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Technical Calling All Coupesters! Let's See 'Em!

Discussion in 'Traditional Hot Rods' started by missysdad1, Sep 28, 2014.

  1. F&J
    Joined: Apr 5, 2007
    Posts: 13,221

    F&J
    Member

    Beantoad, I see the primer on the quarters .....almost looks like it had welded-on bobbed fenders there?


    duh, I just looked at your avatar...I see fenders :) lol
     
  2. Yep fenders were there and welded on, and I really wanted to save them , but they were home made and had a very square lip which just didn't flow. Also included , but not mounted yet are a pair of aluminum front fenders, possibly motorcycle.
    I will probably will go with steel wheels and big and little skinnies (sp.) . for a earlier look .
    Oh yeah , a tonneau cover one day too !





     
  3. I drive a 25 T truck (closed cab) and trust me, I hear what you are saying about reflections on a vertical piece of flat glass.

    I'm not knocking coupsters, as Ive grown to appreciate some of them. My first Model A was a coupster (someone else cut the roof off), but mine was also the stock straight up posts and I hated that even when it was mine in the 80s. I guess to me, just cutting the roof off and leaving the windshields just reminds me of the Rodney RadTops in the mini truck world. Anyone with a jigsaw can do it.

    I just dont understand with all the time it takes to build a rod from the ground up, why skimp on that one aspect? The raked ws just gives it a much "closer to roadster" look.

    Past that, I could give a flying monkey what anyone elses car looks like, Its not my big butt behind the wheel. I just think anyone considering cutting one should think about ws looks.
     
  4. seatex
    Joined: Oct 24, 2006
    Posts: 2,665

    seatex
    Member

    Hell, I'd rather cut the whole thing off and run a tonneau (sp?) cover and goggles than put it back on the road like that!
    [​IMG]
     
    prewarcars4me likes this.
  5. missysdad1
    Joined: Dec 9, 2008
    Posts: 3,182

    missysdad1
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    I think you've put your thumb on the reason coupesters have come to have a bad reputation. Too many of 'em in the past were hacksaw jobs as you say. With the availability of repro cowl parts and windshield pieces doing a nice conversion is within the reach of even a rodder with average skills. No more excuses for bad esthetics.
     
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  6. I have several coupe bodies here that were pulled out of the desert and they all have jacked up roofs.Because of the "stigmata" attached to them being coupsters, Ive been reluctant to build them (that and I have much better bodies). Thats the main reason I looked at this thread and after seeing some of the pics, I just need to get over it and build them.
     
    missysdad1 likes this.
  7. poboyross
    Joined: Apr 29, 2009
    Posts: 2,142

    poboyross
    Member
    from West TN

    Here's mine, in major progress. I handle it the way I do my day job (sculpting)...I continually work it over and refine as my skills improve or I encounter a new problem. The body and doors had 4-5" removed that shortened the body, and the grill shell is mounted forward by several inches (to accommodate a fan and a 32 Chevy hood that was the perfect length. I'm redoing the hood sides now ( with the 4 opening vents ). I plan on doing the interior in canvas/leather at some point this year. If my radiator turns out to be bad ( having some overheating issues) I'll get a chopped one and probably drop the 31 shell with it.

    ImageUploadedByH.A.M.B.1429076469.756675.jpg
    ImageUploadedByH.A.M.B.1429076511.859153.jpg
     
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  8. thirtytwo
    Joined: Dec 19, 2003
    Posts: 2,641

    thirtytwo
    Member

    Years ago I remember reading an article in American Rodder where they sawed the roof off a sedan to make a tub, if I remember right they used a 30-31 windshield because it was wider and 28-29 stanchions like Titus did...

    Mine was pieced together from an old T looking windshield loosely resembling a 30-31 style with bolt on stanchions , Titus built his car before I did mine , I liked the way he narrowed the doors and thought his turned out nice... So I used his for a few cues ... I used a tubing structure in my doors instead of the sheet metal work like he did, I also made the cockpit smaller to give it more of a roadster visual appeal image.jpg you may be able to see better with this pic of it in primer
     
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  9. thirtytwo
    Joined: Dec 19, 2003
    Posts: 2,641

    thirtytwo
    Member

    If you put a short pump on it you could push your grill almost back to the stock crossmember location
     
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  10. missysdad1
    Joined: Dec 9, 2008
    Posts: 3,182

    missysdad1
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Wow! I'd like to see more of this one. A real roadster with a fabricated metal top would look awkward, but a coupester like this with its longer doors and longer passenger area has great proportions!
     
  11. 08racer
    Joined: Jun 13, 2005
    Posts: 843

    08racer
    Member
    from Gilbert AZ

  12. volvobrynk
    Joined: Jan 30, 2011
    Posts: 3,587

    volvobrynk
    Member
    from Denmark

    I can't see your pics, but sounds like a cool build.
     
  13. In 2009, I drove my '33 Plymouth out to Bonneville along with the Rolling Bones, The Bones had a roadster LSR car and the Rolling Bones High Speed Division had a coupster. The closest I got to driving the coupster was to steer it in tow to the starting line, whereas, I used 33 COOP as chase car and tow car back to the starting line for the RB roadster. It was alot of fun!
    Coupster.jpg

    Billy-O had some problems as "crew chief" that required a reminder under the hood:
    Coupster3.jpg
    Roadster in tow:

    In tow.jpg
     
    volvobrynk likes this.
  14. Beantoad: Did your car start out as a 5 window or a cabriolet? Tim
     
  15. Hi Tim
    As best I can determine, it began life as a 5 window .



     
  16. I just realized what made me ask the question. The upper corners on a 5 window windshield frame are round where the cabrio is square....like on your car. Have you looked under the "roll" of upholstery on the edge of the body? Might be really cool if it turned out to be a cabrio. If not, someone re-worked the top of the windshield opening. I pay attention to those areas because I had to rebuild the opening on my cabrio. It was cut off at the cowl! Tim
     
  17. thirtytwo
    Joined: Dec 19, 2003
    Posts: 2,641

    thirtytwo
    Member


    Cabriolets don't have the belt line on both sides of decklid hole , so the tail at least is 5w or sport coupe
     
    timwhit likes this.
  18. I'm pretty sure it was 5 window and I should have posted better photos .
    There are beltlines by the trunk lid and the windshield frame is all homemade ..... square steel tubing posts with rectangular tubing across the top . Its definitely not pretty , but that's the way this one was done in an earlier life .
    I'm not really sure just when it was first rodded , but I did acquire a 1973 photo of this car with a handmade (ugly) roof . Sometime before that , someone had removed the original roof and the homemade roof and rear fenders were formed. Possibly to make a coupester or maybe it was rollover damaged ???
    The handmade roof disappeared after 1973 and it became a coupester for at least the second time in its life.




     
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2015
  19. Still looks like a fun driver. If you wanted to really re-do it some day, you could put a roadster windshield frame/post's on it and a panel below the decklid and it would be a really cool car. I'd like a shot at one like it. Go to my profile page and media. You'll see what I had to do to save mine! Love the car, keep us posted. Tim
     
  20. missysdad1
    Joined: Dec 9, 2008
    Posts: 3,182

    missysdad1
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    You make a really good point here, Tim. Many uninformed people just sort of assume that all coupesters were made by cutting the top off a perfectly good coupe or sport coupe. That is absolutely wrong.

    Many if not most coupesters were made to salvage an otherwise scrap body. Yours was, and so was mine. Roundy-round racing claimed untold numbers of closed car bodies over the years, including many 3- and 5-window coupes. Tragic, but true.

    My car appears to have been made from a gutted shell with torch-cut-out rear wheel wells and an iron pipe roll bar...painted a gawd-awful bright yellow. Typical dust bowl racer style.

    But somebody with both vision and courage brought it back to life. So what's better? A running, driving, fun-loving coupester...or landfill?

    Nice save on your cabriolet!
     
    timwhit likes this.
  21. volvobrynk
    Joined: Jan 30, 2011
    Posts: 3,587

    volvobrynk
    Member
    from Denmark

    It's funny that a coupster is so frowned upon, when there is so many around!

    But I got to ask this question:

    Coupster come in a lot of different ways, an some of them comes closest to the look of a roadster?

    Sports coupe, cabriolet or A coupes? I doubt it's the A coupe.

    Is there any pics available of 32 coupster, both 3W and 5W?


    And to me a coupster with long doors and short quarter panels doesn't look wrong! It's how the tulip panel and the lack roadster cowl that often hurts my eyes.

    But even a commercial cowl and grill, with stock length doors/quarters with a tonneau cover and no windshield would be just as cool as any other open car!
    No doubt about it!
     
    117harv likes this.
  22. volvobrynk
    Joined: Jan 30, 2011
    Posts: 3,587

    volvobrynk
    Member
    from Denmark

    I meant to say: stock sports coupe doors and quarter panels. But it to late to change it if someone liked it, right @117harv ?

    How about this one. Not in love with paint, but I really liked it. Belonged to a HAMBer for a weil.

    ImageUploadedByH.A.M.B.1429424333.618211.jpg ImageUploadedByH.A.M.B.1429424362.825527.jpg ImageUploadedByH.A.M.B.1429424396.098424.jpg ImageUploadedByH.A.M.B.1429424417.811285.jpg
    ImageUploadedByH.A.M.B.1429424440.964658.jpg

    That's a nice rod and girl in the last picture!
     
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  23. Clark
    Joined: Jan 14, 2001
    Posts: 5,123

    Clark
    Member

    Here's mine
    Clark IMG_20140223_095309.jpg IMG_20140223_095309.jpg
     
  24. missysdad1
    Joined: Dec 9, 2008
    Posts: 3,182

    missysdad1
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    The windshield on the little green coupester was made in the same manner as mine - a heavy wall square tubing framework with closed car windshield unit inserted into it, giving the car a cabriolet look...only visually lighter. It can be leaned back and/or chopped to taste. The heavy wall tubing is plenty strong and allows drilling and tapping for mirrors and wind wings to be added. It's easy and looks pretty darn good in my humble opinion.

    This car has also had a wood tack strip added around the rear of the opening which makes a really nice finishing touch. On '28 - '29 coupes the rear opening is a joint line where the body was assembled, but the doors need to be cut and capped along the same plane to look right. This one has triangular pieces added to help the flow at the front which also serve as mirror attachment points.
     
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2015
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  25. V4F
    Joined: Aug 8, 2008
    Posts: 4,298

    V4F
    Member
    from middle ca.

    hmmmmmmmmmm .. coupester ......... all are roadsters ? I have a coupe . must be coupes with the top cut off .
     
  26. 117harv
    Joined: Nov 12, 2009
    Posts: 6,590

    117harv
    Member

    Roadster Feb 2012 006.jpg photo-4.jpg DSCF9300.jpg

    Here is a coupester built by a HAMBer, a late A roadster doors and cowl mated to a sport coupe rear clip. The car has had 2 inches added to the bottom so it is taller, it looks great with the added metal.
     
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  27. missysdad1
    Joined: Dec 9, 2008
    Posts: 3,182

    missysdad1
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Yup. Most were made from coupes in very poor condition with heavy rust or damage to the top. They were unsalvagable as coupes (for guys without extraordinary metalworking skills) but could be resurrected as coupes without tops, hence the term "coupester".
     
  28. F&J
    Joined: Apr 5, 2007
    Posts: 13,221

    F&J
    Member

    "Yup. Most were made from coupes in very poor condition with heavy rust or damage to the top."



    Not really true. Many were built from cars that were 20 or 30 years old. Running Model A's could be had for $25 or even free if not running, when I was a young kid. 32's maybe $75 to $100.
    They cut tops off to get an open car, and they were cheap enough to do what they did.

    I sold a 32 3w coupe body for $200 a few decades ago
     
  29. missysdad1
    Joined: Dec 9, 2008
    Posts: 3,182

    missysdad1
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Sure, I apologize for the past time reference by tense, but that was then and this is now. The really nice closed cars that got cut up back then are often considered unbuildable junk today. There are still a lot of buggered up coupes and sport coupes lying around just waiting to be recognized as the great hot rod raw material that they are and resurrected by a current hot rodder with vision. Building a coupester from what's left of yesterday's mis-steps is a great way to salvage a mistake made long ago.

    Also, it's not my intent to start a nit-picky contentious discussion about when or why, but rather to promote the recognition of previously passed-over coupe and sport coupe bodies as the potential start of a great open car. I hope you are on board with that.
     
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2015
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  30. missysdad1
    Joined: Dec 9, 2008
    Posts: 3,182

    missysdad1
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Finally got my coupester finished...at least for the moment. There's still some front suspension work and a whole passel o' detailing to do, but it's ready for a summer of topless fun! Phew!

    DSC_0108.JPG

    DSC_0085.JPG
     
    Last edited: May 29, 2015
    WC145, AHotRod, ROCKER77 and 7 others like this.

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