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XP715

What would you do?

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Me and a few friends (Sixty8, speedingpenguin, etc.) have been toying with the idea of going in on a pre-war vehicle (car, truck, panel truck, doesn't matter; just has to strike us) together and making a low-budget hot rod out of it for quite some time. We want it to be something unique and different, i.e. not a Ford or Chevy or Dodge. Recently I stumbled onto something that certainly fits that bill, but it is incredibly rare. Not like Duesenberg rare in terms of value or desirability, but something still incredibly rare. It's beat to death, rotted to death, but still there enough to be saved with a bajillion hours of metalwork. Its original chassis with all its running gear was sold long ago. It now sits on an equally rotted to death S10 chassis with a stuck 4.3 V6. So basically, if we were to get it, we'd be buying it for the body alone and would have to mate it to another chassis as well as find a whole host of missing parts, as we're looking for stock appearance on the outside with performance on the inside. And the body would not be modified in any way so that it could not be reversed (no chopping, channeling, sectioning, tubbing, deletion of trim or door handles, etc.) The guy who owns it is very realistic about it in that he knows it's rare but also knows that it's not worth much because of how beat and incomplete it is (could probably be had for around $500).

So, my question to you all is, what would you do? Would it be sacreligious to use this for a hot rod project regardless of its rarity, even if you felt like it was the only way the vehicle would EVER see the road again in any capacity? Would you buy it and hang onto it and try to collect the necessary parts to restore it back to original? Or would you pass it up and hold out for something a little less potentially upsetting as a hot rod or less impossible as an original?

Discuss!

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I like how you sidestep saying what it is.

Not really; WTF is it?

Bottom line from my POV is, if it's so bad no one else would attempt to bring it back, you have carte blanche to do whatever you can dream up. Rarity does not always equal value, of course (see Rambler collector values (in general))... but if it IS of historic significance AND?OR valuable, I'd hesitate.

WTF is it, again?- I forgot.

But if the original chassis is long gone and it's >>this<< rare, how would you ever accumulate enough to make it original... or are you still going for 'original-looking' only?

One more time; what is it again?

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The vehicle in question is a 1941 Hudson pickup truck. One of supposedly only 812 produced. The good thing is that its entire nose, doors, all trim, and all interior parts are shared with Hudson automobiles, meaning just the bed and cab are special. And here's what a tastefully hot rodded one with a complete stock appearance looks like:

41hudson.jpg

I've long loved Hudsons, think these are beautiful, and having a factory pickup would be the ultimate!

It has plenty of hot rod-looking touches already if I chose to go that route:

-sleek, almost chopped-looking cab

-beautiful V-windshield

-reverse-opening hood

I'm in love!

To add further difficulty to the decision: my father has a 1940 Packard 120 touring sedan sitting around in about the same state of disrepair and incompleteness that would be a great candidate for this project too!

Edited by XP715
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The truck is prolly OK as far as the general consensus goes, to hot rod.

If you could make the Packard hold together to rod, it deserves to be restored, even a 120 sedan.

I, too, love Hudsons, one was almost my first car ('50 Pacemaker Brougham 2-dr sedan - scared off by the UB frame rot).

pics-pics-pics-pics-pics-pics-pics-pics-pics-pics-pics-pics-pics-pics-pics-pics-pics-pics-pics-pics-pics.....

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I'd say go for it. If it has been modified to sit on an S-10 chassis, I'd try to find another, non-rotted S-10 chassis to perch it on. It would give you modern, cheap steering and suspension components that are easily upgraded through the aftermarket and swapped around.

Also, I am not sure if this would fit with your intended finished product, but a small, low-sided wooden pickup bed just entered my brain, finished in a way that it appears to have been on there for 50 years, maybe with a logo incorporating something from each of you guys as owners, like "SixtypenguinXP Hauling" or some such. :scratchchin:

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Do it, if it's that rotted and already on an S-10 chassis, than better to give it another sht at life than to slowly waste away into forgotten oblivion.

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i'd go for the truck, but with past experience with a 55 packard clipper constelation... packard parts means you better have money in the bank when you need something

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i'd go for the truck, but with past experience with a 55 packard clipper constelation... packard parts means you better have money in the bank when you need something

Believe me, I am quite familiar with the cost of Packard parts: my father and I are finishing up a seven year complete restoration of a 1937 Super Eight touring sedan, and we recently dragged home an incredibly beat up and incomplete 1940 Henney ambulance that we've shortened 20 inches and are working on turning it into a panel truck. It will be 100% stock Packard, just shorter and no side windows. The 1940 120 was bought as a parts car for the panel truck project. He's taking the complete dash and cluster, the transmission, and entire nose for starters, maybe more. The motor in the 1940 120 parts car is stuck and most likely junk. However, I know a guy that has a running 1941 120 engine that could be had cheap if I decided to restore that car at some point.

So much cool stuff, so little space to store it all till I'm ready for it!

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sweet, i hate that packard went the way of the dodo, so many outrageously cool options for a car in its time. i remember on an episode of my classic car there was a mid 30's packard that had a map light that came out of the glove box. our 55 had power windows and the self leveling ride suspension.

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sweet, i hate that packard went the way of the dodo, so many outrageously cool options for a car in its time. i remember on an episode of my classic car there was a mid 30's packard that had a map light that came out of the glove box. our 55 had power windows and the self leveling ride suspension.

Me too. I often wonder what would have happened if they resisted the buyout and kept marching on themselves. Kinda sad that one of the oldest and most prestigious luxury marques died as a Studebaker with an uglier nose. I don't even consider the Packardbakers of '57-'58 to be real ones; it's '56 and before for me. Your '55 was pretty much the end of it all. Got any pictures of it?

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Me too. I often wonder what would have happened if they resisted the buyout and kept marching on themselves. Kinda sad that one of the oldest and most prestigious luxury marques died as a Studebaker with an uglier nose. I don't even consider the Packardbakers of '57-'58 to be real ones; it's '56 and before for me. Your '55 was pretty much the end of it all. Got any pictures of it?

yeah, have to dig em up they are at my parents house, but i can get them

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