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DUB6
Instructor

To Fender, Or Not To Fender

   A friend recently completed a '27 T-Coupe project.  He and a brother actually pulled the body from a field in North Dakota while on a pheasant-hunting trip.  He has debated on and off about running fenders on it.  Although it currently is without them (since he's having some sourcing challenges), he provided clearances, mounts, etc. to put them on in future.  I think it'll look good either way.

   Another friend sold his fenderless '32 highboy and bought an all-steel Deuce with full fenders.  Both are great looking cars, each with their own personality.

   As some who've read my other posts here, I'm working on a '31 Model A 5-window hot rod.  I don't have any suitable fenders, splash pans, running boards or other such parts right now, but I'm kind of on the fence.

   I realize that starting a build without a firm plan in mind is courting expensive headaches later on.  But I just can't make up my mind once and for all.  I see some fenderless cars and love them.  I see some rods with full fenders and love them.  I apparently already have the headache!

   So thought I'd throw this out to the forum and see what others say.  Which is your favorite - and why?  Or are you like me and don't fall on either side of the fence?  I'm not asking for votes on how I should build my car - just points-of-view and maybe even advisory input.  Have you "been-there-done-that"?  What was good or bad about whichever way you went with fenders?

10 REPLIES 10
Sajeev
Community Manager

I think you can do no wrong either way, fenders or no fenders. 

 

I generally like fenders/running boards and I would pay the money to add those repro parts to a Model A. But steel ones are pretty pricey (and the fiberglass ones aren't exactly being given away) so I would recommend asking yourself if you wanna pay for the extra body parts.  It looks like its gonna be an extra $3000 or more to add metal fenders, including paint. I'd swing the money for it, and I bet you'd only add value to the vehicle if you use metal parts. 

DUB6
Instructor

Thanks for POV and input, Sajeev.  You're correct about adding the financial piece into the decision-making.  I purposely left that out because in my case, I would be looking to sacrifice a lot of my other parts (collected over many years, some at no cost at all) in swaps, flips, barters, etc. to achieve fenders and RBs if I chose to go that way, and the body work and paint will all be done in-house.  So I wouldn't be looking at a huge cash-infusion.  (I've got plenty of time, I'm just at the initial stages of fabbing the frame and securing the body.)

   So yes, cost would ordinarily be a very important point.  But right now, I'm not putting it high on my list of concerns, because I've got a stash of stuff in my barn that I think will pretty much finance my entire build - unless the market drops out of the bottom!  🙄

DUB6
Instructor

   Not to mention that if I sell or trade off all those things, I'll be making space in the barn to park the car once it's done and ready to move out of the shop.  Two-fer-one wins!

Sajeev
Community Manager

And in that case I definitely think you should go full fenders and running boards. It will be worth it in the end! 

Rob1
Instructor

@DUB6 Personal preference all the way on that one,speaking only for myself on a A 5 window I would lean heavily towards fenders and running boards in place to me it just looks more complete and holds back on the paint chips and road goo.JMO R

DUB6
Instructor

Rob1 - do you mean paint chips on the A, or on the cars following me?  😆

Thanks for the input/opinion!

Rob1
Instructor

@DUB6 By the look of the cars U build YEP the ones behind U LOL good luck with your project I look forward to seeing the end result.Cheers R

jonZ
Instructor

I've always wanted one in either configuration. If I had to choose I'd go with the fenders and boards. I suppose the practical side of me would prevail. I thought my old FLH shovel head would be cool with a bobbed rear fender and delete front fender. It was way cool but I changed back to full fenders after the first rain/sludge/mud/gravel hit me in the face. So yea, I'd go with fenders because if I had one I'd want to drive it all the time regardless of the weather. I would however chop the top. 

DUB6
Instructor

Hey jonZ - you're gonna preach your "practical side" taking over, yet advocate chopping the top?  Hmmmm.  😂

But thanks for your point-of-view!

Dago
New Driver

Full fenders and boards, slight rake to the front, small chop if you desire.  Best looking 5 window coupe in my opinion.