If you really want to be different you should check out some of the old International Harvester Metro Vans, DIVCO Deliver and Milk Trucks, and Dodge Route Vans, they make great Hot Rods and Rat Rods, and because of their rarity they are commanding higher resale prices if done up right.
International Harvester Metro Vans
Below are a few concept cars and one off production vehicles.
Dodge Route Vans
DIVCO Delivery Trucks DIVCO Delivery Trucks
DIVCO Milk Trucks DIVCO Delivery Trucks
The 1939-41 Studebaker's were cool cars in their own right, but they did not become cool hot rods until the late 70's and 80's
During the 1960's AMC was a nice brand but most people thought of it as your father's or grandfather's kind of car. However this 1965 AMC Marlin barn find can make a real nice cruiser with the right touches.
The1956 Dodge Barn find below can be rebuilt to the original stock condition or by adding some modern custom wheels and modifying the suspension you will have a real nice street cruiser.
The mating of the classic first year 300 front styling, with an updated Magnum/300 Touring body style. This obviously never made it to production
Volga RS Concept Russian Beast - Designer Unkown
Kotoff Michael is a industrial and graphics designer- he designed the Volga RS Concept which could be the first Russian Super Car. Kotoff also designed the Victory Restyle Concept which is a modern restyling of an old Russian car. For more details and pictures check out Kotoff's blog; http://cg-car.blogspot.com/2011/04/victory-restyle-concept-3d-model.html#!/2011/04/victory-restyle-concept-3d-model.html
Victory Restyle Concept
Holden EFIJY: This a one of a kind concept car that was built in 2005 by a group of Engineers from the Holden Division of General Motors down in Australia. Inspite of numereous request to make it a production car this is the one of its kind in the world. For a car that is 9 years old, it still looks Timeless. For more details on this georgeous car just do a Google search for Holden EFIJY
At the bottom of this page are several concepts and one of a kind projects, keep scrolling and you can't miss them.
The Dodge Sweptline above recently (Q4/2013) sold for $13,500 on eBay with 11 active bidders. Don't let the patina finish fool you, it has a late model V-8 engine and transmission and I gotta believe it has air bags sitting that low.
When it comes to trucks, these old 1949-1952 Studebaker trucks can go toe-to-toe with the 50's era of Fords and Chevy trucks. The only drawback I can think of is big guys might have a problem fitting in them.
If you like the look of the 1949 -1952 Chevy but want to be different, consider the 1949-1951 Oldsmobile Holiday because they will turn heads if you do the right things to it.
Below are just a few examples of potential project cars other than the usual Chevys and Fords.
The Plymouth wagons from 1949 to 1952 were great for family transportation, but today most people would not think of this wagon as a hot rod project. This wagon can be built to stock, or to a mild or radical custom cruiser.
There are a lot of project options e.g., coupes, hard tops and convertibles; pickups (long beds and short beds) wagons and suburbans and oh yes Rat Rods. The most popular models are Fords and Chevy's but there are a lot of other exciting models e.g., Buick, Cadillac, Chrysler, Cord, Dodge, Desoto, Graham, Hudson, Lincoln, LaSalle, Mercury, Oldsmobile, Plymouth, Pontiac, Rambler, Studebaker, Willys, and many more.
Some things to remember as you decide on your project car;
N2A Motors is the builder of the 789:
The "789" represents a styling hybrid of a 1957, 1958, and 1959 Chevrolet. The front end is designed from '57, the side styling is from a '58, and the rear is '59 Chevrolet styling. The body is fused with a Corvette C6 chassis to create the car represented below. For more details do a Google search for 789 Chevy