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Art & Inspiration Chopped Tops

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by HOTRODPRIMER, Aug 30, 2019.

  1. Ever since I was a kid I liked cars with chopped tops, every month when the new hot rod and customs magazines hit the shelves I couldn't get there fast enough to drool over all the cars that a poor kid like me could only dream about.

    I have posted in the past that at 12 years old I got my first car but it was short lived, I have had a long list of hot rods and have actually owned 2 chopped cars, and strangely enough one never had a top, a 1932 Ford roadster and the other car was a 1939 Ford convertible, head room was not a problem for my 6' 4" frame and after owning theses two cars I drove several hours to look at a model A sedan with a 6" chop.

    Upon arrival I knew it was a waste of time but I decided to try it on for a fit just for the heck of it, I realized very quickly there was no way on Gods green earth my knuckle dragging Neanderthal body wasn't going to fit in that car.

    As much as I still like them I realize my chop top days are over unless I get obsessed with another '32 roadster, tops on roadsters are overrated! :D

    So I would really like to hear your chop top story's and maybe see your lowered top cars. HRP
     
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  2. oldiron 440
    Joined: Dec 12, 2018
    Posts: 1,697

    oldiron 440
    Member

    You just need a rod with a basement.....
     
  3. flamedabone
    Joined: Aug 3, 2001
    Posts: 4,871

    flamedabone
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    This is the second one I ever did, 1996. That's me in the hat.

    [​IMG]

    This is the same car today.

    [​IMG]

    -Abone.
     
  4. Jeff, did you ever install glass in those pneumonia holes? HRP
     
    ladyhrp and 3W JOHN like this.

  5. flamedabone
    Joined: Aug 3, 2001
    Posts: 4,871

    flamedabone
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

  6. How much did you chop the top. HRP
     
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  7. Jalopy Joker
    Joined: Sep 3, 2006
    Posts: 25,733

    Jalopy Joker
    Member

    chopped '30 Ford Coupe - nothing smooth about it - the finish, the sounds, the lack of interior but, was young and we didn't care - kept at a friends house out back where even his parents did not see it - insurance, who needed insurance - we were invincible - except when hitting railroad tracks too hard - if the roof is chopped the human frame must go somewhere - lower the floor pan lower into frame open area - move back & thin out seat padding - run a smaller than stock diameter steering wheel - do not run interior door panels to give minute extra elbow room - run a traffic light viewing prism - run exterior rearview mirrors bigger than a 50 cent piece - don't worry about a radio because the lack of an exhaust system will produce the music (maybe not to the guy next to you in the OT car) - if you give up the cushy life of a high end late model car and want to experience a ride that you will never forget - but, as our bodies age with lots of parts that do not bend like they once did you may have to leave the dream behind - but, your big rearend will stay with you
     
  8. 49ratfink
    Joined: Feb 8, 2004
    Posts: 17,984

    49ratfink
    Member
    from California

    just chop a sedan and sit in the back seat.
     
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  9. RJP
    Joined: Oct 5, 2005
    Posts: 1,758

    RJP
    Member
    from PNW

    Kinda did that. 29 sedan. 4" channel, 6" chop. Floors even with bottom of frame rails. 2" foam pad for seat and seat back. Moved pedals and shifter back. Pretty comfortable, but I had to get out passenger door because steering was in the way. No side glass or panels. My 6', 275lb frame snuggled right in and I never felt safer, kinda like I was in my mothers womb, if my mom was standing next to the speakers at a Stones concert.
     
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  10. deadbeat
    Joined: May 3, 2006
    Posts: 522

    deadbeat
    Member

    Thanks @Jalopy Joker that pretty much summed it up for me and yes to @49ratfink exactly what will happen in my 30 A tudor 30.png
     
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  11. Jalopy Joker
    Joined: Sep 3, 2006
    Posts: 25,733

    Jalopy Joker
    Member

    never had a chopped sedan - but, had a stock body '31 Ford Coupe that I traded for a stock body '34 Plymouth 2 door sedan, which have a look of a chop top - did not sit in back seat but, having extra leg room was terrific - made a big difference riding in a 30's car
     
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  12. 1time
    Joined: Dec 5, 2009
    Posts: 88

    1time
    Member
    from minnesota

    2an a half front 2 outta the back
     

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  13. droplord49
    Joined: Jan 12, 2004
    Posts: 1,680

    droplord49
    Member
    from Bryan, Tx

    My first attempt at chopping a car. 49 Dodge Coronet crew cab. Lost the roof completely and chopped the windshield 6 inches. My second attempt. 51 Chevy crew cab. Chopped 4 inches in the front and 4.5 inches in the back. Moved the rear of the roof forward 3 inches and also took 1/2 inch out of the roof skin, above the drip rails. Sadly haven't touched the car in 6-7 years. I hope to finish it in the somewhat near future.
     
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  14. 0NE BAD 51 MERC
    Joined: Nov 12, 2010
    Posts: 1,409

    0NE BAD 51 MERC
    Member

    Chopped a lot of cars over the years. Three to three and half is the best for anything . I am 6' 1" and any more and I am crouched over . My 51 is 3 in the front and 4 in the rear and I run 64 T bird buckets, the stock seat would have you near the headliner. Guys that are chopping things 6 to 8 inches better be short and if they want to sell it they better find someone of equal height! lol but stock height Mercs are to old man looking for me! Larry
     
  15. 31 B'ville
    Joined: Feb 7, 2009
    Posts: 266

    31 B'ville
    Member
    from SE Pa

    • DDED435D-7C63-4EB4-9CFE-21DFCDD3BCBD.jpeg ACBAD5D8-99FD-48E1-8A83-2F898DD6ACA7.jpeg Chopped our 1931 Pontiac 3” out of the windshield and 2.5” out of the rear window. I have Austin-Healey seats on modified Corvette C3 seat tracks to help with the head room.
     
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  16. goldmountain
    Joined: Jun 12, 2016
    Posts: 2,557

    goldmountain

    Chopped my '47 Plymouth 4" at the windshield and laid the back end down until it looked right. My 6' 4" or so buddy had no problem fitting in it. Measured my daily driver at the time and found that the distance from the floor to the headliner was about the same as the Plymouth, but with the dashboard about 4" higher. My mom being rather short, couldn't see above the dash. Me being 5'4" tall, chopped tops have never been an issue.
     
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  17. goldmountain
    Joined: Jun 12, 2016
    Posts: 2,557

    goldmountain

    Forgot to mention that the seats are a lot lower than stock.
     
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  18. dana barlow
    Joined: May 30, 2006
    Posts: 4,152

    dana barlow
    Member
    from Miami Fla.
    1. Y-blocks

    All things kind of have a place,like very low chops for race only* car body for aero!
    Seating layout is only part of a story.

    I like to draw cars an monsters cartoons,and in drawing those, we make the cars as outrageous as needed=not really cars, just kind of stupid crazy like a car,that dose not need to work in the real world.
    Yes ,I air brushed T-shirts in the 1950s under the name "The Bat". But also got some rides in a few hot rods before building my own rods an customs. Things I knew then an now,is if your having a poor time seeing out of a real car your driving on the street=it is a bad design and is not going to be used much=so is kind of wasted. Taking that one more step, over chop dose not look cool,just looks like some one was very under informed,to those that know. Now that I'm pass my mid 70s,I still like cartoon cars on a shirt or drawing,but I've always known witch is real an witch is just screwed up, do to builder living in a bubble. Low looks good if it's works.
    { There was a law for a time,not less front window glass height then one dollar bill(about 6.25 in.) you need 8in. or more mostly! Some too young to know of it !
    A sad human nature thing by some, is when told about a mistake they may of done or think they like. They defend it,like it's the end of the world, if they admit they screwed up there car ! So don't fix,an really do drive it less ! Or even park or sell it,to next guy that has not yet learned.
     
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2019
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  19. choptop40
    Joined: Dec 23, 2009
    Posts: 3,728

    choptop40
    Member

    Picked up this 51 Chrysler, looks like a 4 - 6 inch chop..with the stock sofa seat . I'm 5 10 and I just clear the roof..Stock seats are going any way. Heavy suckers... image.jpeg
     
  20. Jalopy Joker
    Joined: Sep 3, 2006
    Posts: 25,733

    Jalopy Joker
    Member

    chopped '54 Chevy & '51 Ford much easier to see out of than 30 Ford Coupe 20181009_110636 (1).jpg '51 more 4 001 (2018_01_21 21_05_00 UTC).jpg
     
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  21. Barn Hunter
    Joined: Feb 15, 2012
    Posts: 1,408

    Barn Hunter
    Member

    I love the look of a chopped rod. Bought this A project from a HAMBer with a 6 1/2 inch chop. I'm 6-2 and 200 at 66 years old. Getting in the drivers door was an exercise in contortionism...even with a quick release steering wheel. And seeing traffic lights...I could tell there was no way. I didn't have it long. Now I have an unchopped A and all is good with the world. h1.jpg 20181025_133835 (3).jpg
     
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2019
  22. The37Kid
    Joined: Apr 30, 2004
    Posts: 27,654

    The37Kid
    Member

    My '29 Ford Tudor, still have the chopped pieces, think it was a 4 inch chop, I'll check. Sold the project and took the family on a cross country vacation to Wyoming back in the late 1990's. Saw it finished as a Street Rod...…………..not how I planned it to be. Bob
    DSCF3637.JPG DSCF3638.JPG
     
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  23. Mr48chev
    Joined: Dec 28, 2007
    Posts: 28,121

    Mr48chev
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    <<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<
    4 inches chopped in 1980 seat sits a few inches lower than a stock seat . I can still drive with my arm on the window sill. I can also get a large drink through the window at a drive through.
    The plan for the 31 Vic is to take about 1-1/2 to 2 inches out to get the proportions better but not looks squashed.
     
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  24. A Boner
    Joined: Dec 25, 2004
    Posts: 5,816

    A Boner
    Member

    Chopped tops, tattoos and apple pie!
     
  25. bchctybob
    Joined: Sep 18, 2011
    Posts: 2,731

    bchctybob
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    I chopped my '32 5w 3 1/2" back in the '70s and it was ok to see out of for the most part. In the '90s I bought a nice chopped '31 Tudor body and built a full fendered car around it. I don't know how much it was chopped but it was nicely done and not too low, maybe 3 1/2 - 4". The seats had to be set back and close to the floor, being back meant the steering column was back too which made getting in and out a little tougher. The worst part was getting a neck cramp trying to see traffic lights. No matter, I loved how it looked and recently tried (unsuccessfully) to buy it back.
    Nothing looks more wicked than the right chop on the right car.
    DSCN1918.JPG
     
  26. 3W JOHN
    Joined: Oct 8, 2015
    Posts: 773

    3W JOHN
    Member

    I'm too short for a stock top.:)

    [​IMG]
     
  27. flamedabone
    Joined: Aug 3, 2001
    Posts: 4,871

    flamedabone
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    You always have to have the "roof laying on the floor" picture. I took 4inches out of this one.

    [​IMG]

    Here she is finished.

    [​IMG]

    -Abone.
     
  28. flamedabone
    Joined: Aug 3, 2001
    Posts: 4,871

    flamedabone
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    My beater shop truck had a bit of a tractor cab.

    [​IMG]

    Only took 2 out of it.

    [​IMG]

    -Abone.
     
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  29. Good looking truck Jeff. HRP
     
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  30. If it ain't broke Chop It!:cool: I have had 3-32 five windows all chopped. A Model A sedan I took 4-1/2" out of:cool:,a 32 Roadster chopped. a chopped 49 Chevy pickup. I chopped a friends 32 Two sedan and another guys three window. Yes I love chopped tops. Just don't waste your time doing a 1-1/2" or two inch chop. My sawzall is always idling with a fresh blade in it, just in case.:p Although today a cut off wheel may be OK.;) Here are some of them!
    32-5window_0008.jpg IMG_8328 (2).JPG IMG_5924.JPG
    Vaun_0012.jpg IMG_1910.JPG IMG_5865.JPG
     
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2019

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