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Chopping - Slanted vs Straight B-pillars?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by LDGn63, Nov 5, 2008.

  1. LDGn63
    Joined: Jan 27, 2005
    Posts: 453


    This may turn out to be more of a philosophical question than a historical one but if nothing else please let me know your opinion.

    On '50's merc's, chev's, fords, etc…
    Is their a STANDARD or more historically correct B-pillar mod when chopping? Slanting or not slanting?

    Which do you like best and why?

    Which have you done, or wish you had done differently?

    it's a long and boring story but I've finally acquired my chop candidate, '51 chevy fleetline, after 4 years of hunting.
    I'll go the MarkX and Stickylifter chop route but I'm leaning towards "leaning" the B's…. (BTW NICE rides guys thanks for posting your stuff!)
  2. JeffreyJames
    Joined: Jun 13, 2007
    Posts: 16,628

    from SUGAR CITY

    I have not personally chopped a car so this is just and opinion of taste from me. I like to think that the B pillar should take it's direction from the rest of the car. If we are talking about a heavy chop a lot of times slating the b pillar is the only thing that doesn't make it look squished. The angle should also take direction from the angle in which the rear glass is lean forward and the rear deck. Also the angle can follow things like (on a 53-54 Merc the rear quarters are leaned to a certain degree and following that angle will show consideration for the car as a whole and not just the chop.

    All in all it depends on the car and the chop. I would set the height of the chop first and make sure that it's proportional to the car entirely then decide if the B pillar should be leaned so that it does not take away from the lines of the car.
  3. jagfxr1949
    Joined: Jun 27, 2008
    Posts: 277


    I do not beive there is or ever was a 'standard'. If the psots are left straight, then the topof the window frame must be longer and that may be one of the driving forces behind the slanted post. Also the builders isdea of what he - or she - wants the finished product ot look like., It is all in the eye of the beholder and that is why we build customs in the first place.
  4. UnIOnViLLEHauNT
    Joined: Jun 22, 2004
    Posts: 4,827


    I've done both, and as Jeffrey said, it does matter case by case. My old shoebox was a way radical chop and altho I cut it for straight pillars, putting them in place with tape made it look idiotic. So I leaned them forward. Made more sense.

    All over tho I think I like straight better. Reason being is with a well done straight pillar chop there will not be an ugly angle of the car period. My 51 Merc I did a straight chop, a tad more to the aggressive side but elongated the quarter windows and kept it straight with the window just laid down. Car looks a half mile long and really low and sleek. 99% of the Mercs with leaned B pillars look stellar from dead side or near angles, but get wierd front or rear quarter shots making the quarter window look like a short afterthought.

    Just my .02
  5. atomickustom
    Joined: Aug 30, 2005
    Posts: 3,409


    It does depend on the car. I think slanted looks really good on a Merc, but on some other cars not so much.
    I did NOT slant the posts on my '53 Chevy tudor because it would have made the rear side window very long. I probably WILL slant the posts on my '51 Chevy coupe for the exact opposite reason (really short rear window).
    I think uprights posts were much more common in the golden days of the early-mid '50s, but there were at least some slanted post chops then.
    Look at photos of cars like your that you like AND some that you don't like and see what the differences are. That'll be your answer.
  6. jerseymike
    Joined: Sep 25, 2008
    Posts: 707


    i chopped the top on my 50 ford and slanted the b pillars because i think it helps give the car the look of being in motion. it is probably less work to keep them straight but its just a matter of personal preference.
  7. On that car, I'd leave 'em straight. The quarter windows are long enough and I'm not sure that slanting 'em would look good with that roof-line.

    Like Dave said, check out some similar cars you like and figure out why. You already quoted two nice examples...the Bass-built fleetline, the one Oz chopped in a recent TRK (I think), and this one come to mind...


  8. Gotgas
    Joined: Jul 22, 2004
    Posts: 7,190

    from DFW USA

    On that car - straight.

    I've never seen one hardtopped though! :)
  9. JEPPA
    Joined: Apr 27, 2007
    Posts: 574


    Not only does it depend on the car, it also depends on the chop. There are only two kinds of chops. A good one and a bad one. It is all about proportions.
  10. Stevie Nash
    Joined: Oct 24, 2007
    Posts: 2,999

    Stevie Nash

    So how do you get the back glass to roll up and down when the B pillar is slanted?
  11. invizibletouch
    Joined: Jan 17, 2008
    Posts: 302

    from Mobile, AL

    Slanted the B's on my 49 Ford. As mentioned above it gives it perpetual motion. Glad I did it!
  12. atomickustom
    Joined: Aug 30, 2005
    Posts: 3,409


    Most don't, but you can just slant the entire rear window track and mechanism so it follows the angle of the post.

    (Ford, Merc, and Chevy coupes don't have roll-down rear windows anyway. On the cheapo models they're just fixed in place, and on the deluxe models (and the Mercuries) they are like a big wing vent that flips open or slides back a few inches.)
  13. Hot Rodz R Us
    Joined: Oct 19, 2006
    Posts: 920

    Hot Rodz R Us
    Member Emeritus

    Slanted, and I'm making my quarter windows stationary
  14. LDGn63
    Joined: Jan 27, 2005
    Posts: 453




    i have not seen a fleetline with a slant... (maybe for a reason).... so i photochoped mine... but i like it....

    i have a while to decide but i truly appreciate your responses!
    i will have to look for pix of the other mentioned cars.
    that green one rox too.
  15. MarkX
    Joined: Apr 8, 2003
    Posts: 1,232

    from ...TX

    Like it was stated before slanted or straight just depends on the case.....You know, a slight slant wouldnt hurt...... it may be the thing that makes it "yours"......
  16. pimpin paint
    Joined: May 31, 2005
    Posts: 4,937

    pimpin paint
    from so cal


    Sam Barris was purported to have been the first one to chop a '49-'51 Mercury. His first chop featured a vertical B post. Later, Gil and Al Ayala
    built the Lou Bettancourt Mercury with canted B posts and rounded hood & deck openings. This design flowed better and looked like a more finished design. Sam's later chops would follow Ayala's direction. Dick Dean's early Merc chops featured vertical B posts, but later went with the canted B post and shaved drip rails.
    Most vertical B posts are at odds with other design lines in the greenhouse area of a vehicle, and kill the flow of the chop. If a chop design doesn't have flow all you have is a butchered vehicle, 20s era vehicles excepted!

    Swankey Devils C.C.
    "Meanwhile, back aboard the Tainted Pork'
  17. Wise Guy
    Joined: May 22, 2006
    Posts: 9

    Wise Guy

    It would be some work but no post would look awesome!
  18. Sam F.
    Joined: Mar 28, 2002
    Posts: 4,225

    Sam F.

    42-48 fleetlines have slanted B pillars!!!! :D and they look good

    it depends on the chop(and car),,but personally,.,i like slanted B me it gives the car flow,,when a car is chopped it starts to have all these swoopy angles and to me the slanted B pillar works,,

    its all what you like.
  19. 29nash
    Joined: Nov 6, 2008
    Posts: 4,542

    from colorado

    Everybody I know does it to their own personal taste.

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