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Customs '56 Chevy 2 door conversion & build thread

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Squablow, Nov 17, 2012.

  1. Squablow
    Joined: Apr 26, 2005
    Posts: 14,280


    My dad is usually a muscle car guy, but he wanted to do a "hot rod" for his next build, and he likes '56 Chevys. I had this one at my shop but he didn't want a 4 door, so I sold him on the idea of a 2 door conversion.

    This first pic was taken last Wednesday, first day in the shop.


    I already had doors and a front seat stashed away for a future conversion project, but we still needed door jambs, so I cut them out of this '55 at a local junkyard.



    Before anyone asks me "why didn't you just buy the whole '55 out of the junkyard and build that?" it was wasted. And I mean, really bad. Roof and drip rails rusted all the way through, firewall and floors all gone, doors twisted as you opened them. Even the jamb panels I cut out are going to need a fair amount of rust repair. It was a donor at best.

    I'd say I'm about 60 hours in, here's the driver's side, all put together but not finish welded yet. As you can see, the door is made up of 3 different doors welded together

    (2 four door front doors donated their bottoms). [​IMG]

    And here's the passenger side, which still needs some work to get the gaps right before I weld it tight.

  2. Squablow
    Joined: Apr 26, 2005
    Posts: 14,280


    Here's a pic of the top of the passenger quarter after sandblasting, just to give you an idea of how rusted out the donor car was. The door jamb and quarter sections are the hardest parts to find for a conversion like this.


    I've got lots more pictures of the conversion to post in this thread, mostly of where all the specific cuts get made and what the pieces should look like when they're trimmed and ready to install, should make a handy reference for anyone else wanting to take on one of these conversions.

    I just haven't gotten those pictures resized and hosted yet, I'll post them all when I get a chance.
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2012
    Nailhead A-V8 likes this.
  3. Sir Woosh
    Joined: Dec 1, 2008
    Posts: 2,273

    Sir Woosh

    I know it's a ton of work and a lot of people would question if it's worth it. But I know the satisfaction in accomplishing such a feat and I envy you for the feeling you'll enjoy when you step back to look at it and enjoy a job well done.

    Great looking work!

    Looking forward to the rest....................
  4. graverobber63
    Joined: Sep 8, 2004
    Posts: 4,138

    Alliance Vendor

    Will the rear glass be fixed?
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  5. ph8ed4life
    Joined: Dec 27, 2010
    Posts: 93

    from AZ

    Wow, that's looking good so far!
  6. wheels777
    Joined: Oct 29, 2008
    Posts: 177

    from York, PA

  7. Squablow
    Joined: Apr 26, 2005
    Posts: 14,280


    I'm figuring about 100 hours including fixing the door bottoms and a little floor pan patching that the car needed anyway. I don't think that's too bad considering the finished product.

    It's turning into some of my best fab work, I really hope my dad keeps this one when it's finished.

    Nope, factory glass with fully functional regulators. The regulators and the inner panel from the donor car are getting transferred over and they'll all work like stock. I'll post pics of that part as well. Did the same with the 2 Mopars I converted and the windows work nice.
  8. GaryB
    Joined: Dec 19, 2008
    Posts: 3,530

    from Reno,nv

    nice job,what are the plans for the rest of the build?
  9. ffr1222k
    Joined: Nov 5, 2009
    Posts: 1,094


    I remember the 60 Plymouth and the 62 Chrysler you did. There is no doubt how this will turn out!

    Keep coming with the pictures.
  10. Sir Woosh
    Joined: Dec 1, 2008
    Posts: 2,273

    Sir Woosh

    I'm figuring about 100 hours including fixing the door bottoms and a little floor pan patching that the car needed anyway. I don't think that's too bad considering the finished product.

    Quite an accomplishment for the hours invested. Cool to know you went the extra mile on the side rear windows too. And the information you share for others that might not tackle such a job otherwise is what makes the HAMB a great place. THANKS ! ! ! !
  11. Squablow
    Joined: Apr 26, 2005
    Posts: 14,280


    Thanks for all the encouragement.

    GaryB, my dad isn't real sure yet. When I'm done with all the welding, he's going to send it somewhere to have the bodywork and paint done, two tone white and turquoise blue. I'm sure he'll keep the body looking like a totally stock 210 2 door post. We have the stock wheels and caps for it, which was his original plan (sleeper style, bone stock looking outside but with a big engine) but he has tossed around the idea of some chrome wheels to make it a little more hot rod-ish, and I'm sure I'll do the seats in pleated vinyl.

    It's got a 6 in it now, but he's shopping around for a good deal on a hot motor.
    48fordnut likes this.
  12. servi53
    Joined: Jun 28, 2006
    Posts: 338


    looking good, keep us posted
  13. cheepsk8
    Joined: Sep 5, 2011
    Posts: 551

    from west ky

    I've always wanted to attempt the same conversion myself. Great work so far, here goes a stupid question. It looks like you used rear qtr parts from a donor car. Could you use the rear door skin from the four door and cut it to the donor jamb? It may take some work to get the 2 dr regulator in there. I ask because 2 dr tri five parts cars are not out there any where around us. I guess if you used the rear doors for piecing the front doors together that would keep you from using the skin. I like what I see.
  14. Rob Paul
    Joined: Nov 11, 2005
    Posts: 1,264

    Rob Paul

    Great lookin project. Was that at Tisslers?
  15. biscaynes
    Joined: Mar 16, 2008
    Posts: 1,684


    nice work, can't wait to see the finished end.
  16. 'Mo
    Joined: Sep 26, 2007
    Posts: 7,433


    I don't know if this is your cup of tea, but this one caused shock waves in the custom world with removal of the body dip.

    catdad49 likes this.
  17. Nice work! It's going to be a sweet ride for your dad.
  18. 40Standard
    Joined: Jul 30, 2005
    Posts: 5,767

    from Indy

    outstanding work there, young man
  19. Awesome !!!!!!!!, can't wait to see more.
  20. jratz1966
    Joined: Nov 11, 2009
    Posts: 104


    Nice work,I did one a couple years ago,didn't have a donor car,I moved the stock b piller back and used rear door skin and inner structure to fill in the hole.I also had to graft the back section of the 4 dr front door to the 2dr doors I had since 4 dr are shaped different turned out pretty good tho.

  21. Great conversion you did there. It may be hated around these parts, but I'd suggest a late model 6.0 truck motor to replace the old 6 cylinder engine.
  22. koolkemp
    Joined: May 7, 2004
    Posts: 6,007


    Nice work Jon I missed this thread somehow !
  23. Edelbroke
    Joined: Dec 12, 2008
    Posts: 767


    Squablow nice work on the 56...

    Your thread got me thinking of doing anouther one also. This time I thought of using a 4 door hard top has the guinea pig:eek: But wait, I know a 4dr htp is cool as it is, condition would be the deciding factor.
    I think the hardtop would be easier because there would be no work to do above the back side glass. Any thoughts on converting a hardtop tri five?

    Attached Files:

  24. Gator
    Joined: Dec 29, 2005
    Posts: 4,016


    Very cool - I guess that's what they mean by "making chicken salad out of chicken shit!"
  25. Squablow
    Joined: Apr 26, 2005
    Posts: 14,280


    I've thought about the same thing. Adding 2 door hardtop doors to a four door hardtop, using a chunk of the 2 door hardtop rear quarters to extend the 4 door quarters out to meet it and cutting down a 4 door hardtop back door window frame to make a new quarter window frame. I actually would like to try that on a 59-60 flat top. I think it would work, I bet it'd look great, too.

    That turquoise one turned out really nice. You did it differently than I did, but the end result looks just like factory. I remember you mentioning working on it, this is the first I've seen of it though.
  26. Amazing work,the former 4 door is really going to shine. HRP
  27. henryj1951
    Joined: Sep 23, 2012
    Posts: 2,310

    from USA

    should build the , one and ONLY 4 door hardtop
    in 55 , they made 56/57 4door hardtops but NO 55's
    for those that do not know (where all the windows roll down into the doors.) leaving NO
    POST between.
    now that ed be kool too :cool:
  28. Chevy55
    Joined: Nov 6, 2008
    Posts: 406

    from Nebraska

    I really like the looks of this. I am building my 4door 56 into a convertible using a really rusty 56 convertible that has all of the specific parts and some repop sheetmetal.
  29. lippy
    Joined: Sep 27, 2006
    Posts: 4,440

    from Ks

    I too would like to do a 4dr to 2dr deal. Just a plain jane 150 type deal. Lippy
  30. The more I follow these Tri 5 2Dr conversions, there is always someone that has done them different than the other. Edelbroke, I really like your approach.

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