Posts Tagged ‘1930 plymouth’

The money making game on eBay

Sunday, November 29th, 2009

The money making game on eBay – Part 1  

Remember now, I only have $300 in my first hot rod project.  You might say buying the first two cars, the 1930 and 1931 Plymouth for $3500 and selling the 1931 Plymouth for $3200 was a bit of good luck.  I don’t think so.  I did get the 1931 Plymouth running and put back together so it looked like a car again and not a bunch of pieces in boxes.  Most first time and even seasoned car builders do not want to buy kits.  This is just a basic marketing technique.  Do not leave anything to the imagination of the buyer.  Make sure your product looks good or as good as you can make it.  Remember, human beings are very visual and need the visual cues.  This is exactly what I did.

 

1930 Plymouth Engine compartment - this was a great home for a family of mice!!  No hope of restoring this car.  A good candiate for hot rodding.

1930 Plymouth Engine compartment - this was a great home for a family of mice!! No hope of restoring this car. A good candiate for hot rodding.

1930 Plymouth Engine in need of lots of work.  Sorry vintage car folks, this car will be hot rodded.

1930 Plymouth Engine in need of lots of work. Sorry vintage car folks, this car will be hot rodded.

1930 Plymouth Dash - very basic for the time.

1930 Plymouth Dash - very basic for the time.

All of the parts on the 1930 Plymouth that I determined would have no use in the hot rod project were removed from the car.  I did this in an orderly manner and I spent bit of time cleaning, painting, and taking pictures or scanning parts on my HP scanner.  All of my photographs at the time needed to be scanned into a digital format.  Again, I used my good old HP scanner for this.  All of this took a bit of time.  This was long before our move to digital cameras.  The move to digital cameras was forced on us and is another interesting story that I will tell later on.  I must say that the digital cameras we used today sure make everything considerably easier.  On occasions, some of my film pictures that I took did not turn out very good.  So, out came the camera again, and a new set of pictures were taken.  Another trip to the local grocery store for 1 hour processing was required.  I had more pictures in hand along with a bag or two of groceries.  Boy, those pictures sure got expensive, if you included the bags of groceries.  It’s all marketing. 

1930 Plymouth Rear Seat - this will be totally cleaned out.  The fabric will be tossed and he seat frames sold.

1930 Plymouth Rear Seat - this will be totally cleaned out. The fabric will be tossed and he seat frames sold.

1930 Plymouth Front Wooden Spoke Wheel Rim - Do not throw anything out. Everything can be sold to help pay for the hot rod project.

1930 Plymouth Front Wooden Spoke Wheel Rim - Do not throw anything out. Everything can be sold to help pay for the hot rod project.

 

If you want to be successful on eBay, you need to research everything you can about the item you are selling.  First, you will need an eBay account.  After you have an eBay account, which is super easy to get, I would look at the completed listings section and the active listings for item you want to sell.  From this, I would be able to tell which parts were selling and which ones did not.  You will give you a bit of an idea what to expect for an item that you list.  Even if items did not sell, I would try to analyze why they did not sell.  Most often, the information in the listing was very poor.  I would also spend of time looking up the parts using one of the search engines on the internet.  Even if you just type in a part number for a part you have, you will be pleasantly surprised in the internet search and the information you will come up with.  The more information you provide for an item, the buyer confidence improves, and often, somebody will buy your item at a higher value, rather than an identical item with a poor item description, spelling mistakes, bad grammar, and terrible pictures.  Make the items look good.  Not just good, but real good.  I call this picture perfect.  It takes a bit of elbow grease, and more time away from the build of your hot rod.  This is what I did.  It all started with a bit of curiosity, and then become an obsession.  I wanted to see how much I really could make and how little I could spend on my hot rod build.  The results were absolutely amazing.  At the end of selling the unneeded 1930 Plymouth parts, I made over $2500.  Now I am about $2300 ahead of the game, and I still have the 1930 Plymouth to hot rod.  Not so bad.  The story just keeps on getting better. 

 

1930 Plymouth Front Brakes - This car was very very built for the time.  It had juice brakes!   The brake drum is part of the wooden spoke rim.

1930 Plymouth Front Brakes - This car was very very built for the time. It had juice brakes! The brake drum is part of the wooden spoke rim.

 The money making game on eBay – Part 2            

Over the next few months, I cleaned and painted anything that appeared to have value.  I gave a few items to the fellow that bought the 1931 Plymouth.  I suppose that was not a wise move, but I was very inexperience at the selling of vintage parts especially on eBay.  All of the items that I kept needed to be checked over to the best of my ability and repair as required.  One of the first things I sold on eBay was the dash gauges from the 30 Plymouth.  I measured and recorded the resistance of the windings inside the ammeter and fuel gauges using my digital multi meter.  Here my knowledge in electronics helped me out to determine the overall condition of these gauges.  I connected the oil pressure gauge to my air line in the shop and check a few different pressure readings.  The speedometer was connected to my variable speed drill to see if it worked.  The speed varied with the speed of the drill.  Everything looked good, so I shined up the chrome bezels, clean the terminals, and took a few pictures.  On the listing, I mentioned my findings and how I tested each gauge.  I set the reserved bid at $175 USD.  Over the week, I noticed several people were watching the listing.  It was not until the last 30 minutes before the listing ended did I see any activity.  The bids started.  This is not that unusual on eBay.  Bidders do this to keep the price of the item lower.  Once the bidding started, one bidder just kept on bidding till the reserve price was achieved and he did this all just before the listing finally ended.   I made $175 USD on this sale.  This was just the start.  Thinking about it now, I most likely could have made more on this.  I look at this as a price for my education in this most interesting hobby of mine. 

1930 Plymouth Gauges Front View - speedometer, ammeter, oil pressure, and water temperature.  All of these were clean, tested, and sold on eBay.

1930 Plymouth Gauges Front View - speedometer, ammeter, oil pressure, and water temperature. All of these were clean, tested, and sold on eBay.

1930 Plymouth Gauges Rear View - speedometer, ammeter, oil pressure, and water temperature.  All of these were clean, tested, and sold on eBay.

1930 Plymouth Gauges Rear View - speedometer, ammeter, oil pressure, and water temperature. All of these were clean, tested, and sold on eBay.

 

Vintage car parts cannot be bought at Wal-Mart or your local auto parts dealer.  The parts are rare and hard to find in good shape.  There are companies that specialize in rebuilding and restoring these old dash gauges, but you pay a premium price for the service.  This is okay if you have a TV show with several sponsors, or a magazine publication with very good advertisers.  I am just an everyday guy that likes to build things, and I have a limited budget for my hobby.  The selling of items on eBay became a bit of an obsession.  As I started selling more items, I realized that building a hot rod would not be that expensive.  I even started to think that I might be able to build it without any out of pocket expense.  That is exactly what has happened over time.  Remember, when you do this, it is at the expense of steeling building time away from the build of the hot rod.  Was it worth it?  For me it became a game.  Just like a hunter out for the kill of his prize.

 

1930 Plymouth Vacuum Tank or Fuel Pump - I took this all apart cleaned it very carefully, painted it gloss black and sold this on eBay for $250.

1930 Plymouth Vacuum Tank or Fuel Pump - I took this all apart cleaned it very carefully, painted it gloss black and sold this on eBay for $250.

  All of this gets me closer to my ultimate project, the 1929 Ford Roadster.  Please make sure you bookmark this site and keep coming back for updates.  You will need to be patient, I will get to the design and building of the chassis for the 1929 Ford Roadster using C4 Corvette suspension components.   

 

1930 Plymouth Oil Pump - cleaned, tested, and sold on eBay

1930 Plymouth Oil Pump - cleaned, tested, and sold on eBay

The money making game on eBay – Part 3

If you are going to sell something for $200 or more, then include lots of pictures in the eBay listing.  Often for cheaper items, I will merge several photos into one image for my eBay listing.  It is easy now with digital cameras and your favourite photo editing software.  When I first started selling on eBay, I scanned anything that would fit on my HP scanner and took film pictures of everything else.  Pictures are something you cannot skimp on when listing items on eBay.  Remember, the more information you provide, the easier you make it for the buyer to make the purchase decision and that human beings like getting their information visually. 

 

Normally, I time the start of my 7 day listings on Sunday night.  I would not recommend having a listing end on Friday.  Friday is a day when everyone wants to wind down from a long week at work.  This is when most buyers are out socializing, having fun, and not surfing the net.  Do not have a listing end during the normal part of the working day.  Again, you will loose a potential part of your market place because buyers have limited computer access.  Now, many workplaces and employers monitor email and internet usage at the workplace and really do not like employees using these services at the workplace.  In some cases employees caught working on personal matters on the job have been fired. 

 

Make your listing on eBay available to the world.  This means that you will ship your item anywhere in the world.  The buyer pays for shipping and there really is no extra effort on your part.  You should be prepared to provide information about shipping costs to potential buyers.  This means, you better know how you are going to package the item and how much everything will weigh.  You will need a weigh scale.  A mistake made in determining the weight of a parcel, especially after you quote a foreign shipping price, will cost you.  Ship everything using the post “and what they lose, but I must say that I have shipped things all over the world and have never lost a single item.  A couple of times things got a bit tense.  A few buyers wanted ground shipping to Hong Kong and Tasmania, and those items took much longer then the predictions the post office made.  When you use ground carrier services through the post office and are shipping overseas, this means your package will be placed in a container, and when the container is full, it will head off to its destination.  These containers will be loaded on ships.   This service is very slow so I would not recommend using it no matter what the saving is to the buyer.

 

You will need to be available to provide fast responses to email questions.  Buyers like this.  Do not bother to list an item if you plan to go away, even for a few days.  I prefer to list as many similar items as possible at the same time.  I find that this improves my sales and final selling price.  Normally, about 20 items per 7 day auction period is manageable.  Once the items are sold and paid for, do not waste any time getting sold items shipped.  Buyers want everything yesterday.  Always give the buyers an approximate time they can expect to receive their item.  I send the buyer an email the day the item is shipped informing them of an approximate delivery time.  This simple step will ensure a happier buyer with fewer enquiries to answer.  Even still, the buyer starts emailing you a few days after they paid for the item with the question, I paid for my item but I haven’t received it yet, WHY.

 

In a few days I will update the Blog with a new post.  I will continue with, “The money making game on eBay – Part 3”.  All of this gets me closer to my ultimate project, the 1929 Ford Roadster.  Please make sure you bookmark this site and keep coming back for updates.  You will need to be patient, I will get to the design and building of the chassis for the 1929 Ford Roadster using C4 Corvette suspension components.

The above 7 pictures are from a 1934 Plymouth instrument cluster I purchased for $75 and sold for $375 on eBay.  Just click on an image to make it larger and then click on the arrows at the bottom left or right of the image to advance to the next image.   To close the viewer, just click anywhere on the image.  

I took these pictures with a small Canon digital camera and included all test information about the gauges and pictures in the eBay listing.

 The money making game on eBay – Part 4 

Make it easy for buyer to pay for items.  Use PayPal, take postal or bank money orders, wire transfers, and etc….  Do not take personal cheques.  Do not ship anything till the item is paid for in full, including shipping.  When it comes to money, promises do not mean anything. 

Your packaging needs to be given consideration.  Where are you going to find it?  Do you need to purchase it, this will be an added cost to the buyer?  I manage to pick card board boxes up at the local grocery store, they give them away for free.  I pick up packing tape at the local dollar store.  Shipping labels are made on my inkjet printer at home.  Insure every item shipped, and keep good records.   You never know when you might need to refer to them.  Most of all make sure your item is not too big or to heavy to ship using conventional shipping carriers.  Once I sold a convertible top and frame from a 1986 Corvette.  With the packing frame it became a bit heavy and the dimensions of the crate were a bit big.  I ended up taking the crate apart, and disassembled the convertible frame to make the shipping crate an acceptable size.  This all took time.   

I always look at the buyer’s feedback to see what kind of things they have bought.  You might get an idea.  I did.  I started to sell old microprocessors from computers and other absolute electronic parts I had laying around the house.  I would have never thought of selling this sort of item.  One day I noticed in the feedback of one buyer purchasing a vintage car part, that they had been buying old microprocessors.  To me these parts are obsolete and have no value.  Remember, I am an Electronics Professor at a local community college in my area.  It was most interesting finding out what buyers would spend on old IBM XT processors and vintage EPROMs.  This was state of the art technology 25 years ago.  What a surprise for me!

Set a fair price on the items you want to sell and if needed a reserve price.  If you start out with a very high price, you will not sell you item.  What I find surprising sometimes, is that I will start at a low starting bid and the final selling bid is absolutely incredible.  Now I have developed a policy of just wanting to get rid of things for any reasonable price.  Not so long ago, I had a collection of old 35mm film cameras and lenses.  I would have been happy if somebody gave me $100 for the collection.  Just for the fun of it, I listed everything separately on eBay, and seven days later, I made over $2000.  The oddest things that are collecting dust in closets and drawers, that you never intend to use again, just might be worth a bid of money.  I even sold old computer software, books, vintage tools, and many more things that had been taking up space in the house.  One year for the fun of it, I sold enough on eBay to pay for all of our Christmas gifts, new decorations, and all of the food for the holidays.  It all started as a bit of a joke but the joke became reality.  Sometimes items need to be re-listed on eBay a few times before they will sell.  I have always sold eveything I listed on ebay, sooner or later.   

Well, EBay proved to be a valuable tool for me.  I was able to sell the majority of the unneeded parts that I removed from the 1930 Plymouth for about $2500.  Now, I am ahead about $2300 in my hot rod project.  This was not free money, I worked to make this, and it did take time away from the hot rod build which really hasn’t started yet.  Where is the 1929 Ford Hot Rod?  Be patient, its coming.  Just a bit more wheeling and dealing to come.  Where did my interest in the wheeling and dealing come from?  Maybe watching my father when I was a young boy.  He as always making a deal, and best of all, I was with him.  Making money this way can be a slow but profitable process. 

In a few days I will update the Blog with another new post.   Please make sure you bookmark this site and keep coming back for updates.

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So you want to build a hot rod, where do you start?

Thursday, November 26th, 2009

 

How to Build a 1929 Ford Hot Rod

By: John A. Ansons

1929fordhotrod.com logo

1929fordhotrod.com logo

 

The inexpensive way

Using Imagination, ingenuity, and determination

Not just cheap, but a high quality build

Catch your interest, read on……

1929 Ford Hot Rod

 

Introduction.

John Ansons and his 1929 Ford Hotrod live in Strathroy, Ontario, Canada . The story of this car is a rather twisting and complex one that started with the purchase of two old and rather tattered Plymouths in 2004. There is trading and piecing together. Selling, bartering, designing, and building of parts such as the frame and other parts. There is tearing down, fabricating, parts transplants, There is money in and money out. But the most interesting financial aspect of the finances of this project is that in the end the “in” and the “out” of it is almost even. This project cost very little in terms of money. What it did cost was supplemented with a lot of thought, even more imagination and ingenuity, stubbornness and the determination to see it finished.

It is also a matter of some pride that it was done with little money and a lot of hard work. It is easy, with pockets that go deep enough to have a brilliant polished project parked in the driveway for all to see. That, is easy. (Written by: J. L. Reilly my best friend, partner, and best of all, my wife of 4 and 30 years.  Thanks, Janis)

So you want to build a hot rod, where do you start? – Part 1 

The journey begins here.

This all started when I was growing up in a small mining town in Northern Ontario.  We always made things and fixed everything. It was a necessity of the time.  A regular part of the routine was fixing up old beater cars used for everyday transportation.  There was a succession of many $25 and $50 cars.  Add a bottle of rye for a mechanic and you had a safety check and a “new” daily driver.  Boy things have changed.  That is a good thing. 

Like most kids, I was in there like a dirty shirt, helping my father out the best I could.  Probably, I was in the way most of the time, but he never said word about it.  Fairly early on, I wanted a snowmobile.  Of course we could not afford one.  One day, my father came home with one.  A strange looking thing called a Snow Bug.  I looked at this thing and thought “this thing is outright weird”.  Necessity overcame pride and this is what I had, so I worked with it.  Snow Bugs were not like normal snowmobiles, these had the motor in the back and you sat on a seat in the front on top of the ski.  They had a 24″ wide track and only one wide ski in the front.  They were made out of aluminum and not painted.  The one my dad brought home was in pieces,   lots of pieces.   With my father working all of the time, I became impatient and started to put this thing back together.  There was far more pushing it home than driving it, and lots of regular repairs.  That Snow Bug taught me lots about engines, pulley and gear ratios.

When I started High School I made many visits to the variety store during lunch breaks, checking out the magazine racks.  Magazines on Hot Rods and Dune Buggies caught my interest.  I could not find an old car like the early 30′s Fords that I liked, but we had lots of old VW beetles kicking around.  The Baja Sand Rails and classic dune buggies looked attractive.  The fibre glass body was out of the question for obvious reasons, but I did have access to an oxygen/acetylene cutting and welding set.  Lots of old water pipe was easily accessible for the right price, free.  So, I went to design and build my first VW dune buggy, in the style of the Sand Rail.  I found lots of pictures in various magazines.  They became my blueprint.  This was at the ripe old age of 13.  Now we call builds like this, Rat Rods.

So you want to build a hot rod – Part 2

Being left alone at home during the summer time, I had lots of time to learn how to use the torch and gas weld.  No problem here. I watched my father do this many times.  I found out quickly, that watching somebody do something is not the same as doing it yourself.  This still holds true.  To think of this now, it must have been scary, driving this contraption, built with elementary welding knowledge.  I must have done all right, I am still here to tell this story.  

Of course, growing up in a mining town, and having a father that knew how to do and try lots of things also helped.  He was my resource and supplier of parts.  Growing up poor and having to learn how to fix everything, and make all sorts of improvisations to keep up with the Jones’ also had an important role.  Incidentally, the Jones’ did live down the street from me.  I find it interesting how life’s early beginnings set the path for what you end up doing later in life.

About 5 years ago, I came up with the idea of building a hot rod.  I researched the idea of building an AC Cobra kit car and came up with a fabricator and supplier about 2 hours from home.  Everything about building a Cobra seemed very expensive.  This didn’t make any sense at all.  We still had young kids at home, a mortgage, just trying to make it to the end of the month was a challenge.  I decided to end future frustration before it began. I let the idea die an early death.

The Internet is an excellent resource for research.  I found many books on building cars of all types.  How to Build a Sports Car For as Little as 250 Pounds by Ron Champion was very interesting and exactly what I wanted to do.  This book had possibilities and looked very appealing.  Why did this interest me?  Everything could be completed cheaply, and the use of an old four banger car was easy to find.  With titles and ISBN numbers in hand, off I went to the library to search for titles I found on the Internet.  Of course, living in a small town has disadvantages in this department.  None of the titles I was looking for were available locally.  I did find one book on the shelf, Street Rodder’s Handbook by Frank Oddo.  This had a good amount of basic information that I needed to start with.  Knowing the librarian, I asked her to make inter-library loans for the books that I had on my list.  The library is a great place and an excellent resource.  Many of these books took weeks to arrive, and many never did.  Every week I would provide the elderly librarian a new list.  I think she was starting to get just a bit annoyed with me.  In one of our conversions, I told her she will get a ride in the hot rod that I build when it is completed.  She is holding me to it.

I started to do lots of reading.  Magazines started to come home by the cart load.  After many discussions with my best friend, who just happens to be my wife, I decided search out a car. 

We have an expression here at home, “when you start looking for something, you always find it”.  This holds true for everything, from houses to furniture and everything else you can imagine.  An adult student and hot rodder that I was teaching electronics at the time at a local community college I work at gave me a copy of an Old Autos newspaper.  Old Autos is published twice a month, in Bothwell, Ontario and is a must for anybody getting into vintage cars or hot rods.

So you want to build a hot rod – Part 3

The paper I received was several months old, but I still looked at the want ad section.  There was an ad for two cars about 30 minutes from home.  Perfect!  One 1930 and one 1931 Plymouth four door cars for $3500.  I made a call, and discovered this person still had both cars.  We arranged a time for me to view the cars.  I was excited.  Who would have thought I could find something so fast and so close to home.  Remember the expression, “when you start looking for something, you always find it”!  It’s true.  Away, I went in my Mustang convertible, top down, and for a drive to this fellow’s house, on a nice sunny day.  When I arrived, I noticed this fellow had a big collection of Plymouths and a lot of other junk, all in need of work, lots of work.  My guess is that if this fellow lives to be 150, he will never finish all of these cars.  In fact, I do not think this fellow has ever finished a car for himself. 

 

1930 plymouth hanging from the shop ceiling

1930 plymouth hanging from the shop ceiling

1931 plymouth hanging from the shop ceiling

1931 plymouth hanging from the shop ceiling

 

Upon entry to his shop, I found more cars and stuff.  The Plymouths I came to look at, were on top of each other to my amazement.  The ‘30 Plymouth was hanging on chains from the ceiling, only inches from the roof of the ‘31 Plymouth resting on the shop floor.  Cars were packed in like sardines in a can.  He had an old truck chassis on small coasters, and pulled it away from the Plymouths.  Bearings from the coasters, started to bounce and roll across the floor.  The weight of the chassis was just too much for the little wheeled coasters.  I started to wonder what I was getting into.  You would have to think about this.  Putting a heavy chassis on rollers meant for a small cabinet.  This did not make sense. I wondered what kind of builder this person was?  Finally, I was able to check the cars out.  The ‘30 Plymouth had a complete body with bits and pieces of the mechanical parts missing and all sorts of things piled inside the car.  The ‘31 was totally complete with engine sitting on the floor in pieces ready to be reassembled.  I was only interested in one car, the ‘30 Plymouth.  It did not look like it would ever be put back together in its original form.  It made the most sense to turn this one into a hot rod. I only wanted the ‘30 Plymouth, but this fellow would not separate them.  Maybe he thought they were sisters and needed to be in the same home.  This was a problem for me, I did not want sisters.  My shop is small and loaded with woodworking equipment and lots of wood.  I simply did not have the space.  This required a bit of thought.  More like a lot of thought.  So I went home to think about this and talk this all over with my best friend, my wife.  Please remember one thing, if you want to stay married, you better have the support of your spouse.  Life is too short for conflict. 

In the mean time, I started to clean and organize the shop.  A bit more space was made, but still not enough room for two very old cars.  After thinking this all over for about a week, I decided another trip to see the cars was in order.  One more drive on a sunny day in my Mustang convertible.  It doesn’t get any better than that.  Go for a drive, smell the roses and enjoy life.  During my visit with this fellow and looking at the cars again, he started talking about cutting up the cars and selling all of the pieces, making him far more then the $3500 he was asking for both cars.  I am not sure what this was all about, maybe a bit of pressure, maybe just a bunch of loose talk.  Then he mentioned that he would even deliver the cars to my house.  Not, liking the high pressure of selling, off I went back home to think about this some more and clean up the shop a bit more.  After a few days, I gave the fellow a call and said okay lets make a deal.  He asked me if I wanted the engine put back together.   This made a lot of sense since I did not take it apart and it would take me longer to figure out than it would take this guy.  The best thing of all was he was not going to charge me any extra for this.  He wanted me to buy a 8 cylinder distributor he modified for the old four-cylinder Plymouth engine.  His rationale was that the original distributor did not turn in the engine.  Something didn’t click with me on this one and I decided to pass on his modified distributor.  A few days later, the ‘31 Plymouth arrived at my place.  We unloaded the car and pushed it into the shop.  We made arrangements for the ‘30 Plymouth’s delivery in about a week.  It was getting late, so he went home, and I stayed in the shop staring at my acquisition.  What was I getting into??  The next day I started unloading some of the boxes inside the car and came across the vintage distributor for the car.  This fellow must have liked ripping things apart.  Every part that could be taken off the distributor was sitting loose in the box.  Why would anybody do that?  Maybe just busy work?    

1931 plymouth still on the trailer outsided my shop

1931 plymouth still on the trailer outsided my shop

1931 plymouth delivered outside my shop

1931 plymouth delivered outside my shop

1931 plymouth ready to roll into my shop

1931 plymouth ready to roll into my shop

 

So you want to build a hot rod – Part 4

Some people are hard to figure out in this hobby.  I have seen people buy all kinds of cars and parts, but never do anything with them other than store them.  Eventually some people end up with warehouses of stuff!  One thing I have learnt is that you need to stay focussed.  Have a plan and stick to it.  This is especially for the first time builder, only buy what you need for the stage you are at and do not get anything that you think you might use or need just because it is cheap.  You are not a bird chasing after shiny things!  I have bought many items on EBay and at swap meets.  Some I have used, and many items are either still sitting in the shop, or have been re-sold.  Many of the items I have re-sold have been sold for a profit.  This was fortunate, and may not always be the case.   Of course, the profit on these items sold did lower my overall build cost.  With a small shop out of necessity I developed the policy if I have not used something in two years I sell it.  I have found things in my shop that I forgot I had, so if I forgot about them, it makes perfect sense to sell these items.    

Go to cruises and ask lots of questions.  Most car builders are flattered when you take an interest in their car by asking questions.  You should even take pictures of cars similar to the car you are building.  This is not for the purpose of copying someone else’s ideas.  It is good to develop your own reference library.  You always think that you are going to remember a great idea.  Inevitably you will forget it by the time you get to that point on your own build.  Worse you will remember you saw a great idea, just not what it was exactly. With digital cameras it never has been easier to take pictures.

Finally, when you are out looking at other people’s work, leave the “Critic” at home.  I have heard some people comment on the builder’s methods and choice of materials loud and long.  You mark yourself as a ignorant bore or worse.  Often those comments come from people that do not have there own car or have not built their own hot rod. The people with the most advice are the ones who do the least.  Remember, if you can’t say anything good, don’t say it.

So you say, what does this have to do with a 1929 Ford Hot Rod?  Well, it’s the start of an interesting journey.  You will have to read on. 

 Money making distractions will be the next section.

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