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Projects Sorry guys....53 Chevy Coupe build

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by El Carne's 53', Oct 18, 2012.

  1. El Carne's 53'
    Joined: May 22, 2008
    Posts: 75

    El Carne's 53'
    Member
    from Oceanside

    I've wanted to do this for quite a while and share my story and journey with one particular car I have been building on and off for the last few years, my 53 Chevy 210. For many reasons, but mostly for motivation to continue the build and the chance to motivate others to keep building and enjoying cars. Feel free to skip ahead to the pictures if you must..(its what i do most of the time!)

    About six years or more ago, I bought a 53 Chevy 210 off of craigslist from a guy in the Sacramento area. I live in So-Cal, so I bought the car sight unseen (except for pictures) knowing only that it had a fairly new rebuilt 235 out of a 57 truck, with a 3 speed manual and an "Ok" body. So with the agreement that the guy (can't remember his name) would pick me up from the airport, I bought a one way ticket to Sac and left with nothing but a bag of hand tools and the clothes on my back. The plan was to drive back from Sacramento (alone) in a car i knew nothing about, in the middle of the summer (it was late June I think) in California. SMART.
    Things got off to an amazing start at the San Diego airport when I had to check a duffel bag full of wrenches/scissor jack/zip ties/screw drivers and various rolls of tape and other nonsense. So after the poor 100lbs chic working the ticket counter pretty much threw a disk in her back lifting the bag onto the baggage belt I quickly made my way to the security check where my trip took and unexpected detour. No sooner had I made it through the metal detectors, was when I was surrounded by no less than 5 TSA agents (im kind of a larger guy..my best friends call me Meathead).
    So there I am, in a private room surrounded by 3 TSA personnel, where I was asked to empty my pockets. Thats when I pulled out an envelope with no less than 8500 bucks in 100 dollar bills (for the car and trip expenses of course). It was right then that i realized i wasn't going anywhere for quite some time. After a pat down/strip search that had more hands on than a prom afterparty, over the course or nearly and hour and half...I finally convinced them that I was not the terrorist/contract killer they thought I was, and that I was merely on my way to pick up a near 60 year old car that might require various repairs along the way home.
    Long story short, I was the last one on the flight which i almost missed. I arrived to Sac, met the dude, got my car and was on the road driving back to San Diego within a few hours. The motor was pretty tits, it had a dual carb setup with 2 Rochester B's, dual exhaust, a mild cam...the body however, was another story. It was pretty beat up from the feet up. It looked like 10 pounds of hammered dog shit in a 2 pound bag. Lots of shitty repairs that looked like they were done with the enthusiasm of someone trying to pass a kidney stone. But, there I was, and there was no turing back.."nothing a little time and money wont fix" I thought. So, I gave the dude his bread and off i went like a fart in the wind. It was hot. Hot ass hot. But the car was a champ, and mile after sweltering mile I was falling deeply in love with this turd. My apprehension for the drive turned into pure bliss, as i even started to take back roads to further add to the nostalgia of the whole experience. I made it all the way back in 100+degree heat (even charged the grapevine!!) all the way to San Clemente before my distributor started to take a shit. I adjusted it on the side of the road and got it firing well enough to limp the rest of the way doing about 30mph, missing firing and barking all the while. It was awesome. Within a few weeks I wanted to get at this thing in the worst way...

    I wanted to chop a car more that anything. Nevermind that i had no idea what i was doing, but a close friend of mine had chopped a car and I figured how hard could it be?...So began the journey of my first chop ( and body repair)...
    Sorry in advance for how crappy these first photos are, they were taken with a disposable camara..
     

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  2. El Carne's 53'
    Joined: May 22, 2008
    Posts: 75

    El Carne's 53'
    Member
    from Oceanside

    So I began to chop the car..I took about 4.5" out of the front, and i have no idea how much out of the rear. I angeled the B pillars. At the time my skills were rather limited, so i decided to not use the stock wrap around window, and instead use a donor. I searched and searched and finally ended up with a 48 Fleetline rear roof section and glass from Chevy Don down in San Diego, the roof was pretty beat to shit but i thought i could make it work. I had no previous metal working experiance except for a few patch pannels on my 66 Cadillac, and with no metal shaping tools I was forced to use the English Knee and a die grinder for the build. In hindsight I created a shitload more work for myself but the learning experiance was worth it... the chop in total took me about four months to complete. I did a ton of patch panels, trim hole fill ins and other mods as well...
     

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  3. El Carne's 53'
    Joined: May 22, 2008
    Posts: 75

    El Carne's 53'
    Member
    from Oceanside

    Here are some pictures of the 48 Fleetline window implant...
     

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  4. and to think that i trailered mine home from a mere 60 miles away.

    good on ya. keep us posted.

    you should post that story in the 'fly in drive home thread'
     
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  5. -Brent-
    Joined: Nov 20, 2006
    Posts: 5,230

    -Brent-
    Member

    Awesome. I love this stuff. I love the disposable camera pics, too. It's a nice change from the Instagram, artsy-fartsy-can't-see-the-details pics we get now.

    Can't wait to see more.
     
  6. El Carne's 53'
    Joined: May 22, 2008
    Posts: 75

    El Carne's 53'
    Member
    from Oceanside

    Here are some pics of the roof taking shape, i had to make all the sail panels with no real equipment, just a die grinder and my hands...:eek: Its far from perfect, but all said and done i was really happy. If i could go back then (like i said this was a 6 years ago or so) i would have done it the "right way"... if there even is such a thing, but at the time i was damn proud of myself. I think about the chop alot... and maybe someday soon i'll cut it out and do it over again anyway...i mean, its nothing time and money wont fix.
     

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  7. Stay after it - I keep working on my 50 Pontiac and every once in a while pull all the pics up I saved from Bass's 49 Chevy fastback chop - it's tempting for sure. Good luck.
     
  8. El Carne's 53'
    Joined: May 22, 2008
    Posts: 75

    El Carne's 53'
    Member
    from Oceanside

    As i said earlier, the body was turd status. It wasn't so much rust as it was just plain smashed up. It look like a fat ladys ass when they cram all that girth into some spandex. I kept finding areas that looked like some fat kid used it for batting practice, and the preivous owner just mudded over em and called it at day. Ugly patch panels in the floorboards and the worst was the driver side rear wheel well. I picked up some skirts from the Big 3, and when i went to put em on i realized that the driver side opening was about 2 inches bigger front to back then the other side!!:eek: So i grind off about wheel barrow full of mud to find the ass clown that "repaired" it took a sledge hammer to the fender, beat it in, and mudded right it. The entire rear quarter panel was creased up to the window beltline...:confused: So i did what my skill set allowed and fixed it the best i could. Again, you body guys will have to turn away and hold back your dry heaves...
     

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  9. ArchangelKustom
    Joined: Nov 15, 2006
    Posts: 196

    ArchangelKustom
    Member
    from NR/OH

    Great story. Glad you didn't end up in Gitmo! Did they make you check the tools or were you allowed to carry on?

    Years ago I flew out to inspect a car for a client...I was just a college kid at the time and thought nothing of carrying a bag of pointy screw drivers and blunt objects onto a plane. Neither did the airport. :)
     
  10. Rocket man 88
    Joined: Sep 23, 2007
    Posts: 121

    Rocket man 88
    Member

    dont be sorry brother....thats a damn nice profile on your chev....cant see to many of those done with the windows bearing the right prop's...looks great.....makes me want to at least go out in the rain/junk, wind mix and rag off the 53 olds ive been on for awhile....thanks for the motivation or "kick in the ass" i needed :D
     
  11. Orn
    Joined: Jul 17, 2005
    Posts: 1,046

    Orn
    Member

    Funny story about your fly & drive experience… looks like your English Knee did the work and the chop looks good. Keep up the good work.
     
  12. El Carne's 53'
    Joined: May 22, 2008
    Posts: 75

    El Carne's 53'
    Member
    from Oceanside

    So started to finish the top and get it ready for a coat of primer. Behold!...the magic of body filler::(
     

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  13. El Carne's 53'
    Joined: May 22, 2008
    Posts: 75

    El Carne's 53'
    Member
    from Oceanside

    So on to the "stance"..I bought one of those gambino c-notch deals at the GNRS that year an toted it home, and ordered some blocks and U bolts from Jamco. The car already had the springs de'arched in the rear, so the end result turned out pretty slammed :D:D:D, i had to cut most alot of the wheel wells out and i put the gas tank in the trunk so i wouldnt drag. I cut the front coils and put in new shocks all the way around. The thing rode like a three legged donkey with the shits, but it sure looked good:cool:(IMHO)...
     

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  14. Labold
    Joined: Nov 1, 2007
    Posts: 1,219

    Labold
    Member

    Looks good. I bought a '53 a few months ago and have been studying everyone's chops. I originally planned to have a friend who is a rod builder do it but am now thinking "if these guys can figure it out with no real experience, surely I can do it too".
    Great work.
     
  15. Labold
    Joined: Nov 1, 2007
    Posts: 1,219

    Labold
    Member

    "...rode like a 3 legged donkey with the shits" - That's just funny, I don't care who you are.
     
  16. El Carne's 53'
    Joined: May 22, 2008
    Posts: 75

    El Carne's 53'
    Member
    from Oceanside

    So i decided to run some Red Oxide high build primer. I went to harbor freight and bought a staple gun and a bunch of cheep plastic tarps and went to work making my very own high speed low drag paint booth :D
    Equipped with my pathetic 20 year old Craftsman air compressor and a trusty harbor freight gun, i hit the power switch on my shop vac (for proper ventilation of course..) and did work. "How did that home make booth work out?", you may ask...and to that I would reply "like shit".:D All of the primer in the "air" eventually ended up trickling down on the roof and hood and dried to give the entire top side a nice sandpaper texture that i enjoyed sanding off and again and again. Live and learn. Needless to say i would have inhaled less chemicals working in a methlab full time for a year then i did that afternoon. :eek: But in the end i had a single color car that finally was starting to look like something (even if that thing was a turd :eek:)
     

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  17. El Carne's 53'
    Joined: May 22, 2008
    Posts: 75

    El Carne's 53'
    Member
    from Oceanside

    Man, aint nothing to it but to do it...and at the end of the day you can claim that shit. Thanks for the kind words!
     
  18. gsport
    Joined: Jul 16, 2009
    Posts: 679

    gsport
    Member

    now that's a great fly in, drive home story.....
    you say you started 6 years ago. how's it looking today??
     
  19. Don's Hot Rods
    Joined: Oct 7, 2005
    Posts: 8,319

    Don's Hot Rods
    Member
    from florida

    Love the airport story.........I've often wondered how Homeland Security would view a guy getting on a plane with a suitcase full of tools and a pocket full of cash ! :D:D

    Car looks great, thanks for the tale.

    Don
     
  20. -Brent-
    Joined: Nov 20, 2006
    Posts: 5,230

    -Brent-
    Member

    You keep knocking it but your results differ. So you had to use some body filler - so what! A lot of the great customs have more than their fair share.
     
  21. El Carne's 53'
    Joined: May 22, 2008
    Posts: 75

    El Carne's 53'
    Member
    from Oceanside

    And so here it was...5 months later and i didnt have a finished car, but i had a drivable car!!!:D I even had a GLASS windsheild!:cool: ( it cost a fortune...) I drove it around just as you see here for probobly a year and a half, making some repairs as needed...There's not alot of things in this world that make you feel like you do driving a chopped car:cool:... Its as simple as that, i dont know what it is but if you could bottle that shit and sell it...every swinging dick would by it by the truck full. I guess thats what makes all the work worth it...anyway, i drove it like this for a few years wanting to finally paint it..but life had other plans:(
     

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  22. El Carne's 53'
    Joined: May 22, 2008
    Posts: 75

    El Carne's 53'
    Member
    from Oceanside

    well, you'll have to keep reading!! thats why i wanted to start this thread, i wanted to tell the full story...ill give you a hint though, just look at my avatar...
     
  23. El Carne's 53'
    Joined: May 22, 2008
    Posts: 75

    El Carne's 53'
    Member
    from Oceanside

    Thanks man, I know i knock it, i just envy those guys with the "metal finished" perfect rides..but in reality man i love cars that hit the streets and get driven...thanks for the encouragement!!
     
  24. Harps
    Joined: Oct 12, 2007
    Posts: 103

    Harps
    Member

    We call that "she looks like a bag of rabbits".

    Really great build thread and enjoying going through it today.
     
  25. 53chevtrev
    Joined: Jul 26, 2011
    Posts: 406

    53chevtrev
    Member
    from Langley BC

    Car is looking great dude! keep up the work man!
     
  26. El Carne's 53'
    Joined: May 22, 2008
    Posts: 75

    El Carne's 53'
    Member
    from Oceanside

    Sometimes life gets in the way of our hobbies/obsessions.:mad: At the time I took the previous pictures, things were getting pretty rocky with me and my girlfriend at the time. I had the 53 and 64 Caddy at the time (which i still have) and a chopper that i also built. Long story short, she had to kick rocks, and i had to move...and when youre single and have 4 vehicles and one of which was in a million pieces (the cadillac), finding a place to live can prove to be rather difficult. Which meant i couldnt sell the Cadillac and get anything for it, turns out the most logical thing to do was sell the 53. I was so bummed. A nice guy from LA bought it and he was stoked.
    So years pass by (3 or 5 or who knows)...i finish the Cadillac and the sold the chopper, bought a house, new girlfriend (who is now my lovely wife!)...blah blah blah...
    I get a email from a friend titled..."is this your car!?", it was a craigslist add from LA. I clicked on the link, and sure as shit..it was my 53, looking exactly the way it did the day it drove off from my house. I nearly shit. I called the number, and it was the very same guy I sold it to, and he answered the phone with "Hey Ryan...want your car back huh?!"..he still had my number saved!!! I was so amped..we struck a deal and i told him id be there in a few day to get it. So alas...my beloved 53 was on her way back to me. Her are the pics of the day I picked it up...unfortunately..she was pretty thrashed.:( He drove this thing like a borrowed mule! Which, in a way, made me super stoked. The tires were bald, brakes where shot to shit, and it steered like a super fat drunk chic in high heels at marti gras ...BUT...she was all mine again, so i was happy. Very Happy.:D
     

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  27. TrioxinKustoms
    Joined: Oct 16, 2009
    Posts: 551

    TrioxinKustoms
    Member
    from Romney, WV

    can't beat that. I'm getting ready to pick up another 53 sedan. I had one when my lady and I started dating 6 years ago.. now I have a 10 mo daughter and I want to tie our first family christmas tree too the roof.
     
  28. El Carne's 53'
    Joined: May 22, 2008
    Posts: 75

    El Carne's 53'
    Member
    from Oceanside

    So as i mentioned, this thing was pretty beat when I got it back. I did the brakes over a weekend, and tuned her up so i could drive her for the summer (this was a year ago). I parked it after, and she pretty much sat for almost a year. I had my Cadillac to drive, so i figured it was time to really go through this thing and give it the attention it deserved. I started doing some bodywork, with filler and such, just blocking and sanding...and blocking. But after a weekend of that I decided that I wanted to go full bore and stop jerking off...

    I started to pull the body apart and pull the drivetrain..
    IMG_0145.jpg

    IMG_0143.jpg

    IMG_0144.jpg

    IMG_0425.JPG
     
  29. El Carne's 53'
    Joined: May 22, 2008
    Posts: 75

    El Carne's 53'
    Member
    from Oceanside

    I got the body off of the chassis, and build a cart to wheel it around...as you can see carpentry is not my strongest skill.:eek: IMG_0162.jpg

    IMG_0192.jpg

    IMG_0165.jpg

    IMG_0169.jpg

    IMG_0163.jpg
     
  30. Jay Tyrrell
    Joined: Dec 9, 2007
    Posts: 1,631

    Jay Tyrrell
    Member

    Nice build man!
    J
     

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