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History When did Chopped Coupes show up?

Discussion in 'Traditional Hot Rods' started by 34Fordtk, Aug 14, 2014.

  1. 34Fordtk
    Joined: May 30, 2002
    Posts: 1,690

    34Fordtk
    Member

    I see that pre war and post war racers all wanted Roadsters for obvious reasons. There were some coupes running the lakes. But when did Chopped Coupes start showing up on the streets? Were there Model A's or 32-34 Coupes running around with chops pre war? Or was it closer to the 50's before they showed up?
    Thanks in advance!
     
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  2. falcongeorge
    Joined: Aug 26, 2010
    Posts: 18,341

    falcongeorge
    Member
    from BC

    Chopped Model A coupes start to catch on a little in the late fifties. pretty much non-existant before that. Guess the dueces and model 40's were starting to dry up already...
     
  3. H. Sellers chopped AV8 sport coupe - 1941. Note the nosed & filled '32 grille;
    H. Sellers 1941.jpg

    The Serapis coupe in Jan 1946; work on the car most likely began before the war
    serapis 1946.jpg

    Don Montgomery's books show several chopped 32-34 and A coupes/sedans in the 1947-1950 time period.
     
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  4. 34Fordtk
    Joined: May 30, 2002
    Posts: 1,690

    34Fordtk
    Member

    So there were a few showing up pre and early post. Thanks guys!
     

  5. Fred A
    Joined: May 3, 2005
    Posts: 276

    Fred A
    Member
    from Encino, CA
    1. Upholstery

     
  6. Deuce Daddy Don
    Joined: Apr 27, 2008
    Posts: 4,959

    Deuce Daddy Don
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    When I was in hi school, (Inglewood,Ca.) from 1946-1950, there was a club called "COUPES", Bob Pierson, Jim McKinley, Joe Torvick, they all ran identical white 3window chopped '36 Fords, '36 DeSoto bumpers,twin Appleton spots,skirts, twin pipes, lowered in rear, with front "Flipper hub caps".
    Every time they cruised the school, all the guys drooled, including me!!
     
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  7. flatheadpete
    Joined: Oct 29, 2003
    Posts: 9,838

    flatheadpete
    Member
    from Burton, MI

    ^^^ Man would I have loved to see that!
     
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  8. Hey @Fred A...great question! The AHRF records say 1941 and based on the evidence I agree. The car certainly looks the part - it just has that prewar 'feel'.

    First, it rides on an un-dropped axle and retains mechanical brakes...by 1945/6 juice brakes were everywhere. Ditto for dropped axles. Another thing that stands out is the use of stock A headlights...after the war nearly everyone was running sealed beams. The tires - they all match - which would have been a rarity between 1942 and 1945/6 with rubber shortages and rationing. A higher resolution would let us know for sure, but that license plate fits the pattern of the '41 CA plates. 41 plates were black with "19 California 41" across the top and all lettering/numbers in yellow. '42 and 45-6 plates were black but had a light colored bar across the top (which the plate on the car lacks) - black plates weren't used again until 1951. Then there's the stock-headed 21 stud topped by a single carb...very typical for the time period as the majority of the speed market was still focused on the 4-banger.

    The deuce shell was a popular addition; they start showing up on 30/31's around 1935. The Porter bros. and Arnold Birner roadsters both used filled & nosed '32 shells (Birner around 1940) and Porter bros. in 1941. The Johnny Bean roadster also used a filled & nosed shell (33 or 34 Commercial) it was built in the late 1930's.

    Porter bros roadster (Muroc 1941);
    Porter Twins 1941.jpg
    Birner roadster (1940); Check out the juice brakes!
    [​IMG]

    Arnold Birner 1940.jpg
    Bean roadster (33 or 34 commercial shell, photographed 1939);
    Johnny Bean Roadster 1939.jpg

    Sorry to bore y'all with all this stuff...every time I see a prewar picture I can't help but go over every little detail.

    Oh, and I think the 'decoration' on the 40 is either tape or milk paint...I've seen several cars decorated like that at the lakes.
     
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  9. 34Fordtk
    Joined: May 30, 2002
    Posts: 1,690

    34Fordtk
    Member

    Great work G! I tried to read the plate on the Sellers SC but it got to blurry. The DuVall on the Bean car must have VERY rare back in 39.
     
  10. falcongeorge
    Joined: Aug 26, 2010
    Posts: 18,341

    falcongeorge
    Member
    from BC

    One example of a pre-late fifties chopped model A coupe? I would say that dovetails quite nicely with "pretty much non-existant".
     
  11. Now you've done it :)

    1949;
    choppeda.jpg

    1948;
    choppeda2.jpg
     
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  12. Shall I post more?
     
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  13. falcongeorge
    Joined: Aug 26, 2010
    Posts: 18,341

    falcongeorge
    Member
    from BC

    Its all good. But one example would make them rare as hens teeth. 3, well your getting there, but still pretty uncommon.
     
  14. falcongeorge
    Joined: Aug 26, 2010
    Posts: 18,341

    falcongeorge
    Member
    from BC

    Should you post more? Hell yes! Lets see 'em.
     
  15. :D
    1950 @ Santa Barbara Drags
    1950.jpg

    Here's something you don't see every day - a mildly chopped T coupe. 1949 El Mirage;
    1949.jpg

    And a sedan from Russetta, 1949. Did 102.5 mph!
    Pizzato.jpg

    I'll look thru my other books for more...most of these came out of Hot Rods in the Forties (Don Montgomery)
     
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  16. falcongeorge
    Joined: Aug 26, 2010
    Posts: 18,341

    falcongeorge
    Member
    from BC

    Pretty sure I have a different photo of that T coupe, I'll try to find it.
     
  17. So-cal Tex
    Joined: Aug 24, 2005
    Posts: 1,372

    So-cal Tex
    Member

    This is one of the earliest chopped deuce coupes I have ever seen, Pre-war, El Mirage June 1941 at a Russetta meet, the body survived and is sitting in the corner of my shop and we are about to get started on it. Old \'32 3W from June, 1941 El Mirage.jpg
     
  18. Bugsy
    Joined: Dec 27, 2008
    Posts: 1,281

    Bugsy
    Member
    from Kansas

    Holy cow....no joke??!! I would love to see a pic of that body today!! That is so cool that you have it! I've always loved that picture and talk about rare for the times....You are going to have some fun with that!!!
     
  19. I had a chance in the mid 50's to buy a chopped 32 coupe body. It was off of an earlier rod that the owner had changed over to a roadster body . The chop job was done by Barris. One of the nicest chops I've ever seen. You could close the doors with one finger. Still kicking myself for not buying that body. They certainly were on the street around Riverside, Cal in the early 50's.
     
  20. So-cal Tex
    Joined: Aug 24, 2005
    Posts: 1,372

    So-cal Tex
    Member

    Here it is today.............build style is changing to late '40's style to its lake racing history choppedcoupe.gif
     
  21. Bugsy
    Joined: Dec 27, 2008
    Posts: 1,281

    Bugsy
    Member
    from Kansas

    Thanks for posting that....you just made my day!!!!!!!
     
  22. Do it justice!
     
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  23. 34Fordtk
    Joined: May 30, 2002
    Posts: 1,690

    34Fordtk
    Member

    SUPER stuff guys keep em comin!
     
  24. Atwater Mike
    Joined: May 31, 2002
    Posts: 10,241

    Atwater Mike
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    First chopped 'A' or '32 Coupe I saw in the San Jose area was 1953. (a Santa Clara University student drove a chopped (4") and channeled 'A' Coupe to school daily.
    My 2 bicycle buds and I attacked the parked Coupe one day with a yardstick...(just to measure it! We were 11 and 12)
    A stock A-bone was parked across the entrance street, so we took lots of measurements and compared.
    The kid came out and asked what the HELL we were doing.
    We showed him, he laughed, then asked who was first. (for a ride!)
    Pat went first, he was 12. I got seconds, and Mike came with us. The guy was so cool, he cruised the 3 drive-in restaurants he said the hot rods hung out in at night, we'd have our Moms drive us by there after...got to know the 'big guys', what a gas!
    Black primered, black steel wheels, black tires, 7.60 and 5.50 X 15. Car had motorcycle fenders all around ('36 Ford spare tire rings) Flathead had Sharp heads & 2X2 intake, side gen. mount.
    I used to have pics of this car.
     
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  25. Deuce Daddy Don
    Joined: Apr 27, 2008
    Posts: 4,959

    Deuce Daddy Don
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    My '41 Chev. with '41 Buick skirts, nosed & decked, split manifold & Porter steel packed mufflers in 1949.
    Twin Appleton spots came later. MY FIRST CAR.jpg
     
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  26. falcongeorge
    Joined: Aug 26, 2010
    Posts: 18,341

    falcongeorge
    Member
    from BC

    Looks like it was taken same day...

    schlemmer 006.jpg
     
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  27. Sweet! Never seen that shot before!!
     
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  28. El KaMiNo KiD
    Joined: Jun 15, 2009
    Posts: 509

    El KaMiNo KiD
    Member

     
  29. So-cal Tex
    Joined: Aug 24, 2005
    Posts: 1,372

    So-cal Tex
    Member

    I don't know about these pictures gwhite???.......they must be doctored or photo shopped because the chop on a lot of these cars is pretty mild like only 3-3 1/2 inches, we all know that if a hot rod raced at the lakes it was required to have a minimum of a 5-6 inch chop! :)...........I would wager that since this is the '40's most of these were daily drivers as well as weekend racers for most people that only find ( shortage of new and used cars after WWII) or could afford one car to drive so they were
    chopped a reasonable amount to still be driven on the road comfortably.
     
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  30. Rusty O'Toole
    Joined: Sep 17, 2006
    Posts: 9,271

    Rusty O'Toole
    Member

    Have seen pics of chopped coupes from the 1920s. Earliest possibly 1921 or 1922. These were customized cars built strictly for the street. Frank Kurtis of Kurtis Kraft fame built one for himself when he was a young apprentice bodyman. There were others. Sorry no pics.
     
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