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Ace-Garageguy

While we're at it, a chopped '34 5-window too: MO' BETTER Nov.6

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This is another one that, to the best of my recollectory, I've never shown in its entirety here.

The inspiration...

Image result for brown chopped 34 ford coupe

It's to be a mid-to late 50s lakes / drag car on a tube frame. Powered by a DeSoto hemi with a LaSalle gearbox, junkyard rear on semi-elliptics, dropped tube front axle on transverse leaf. Tube frames were getting common by then, the old LaSalle gearbox was still pretty much in demand because of its strength, and the Pontiac and Olds rear ends were tough, cheaper than a quick change, and had several available ratios. The rear I'm using looks to be maybe Chevy truck. The really stout Olds and Pontiac rears and Ford 9" hit the market in '57, and took some time to filter through to junkyards and competition.

First mockup...

DSCN8684.jpg

DSCN8692.jpg

 

Edited by Ace-Garageguy

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DSCN8678.jpg

ABOVE: I use fine-line masking tape as a guide to mark the first cut with a fine Sharpie. This helps insure your cuts will all be parallel, and it's important to get the work symmetrical. Nothing looks worse than a sloppy chop.

DSCN8804.jpg

ABOVE: Get all the edges square and straight. You.ll notice the pillars no longer line up. On this chop, we're going to stretch the roof to fix it. A stretched-roof chop changes the proportions of the car, so be sure you know whether you like this look BEFORE you do all the work. We use fine-line tape again to mark the cut lines. We want to cut just forward and behind the B-pillar, and stay out of the curves at the tops of the window frames. The '36 5-window in the background is getting the same treatment.

DSCN8805.jpg

ABOVE: Align the pillars and determine how much filler material you'll need to get the roof solid again. This is another reason why you want to make clean, parallel cuts in the beginning. Once it's all square and righteous, stick everything together with plenty of liquid cement liberally flowed into the joints. Set it aside at least overnight to dry.

DSCN9251.jpg

ABOVE: After the joints are dry and hard, fill the edges with short sections of the same material you used for the center of the stretch. Again, let it dry thoroughly. Then, file to rough shape and finish shaping and body-work as usual.

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What material did you use to fill the gaps? It looks like thin sections from another kit of the same car.

The original is a very cool car. That last shot of the chopped roof is very cool too! It looks like it needs very little filler or sanding.

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What material did you use to fill the gaps? It looks like thin sections from another kit of the same car.

The filler material in the roof in this case is just 3/32" X 1/16" strip styrene. It bends easily enough in your fingers to make the edge pieces.

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     That is going to be nice!  There is nothing

like a old car, and a nicely chopped top!!

 What is the kit Bill?  Or is that a resin body?

I have only 1- '34 Ford kit, and that one is AMT.

   But it looks like a resin body to me!

          David S.

   P.S.-  I see that Barney likes to chop things too!!

 

Edited by mod3l Lover

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  ...What is the kit Bill?  

 

   P.S.-  I see that Barney likes to chop things too!!

 

The body is from either of these AMT kits...

Image result for AMT 34 Ford        Image result for AMT 34 Ford

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The frame I'm using is the tubular unit from the Revell Henry J. It's under a couple other Revell race cars, fits the body well, but is set up for entirely different suspension than what I want. I spent most of my life building full scale cars, so I try to get the engineering and period details right. The rear axle in place is to help locate new spring hangers and springs, which will be scratchbuilt. Lower axle is GM, probably a Chevy truck unit from a Willys gasser glue bomb. It's getting its housing widened ('cause the axle ends were buggered) and new spring pads scratchbuilt as well. All the crossmembers will be reworked to carry the engine and suspension correctly..

DSCN9253.jpg

The shot below is several dropped tube front axles with varying amounts of drop. I'll do test mockups with each until I get the same stance as in the original mockup at the top, will locate the new front crossmember and spring perch, also to be scratchbuilt. Just like building full scale. Bottom axle is '37 Ford V8 60 that's getting pose-able steering for another build. I take a lot of time to get the stance and overall proportions I want in the beginning, then build backwards to get the final look I'm after.

DSCN9250.jpg

The shot below shows the chassis upside-down, with progress on the scratch-built leaf springs, crossmembers, push-bar, bracketry, etc. All that's left of the Henry J frame is the rails and engine mounts, and the mounts are going away.

DSCN9431.jpg

With the rear spring leaves tacked in, the spring perches for the axle can get put in the right place, and pinion angle gets ballparked....

DSCN9463.jpg

Photo below shows the rear axle with new spring mounts...and front of frame is pinched to get width same as grille / hood, new front crossmember and adjustable suicide-style front spring mount. This is a dual purpose dry-lakes and drag car, so the ability to make major adjustments to ride height and angle-of-attack is necessary. Rear height adjusts with shackles.

DSCN9468.jpg

Below, suspension is tacked in place to check stance again. Engine mounts are in, setback of engine requires stock firewall removed, new one to be scratch built. DeSoto hemi just barely clears extremely pinched frame rails, starter housing is only real problem, and just misses right rail. LaSalle transmission from Revell Miss Deal Studebaker is just visible behind engine.

DSCN9478.jpg

 

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Nice work. Coming along nicely. Its great to see how you get the stance you want.

Thanks Bob. That adjustable front suicide mount is an idea I picked up from one incarnation of the old Cagle-Sanchez Bonneville Studebaker.

They put a solid axle under the front to make it easily adjustable. You can just see the top of the mount sticking up in front of the blower in this shot.

Image result for cagle-sanchez bonneville studebaker

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The proportions of this chop are simply fantastic! The adaptation of that Revell "gasser" frame isn't something you'd ever see coming. I love the push bar.

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At first I wasn't so sure about your frame choice. After seeing it cleaned up that is an awesome idea. I've seen a few early fords running tubular frames like this and I really like it just cause its different. Also the adjustable mount for the front axle is excellent. 

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Thanks Ace for your pics and comments i do remember now its been awhile i believe i have to also cut across the center.  The top will be narrow after the the first cuts.  Maybe not.  Here we go thanks

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Thanks Ace for your pics and comments i do remember now its been awhile i believe i have to also cut across the center.  The top will be narrow after the the first cuts.  Maybe not.  Here we go thanks

I assume you're referring to the '39 Chebby chop.

I'd caution against cutting the top lengthwise. Though some guys seem to feel it's necessary, I disagree for a couple of reasons.

1) It makes it a whole hell of a lot harder to get all the parts lined up.

2) It's far easier to bend the pillars out a little on the top section, and in a little on the bottom section.

3) Widening the top to align the pillars often spoils the subtle lines and proportions, resulting in a "flattop" looking car with a too-big turret section.

Whatever you do, go slow, and really look at your work as you progress. I've found it to be VERY helpful to photograph modifications and look at them blown up on my monitor before making anything too final. You'll see things you might miss otherwise.

 

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The body now has a firewall, and plain hood sides from .030 styrene.

DSCN9499.jpg

I tacked on a head and found some short headers that clear the body, frame and hairpins.

DSCN9522.jpg

With the hood on...

DSCN9548.jpg

Still tinkering with the look, but the stance is dead-on-where-I-want-it. Stripped the green stuff back off the roof...what was I thinking? Found some different headers that turn down, and made clearance for them on the hood sides.

DSCN9922.jpg

DSCN9910.jpg

DSCN9919.jpg

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The proportions of this chop are simply fantastic! The adaptation of that Revell "gasser" frame isn't something you'd ever see coming. I love the push bar.

Thanks Dennis. Unfortunately, after I stretched the roof, I kinda fell out of love with the proportions. That's where the project stalled. I've been seeing how much I can do to get them back to the original mockup without having to remove the stretch. There's a lot of meat in the AMT roof, so it's kinda looking like I might be able to get there.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

As usual, thanks to everyone for your interest and comments.  :D

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Thanks Dennis. Unfortunately, after I stretched the roof, I kinda fell out of love with the proportions. That's where the project stalled. I've been seeing how much I can do to get them back to the original mockup without having to remove the stretch. There's a lot of meat in the AMT roof, so it's kinda looking like I might be able to get there.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

As usual, thanks to everyone for your interest and comments.  :D

Geez. I was just going to comment how much I admired and liked your stretch!!

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Geez. I was just going to comment how much I admired and liked your stretch!!

:D  That's pretty funny. Actually, what I'm trying to hit is the sweet-spot between the first mockup shots and the last post-stretch shots.

The windshield pillars will look leaned back more, and the C-pillars will get thinned towards the top.

That's the idea I'm working towards for now, anyway.  :D

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Bill... I love the chop on this one. Looking good so far. This is going to be a great build. I am looking forward to watching this come together.

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