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Projects 57 Belvedere 4 Door Gone Mad

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Racrdad, Sep 16, 2009.

  1. Racrdad
    Joined: Jul 27, 2007
    Posts: 1,208


    This is my first project post on the HAMB and constructive criticism is welcomed. Pointers, tips and tricks that all you guys with lots of building experience have will come in helpful I'm sure. So after having the Lunar Lander and the Atomic Punk stuck in my head since the 08 Lone Star Roundup I decided I needed to have a shot at this show rod thing. This is my first shot at a build of this nature and my first shot at a car older than 64 so I am kind of winging this whole deal really. After a few months of keeping my eyes open and looking around I came across a 57 Belvedere 4 door. Loved the shape of the quarters and after a few days of pondering it I brought it home. I actually started on this about the first part of July and will post up progress pics as I get time. This is what I started with:



    Once I got it inside the cutting began. I cut it well oversize what I thought I might end up using. Easier to cut again than to try and make it bigger. With the car still on the trailer I cut the quarters and rear doors off in 2 sections.



    So with the car and trailer out of the way, the quarters with rear doors still attached are set up on some plastic crates to get a visual idea of where I might be heading with this thing.


    After gutting the inner structure out of the skins my buddy Rob helped me make the final overall width decision and tack it back together. Then the door skins were tacked onto the quarters.



    So we put a wheel and tire next to it and got another visual of where this thing is heading.


    Now that we have a good idea of what we need for a frame some 2 x 4 tubing is cut and welded up. Has a 16" kick in the rear. No crossmembers are put in yet in these pics just some square tubing to hold the main rails square. This is also the first frame either myself or Rob has built so we measure alot beofre cutting and welding. :D



    Fast foward a bit, the body is tacked into place on the frame with some braces to hold it in position for the time being and now I need a cowl. I probably should have had a cowl to start with but I kind of started building this thing from the rear towards the front. After some research I dont really think I am going to find a cowl close to the width I will be needing anyway so I figure why not just build a cowl. After studying the rear section of the roof on this car I think I see some nice compound curves that I can turn into a cowl.


    Decided the body was going to be to long once the cowl was added so some length was cut off of the door skins. Pieces of the donor skin from the roof being put into place. No framework for the cowl yet because I wasnt quite sure exactly how this was going to work out.



    Now to retain some uniform shape on each side and add some strength I started building some inner rockers.



    Next up is to build some framework for the cowl. Some 1" and 3/4" square tubing with a bunch of relief cuts so I can get into the proper shape was used. Its starting to look more like a cowl now.

  2. Racrdad
    Joined: Jul 27, 2007
    Posts: 1,208


    Took a little break from the cowl and decided to fill in the wheel opening on the quarters. Cut some donor panels form the front door skins, marked the quarters, trimed out the wheel openings and tacked the filler planels in place.





    Ok, got back to the cowl finally. Built the rest of the frame work for the cowl and used another piece of the roof for the top of the cowl.






    The dash from the donor car has been narrowed and tacked in place also and I'll put up some pics of that soon.
    kidcampbell71 likes this.
  3. I see a lot of good, expen$ive parts on that 4-door, not to mention impossible to find solid sheetmetal on it.

    You should have just bought the 2-door quarters I had sitting here until last January or so that I cut off an unrestorable car.
  4. lowlife matt
    Joined: Sep 15, 2009
    Posts: 91

    lowlife matt

    BLASPHEMY!!!! Just kiddn. I have always thought a 57 or 58 Plymouth would make the coolest rod body. Im glad your using a 4door tho. Let me know what you got left over... Seriously. Im looking for the rear window trim. and what ever else you got.
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2009

  5. phukinartie
    Joined: Oct 8, 2008
    Posts: 965


    WOW !! Mad skills man! Do you have a image of the end result?
  6. CJ Steak
    Joined: Sep 23, 2008
    Posts: 1,377

    CJ Steak
    from Texas

    HELL YES! Ignore the first post, it was a more door anyway... hopefully you'll find a home for those "good, expen$ive parts" and they'll go towards another conventional restoration.

    I think what you're doing is great.

    I know it's not original, but that red and white Christine paint with full side trim would look fantastic on that thing.

    Is this going to be a bubble top car?

    I think it would look sweet with twin torpedo bubbles instead of just one, to kind of flow with the fins. Have them hinge in the middle.

    Good job.

  7. Vorhese
    Joined: May 26, 2004
    Posts: 766


    I'd rather a 4 door find a new life like this than a parts car or "ratted". Definitely keep it up.
  8. Django
    Joined: Nov 15, 2002
    Posts: 10,196

    from Chicago

    How wide is the firewall? Seems a bit wide at first glance.
  9. CJ Steak
    Joined: Sep 23, 2008
    Posts: 1,377

    CJ Steak
    from Texas


    This is a glamorous ending to the lowly four door.
  10. str8axle55
    Joined: Dec 19, 2006
    Posts: 355

    from MA

    That thing looks pretty cool man. Do you have a drawing or something, or just in your head. Keep us posted on the progress.
  11. robleticia
    Joined: Oct 15, 2007
    Posts: 2,497


    It isn't really all that wide, it's just the angle of the pic. When the mock up motor is in there it looks just right! It's hard to tell from the pics, but if it was any narrower it would be a one seater!
  12. Good job, I really like it. It takes a lot of guts and skill to jump into a project like that. Looks like you've got the vision to pull it off too. I love seeing customs that are waaaaaaaaaaaayyyyyy out of the box. Please keep the pics coming as the project moves along.
  13. wild willey
    Joined: Feb 17, 2008
    Posts: 261

    wild willey

    MAD .....MAD ...... MAD SKILZ!!! HHHHHUMAHAHAHA!!!! Very KOOLSVILLE!!!! More pic's when available please!!!! POWER PLANT???? "Blown Alcohol injected HEMI"?? B)>
  14. chuckbob
    Joined: Aug 5, 2009
    Posts: 145


    Oh MAAN....this is slicker than Cat S**T. I like it.. Now all you have to do aferwards is make the front half of the old Plymouth into a trailer. Keep the updates coming. PS. I too think a double bubble top would look great. :D
  15. Best use of a moredoor that I can think of.
    Dare to be different.
    Think out of the box.
    I just hope you plan on finishing it with shiney paint and a real interior...and please, no tractor radiator shell.
  16. Little Wing
    Joined: Nov 25, 2005
    Posts: 7,501

    Little Wing
    from Northeast

  17. fitzee
    Joined: Feb 26, 2003
    Posts: 2,862


    Builds like these are great. I will be keeping a close eye to this. what the plan for a front grill? going to use any of the front for a grill?
  18. Kustom7777
    Joined: Mar 3, 2001
    Posts: 5,183

    from Austin, TX

    pretty wild,,,,love where you are going with it, , ,
  19. Gotgas
    Joined: Jul 22, 2004
    Posts: 6,943

    from DFW USA

    I've got an NOS tail light lens I can donate to the project. That frame looks a little spindly, hope you're intending to add some more crossmembers.

    Also hope you're going to run some kind of grille that will be reminiscent of the donor car. I always wondered what canted "quads" would look like if you started with a '57 Plymouth headlight/parking light arrangement.

    I dig it. :cool:
  20. NOTCH
    Joined: Apr 19, 2006
    Posts: 663


    I'm diggin the way this build is going so far. post more picks and keep up the good work
  21. FiddyFour
    Joined: Dec 31, 2004
    Posts: 9,008


    this thing has potential... i like it a lot
  22. zman
    Joined: Apr 2, 2001
    Posts: 16,555

    from Garner, NC

    this has the potential to be really cool, I like where it's going so far...
  23. Steelsmith
    Joined: Feb 5, 2007
    Posts: 581


    First of all, good on ya! For doing something creative with a 4-door! Projects like this inspire alot of new builders.

    If it was me, and it's not, I'd have gone with a wedge-shape, wide at the back down to the width of the firewall/cowl area.
    Nothing wrong with your idea of a consistant width, and taper in at the cowl. Just personal preference.

    I'd also have tried to reshape the front-clip, into a useable set of sheetmetal which continued the taper.

    I'd also prefer to see a rake to the sheetmetal, tall in the back, down to a lowered grille area.
    Depending on motor choice, you might have more of the engine protruding up through the sheetmetal.

    The grille/face area needs to be distinctive. If the entire car is flamboyant, make the grille be flamboyant too. If the main theme is a narrowed, yet stock look the grille needs to be along those lines.

    Whatever you choose to do, use balance, so the whole project doesn't have any parts that look over the top in comparison to the rest of the design.

    Continuity and balance are the most important things you need to keep in mind. That, and be flexible. If something doesn't look right, try again, or try something different. You can always do something else and think about it, come back another day with a different view. That's the great part about doing a project like this. There doesn't have to be a deadline.

    Just my thoughts,
    Dan Stevens
  24. Lunatic
    Joined: Sep 28, 2004
    Posts: 1,199

    from Carson,Ca.

    more pics please..I love seeing this kind stuff
  25. flynbrian48
    Joined: Mar 10, 2008
    Posts: 7,095


    Pretty damn cool. What're you gonna do for a grill/front end? Something assymetric, with the old Imperial headlights?
  26. thewishartkid
    Joined: Jun 23, 2006
    Posts: 884


    Did you consider using the front of the fenders on the cowl? That seens to work well in some builds.
  27. henry29
    Joined: Sep 5, 2007
    Posts: 2,835


    Looks good.
    Is it going to be a bubble top or have a windshield?
  28. Squablow
    Joined: Apr 26, 2005
    Posts: 14,858


    Neat so far, would be cool to have a Poly motor in it with a pushbutton trans. I do hope you'll sell off the remaining leftovers of the car to further fund the project, don't let any good parts go to waste. The sportone side trim alone should be worth some good coin.

    I'm parting out another '57 Belvedere 4 door right now, so if you end up needing anything, let me know. My sheetmetal is all junk so I don't mind cutting pieces off of it.
  29. 60 Belair
    Joined: Feb 19, 2006
    Posts: 747

    60 Belair

    Sweet! Looks like a great start! keep us posted ​
  30. Tony
    Joined: Dec 3, 2002
    Posts: 7,350


    I have always loved the 57-58 Plymouth design...this looks like it's going to be a killer build!

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