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This topic contains 284 replies, has 27 voices, and was last updated by  mike sutton 1 day, 1 hour 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.

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    #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.

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    #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.

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    #41632

    mike sutton
    Participant

    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.

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    #41633

    mike sutton
    Participant

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

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    #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.

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    #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.

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    #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.

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    #41637

    mike sutton
    Participant

    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

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    #41638

    mike sutton
    Participant

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

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    #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.

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    #41640

    mike sutton
    Participant

    on to the other side.

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    #41641

    mike sutton
    Participant

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

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    #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.
    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.

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    #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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