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This topic contains 216 replies, has 23 voices, and was last updated by  Rik Hoving 1 month, 2 weeks ago.

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  • #41629

    mike sutton
    Participant

    i’ve been a member on here since the beginning and try to contribute by posting when i can. i’ve started threads on the custom car revival different years and added to other threads that were already running but i’ve never posted about my own project. about 8 years ago (yeah, i’m slow!) i picked up a ’50 ford 2 door sedan that was pretty rough and had not been on the road since 1974. i wanted to build what i felt was the perfect custom for me. the look i was going for was a mid ’50’s built full custom using design ideas and parts that i like. it’s taken way longer than i expected but i’ve stuck with building it myself with a limited budget and limited tools. after all these years i can finally say it will be on the road next year. i’ll start at the beginning and add a little at a time. here’s what i started with.

    #41630

    mike sutton
    Participant

    the first thing i was dying to do was chop the top. i had never done one before but was pretty sure i could pull it off. i know there are a 100 ways to do it but this is how i did it. first, to support the body before any cutting.

    #41631

    mike sutton
    Participant

    next, after many hours of deciding the lay out, i taped everything out and started making my cuts. one of the areas i think can make or break a chop is the final shape of the side quarter windows. so i cut out the rear corner on each side to reuse and be sure and have the same curve.

    on the a pillars i cut 4″ vertically which is a 51/2″ section of pillar.

    #41632

    mike sutton
    Participant

    and now no turning back!

    the way i did my lay out i cut up the sides and over the top of the back window and never even had the glass out of the car.

    #41633

    mike sutton
    Participant

    then reset the top in place by moving it forward to line up a pillars.

    here you can see how much this moved the b pillars forward.

    with the rear window still in the stock location you can see how much lower and more forward the roof is.

    #41634

    mike sutton
    Participant

    hung a plumb bob to make sure i’m centered before i did any fitting.

    since the roof is narrower than the body the a pillars need to be massaged. i cut pie shapes in the bottom and jacked them 1/2 way in then cut slits in the top and jacked them 1/2 way out.

    #41635

    mike sutton
    Participant

    i decided to sleeve the a pillars for extra strength and cut out the upper weld seam and make a filler piece.

    #41636

    mike sutton
    Participant

    on to the b pillars. i wanted to slant the b pillars because i always felt it gives that “in motion” look that i really like. i didn’t take many pictures of it but i sleeved this pillar also for strength and it took quite a bit of fitting to make all of the filler pieces.

    at the rear, the sail panels are pulled out and clamped to width and i can begin to figure out my rear window angle.
    i cut at the belt line under the window from the outside in, on both sides, leaving about a 3″ section in the center so i could tuck the outside edges in and lean the whole thing forward without losing center.

    #41637

    mike sutton
    Participant

    here you can see the uncut section in the center.

    then, once i got the glass layed down where i wanted it i cut off the overlap on the bottom, made a couple of relief cuts on each side and butt welded some tacks on each side.

    #41638

    mike sutton
    Participant

    for my side quarter windows i reused the curves i had cut out earlier to ensure the perfect shape.

    #41639

    mike sutton
    Participant

    then to tackle the rear and get the shape and flow i wanted. first, i made a filler piece for above the rear window with a piece from a donor car.

    for the sail panels i made some poster board templates to make my filler pieces. with the relief cuts in the roof above the side quarter windows so high, i had to make each side in 2 pieces. i’m sure many people could have done it in one piece but it was to much shape for me.

    #41640

    mike sutton
    Participant

    on to the other side.

    #41641

    mike sutton
    Participant

    still had the door tops to do to match. in this picture you can see the height and angle difference.

    with all the cutting and fitting it’s a good chance to fit up some of the terrible factory door gaps.

    #41642

    mike sutton
    Participant

    after getting finished with all the final welding i had to move the car out of this shop so i primered the roof for some temporary protection. here are some outside shots to give an idea of the flow of the roof. please ignore the 4 wheel drive looking stance!

    again, there are 100 different ways to chop a top. not saying this is the only way or the best way, just the way i did it. i’ll keep adding more if anyone is interested. thanks for looking.

    #41644

    Larry Pointer
    Participant

    Thank you for sharing. That is what is so great about the CCC Forum. These exchanges really help others. It’s all good.

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