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Hot Rods Let's Chop 50FRAUD

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by DRD57, Jul 8, 2021.

  1. DRD57
    Joined: Mar 5, 2001
    Posts: 3,969

    DRD57
    Member

    Some of y’all are straight up going to have a heart attack at the mere mention of this but, I assure you if you remain calm and follow along everything will be OK in the end. Remember when you said that a 40 Ford could not be improved upon? We did that and it worked out OK so, you’re going to have to trust us on this one.


    IMG_7266.jpg IMG_7277.jpg IMG_7283.jpg
     
  2. DRD57
    Joined: Mar 5, 2001
    Posts: 3,969

    DRD57
    Member

    Tony called a while back and said he wanted to build another car, a hot rod shoebox coupe. We spec’d the whole thing out, established a budget and he started looking for a car. He soon realized he didn’t want an additional car so, one would have to be sold. Not wanting to sell the 40 convertible or 50FRAUD. The plan changed to update 50FRAUD with some of the things that he wished he had done when it was first built as well as a few repairs that it needed.

    The biggest update was to chop the top about 2 ½ inches, much like this car he had seen years ago.

    DickPage_TimSmithBWS.jpg
    Before cutting in to the car we enlisted the design assistance of Rik Hoving who provided several quality Photoshop renderings. Tony selected one that was quite striking in that the quarter windows are actually longer front to back than they were stock. Normally, they would have become shorter when chopping a top and sliding it forward a few inches. This one change along with a few others that are more subtle make this more of a custom roof than merely a top chop.


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    Last edited: Jul 8, 2021
  3. DRD57
    Joined: Mar 5, 2001
    Posts: 3,969

    DRD57
    Member

    First step: strip it down. Remove the interior, all the glass and the trim around the roof.

    IMG_7311.jpg

    Next up, tack some tubing in the car to maintain the structural integrity. This may not have been all that necessary since this model was built on a convertible chassis but, better safe than sorry.

    IMG_7476.jpg

    Start cutting. Scaling Rik’s rendering gave us a 2 ½ inch vertical difference. Converting that to the linear cut down the A pillar was 3 ¼ inches.

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  4. DRD57
    Joined: Mar 5, 2001
    Posts: 3,969

    DRD57
    Member

    Obligatory “roof on floor” and ‘car with no roof” shots. I believe it is required by law to document these two images whenever chopping a top.


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    clem, Frankie47, -Brent- and 24 others like this.

  5. DRD57
    Joined: Mar 5, 2001
    Posts: 3,969

    DRD57
    Member

    At first we just set the top back on to see how everything lined up. At this point you can decide to tilt the A & C pillars to get everything to line up or quarter the roof. The former option is typically easier but the latter offers several benefits in our case. Not tilting the pillars makes for easier fitment of garnish moldings, also hard top window will align more easily and most importantly, since we’re lengthening the quarter windows and using a 53 station wagon rear window which has a bit less curve than we would like, we want as much length and width in the roof as we can get.


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  6. DRD57
    Joined: Mar 5, 2001
    Posts: 3,969

    DRD57
    Member

    Scaling the renderings again gave us a template for the quarter window shape and size.


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  7. DRD57
    Joined: Mar 5, 2001
    Posts: 3,969

    DRD57
    Member

    The rain gutters were completely remove and new ones fabricated from 3 pieces of 22 gauge steel. The original style stainless trim will attach to the edge just as it did before.


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  8. DRD57
    Joined: Mar 5, 2001
    Posts: 3,969

    DRD57
    Member

    Speaking of rain gutters, the piece that went around the front of the roof has been removed. 51 Victorias have a lot of sheet metal above the windshield. Chopping the top somewhat upsets the balance between this sheet metal mass and the glass. So, to minimize the “giant forehead” look we opted to remove the rain gutter above the windshield and move top of the windshield up into the roof.


    IMG_7302.jpg IMG_7698.jpg IMG_7700.jpg IMG_7703.jpg IMG_7727.jpg IMG_7728.jpg IMG_7734.jpg

    Next up we did some preliminary modification and fitment of interior and exterior trim, and quarter window mechanisms before finish welding the top. We’ll get back to that later.
     
  9. DRD57
    Joined: Mar 5, 2001
    Posts: 3,969

    DRD57
    Member

    Patching those 1”+ gaps that now run the length and width of the top would surely be disastrous from the heat induced from that much welding. A much better approach is to re-skin the roof. We could make a new skin with a new sheet of metal and several hours on the E-wheel but, we decided to try to find another roof skin first.


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  10. DRD57
    Joined: Mar 5, 2001
    Posts: 3,969

    DRD57
    Member

    We made some profile gauges out of OSB and headed to Turner’s Auto Wrecking in Fresno to see what we could find. After scrounging around an area full of 50’s FOMOCO relics, we decided a 56 Mercury roof was close enough to do the job so we started our trek across the 100 acre yard back to the office. On the way we happened upon a 55 Chrysler Windsor and on a whim threw the profile gauges up on the roof. Dead nuts match in both directions. It’s a little longer than we need but, that’s OK. We have to do a bunch of trimming and fitting anyway.


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  11. DRD57
    Joined: Mar 5, 2001
    Posts: 3,969

    DRD57
    Member

    Rob spent the next few days trimming on the Windsor & Victoria roofs to get a near perfect fit, then TIG welding them together and sanding the old finishes off in preparation for epoxy primer and a skim coat of filler. The toughest part of this proved to be getting the Windsor top down to bare metal. Whatever was under that original finish was tougher than 36 grit sanding disks.


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  12. DRD57
    Joined: Mar 5, 2001
    Posts: 3,969

    DRD57
    Member

  13. DRD57
    Joined: Mar 5, 2001
    Posts: 3,969

    DRD57
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  14. SEAAIRE354
    Joined: Sep 7, 2015
    Posts: 309

    SEAAIRE354
    Member

    Outstanding. I haven’t personally seen a chop on theses cars and as far as I’m concerned you nailed it. Can’t wait to see it with paint and the trim back on.
     
  15. The only pisser with chopping one of these is you always lose the signature wrap-around rear window. With that gone they look like a hardtopped coupe. Isn't there a suitable windshield that could be cut down to fit?

    Good call on the windshield opening.
     
  16. Tman
    Joined: Mar 2, 2001
    Posts: 34,425

    Tman
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    I actually think that wagon rear glass is genious compared to how most are handled. looks factory.
     
  17. Completely re frauded. Nice.
    There's no work like a ton of work!
     
  18. I'll agree that rear glass looks better than most, but that wrap around is my favorite styling cue on these and is what sets them apart from the more mundane models.
     
  19. IMO, this is the only chopped 1952 ford Victoria that I have seen that looks good.
     
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  20. 56MercMan
    Joined: May 22, 2008
    Posts: 111

    56MercMan
    Member

    I agree with Crazy Steve. When looking over the pictures I saw the beautiful rear window and trim. I saw him chop and was interested in seeing them handle it. Then saw it was all gone. Bummer.

    The work and outcome is way better then anything I could do so just my 2 cents.
     
  21. Stogy
    Joined: Feb 10, 2007
    Posts: 20,056

    Stogy
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Stellar, well documented and executed Custom work @DRD57...and congrats @50Fraud with your latest Period Custom coming together seemingly overnight...at this rate you'll be driving in 2 more weeks... ;)
     
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2021
  22. Bad ass.
     
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  23. Gangrene
    Joined: May 22, 2019
    Posts: 60

    Gangrene
    Member

    Shit yes!
     
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  24. DRD57
    Joined: Mar 5, 2001
    Posts: 3,969

    DRD57
    Member

    A windshield could possibly be used for a wrap around rear window but, it would take a lot of junk yard searching with templates to find one that would work. Glass doesn't bend so, it would have to be perfect.

    A more doable way to achieve that look would be to sink the bottom of the glass into the package tray. The rear glass is tempered and I've been told by several experienced glass guys that it cannot be cut.

    Tony's selection of the wagon rear glass had a lot to do with recreating the vibe of the car in Dick Page's photo at the top of this thread.
     
  25. evintho
    Joined: May 28, 2007
    Posts: 1,778

    evintho
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Absolutely outstanding work! That's the first '50 Ford I've seen that looks right with a chop. You guys nailed it!
     
  26. 50Fraud
    Joined: May 6, 2001
    Posts: 9,877

    50Fraud
    Member

    The Victoria that Dick Page built for Tim Smith years ago (shown in Don's 2nd post in this thread) was clearly the influence that had me decide to cut up my car. Dick also used a wagon liftgate window, and I really like its appearance, so I chose to copy it. I've had this Victoria for 30+ years, and realize that I'll be giving up some peripheral vision with the smaller window, but I really like the looks of the solid, windowless roof behind the quarter windows.
    Great thread, Don!
     
  27. 50Fraud
    Joined: May 6, 2001
    Posts: 9,877

    50Fraud
    Member

    The car is actually a '51 (first year for the Victoria body style), disguised as a '50 by using the trim from the earlier shoebox. Hence my handle, "50Fraud".
     
    48fordnut, bchctybob, Tman and 5 others like this.
  28. Tony, I loved the car before, but I know I will love this version even more. The Chrysler roof piece looks like a perfect choice. Headlights, grill? Any hints?
     
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  29. drtrcrV-8
    Joined: Jan 6, 2013
    Posts: 1,452

    drtrcrV-8
    Member

    If you have a video of this chop, it would /should be the instructional video for a class about "How to chop a top properly"!! OUTSTANDING WORK!! We know it's not nearly as easy as you just made it look, so thank you again!!
     
  30. HotRodWorks
    Joined: Dec 6, 2005
    Posts: 333

    HotRodWorks
    Alliance Vendor

    I think it’s beautiful. Great lines! Good job Tony and Don and the HW99 team.
     

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