Should I buy the stainless steel? I have new steel ones but I'm sure they will rust right away.
If you are building the car for looks, the stainless will not bleed rust from the rod itself. But, unless there is a little lubricant where the rod passes through the sheet metal of the hood, that will bleed rust anyway. Eventually.
I have just always kept the hood hinges oiled, myself. But the T's I have built have been just for fun, not show.
I recall seeing a photo of the hoods hanging to dry They were, I think, panted after being assembled. As Jim said, you will still get rust from the hood unless lubed. Unless you want the steel to show between any gaps, you might need to to etch/prime before assembly so the paint would stick. 15+ million cars and trucks used the steel and I would bet most on the road still have the same. Or you could get the stainless ones and have a little bit of hood bling.