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Projects 54 Chevy Bel Air 2dr ht mild custom “Lolita”

Discussion in 'Traditional Customs' started by Capt Chap, Sep 16, 2016.

  1. Early Ironman
    Joined: Feb 1, 2016
    Posts: 397

    Early Ironman
    Member

    Thanks!
    Hope to have it running soon so I can then blow it all back apart. Looking forward to finally being able to prep for paint.



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  2. mercman@bulldog
    Joined: Mar 16, 2009
    Posts: 560

    mercman@bulldog
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Thank for the progress reports. I’ll keep watching because although the 51 Merc’s were alway my choice. The 54’ Belair’s and Delray’s always captured my imagination. Duane Steck was a kid when he built (with help) the”Moonglow”. The the custom culture doesn’t really care what’s under the hood, so I wouldn’t be too concerned. We don’t open our hoods anyway. It’s all about “the look”. Opening up the hood just breaks up the lines. Keep on keeping on. We’ll follow.


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  3. Early Ironman
    Joined: Feb 1, 2016
    Posts: 397

    Early Ironman
    Member

    [​IMG][​IMG]
    Got a couple inches shaved from the differential today with the help of a fellow HAMBer.
    Going to button up this project tomorrow.


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  4. Early Ironman
    Joined: Feb 1, 2016
    Posts: 397

    Early Ironman
    Member

    [​IMG][​IMG]
    Pulled the transmission to put a shifter relocation kit in. My shoulders were bothering me and I don’t have a transmission jack. Made this rope sling to catch the transmission after sliding it out. Worked better than I thought it would. Was easy to pay out some line and lower it far enough to get it out on my belly. Figure I will use a few small ratchet straps in series to lift it back up in there to slide it back in.
    Once I got it out and apart, I decided to do a few upgrades to it.
    Waiting on parts.


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  5. Early Ironman
    Joined: Feb 1, 2016
    Posts: 397

    Early Ironman
    Member

    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]
    Hung and aligned the doors so I can start putting the bear claw latches in tomorrow.
    Got the narrowed differential back in and the wheels and tires fit perfectly! Took them off and stowed them for now and put these rollers back on.
    Got the brakes all plumbed last night too. Once all the panels are fit I will start plumbing the ac and cooling system. Then get everything forward of the firewall wired up so I can fire this thing up and test out the mechanicals.
    Still so much work to do. Been working on it a lot this month and still feel like I should be further along than I am.


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  6. Nice job!!! Club member also has a ‘53 Chevy 2dr, that’s been in family since new


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  7. Jalopy Joker
    Joined: Sep 3, 2006
    Posts: 19,523

    Jalopy Joker
    Member

    Looking good - after a few miles on the road and a few thumbs up you will forget how long it took to build - never done done

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  8. Early Ironman
    Joined: Feb 1, 2016
    Posts: 397

    Early Ironman
    Member

  9. Early Ironman
    Joined: Feb 1, 2016
    Posts: 397

    Early Ironman
    Member

    IMG_5323.JPG
    Nice gift from the company I work for after they scrapped one of the boats.
    Gave me a couple blowers from the boats spare parts cabinet!


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  10. 'Mo
    Joined: Sep 26, 2007
    Posts: 4,749

    'Mo
    Member

    Lights look great!
    How about some Lee lenses, to finish them off?

    [​IMG]
     
  11. RootBeer54
    Joined: May 23, 2018
    Posts: 5

    RootBeer54

    love your build here is mines 33159129_10204602563980641_5291896821071740928_n.jpg
     
  12. Sick Six Cylinder
    Joined: Oct 28, 2009
    Posts: 16

    Sick Six Cylinder
    Member
    from New Jersey

    IMG_2098.JPG Love the mods, would love to see more as you continue.
    Here's my 54
     
  13. Early Ironman
    Joined: Feb 1, 2016
    Posts: 397

    Early Ironman
    Member

    That is a gorgeous 54. But I prefer to have the reverse lights in mine.


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  14. Early Ironman
    Joined: Feb 1, 2016
    Posts: 397

    Early Ironman
    Member

    IMG_5329.JPG IMG_5336.JPG IMG_5341.JPG IMG_5343.JPG
    Not finished with the bear claw door latches yet. But pretty close.
    Decided to not shave the door handles. Because I like the door handles. But there isn’t much real estate to make it work. Got that all sorted out though.


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  15. Early Ironman
    Joined: Feb 1, 2016
    Posts: 397

    Early Ironman
    Member

    IMG_5362.JPG IMG_5363.JPG IMG_5364.JPG IMG_5365.JPG IMG_5370.JPG IMG_5367.JPG IMG_5369.JPG IMG_5371.JPG
    Finished fitting the drivers side door latch. Will finish welding it all up tomorrow.


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  16. Early Ironman
    Joined: Feb 1, 2016
    Posts: 397

    Early Ironman
    Member

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  17. Rynos63
    Joined: Jul 18, 2009
    Posts: 72

    Rynos63
    Member

    Looking good. Been wanting to do the bearclaw latches on my 53 HT. Any thoughts on the window track/guide? Is there going to be enough room?
     
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  18. Early Ironman
    Joined: Feb 1, 2016
    Posts: 397

    Early Ironman
    Member

    I had the guide in to fit the latches. Can take some more pics with the clearance if you want.
    I am using my original door handles because I like them. But I also don’t trust Chinese door solenoids. Neither of these Auto loc Chinese door latches functioned out of the box. Had to file the catches and bend the tab on the release lever for them to work. Had them too long to be able to return them or I would have.


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    Last edited: May 29, 2018
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  19. Early Ironman
    Joined: Feb 1, 2016
    Posts: 397

    Early Ironman
    Member

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  20. Early Ironman
    Joined: Feb 1, 2016
    Posts: 397

    Early Ironman
    Member

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  21. Early Ironman
    Joined: Feb 1, 2016
    Posts: 397

    Early Ironman
    Member

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  22. Rynos63
    Joined: Jul 18, 2009
    Posts: 72

    Rynos63
    Member

    That's exactly what I needed to see. Thank you for the pictures...
     
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  23. Early Ironman
    Joined: Feb 1, 2016
    Posts: 397

    Early Ironman
    Member

    IMG_5418.JPG IMG_5422.JPG IMG_5425.JPG
    Knocked out some more metalwork in the fenders yesterday. Thrashing on it to get as much accomplished as I can before heading back offshore.


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  24. Early Ironman
    Joined: Feb 1, 2016
    Posts: 397

    Early Ironman
    Member

    IMG_5439.JPG IMG_5440.JPG
    Finished the glovebox today.
    The panel the ac controller is in is removable. To give access to the ac unit, wire run, and windshield wiper assembly.


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  25. Early Ironman
    Joined: Feb 1, 2016
    Posts: 397

    Early Ironman
    Member

    IMG_5445.JPG IMG_5444.JPG
    The 55 wagon bumper arrived this morning.
    I like it a lot!
    Need to finish fitting it and make a new splash guard.


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  26. RootBeer54
    Joined: May 23, 2018
    Posts: 5

    RootBeer54

    Am in jersey too
     
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  27. RootBeer54
    Joined: May 23, 2018
    Posts: 5

    RootBeer54

    I am.in jersey too
     
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  28. anothermoneypit
    Joined: Sep 18, 2012
    Posts: 42

    anothermoneypit
    Member
    from CT

    After shooting the clear.
     

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  29. Early Ironman
    Joined: Feb 1, 2016
    Posts: 397

    Early Ironman
    Member

    Awesome!
    I’m doing similar graphics


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  30. jnaki
    Joined: Jan 1, 2015
    Posts: 2,459

    jnaki




    Hey EI,

    Nice work on your Bel Air Hardtop. One of my friends from high school had a stock 54 Chevy Bel Air Hardtop. He was the first guy to get a license, so he was the “go to guy” for rides and cruising. After all of us got our licenses and cars, he wanted to change his stock look to more of a mild custom.
    upload_2018-6-4_8-13-39.png It looked like this car.
    While it was still stock, chrome rims were added, along with the standard accessories. But after he got it painted that greenish blue color, the interior looked out of place. So, a trip to TJ was made to get the full, white tuck and roll, including the headliner, door panels and the rear package tray.
    upload_2018-6-4_8-14-30.png
    (not the exact Bel Air, but the color was a close match…)
    Finally, his car became a very cool cruiser, with no intentions of competing with our hot rod/drag racing cars. He kept the stock 6, but added chrome stuff to it. The stance was lower in front and it gave the Bel Air some attitude. He also got new mufflers for a better sound. It was a nice custom car for daily driving to high school and the local drive-in cruises.

    He asked if he should have flames painted on the car…the answer was no. We all agreed it would ruin his new paint job. But we did outline with tape, several scallops (3) along the side of the hardtop fender and door. It looked strange.

    The problem was the front fender crease and the rear pop out fender. Those kept the design limited. Either it had to go above or below the fender crease, but it looked funny with the crease running alongside of the white tape. The rear bulb fender called for its own scallops, but he thought that it was too much for the side of the car.

    Jnaki

    Your drawing makes the scallop more important than the work on the Chevy. Scallops highlight the work, not over ride it. Also, the whole cars “should”…remain one color on your 54 Bel Air. IMHO... Remember on your cool Bel Air, chrome accessories along the side will hinder the smooth design.

    Anyone has what they think looks good on a car. If you like the body lines highlighted with full length scallops that bump over body parts, then so be it. There are others that have done it, too.

    Perhaps, some small, empty ghost, pinstriping scallops only? Politely ask our resident expert, “TheMoose”…give him your ideas and see if he has the time to pop out a few.

    The final result was that my friend left the greenish blue paint, no scallops, and put on a zillion miles of fun cruising. His Bel Air was a "go everywhere" driver that looked custom. We even took out the rear seat back and put in our early 10 ft. surfboards. He was a good athlete and surfer, too. Daily drives, plus many other uses for this old 54 Bel Air hardtop fit the bill. My friend's car was one of the only semi-custom cruisers on our campus. But, it went everywhere, all of the time.
     
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