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Projects 54 Chevy bel air 4 door. Stock lowered, super low budget

Discussion in 'Traditional Customs' started by _justakid_, Sep 22, 2015.

  1. slammed
    Joined: Jun 10, 2004
    Posts: 8,151


    Build a 2 door. Use this as driver. It is far too nice to butcher. Simple drivetrain. Dependable. K.I.S.S.
  2. verde742
    Joined: Aug 11, 2010
    Posts: 5,725

    1. a veteran died today

    very good plan, but be aware Chevy only built coupes in 1953, not any in 1954. two doors yes, Coupe NO.
    hotrodtodd1960 likes this.
  3. Drive it and enjoy it,as said previously this body style lends itself well to the extra doors.

    If you really want a 2 door,list your car in the local paper,Craig's list,put it in the Hamb classifieds,heck put a for sale sign in the window when your out and about. HRP
  4. droplord49
    Joined: Jan 12, 2004
    Posts: 1,680

    from Bryan, Tx

    Take a deep breath and put the torch down :) Personally, I'd take this 4 door 54 over 90% of the hacked up 2 doors out there these days and it wouldn't take much to make yours look just as good. image.jpg
  5. oldrelics
    Joined: Apr 7, 2008
    Posts: 1,727

    from Calgary

    There will always be naysayers on the more door, but they have a much better reception these days for sure.
    Nailhead Brooklyn likes this.
  6. steinauge
    Joined: Feb 28, 2014
    Posts: 1,507

    from 1960

    Its your car and it needs to suit you,no one else.That being said I think it looks great as is.I shaved the rear door handles on my 55 Ford and,to me it looks much better.You might try that?
  7. RTi04
    Joined: Sep 5, 2015
    Posts: 54


    Leave it 4-door. Unless you elongate the doors and move the posts back, the proportions would look really odd as a 2-door.
  8. low budget
    Joined: Nov 15, 2006
    Posts: 5,564

    low budget
    from Central Ky

    The first as is pic is my favorite, Looks like fun!
  9. woodz
    Joined: Feb 23, 2010
    Posts: 517


    All I would do is bag it and drive it. Its a great looking car. I dont mind 4 doors at all, especially when they are that nice. Enjoy it.
  10. CME1
    Joined: Aug 10, 2010
    Posts: 204


    It looks like you have a nice car to start with. A four door makes a great cruiser. I would drop it a little and add fender skirts. I like the green paint. My 1953 bel air was a four door, yellow & white, 6cyl with duel exhaust. A fun car and all ways received lots of thumbs up! And that's my 10 cents worth!
  11. Rocco611
    Joined: Sep 5, 2015
    Posts: 101


    I wouldn't change it, looks good as a four door,rear doors don't really detract from the looks of the car. I might reverse the hinges, suicide rear doors would be cool.(kidding don't do that) . Like others have mentioned , you can always sell it and put the money toward another car later. Just enjoy it, its a very cool ride in my opinion :)
  12. bomcadillac
    Joined: Jul 14, 2013
    Posts: 27

    from Las Vegas

    I actually like the 4 doors, they have that chrome behind the rear door that the 2 door doesn't have on the pillar.
  13. _justakid_
    Joined: Sep 16, 2014
    Posts: 108


    ImageUploadedByH.A.M.B.1447666396.360009.jpg some updates. Upholstery shop in a few weeks. Been cruising it around the neighborhood lately. Needs the frame notched cause it's Hitting the axle and I really don't want to lift it back up
    Surfcityrocker and kiwijeff like this.
  14. Blade58
    Joined: Mar 5, 2012
    Posts: 347

    from apopka ,Fl

    Enjoy it as is , agree notching it will make it look and ride nice
  15. @droplord49 you take me back to my childhood mang. Aside from the side pipes this is straight out of the barrio ese.
    Not to say that the side pipes are wrong, you got a good eye. :cool:

    @_justakid_ I probably shouldn't say this on the HAMB (although I don't know why :) ) but you need to juice dat bitch.
    hillbilly likes this.
  16. Squablow
    Joined: Apr 26, 2005
    Posts: 15,373


    I've done several of these conversions, the '56 pictured below was a 4 door. That one took me about 100 hours to convert, not including paint, but part of that was my donor parts were really rough. Knowing what I know now, and starting with nice solid doors and door posts, I could probably do another in 50 or 60 hours. So, not a weekend job, but not all THAT difficult. I can give you links to some of my conversion builds if you're interested.

    People say it's cheaper to buy a 2 door starting point, and for some cars that might be true, but there are some great deals on some real solid 4 door sedans and donor pieces aren't that hard to find. In a lot of cases, the conversion makes sense and can be cheaper/easier than fixing a rough 2 door or buying a solid one.

    In your case though, the car already has decent paint, and if the upholstery is done, most of that will be lost in the conversion as well, so you're better off leaving it. It's not a bad looking car as-is, where as the '56 below needed paint and upholstery anyway. The conversion makes more sense if the car is going to get a paint and interior job anyway.

    03-31-15 002.jpg
    Nailhead A-V8, _justakid_ and lawman like this.
  17. Some cars would actually be better started as a 4 door and converted. The More door hard top tri fives have a beautiful roof line and a 2 door conversion would not be that hard to do on one. Trim and doors mostly would get you there and you would have that sweet, sweet roof. ;)

    More often then not a 2 door conversion is not worth the effort, but there are times like you say that it is the obvious route to take.

    nice 56 by the way.
  18. Squablow
    Joined: Apr 26, 2005
    Posts: 15,373


    Thanks, it's my dad's car, I did the conversion for him and he had a guy paint it.

    I think a mid 50's Cadillac 2 door sedan would be cool, but you'd have to stretch the front doors to get the proportions right, there are no 2 door post donors. I'd use the centers out of some 56 hubcaps and run them like dog dishes. A one-of-none car like that would be well worth the time.

    I did a '62 Chrysler as a 2 door sedan using Plymouth/Dodge parts, Chrysler never made them so it's the only one.
  19. I changed a '59 Dodge to a two door for a fella once. I didn't even try to find out of they ever made one I just moved the post and took some metal from behind the original to stretch the doors. It wasn't as nice as I would have liked but the fella who owned it loved it. I'll bet I ended up with at least a pound of lead in each door. :oops:
    Squablow likes this.
  20. Slopok
    Joined: Jan 30, 2012
    Posts: 2,670


    Put it on whatever site it is that Richard from the Gas Monkey looks at to buy his cars from, he likes green and seems to overpay more often than not. ;) But seriously you've got a very nice looking car there just the way it is, enjoy it while you look for a 2 door to build if that's what you really want to own.
  21. cgc1958
    Joined: Aug 22, 2011
    Posts: 302

    Member Emeritus
    1. 1957-59 Ranchero's

    If you are asking "cost wise" in my opinion, no. You should do it if you love it. If not, cut your loses and buy a 2 door & kustomize that.
    I agree with this, excellent advice! But I'd sell the 4 door & buy the wife a 2 door. ;)
  22. cheepsk8
    Joined: Sep 5, 2011
    Posts: 580

    from west ky

    You asked for opinions, here's mine.First, its a good looking car. Judging from how you have spoken about it, you love everything about it except the fact that it is a 4 dr. There are some things to consider here. You have had some really good advice so far. What is your skill level? Do you have an extra set of eyes and hands available should you decide to cut into it? Might be handy to have. Winter is coming on so its a good time to undertake a transformation. I, myself would do it before the upholstery shop trip as well. Also Line up your parts before you lay down the first tape line. The one thing above all that kept me from buying a 4 dr 55 and doing this,was the fact that most conversions have a fixed back window glass. Turns out, not enough people ride in the back seat to make a difference. Not set in stone but the working window is a pain. Finally if you do whack her up, Put up a thread. I love the idea. Sorry to swim against the tide on this one.
  23. The car looks too nice to chop up. I like 4-doors myself for putting people and or parts into the back seat.
  24. JimboSlice423
    Joined: Sep 8, 2013
    Posts: 44

    from Ohio

    If it makes you feel better, I am getting ready to start shopping for a car, and never considered a 4 door until I saw this. That is a very nice car sir. Looking forward to seeing updates.
  25. engine138
    Joined: Oct 5, 2007
    Posts: 2,062

    from Commack NY

    Drive the tires off the rims
  26. happilyretired
    Joined: Mar 30, 2012
    Posts: 28


  27. Moonglow2
    Joined: Feb 4, 2007
    Posts: 658


    Near me is a local junk yard that crushes old vehicles. He got the idea to open a salvage lot for people to strip them of usable parts before crushing them and the stuff is dirt cheap. I noticed the other day he had an original 53 hardtop sitting to one side apparently for sale. Paint is terrible but its all there.
    hillbilly likes this.
  28. jkluge
    Joined: Oct 6, 2014
    Posts: 111


    I agree with this one. Maybe look at adding a visor
    Rex Stallion likes this.
  29. milanperformancecycle
    Joined: Apr 22, 2012
    Posts: 18

    from milan t.n.

    Man In my honest opinion I wouldn't do it. I have a 64 bel air that was a 4 door and I converted it to a 2 door. It was a pain in the a$$. I had a 2 door parts car that I used the doors post and quarters off of. The car turned out great and I even have people argue with me saying it was never a 2 door. The hardest thing about the whole thing was getting the window's to seal up right. I bought all new seals and felts and they still don't seal right. I built my car before I had kids. Now that I have 2 I wish I left it a 4 door. Hell if it was mine I would suicide the back doors. Not traditional like some die hard guys on here like but it's yours they will get over it. Either way you got a bad a$$ car.
    JeffCTN and hillbilly like this.
  30. That Bel Air, the yellow one? It actually belongs to the guy that runs the body shop just north of Bud''s not too expensive either, I'm just too poor to bring it home :D

    I have this 53 Ford Mainline moredoor that I first contemplated converting...nope. It grew on me, those two extra doors...

    As for the original post here, man....I have to echo what others have said, drive the wheels off it...and the old school lowrider in my noggin agrees with porknbeaner, juice that thing! Anyone still sell astro supremes? hmm....
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2015

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