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Projects 53 Chevy grill on a 50 deluxe help

Discussion in 'Traditional Customs' started by TJratz, Aug 21, 2017.

  1. TJratz
    Joined: Oct 28, 2008
    Posts: 373

    TJratz
    Member

    Does anybody have any knowledge (or a how to tutorial) on how to make a 53 Bel Air grill fit on a 50 Chevy Deluxe? Looking at pics of Larry Watson's first version of grapevine it looks like it fits fairly well. Any info is appreciated.
     
  2. TJratz
    Joined: Oct 28, 2008
    Posts: 373

    TJratz
    Member

  3. redo32
    Joined: Jul 16, 2008
    Posts: 1,763

    redo32
    Member

    It looks like it fits because Larry Watson had the talent to make it look that way. What is the level of your fabrication capabilities?
    Do you have a '53 grille to start with? Swap meet, maybe $500. All new parts are available, I didn't price it out depending on what you need, but about $1200-1500 for stock parts. Plus you need 14 more grille teeth. The place I checked only sold them in sets of three, right, left and center. $320/ set. You need 8 sets and will have 7 centers left over. Get an extra center bar to cut and weld to eliminate the park lights. You can also spend the next couple of years going to swap meets trying to find original teeth that will need to be rechromed at maybe more than the price of new ones.
    In my google search there were several cars that were built with 13 teeth and they looked good too. I didn't find any "how to" articles, so this is where you get to hold the grille up to your fenders and make it look like it grew there.
     
  4. My 50 Chevy has a 53 grille set up just like Larry's. The outer shell is welded and molded to the fenders, then as redo32 pointed out, it is essentially two grille bars to make it long enough to remove the marker lights and 17 teeth sanded to fit. Really not a tutorial so much as cutting, welding, fitting and blending until the 53 shell fits the 50 fenders and fill all the gaps.

    Here's a pic of the car now and a pic of when the builder welded the grille shell on.

    IMG_9650.jpg

    lavendar lady 11.jpg
     
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  5. 'Mo
    Joined: Sep 26, 2007
    Posts: 7,432

    'Mo
    Member

    Alternatively, '53 teeth will fit a '50 grille bar with no modification.
    I'm sorry to find I can no longer post pictures (lost hosting), but my Avatar car ('49 Chevy) uses a '50 grille bar and (9) '53 teeth. I started with 5 teeth (1c, 2l., 2r.), and collected 4 more til I was able to fit in between them. I made simple bucks to space them, and carefully drilled the bar from behind for the tooth bolts (from what I've seen, it's easy to get them wrong.)
    It has been reported that '53 teeth are still available, but the last I searched, all the old sources had discontinued (probably same supplier).
    As a side note, "54 teeth will also fit, and are currently available (as far as I know).

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2017
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  6. TJratz
    Joined: Oct 28, 2008
    Posts: 373

    TJratz
    Member

    Thank you all. I do have the 53 grill surround and was wanting to bolt it on like it appears Watson did with the first version of grapevine. I have 20 years of auto collision experience ( which some days doesn't matter lol). I'll just keep playing with it b and if I have to weld it up then I have to weld it up. Thank you again.
     
  7. Ohhhh....like this:

    P9100077.jpg

    I'm sorry, I just assumed you meant molded in like the later two versions. I often forget the first version. I haven't tried it, but I would have to think bolting it on would be pretty close. The biggest areas of interference I would imagine would be in the corners with the fresh air intake parts. I bet it would be pretty close though without too much finagling.
     
  8. Roger O'Dell
    Joined: Jan 21, 2008
    Posts: 1,143

    Roger O'Dell
    Member

    I have both paint styles , the heartless , and the grapevine, 1950 Chevy sedans. The welded, painted (grapevine) is just work,to cut weld fit to fender. Are you doing the olds headlights as well. The heartless version (chrome version) is a lot of work, I had had to reshape the fender as well as the grille wings. And notice that as the wing wraps the fender, it has to dive into the pan to fit. But but it keeps the stock headlights. Painted version 17 teeth, chrome 13 teeth.
     
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  9. Roger O'Dell
    Joined: Jan 21, 2008
    Posts: 1,143

    Roger O'Dell
    Member

    Forgot to mention for the chrome version , if I had it todo over I would start with the front section of a 53 Chevy. And Larry didn't do the custom work, Ed did in a shop that Lester became Bill Decarrs. Larry was just doing pinstriping at that time. And the heartless was painted the colors of Bill wife's 56 olds rose mist and white ivory
     
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2017
  10. TJratz
    Joined: Oct 28, 2008
    Posts: 373

    TJratz
    Member

    Well crap! I was hoping that the chrome version would be the easiest. It looked like it fit perfect without much modifying. Thanks for everything
     
  11. TJratz
    Joined: Oct 28, 2008
    Posts: 373

    TJratz
    Member

    Probably will have to modify either the splash pan out the lower grill bar to make it fit as well?
     
  12. Atwater Mike
    Joined: May 31, 2002
    Posts: 10,478

    Atwater Mike
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Good info here...Thanks, guys!
     
  13. Atomic Kustom
    Joined: Feb 5, 2010
    Posts: 215

    Atomic Kustom
    Member

    The Oct. 1957 issue of Car Craft has a 6 page how-to article on putting the '53 grill shell on the earlier Chevys
     
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  14. 49ratfink
    Joined: Feb 8, 2004
    Posts: 18,032

    49ratfink
    Member
    from California

    easy. first thing, get a 50 Chevy, then get a 53 grille.
    then cut hammer weld and bend until it looks good.
    this technique can be used for any combination of parts on may different cars.
     

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