14 September 2016

Swap to Street 2016: Which would you choose?

Last year’s what-have-we-gotten-ourselves-into “Swap to Street Challenge” came about rather quickly, so we were in no position to be choosy when deciding which vehicle we should rescue.

Oh, the project went just fine. We actually pulled it off. Starting with only a chassis, cab and new brakes (for safety reasons), four Hagerty employees rebuilt a 1946 Ford half-ton commercial pickup in four days from parts that we sourced at the AACA Hershey (Pa.) Fall Swap Meet. Then we drove it 750 miles home to Traverse City, Mich.

This time around we considered three vehicles before handing a rose to one lucky gal. (Or guy? Who can tell when it comes to cars?) We thought we'd ask you, “What would you build if you were us?”

Below are the pros and cons that we considered for each of our three finalists. Present your case in the comment section for which one you think is best. A panel of Hagerty judges will select the best argument, and the winner will receive a 2016 Swap to Street t-shirt.

1937 Plymouth

Pros – Not only is it super-cool looking, it’s a bit out of the ordinary. Plus it seats four. Last year’s build team couldn’t all fit into the Swap to Street truck, so they had to take turns riding in it.

Cons – Finding Plymouth parts at the Hershey Swap Meet raises the degree of difficulty. Ford parts? Plenty of those. Chevy? Fewer, but still available. Other brands aren’t as plentiful. The same holds true if the car should break down on the drive home – it will be tougher to find parts.

1956 Chevrolet wagon

Pros – Tri-Five Chevys have mass appeal, which means there will be more parts at Hershey’s massive swap meet, along with lots of valuable information. The car would be easy to work on, and the team would rest better knowing Chevy parts are readily available on the route home.

Cons – While Chevrolet parts can be found at Hershey, they aren’t as abundant as Ford parts. That means what’s there will be scooped up quickly. Can we get what we need before it disappears?

1930 Ford Model A

Pros – The Model A is an icon – a gamer changer – so building one would be a memorable experience. Model A Fords are also comparatively easy to work on, and starting with only a chassis offers a clean slate when it comes to choosing a body style. Finally, considering that nearly 5 million of them rolled off Henry Ford’s assembly lines, there will be no shortage of parts at Hershey.

Cons – Model As are everywhere in the classic car universe, so good luck standing out in a crowd. They also have mechanical brakes, which are questionable at best. And that drive home is going … to … take … a … while.

Pick your favorite and present your case. We’ll announce the winner on 9/21. Stay tuned for the latest Swap to Street news at www.hagerty.com/swaptostreet. If you’re planning to attend the Hershey Swap Meet, we’d love for you to stop by and watch the build. For those of you watching from home, we’ll stream the entire process beginning Tuesday, Oct. 4, at noon. Subscribe to the stream here: www.YouTube.com/Hagerty/live.

56 Reader Comments

  • 1
    Eric New York September 14, 2016 at 15:47
    choose the Plymouth - its the most interesting one of the bunch, in my opinion. yes, it might be harder to find parts but whoever said life was easy? is this the "Swap To Street Challenge" or the "Swap to Street Yeah This Will Be Easy"?
  • 2
    greg Indiana September 14, 2016 at 16:05
    Choose the Plymouth - I am going to be there this year looking for parts for my 1938 Plymouth and this way I can just follow the team around. Not to mention there are to many shoebox Chevy's out there. Let's see something different.
  • 3
    Shelley Marietta, Pa September 14, 2016 at 16:08
    I vote for the Plymouth, simply said, it's just a nice looking car. But there could be a good argument made for the Model A, because you guys could really put your stamp on that one! Either way, I will definitely be stopping by to show my support!
  • 4
    Pat Indiana September 14, 2016 at 16:42
    I'm voting for the Chevy, easier to find parts, very cool look to it, will be safer for the road trip home and any long distance trips afterward, and plenty of room for friends and gear.
  • 5
    John Ballston Spa, NY September 14, 2016 at 16:45
    The '46 Ford was a great challenge; hopefully you're going to raise the bar this year. That being said, I would go with the rolling chassis '30 Ford. Reason for this choice is, you are going to have to search for numerous parts and conduct a lot of assembly work. But the A’s were only a four-year production run. How many parts are interchangeable between the 28-31? Will a '28 parts fit a '31 body if that’s all you can find? There will be challenges in finding parts that will fit and work together. Everyone loves a challenge and you are up to it this year. When it comes to safety (first and foremost), the mechanical brakes will stop the vehicle, providing you're not trying to stop it doing 55. I owned a ‘29 Ford Tudor and the brakes worked very well. It's all about building something from nothing. The Plymouth is sweet but mainly intact as well as the Chevy. Can’t wait to watch the start of the show.
  • 6
    Kevin Rochester NY September 14, 2016 at 18:02
    We just attended what is considered the biggest car show in WNY. Last year there were over 1000 entries and 2016 appears to be even larger. There were cars of every decade representing the last 100 years and we were continually drawn to those of the '30 -'40 vintage, be it stock or hot rod. The Chevy and Ford are nice but my vote is the '37 Plymouth not so much because it's a Plymouth but more because of the era. No matter what you select it will be fun to watch. I have my calendar marked. By the way, Best of Show was a 1941 Willys Coupe.
  • 7
    Larry E Gilbert 35 NE of INDY September 14, 2016 at 18:31
    I also vote for the Plymouth even though I am a Chevy guy. I always love to look at the different ones at the car shows I attend.
  • 8
    John Rochester, NY September 14, 2016 at 20:29
    Model A speedster! Yeah!
  • 9
    Steve Maryland September 15, 2016 at 13:05
    The Plymouth is the only one of the three that isn't a dime a dozen.
  • 10
    Barry Kannapolis, NC September 15, 2016 at 13:08
    I would like to see the Plymouth saved. It looks complete and is much more unusual than the other two. It deserves to be saved!
  • 11
    ChrisJ Raleigh, NC September 15, 2016 at 13:19
    Hey, I'm a Mopar guy. The grill on these '37 Plymouths can be one of the prettiest out there. Plus, look at the hippy fenders. She is a true diamond in the rough. See tri-fives and model As all the time. Why not put something extraordinary back on the street! Thanks for the chance to chime in.
  • 12
    dampatents Albuquerque September 15, 2016 at 13:22
    Plymouth; Chevy is a 4-door and I drove 2 versions of it to high school, NOT cool; Ford will "have to" get a plastic body, won't it? And, don't you want something NO ONE else on the block has?
  • 13
    Larry Lake Eufaula, OK September 15, 2016 at 13:27
    Gotta go with the Plymouth, even though I'm a Chevy buff. Those old Plymouth and Dodges were iconic in their own right, and are reminiscent of those good old days when a body with a few tools could fix any of them.
  • 14
    Mike Flat Rock, MI September 15, 2016 at 14:22
    Go with the Plymouth. The others would be cool projects, but let's see the Hagerty gang do something a little more unique.
  • 15
    Sam North Carolina September 15, 2016 at 14:49
    Pick the Plymouth. Its a sweet-looking ride but it deserves your attention if only because of its rarity. Plus your crew could ride around profiling like Al Capone's grand-children.
  • 16
    rich v kamloops BC September 15, 2016 at 15:03
    agree on the Plymouth . I have enough trust that the team will address safety concerns and truly enjoy the trip home . We need to preserve / concentrate on the 'hard to find' projects for the next generation to enjoy good luck
  • 17
    rich v kamloops BC September 15, 2016 at 15:06
    agree on the Plymouth . I have enough trust that the team will address safety concerns and truly enjoy the trip home . We need to preserve / concentrate on the 'hard to find' projects for the next generation to enjoy good luck
  • 18
    Cliff Sharp Katy, TX September 15, 2016 at 16:31
    I have my grandfather's 30 Model A blindback, which I had restored 2 years ago. You know once it's restored, there will be a need for maintenance and there are various A parts dealers.
  • 19
    Duane Hewitt Michigan September 15, 2016 at 16:59
    Get the Plym as it is sweet looking and not everyone under the sun has one. Dare to be different.
  • 20
    Kevin Knebel Florida September 15, 2016 at 17:26
    This may not be what you wanted but here goes. You have a rolling chassis and a welder. I'm not really a fan of cross pollination but it is quite common, so here goes. Plymouth body definitely, chevy suspension and steering with either a flat head 8 Ford or small block chevy for easy parts on the road and a safe chassis. Davin can build anything. Told you , you might not want to hear it. Love you guys.
  • 21
    Mike Boyle Coos Bay OR September 15, 2016 at 17:58
    You've boxed yourselves in, and pretty much made this a foregone conclusion. How so? well, the '56 Chevy and the Model A Ford have both been 'done' so many times that even a swap-meet challenge would be easy, boring, and frankly, kind of trite. The '37 Plymouth adds an element of "can they do this?" to the undertaking, which is in reality the only reason for doing it in the first place. Go with the old Plymouth. you really have no other choice.
  • 22
    Martin Wade Monument, CO September 15, 2016 at 18:24
    I would go with the '37 Plymouth. It has classic styling and would be seriously cool looking nearly stock with 255x 55x15s in the rear and 235x55x15s in the front with a 318 or 383 and a 727 trans. Classic looks with an attitude would be good.
  • 23
    Joey S Liberty Twp OH September 15, 2016 at 20:06
    The Plymouth for simple reasons: A) Suicide Doors - this should be enough to make anyone build it. B) If it were easy everyone would be building a car at Hershey C) It seats 4 plus extra parts and clothes and still have room for the sweet picnic basket you will find at Hershey. D) Anyone can build a Ford or Chevy. E) When you are done, you can take the kids to the prom in it and be a cool Dad or Mom. F) I love the sound of the factory horns from the 30-40's G) Did I mention suicide Doors, Hello... I could go on, but really it is the best choice. Go to any car show in any small town america and you will be lucky to see one Old Plymouth at the show.
  • 24
    John C. Rochester, NY September 15, 2016 at 20:23
    What a perfect opportunity to build a Model A speedster! Who wouldn't want one of these?
  • 25
    mike moore Benicia CA 94510 September 15, 2016 at 20:27
    The Plymouth all the way...but find a GM OHV six for it! Yeah! Good luck; great project regardless!
  • 26
    Bob the baker acworth GA September 15, 2016 at 09:29
    For me personally - I would want the Chevy wagon. It would make the coolest delivery vehicle for my bakery. And there is lots of chevy stuff for the tri 5s that will fit and work even if not totally original
  • 27
    Jim Hiner Ann Arbor, MI September 15, 2016 at 10:01
    While the Plymouth and Chevy may be interesting, I am a fan of the Model A. Starting with the Model A frame remains true to the spirit of the S2S Challenge. As already mentioned, there will be an abundance of Ford parts at Hershey. The bare frame will give you options. With a variety of bodies to choose from, it's an opportunity for viewers to vote between different styles. (If available!) The build could be taken in so many different directions, with input from the viewers. How about swapping that flathead 4 for a flathead V8? :-) Maybe find a front suspension from a Mustang II so you'll have better brakes? This could be a really fun Rat Rod build. The Model A frame is the way to go. It's a simple platform that can be taken in so many different directions based on what is available and input from the viewers. Starting with a blank slate is also less risky than the more complete Plymouth and Chevy. Unforeseen problems would no doubt be uncovered in those cars. I'm really looking forward to the 2016 S2S Challenge! Cheers! Jim
  • 28
    Doug Fritch Texas September 15, 2016 at 10:04
    Go for the Plymouth!! What fun is a restoration if the parts are easy to obtain? Not to mention its a MOPAR, even if Plymouth didn't use that term then!!
  • 29
    Ed St Augustine September 15, 2016 at 10:07
    Go with the chevy, station wagons are the new cool cars, lots of room for friends, luggage, parts. And the mid 50s chevys have great appeal.
  • 30
    Mike Dorman Michigan September 15, 2016 at 10:15
    Though I agree the Plymouth may be the most unique, the challenge may be parts acquisition. The model A has been done before, and would be almost too easy based on what readers are saying about Hershey's parts selections. That leaves the Chevy wagon: What a beauty! Tri-five GM cars will never go out of style, and parts can be had. Frankly, the wagons really deserve respect and are becoming more rare as time goes on. Not only that, but there will be enough room for the whole build team AND any extra parts you might need for the drive!! home!
  • 31
    Mark GA September 15, 2016 at 10:18
    Go for the 56 Chevy wagon! There a lots of 55 and 57's out there, however the 56's have been overlooked. A wagon seats at least 5 and you have the back for storage for your goodies from the swap meet!
  • 32
    dan englehart on. canada September 15, 2016 at 10:26
    I vote for the 56 chev as they are great looking cars.
  • 33
    Cary Sherrow Oregon September 15, 2016 at 10:57
    Plymouth all the way. But be the first one in line at the swap meet, have your running shoes on with multiple people looking for parts.
  • 34
    Bob Beck Port Hueneme, California September 15, 2016 at 11:10
    The Plymouth used many of the same mechanical parts up through the '50's. It's not a belly button car. Dare to be different.
  • 35
    L. Wood NOVA September 15, 2016 at 23:35
    My pick is the one the build team wants. All three cars are good candidates. What I enjoyed most last year was watching the team interact. No better motivation than working on something you and your associates picked.
  • 36
    Jim Washington State September 15, 2016 at 12:37
    In the interest of completing the project I'd choose the Model A. For either of the other two choices there is a good chance of not being able to complete the project.
  • 37
    JohnH Ohio September 15, 2016 at 12:50
    I agree on the Plymouth. Nothing says it has to remain all Plymouth. Substitute parts? Also it will look really cool with a satin 'clear coat patina' paint job, and Haggerty's logo on the side!
  • 38
    Jim Lenig Danville Pa September 15, 2016 at 12:51
    The Model A is a no brainer. Not only is it the coolest car ever but parts will be available but the knowledge to put them together is maybe a different story. The ride home will be the test.
  • 39
    Jeff Brown Ontario September 16, 2016 at 15:31
    Your discussion at the start is about practicality (pros vs. cons). To me, this build is not about practicality, It is about being truly unique in the industry as well as being simply awesome. Pick the Plymouth, it represents both.
  • 40
    Mark Pa September 16, 2016 at 18:43
    3 votes for the Plymouth
  • 41
    Johnnie F Princeton, Ontario September 16, 2016 at 19:55
    Time to go gangsta ..... 37 Plymouth all the way. Fat fenders always rule !!
  • 42
    Stephen Mac Nish Pleasant Valley, NY September 16, 2016 at 09:15
    Chevy wagon - I grew up with Chevy wagons ('53 Handyman, '56 & '60 Suburbans, '64 & '67 Chevy IIs, '69 Chevelle). The Chevy is a compromise that works - easier to find parts for than the Plymouth, and rarer than the Model A.
  • 43
    Dale Kasson Troy, NY September 16, 2016 at 09:26
    Choose the Plymouth. It will look great in the Great Race next Year. I saw the pickup this year and really stood out. Great job.
  • 44
    Howard Davis Searcy, AR September 17, 2016 at 10:44
    The Plymouth would be my choice. Tri five Chevies have been done to death and so have Model As. My second choice would be the A just to see it done.
  • 45
    Patrick Sheean Indiana September 17, 2016 at 11:32
    Select the Plymouth. My friend has restored a 2 door coupe and drives it everywhere - coast to coast. He never sees a duplicate at any car shows!
  • 46
    Joe Shelby Pennsylvania September 18, 2016 at 19:11
    My wife and I were discussing the choice of which project to pursue. Practicality dictates to choose the Chevy or even the Model A for parts availability. Being a Chevy family, we bypass the loyalty factor and pick the Plymouth as it is so darn cool. The other factor is that the project is not meant to be simple but to show the talent of the mechanics at Hagerty and that nearly anything can be found at Hershey.
  • 47
    Mike Nash Saluda, Va September 18, 2016 at 08:44
    Although I have a couple of old Ford trucks and loved the 50's Chevys, I would vote for the Plymouth. It's more in keeping with the last build for looks and brings to mind the the old stock car era. I could see this flying around a dirt track in North Carolina or Virginia in the day. Use a Ford or Chevy drive train so the parts are more available but stick with the Plymouth body. Just get a paint brush and put Number 2 on the doors as it's you second build. Than go racing at 50 mph all over the country. Love these events!
  • 48
    Bob Canada September 18, 2016 at 09:17
    Look at the preceding comments and go with the flow. The Plymouth is clearly the people's choice, much easier than choosing Trump or Clinton...
  • 49
    Nate Northern Wisconsin September 18, 2016 at 22:03
    Go with the Plymouth. Stuff a big inline six with a stick under the hood, Ford, Chev, or Mopar, doesnt matter.
  • 50
    Brian Woods Hyannis Ma. September 19, 2016 at 13:06
    Go with the Plymouth, It has the classic lines of the pre-war cars of the 30's you just don't see many of these cars. Imagine a Sunday family drive in a car such as this down America's back roads away from the high speed interstates, this car could be a time traveler back to a simpler time, folks would be all over it at each stop, with questions and stories of their own.
  • 51
    Harold California September 19, 2016 at 13:07
    I own a 1930 Model A (insured by Hagerty) and unless you plan on sourcing original parts it's no challenge. Over 6 million were built. You can buy everything -- and I do mean everything -- to build a Model A right out of a catalog. The Chevy? Meh. Owned one. Cool? Yes. But a Station wagon? Also, not a cliche as a 57, better than a 55 in my opinion, but still... a ton of htem out there. meh. Go for the Plymouth! The issues that make it a difficult challenge are what increases it's desirability. Remember, it's a “Swap to Street Challenge” not a "Catalog to Street" shopping trip.
  • 52
    Bruce Ottawa KS September 19, 2016 at 13:22
    Pick Plymouth. It's cool and a little different. Had a nice one at our show that ended yesterday, the 30th Ol' Marais River Run and Cruise Night, with over 2070 pre-72 vehicles.
  • 53
    kdawson Hillsborough, NC September 20, 2016 at 10:52
    So I've thought a lot about “What would you build if you were us?” Here are my thoughts. I think you guys should go with the 37 Plymouth. I would however go more rat rod than original.There is plenty of room under the hood to house a nice 340, 383, 440. Extra points if you can find a vintage 60's hemi. A more modern engine, rear axle, brakes, maybe even air ride suspension would certainly make a more drivable car to haul the crew back home. The 37 has a really cool patina that would lend itself to rat rod. For a lot of us car guys stuffing a big ole V8 in a vintage cruiser that you can ride low with air bags is pretty high on the "want list". You could even make it more interactive. Say you have a choice between the dual 4-barrel 383 or the 440, let the viewers pick, coilovers or airbags, disc or drum brakes, etc etc. Whatever the crew finds at the swap meet they could do option A or option B. Using more modern components will certainly make sourcing parts easier. This will make it more interactive and fun for the viewers.
  • 54
    John Hamilton ON September 21, 2016 at 13:29
    I have had Mopar most of my life. I say the Plymouth. Every part for a Model A can be bought from a catalogue or dealer at Hersey. This should be a challenge, not a given. I think the 37 Plymouth has the headlights attached to the cowel that gives a nice look.
  • 55
    GREG GOODYEAR Michigan September 21, 2016 at 16:17
    Go with that fat fendered Plymouth and put a coat of clear coat on that sweet patina
  • 56
    Mike Grant Vancouver, WA September 21, 2016 at 21:05
    I choose the '30 Model A. I've always love the Model A. And I want one of my own some day.

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