Stock or Custom? Car guys have been debating this since the first top was chopped on a car way back when. I know that I have been involved in a few of these conversations my self. The purist love cars or trucks just like they came out of the factory. The creatives (custom builders) love chopping and rearranging the original look of the car, and turn them into their own creations. Both sides of this debate are craftsman in their respected fields, and share a passion for the automobile.
Stock or original is the way the vehicle rolled of the assembly line. I’m sure you have at some point in your life lusted over a new car or truck that was sitting at your local car dealer. These cars are brand new, beautiful , and no one has owned them yet. For the restorer this I their final goal. They want to restore their project back to the day it was sold to its first owner. I can’t even imagine the hours spent on research for a particular build, before they can even turn a wrench. After most of the research is complete the hands on work begins. This process starts with removing the body off the frame, pulling the old oily engine out and everything other piece of the car.
Each builder has their own way of completing a restoration, but the end result is the same,” Perfection”. Now that the car is spread across the entire shop, the builder sorts through the parts and creates a list of needed parts that are broken or missing. This list can be pretty long or have just a few parts printed on it. This all depends on the condition of the car they are starting with. It would be great if all they needed was a few break lines, OEM battery, and some new bias ply tires. Now on the other hand the list might consist of new floorboards, engine, and entire leather interior😂. The later is what most list look like I’m sure.
A restoration isn’t something you can do in a few months, this may take years to complete for most builders. I mean the frame and body have to be media blasted, removing the years of paint, bondo, and rust. Next is the engine and drive train. The power plant and tranny might need to be freshend up, or be completely rebuilt from scratch. Now days there are a lot of companys out there that provide OEM replacement parts for these classic cars being restored. In stead of rumaging through a junk yard for a specific part, these guys can fire up their computer and have it shipped right to their front door. This gives them more time to do the hands on work that most of them really enjoy doing.
Every nut and bolt is painted, “or not” just like it was from the factory. The interior is sewn in with the new car look and smell. After the engine is fresh and ready to roar, it is painted the factor color with all of the original looking components bolted on. These guys are fanatics about detail. As a ex ample If a part of the car had overspray on it then that’s they way it is painted.. A ton of painstaking hours are put into these builds to make them as perfect as they can be. When a car collector is looking for a high dollar car this is what they are looking for. The little things that were unique from the factory. This will help bring the big $$$$$$ at a auction like Barett Jackson. I commend all of the perfectionist out there that put in the time and effort to bring these sought after vehicles back to new condition. Thank you for restoring history for all of us car lovers to enjoy. You guys are great 👍🏻.
Now let’s talk about the other side of the coin. Custom cars, street rods, drag cars, ect. These guys that take a perfectly good car and chop off body parts and remove the OEM parts that make the Stock Guys cringe. This is ironic that the Stock builders hate it when a perfectly cheerie car gets chopped up, but they love the parts that are not being used for the custom build. These guys gobble up these Stock parts fast.
A custom car builder spend countless hours as well researching parts and components that they need to complete the build. Some how these guys can look at a windshield out of a, let’s say 1972 pickup truck, and say I think I can make that work in my chopped 58 Oldsmobile. It is crazy what they come up with to create their work of art. That’s what I love about the custom side of this debate, the vision of the builders. Don’t get me wrong a custom build gets the same painstaking treatment that a stock restoration job gets. The only difference is what they are useing for parts and materials. From the custom paint to the over the top engine under the hood, and the awesome tuck n roll interior that completes the entire package.
George Barris, Gene Winfield, to name a few, where pioneers in the custom car world when I was a child growing up. Now days it’s Chip Foose, Jessie James, the late” Boyd Coddington, Ed ” Big Daddy” Roth ect. These guys are producing some fantastic custom rides. In my opinion I think a custom car builder is like a artist. They will take a untouched car and form and mold it into what they think it should look like. This art form reminds me of a painter that takes a blank piece of canvas and startes applying paint in different areas, using multiple colors and shading. When they are done it is what they had invisioned in their minds, a car is no different. The builders reshape body panels, remove items, that a new car designer spent hours in front of a computer perfecting,like it didn’t belong there at all. A custom car makes people stop and say what kind of a car is that, or was that? They don’t look at it like wow that thing looks brand new they see it as a piece of art. They either love it or hate it.it all depends on their taste. I love this part of the industry. It’s like photography some may love your work and some may not like it at all.
This debate will go on as long as we have cars. I think it is important to have both kinds of car lovers. It keeps the industries exciting for everybody that enjoys automobiles. One thing is clear in this debate, both sides absolutely love their vehicles. You can tell by the end result, the detail that is put into these machines. Both are beautiful in their own way. We have all seen how much money a low mile original car brings at auction, so maybe the Stock guys have a good point as far as a investment. Plus they are preserving history of the automobile. I feel that this is very important and should always be a priority in the car scene.
Custom car builders have a place in history as well. There are plenty of famous cars that have been built and play a part in Automotive history as well. The Batmobile, ZZ Top’s 33′ Eliminator coupe, as well as their Purple Cadzilla. Don’t forget the whole RatRod scene as well. These guys fall into the custom side of the debate, but with a whole new twist on custom car building. Builders in this genre have a totally different vision for their creations. We will go into the RatRod scene in a later post here on Cars and Cameras.
So I hope I opened up the eyes of both the Stock builders and the Custom builders out there. As a car guy my self I have a ton of respect for both sides, I enjoy all of these machines from both sides of the fence.
Well I thinks that it for now. Thank you for stopping by and taking a look at what I have to say about Cars and Cameras. These two things are my passion, and I hope we can enjoy them together. Check out my web site John Zachary Photography for all of my Images. Please subscribe to this blog and my other blogs to stay on top of what’s going on in the racing, and photography scene. Under The Helmet
Take care every body, I hope to see you at a show.