead of typical open driveline with u-jointed driveshaft. rear axle is located by leaf springs. IDK how far springs and bars will get you on one of these cars, but it may be worth some effort if you don't want to do a chassis swap.

Angry's right on the money. Take it from me. The suspension under those cars rivals some horse drawn carriages in handling and complexity. You may want to check out Fat Man Fabrication. They make a mustang 2 front clip for these cars. If I ever cut up my '54 that's what I'm going with.

kreb
kreb Dork
9/14/11 6:25 p.m.
hrdlydangerous wrote:
AngryCorvair wrote: pretty sure the front end has kingpins instead of ball joints, and it's a closed driveline with a torque tube instead of typical open driveline with u-jointed driveshaft. rear axle is located by leaf springs. IDK how far springs and bars will get you on one of these cars, but it may be worth some effort if you don't want to do a chassis swap.

Angry's right on the money. Take it from me. The suspension under those cars rivals some horse drawn carriages in handling and complexity. You may want to check out Fat Man Fabrication. They make a mustang 2 front clip for these cars. If I ever cut up my '54 that's what I'm going with.

Fat Man makes fine products, but not locost. I see finding a 4-wheel disk S-10 for the front clip and rear axle. make up a 4-link plus Panhard and sway bars. Would love to throw a Atlas inline 6 in there and cross-brace the chasis. Keep the interior stock except for more supportive front seats. This recipe wouldn't give you a serious track car, but something safe, reliable, and will stay composed on the twisties. Perfect for vintage road events or just tooling around.

patgizz
patgizz SuperDork
9/14/11 6:39 p.m.
alex wrote: Talk to patgizz: http://grassrootsmotorsports.com/reader-rides/173/

i dont know why i have no pics on there, i will dig them up.

however, my front suspension cost more than a challenge car and the rear wasnt too cheap either. no more horse and buggy stuff though, just lots and lots of tubes and rod ends.

honestly if i had to do it all over again i would have pulled a haas and put it on a late model chassis.

not sure on the olds but the 49-54 chevy has a fully boxed frame front to back, no c channels.

curtis73
curtis73 Dork
9/14/11 7:56 p.m.

There are hot rod fabricators that make full chassis for them. You can also get Mustang2 front ends and there are ways of making the leaf spring rear handle.

Your main flimsiness comes from thinner steel used in the frame. Box it and maybe add a couple hoops - one at the firewall and one at the rear seat/trunk bulkhead.

plance1
plance1 Dork
9/14/11 9:03 p.m.

sweet threat, diggin it

mp21
mp21
2/9/12 9:49 p.m.

Guys, I have a question. My pops had a 1950 olds Rocket 88 as his first car. Its really tough for me to find a 2 door in my price range. I found a 4 door thats all original for a great price. How is a 4 door looked upon in this community? Thanks for any input!

kreb
kreb SuperDork
2/10/12 12:25 a.m.
How is a 4 door looked upon in this community?

Who cares how it's looked upon in this community? If you like it, get it!

That said, while the 4-door retains the gracefull hindquarters of the 2-door, they did stretch the chasis, so it's heavier and not quite as proportionally appealing. As you've noted, the 4-doors are much more afordable however. Here's a link to a picture of the 4-door, where you can really see the extra length:

http://rackandruin.blogspot.com/2009/01/1949-oldsmobile-rocket-88-fastback.html

Trans_Maro
Trans_Maro Dork
2/10/12 12:58 a.m.

It's probably either a top-hat style frame or a big heavy c-channel with an X in the middle like the Buicks from the same year.

It's got kingpins in the front. It should be damn near indestructible but there isn't a lot you can do.

I would go with a 1970 -1981 Camaro / firebird clip. Lots of good handling parts available and they're cheap.

Shawn

Tim Suddard
Tim Suddard Publisher
2/10/12 5:11 a.m.

I have the 1959 Edsel wagon. I wouldn't say it handles well, but it could. The suspension is so simple on these older American cars. Springs, shocks bars do wonders. The cars are easy to lower, but you need to watch bump steer issues. The biggest problem is the sloppy steering, but you can convert to rack and pinion on some and companies like Borgeson make steering box upgrades for some. Fun, cheap, and easy to work on best describe these older cars. I love mine.

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