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1953 Chevy Club Coupe project

Discussion in 'Traditional Customs' started by Sethmark, Sep 18, 2016.

  1. Sethmark
    Joined: Jan 10, 2014
    Posts: 108

    Sethmark
    Member

    About five months ago, I purchased this 53 club coupe from Randy Hallman off of the hamb. I'm not exactly sure when the car had last been on the road, but I decided to do a mechanical restoration with an eye towards using it as a car again, not pretty garage art.

    First on my list was a survey. Randy was kind enough to put the car into epoxy for me and make sure that the body was straight as an arrow. I got it up on my rack and it was everything he promised.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


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  2. Sethmark
    Joined: Jan 10, 2014
    Posts: 108

    Sethmark
    Member

    I got the car and drove it all of one mile. Brakes leaked. Steering was vaguely non existent. Transmission either wouldn't shift or popped out of gear and it barely ran. But it ran.
     

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  3. Sethmark
    Joined: Jan 10, 2014
    Posts: 108

    Sethmark
    Member

    My plan is to rehab the chassis, steering, brakes, suspension and then address the motor, trans and cooling as necessary.

    I started with the front suspension. Fortunately for me, somebody had to been kind enough to grease this car about 1 million times. However it made it a nasty mess to clean up.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
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  4. Sethmark
    Joined: Jan 10, 2014
    Posts: 108

    Sethmark
    Member

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  5. Sethmark
    Joined: Jan 10, 2014
    Posts: 108

    Sethmark
    Member

    I like modern brakes and went ahead and pulled the single pot master and did a conversion to a dual pot. The original master is a work of art.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Rebuilt the rear drums. Nothing surprising here.

    [​IMG]


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  6. Sethmark
    Joined: Jan 10, 2014
    Posts: 108

    Sethmark
    Member

    Finally, I took the car to work and pressure washed and painted the chassis. Car has the nicest, most rust free body work I've ever touched.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    And we did an alignment. It's a car.

    [​IMG]


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  7. belair
    Joined: Jul 10, 2006
    Posts: 8,154

    belair
    Member

    Good, smart work. I really like those coupes. Good luck with it.
     
  8. Sethmark
    Joined: Jan 10, 2014
    Posts: 108

    Sethmark
    Member

    So that's the past. Now it's real time. I still need to do cooling, electrical, motor and trans. This morning I pulled the motor and transmission mounts. 63 years of gooey nastiness in the trans mount.

    [​IMG]


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  9. R Pope
    Joined: Jan 23, 2006
    Posts: 3,310

    R Pope
    Member

    Love the shortroof coupes. '53 was the last one,too.
     
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  10. Sethmark
    Joined: Jan 10, 2014
    Posts: 108

    Sethmark
    Member

    It's a unique look. They didn't make many. I've come to love it. Not sure about the ride height. I dropped the car 4" in the rear and 3" up front with new coils and leafs. I refuse to cut the frame or body. There's plenty of cars that are better candidates. This one needs preservation. I'm kind of in a mode of customization without permanent ramifications.

    [​IMG]
     
  11. 504640
    Joined: Aug 8, 2011
    Posts: 485

    504640
    Member

    I am really liking your build. I am a freak over last year(s) coupes. What a novel approach: rebuilding your stock front end! I don't understand the rational of most guys, having to replace old suspensions with something trendy. No lowering? Since you posted on a "traditional customs" subject thread, what are your ideas for customization on your coupe? Sorry, you answered me while I was typing!
     
  12. Sethmark
    Joined: Jan 10, 2014
    Posts: 108

    Sethmark
    Member

    You made my point. Not low enough. It's actually a 3/4 drop.

    Thanks for your comments.


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  13. RMONTY
    Joined: Jan 7, 2016
    Posts: 1,484

    RMONTY
    Member

    Getting ready to do the mc upgrade. Which one did you use?
     
  14. Sethmark
    Joined: Jan 10, 2014
    Posts: 108

    Sethmark
    Member

    Eci. Very please with the quality of their bracket. Fit without modification. I'm concerned it's not enough power, but I haven't driven it enough yet.


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  15. 504640
    Joined: Aug 8, 2011
    Posts: 485

    504640
    Member

    I asked about the lowering because you had not mentioned lowering in your initial suspension rebuild post. Your posted photo and specs while I was still typing my inquiry. I am betting your rear springs are from posies. Your photo does not lend the impression of your car being 4 inches lower that stock. I wanted a slight tail drag on my fleetline also, using 3 inch posies drop springs. I may have got 1.5 inches rear drop from stock! In this photo it actually looks like my car is on a rake! Scott Ridge.jpg
     
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  16. Sethmark
    Joined: Jan 10, 2014
    Posts: 108

    Sethmark
    Member

    Gorgeous car. I have the original springs and it's about 3" lower than they were in the rear. I figure it will settle a little but a block is in my future. Gotta find that sweet spot between low enough and still is drivable without cutting wheel arches or frame.

    Traditional is important to me with this car. At least until I need more hp and want an LS and airbags! Lol


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  17. 504640
    Joined: Aug 8, 2011
    Posts: 485

    504640
    Member

    So your car is now 3 inches lower in the rear than when you started? What (Whose) springs did you use? A block is in my future also. Even with the moderate lowering I now have, average sized passengers will make the rear bottom out on even the smallest bump. I am going to use air shocks with a small (hide able) compressor with a pressure selector under dash. Here is a coupe that is not driveable because of extreme lowering: A garage and show Queen: wheel interference.jpg
    A stunning car, I drove the coupe in anticipation of trading my fleetline up. Even the smallest imperfection in the road could be felt. The front wheels found interference when turning sharp. I met with disaster upon turning the car into the driveway, or the noise sounded like a disaster. I'll keep my everyday, not lowered enough, scuffed up fleetline, and enjoy the experience! With your mindset and plans, so will you! Your conviction to not deal with rust is real smart.
     
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  18. slo-dat
    Joined: Mar 5, 2010
    Posts: 87

    slo-dat
    Member
    from Coulee, WA
    1. Upholstery

    Great looking Coupe! I dig the direction you are going with it. I bought my '54 210 already chopped with the very common bags on mustang ii stuff. 53-54's are my favorite cars! Keep up the good work!!
     
  19. Sethmark
    Joined: Jan 10, 2014
    Posts: 108

    Sethmark
    Member

    I'm pretty sure it's about 3"-4" in the rear. Here's 1953 marketing lit.
     

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  20. 504640
    Joined: Aug 8, 2011
    Posts: 485

    504640
    Member

    Yeah, those 1953 new springs have it lifted pretty well!
     
  21. Sethmark
    Joined: Jan 10, 2014
    Posts: 108

    Sethmark
    Member

    Yeah. THe problem is the frame is wide and has little arch in it. Not a whole lot of slamming without cutting.


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  22. 504640
    Joined: Aug 8, 2011
    Posts: 485

    504640
    Member

    Please, no cutting on that car! Now louvering, nosing, decking, bumper treatment, taillight lenses, extra teeth/custom grill and personalized exhaust all are reversible customization if the car needs to be put back to stock if needed. I like the appearance of the car the way it is, but personalized, tasteful customization might enhance it's appeal to me, others and most importantly, YOU! Do what you want. I'm sure you wont screw up a good thing!
     
  23. Sethmark
    Joined: Jan 10, 2014
    Posts: 108

    Sethmark
    Member

    I have a healthy respect for the design as it came from Detroit. (Or in this case, Van Nuys).

    I love custom metal work... hell I do it for a living. But I just don't see any reason to cut this car. I'll adjust attitude with altitude. Maybe someday it'll get a proper paint job and certainly a custom interior. But the metal work will be preserved.
     
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  24. 504640
    Joined: Aug 8, 2011
    Posts: 485

    504640
    Member

    ......just wonderin' about why you posted in the trad custom subject section.
     
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  25. Sethmark
    Joined: Jan 10, 2014
    Posts: 108

    Sethmark
    Member

    ....just wonderin if traditional and custom only refers to sheet metal modifications....

    In my mind custom is not factory. This car will look a lot more sled than factory restoration when I'm done. Paint, interior, suspension will all be detailed to a different standard than gm intended.

    If that ain't good enough, have a moderator move it. I can't muster the energy to worry about it.
     
  26. 504640
    Joined: Aug 8, 2011
    Posts: 485

    504640
    Member

    Well no........I offered plenty of modifications, besides sheet metal modifications that are custom touches.
    We have different mind-sets. I will not represent my fleetline as a custom. It has a non factory color paint, rolled and pleated interior, lowered suspension, custom designed wheels, a custom gear shifter and dual exhaust. the only sheet metal or trim modification is 49 tail light lenses, barley a discernible alteration.
    I intend to never modify the sheet metal. My future plans are chrome taillight stands, a 49 chevy front bumper, 49 chevy stubby rear bumper guards, an Oldsmobile 1 piece wind shield and ribbed lake pipes with cut-outs. After those mods, maybe will I have it personalized enough to declare it custom. I know there will be those who will refute my declaration, saying you have stock sheet metal, it can't be a custom.
    Sorry to have riled you. In the future when hamber's respond to me with ambiguity, I will have learned to leave the thread and conserve my energy, which is a rare commodity indeed!
     
  27. jcmarz
    Joined: Jan 10, 2010
    Posts: 4,636

    jcmarz
    Member
    from Chino, Ca

    Saw this one at the Route 66 Reunion in Ontario, CA. The show started on Friday and ends this evening.
    53 chevy coupe.jpg
     
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  28. cretin
    Joined: Oct 10, 2006
    Posts: 2,857

    cretin
    Member

    Car looks great. Looks like it's in good hands!
     
  29. 504640
    Joined: Aug 8, 2011
    Posts: 485

    504640
    Member

    Oh that car is outstanding, a full bomb for sure, which is unusual treatment for a coupe. The guy deserves a blue ribbon for his paint color selection!
     
  30. Sethmark
    Joined: Jan 10, 2014
    Posts: 108

    Sethmark
    Member

    Too funny. I couldn't be any further from riled. That's why I didn't spend any time worrying about where the post went. Not worth the energy.
     
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