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Customs 1950 Ford Carson Top

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Yaril, Mar 23, 2010.

  1. Yaril
    Joined: Mar 13, 2006
    Posts: 966


    some more progress made...

    here is the rear bumper to valance gap on the side, after lowering the bumper the gap is too much, so i cut and filled the gap. sorry no pic of it after:


    using 49 vert doors on a 50 sedan, lets just say the stock mechs dont quite line up. so bear claw latches are what i went with. using the claw on the post side and the stud on the door, one for a cleaner entry to the back seat / when the door is opened its much smoother and two i will have no door handles outside or inside. push rod will open from the outside and a pull knob for the inside (more on that later):


    i simply drilled the striker hole bigger and welded the complete kit to the inside of the door, also the old latches on both door and post are being shaved. the bear claw is lower cause for one i think it being centered on the door it will keep it even gap better (dont know if thats true just my idea) and cause at the original location the claw on the post would have been tilted up so that might have caused future problems:


    i striped both vert doors down to metal and i was amazed they are solid other than a couple whiskey dents that i can hammer and dolly. the bottom of the doors are going to be rounded, both front and rear for a smoother flow:


    made this cardboard template and paper of the door and rear quarter glass. this helped me visualize the window opening profile so that i can begin on the padded top frame. did a couple and this one i feel is the best flowing. i will be shooting for a bit more Gaylord style top than Carson being that his flowed more and suite the 50's cars better while the Carson suited the 30's and 40's cars more:


    last thing tonight was tack welding the fenders to the body and the front splash pan to the fenders. then the hood was mocked in for an over look at the car. still lots of fab work to do upfront like the grill surround, frenching, nosing and smoothing the hood to name a few:


    i did receive just in time 2 really nice 51 Kaiser grille bars so there is nothing keeping me from completing the fabrication on the front end. for a while i though 1 bar would be enough, still not 100% but leaning towards 2 like on Don Carrols shoebox, guess that will soon work itself out:


    also the body work has began! my pal Leo attacked the car today for a solid 12 hours smoothing out lots of the car, its nice to start seeing it take on shape. our goal is to have it painted by the end of this month or very begin of next month. that will give me a couple weeks to wrap up the mechanicals' before my 700 mile test drive.
  2. koolkemp
    Joined: May 7, 2004
    Posts: 5,638


    Wow shes looking great been following your progress since the start very inspirational !!
  3. This car oozes cool. You are amazingly talented!
  4. Hoptup Jalop
    Joined: Sep 29, 2004
    Posts: 1,118

    Hoptup Jalop

    looking fantastic!!.....can you give some more details/pics of the header and how you will attach it to the window frame. what kind of wood is that and how did you connect the 2 pieces together...biscuit, strap etc...

  5. brandoni
    Joined: May 19, 2009
    Posts: 71


    Wow fantastic build. I can't believe I didn't see this before.
  6. Keep it going man!!!
  7. Tin Can
    Joined: Nov 18, 2005
    Posts: 2,087

    Tin Can

    WOW, you are flying on this build
  8. Yaril
    Joined: Mar 13, 2006
    Posts: 966


    thanks everyone!

    plan to go get a latch from a marina to latch em together, more pics on that when it happens. no biscuits here a simple flat metal to secure the two on the inside and a plate on top to again tie them together and begin the center bow.

    sedan with vert doors has required a few more modifications to make it look "right". one of those is the vert doors have a round edge while sedans have a step for the stainless window trim. so 1-1/4" diameter tube sliced into a quarter then welded to the rear quarter, now it will flow like a vert. see roof skeleton pic below for completed edge.


    Paul Bragg was nice enough to tell me all the dimensions of the material he uses when doing a padded top. my local metal shop had what i needed except for the main piece, the window profile metal. so more slicing, just like the tube for the rear quarters this time i used 1-1/2" square tube and sliced about 7' of it to create the "U" channels i desperately needed to begin the padded top frame.

    the profile had already been worked out in cardboard, so i simply traced that to my metal table and welded some tubes to create the rear curve. then one U channel at a time got welded to the table, heated and bent around the form.


    finally the top begins to take shape. the two channels are secured to the wood header and tack welded to the body so they wont move. the center strap is secured to the wood header too and some 2x4 is used to work the center crown shape of the roof.


    i used 1/2" electrical conduit and bender to create the cross bows. it was easier to use the bender to create consistent bends. i chose to make the bows in two halves. there where a few trial pieces before getting to the final shape.


    taking care to measure twice and weld once all the bows where spaced out and tack welded in. making sure that the crowns at the two sides match. also trying to keep the center crown just a bit higher. even though there will be many layers of material before the final top goes on so the metal skeleton is a rough shape still able to be worked, however i want it to be as close as possible to the shape im looking for.

    if you look closely you'll see the rear quarter window edge with the pipe treatment in the works. also the door opening is being reworked on the sedan side to match the vert door.


    i got this heavy roll of white paper, so why not. its easier to visualize with the metal frame wrapped than not. so i taped white paper and sharpied some of the stitching on the top. its a bit misleading because there is no padding and the paper does not stretch at all, but it helps visualize and find any problems before its too late.


    please excuse the body work. i am in a time crunch so there is body work going on already so i am hustling to wrap up all the welding / fab work so that my pal can get the car as straight as possible for its shiny paint.

    in this pic its a bit tough and the one above too, i think the padding will soften the rear hump but sometimes i think it might need to come down a hair? sitting inside is ok for the front seat. the back seat wont be terrible so long as your not my height of 6' then you'd have to slouch in the chair a bit. ill sleep on it, see what it looks like tomorrow before wrapping up the back part of the skeleton.

  9. 38standard
    Joined: Jan 4, 2010
    Posts: 322

    from il.

    I love the top profile..
  10. shoebox1950
    Joined: Jul 17, 2008
    Posts: 1,088

    from California

    wow this build is looking great!
  11. I absolutely love your car so far, Amazing work. If it were mine, i might consider smoothing out the rear of the top a little. Just my $0.02.
  12. Looks great. i really like all the extra stuff you've done like vert doors, movin the package tray and all the related work that it required. really makes it a very unique car. nice work!
  13. Rikster
    Joined: Dec 10, 2004
    Posts: 5,724


    Great work... but the rear bow needs to come down!

    The padding will soften it, but not lower it.




  14. PAUCHO
    Joined: Nov 19, 2006
    Posts: 721


    What a great build !.....I love it !....And I'm a huge fan of Carson tops.....but.....I have to agree with Rickster.....The rear bow looks to high to me, which gives it a convertible look.....IMHO, the slope of the roof above the rear window will make or break the look of a Carson top.....I also have a feeling you already know this......haha.....nice job !....
  15. 1955 LEDSLED
    Joined: Jun 25, 2009
    Posts: 151

    1955 LEDSLED
    from LONG BEACH

    Nice car...I cant wait to see it progress....keep the post coming!!!
  16. Yaril
    Joined: Mar 13, 2006
    Posts: 966


    thanks for re-assuring me that the rear bow is a bit too high. you know how it goes when all you see is what your working on, no matter how many walks around the shop or to the fridge you take sometimes you need to just get away and come back fresh. today ill adjust the rear slope to perfection and finish up the frame.

    thanks for posting those pics Rik, i have them all saved on my laptop (thanks to your site) but had not seen my car in profile directly above Carroll's car in profile. i am very happy to see that its got the same overall scale and proportions.
  17. Looking very good and really knocking it out.

    Are you planning on adding some chrome trim to the sides of the car? I always think these cars really need it.
  18. Retro Jim
    Joined: May 27, 2007
    Posts: 3,858

    Retro Jim

    I am really enjoying this build allot . It has given me a few things to think about when I do my 50 Ford . Nothing like what you are doing . I am in no way even that close to being able to do the work you are doing !
    I am just hanging in here to see the results when it is done .
    Beautiful kustom work !

    Retro Jim
  19. Yaril
    Joined: Mar 13, 2006
    Posts: 966


    plan is to use stock trim, front to back without the "custom" simply the pointy one.

    thanks man!

    forgot to take a profile pic but i did lower the rear bow so it flows a lot better to the rear tray now. still more tweaking to do to the frame but its coming together nicely.

    rounded the hood corners. folded the left over lip on the hood to radius around the back and also made a lip on the car side so its not just a flat plate when the hood is open it too has a lip.


    then moved on to the splash pan, lots of holes to fill on that. also worked on welding the pan to the fenders and welding all the seams so it looks like one piece.


    few things on this pic, headlights are Frenched in the way i like em. using the stock stainless trim welded to the fender and mounting the bucket from the inside of the fender by flipping the J clips. i like this look best the lenses poke out just the right amount and the chrome is minimal.

    also you can see that i am mocking up the Kaiser grill bars. i am following Don Carroll's car closely for this. later i will bend the round tubing that will be welded from fender to fender and frame the grills. from the looks of it the lower Kaiser bar will need to be trimmed cause it hits the splash. its unclear in the few pics of Don's car that i have seen but it definitely will need to be trimmed if not they poke out too much.


    here i placed the bars over the splash pan hump just to see them in profile with the hood (that still needs to have the bullet hole filled and dents hammered out). im happy with how it will match the profile. placement will take place after the tube frame cause that will be the new leading edge.


    an overall look at the front end. it will be simple. smooth clean bumper two bars floating above in the tube frame, Frenched lights and a small hood peak.

  20. krackerjack88
    Joined: Apr 6, 2008
    Posts: 1,247

    from Fresno,Ca

    Holy Shit! Subscribed, you made me want to go and get a shoebox... DAMN YOU!

    Great great great work... Inspiring... :cool:
  21. Exactly what i was going to say. Haha :D
  22. Yaril
    Joined: Mar 13, 2006
    Posts: 966


    thank you guys!

    small update,

    its time for chrome so i had to wrap up a few things before taking all the parts to the chrome shop. i cant wait to see them when they are done.

    got the Kaiser rear bumper guard mount worked out, a couple nuts welded to the guard and a couple holes on the bumper along with a tab will hold it securely in place.


    also got the 2 floating bars worked out. the lower bar is profiled to match the splash pan and the top bar is sliced across the back to not hid the radiator side sheet metal. also fabed up a little tree in the center to support and space the bars, the lower bar is bolted to the splash pan at the end and the upper bar will be secured also at the end back to the radiator support. remember that there will be a tube frame so thats why the top bar to hood space is larger, it will be filled by the tube.


    also filled the hood round cut out. made the sheet metal and inner lip to match.


    here is a profile pic thats hard to tell but the rear bow has been lowered and now has better flow. taped the side trim on just to see what it looks like, i like it.

  23. choptvan
    Joined: Mar 19, 2010
    Posts: 2,161


    lookin killer! Nothin like motivation. You have made me want to build a carson top now. Thank you!
  24. shainerman
    Joined: Apr 18, 2009
    Posts: 820


    looking great! The new top profile looks like its going to flow much better. Keep up the good work
  25. Dammit. My car still sits with nothing done. How would you like to vacation a few days in beautiful Mayberry, North Carolina? Lets call it a working vacation. Hmmmm. Works for me. You in?
  26. That looks perfect!
  27. Shoeboxke
    Joined: Aug 13, 2007
    Posts: 86


    Wow great work!!!I like the Carson a lot!!Keep the pics coming.
  28. 51ChevPU
    Joined: Jan 27, 2006
    Posts: 1,048

    from Arizona

    This is turning out to be a great tech thread. I'd love to see more details and photos on the carson top. Its looking great.
  29. bobx
    Joined: Apr 17, 2004
    Posts: 1,062

    from Indiana

    nice work man. great post.

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