51 Chev Fleetline Custom

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Posted (edited) · Report post

Here's the kit I'm dealing with...AMT's '51 Fleetline.

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I plan to: Add a new front clip

French it

Nose it

Modify the front fenderwells

Chop the top (here's hopin')

Maybe extend the rear fenders

This is what I'm starting with. The body, the front clip I think came from AMT's '50 Ford. The hood is the extended hood from the '50 Ford, but I decided since not to use it.

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Here's the clip cut away. I made an arbitrary decision on where to make the cut, but basically I wanted to extend the front by a little bit

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That's all I have for now. More to come...

Edited by Farmboy

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Posted · Report post

I'll be keeping an eye on this one- I'm anxious to see how your chop comes out. I've got one that's been in the closet for a while with pencil lines all over it with plans on chopping the top, but I wasn't brave enough to put a blade to it, and I haven't messed with it in a long while. I should dig it out when I get through with some current projects.

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Posted · Report post

Here's the clip added to the nose. It'll take a bit of filing and body fill but shouldn't present too much

of a problem

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I have an interesting option. The hood is a drop-on fitting perfectly right up to where the body

joins the new front clip, and then it's only a matter of adding some very thin shim pieces on

either side at the front to make life good. However where the nose is now about 3/16" or so longer,

it would also look good to have the hood moved forward and fill in the back end to to make up the distance.

If I do the latter I'll have to narrow the hood slightly along it's length so it fits. I can't

remove the material from the fenders because the fenderwell pieces butt right up to the edge.

I'm planning on nosing the hood so it gives me a bit of time to think about it.

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Posted · Report post

Fleetline's are one on my favorites. Of course, I have one sitting and waiting for more emotion and ideas. I'll be checking on this to see how it progresses and maybe get my juices flowing. I also always loved that front clip. one of the better designed custom pieces in kits.It looks like a great fit to the Chevy.

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Posted · Report post

Looks like it's gonna be a fun project, keep us posted!!

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Posted · Report post

I've got one of these and don't have a clue what to do with it. It's good to see a man with a plan. You're getting off to an interesting start with some ambitious ideas.

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Posted · Report post

Fleetline's are one on my favorites. Of course, I have one sitting and waiting for more emotion and ideas. I'll be checking on this to see how it progresses and maybe get my juices flowing. I also always loved that front clip. one of the better designed custom pieces in kits.It looks like a great fit to the Chevy.

I have been looking for one.

I wanted to replicate a car a friend had behind his shop. Belonged to his dad. It had a 1963 425HP solid lifter dual quad 409 and 4 speed trans. It was pale green (original paint) and had white diamond tuck interior and open chrome reverse wheels. Sweet car but was in bad need of restoration.

Last time in the area the shop and all the cool old cars out behind were gone, just another empty lot. :(

I had a 4 door for a short while but my grandpa gave it to his brother.(I was only 13)

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Here's a front shot while the fill is drying. I added the clip...and found I didn't have a grille or headlights to go with it. I dug around a bit, and found a custom grille and headlight assembly from a '53 Ford pickup. I removed the bars and used the headlight assemblies. In so doing, I had to enclose the lights. I did so with a piece of styrene to seal off the bottom of each angled housing. It looks rough here but it's early. suffice it to say they now fit. There was also a sort of widows peak to the bottom of the clip. I rounded that off.

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this is the headlight assembly I modified

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a quick mock up of the end result. The duals will be frenched.

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Posted · Report post

Looks amazing. I can't wait for this to be done! BTW, I haven't heard of "frenching" before, what is it?

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Posted · Report post

where you recess the lights into the body, its an old 50's trick :D

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Thanx for the kind words everybody, so far things are going well. Some define frenching as the term used when the headlight is made to look like it is an actual part of the body/fender. Others define frenching as insetting headlights in to the fender as in a slight tunneling.

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Posted · Report post

Nice start,I've got a fleetline I started at least 15 years ago that has the chop done and a few other things. I was just thinking the other day that I need to pull it out and get to working on it, I'll share some pics once I find the box its in. Good luck and look forward to watching the progress

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Personaly iv given up with amt, the last 2 kits i got, the body was warped and the chassis wont fit the body, engine won't fit the chassis ect ect so il be keeping my eyes on this to see how it turns out.

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She's starting to look a little better. The white curved piece is a styrene shim(one each side)needed to close up the gap at the front of the hood edge. You can also get a better look at the bottom piece required to close off the headlight area. These required beveling one end to better mate with the original shell curvature. The bottom front of the clip has been filled in where I ground through the plastic getting rid of the point. The grind-thru came by filing to create an undercut so the 'shelf' lip continued across the front of the pan.

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Posted · Report post

No matter what yer doing, duct tape comes in handy B)

I was wondering how they'd work out, but those canted quads are blending in nicely.

Go Man, Go!

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Posted · Report post

Looking great! I used to have a bunch of 50's - early 60's magazines like Hot Rodding, Rod and Custom, etc. and I remember all the customs they highlighted. The use of those headlights was a common one and always looked cool!

Keep up the good work!

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Posted (edited) · Report post

I decided after some deliberation to go with moving the hood forward. I could have left it in it's normal position but I felt it added to the line of the car to move it ahead. I began by tracing the arc of the hood on to a piece of styrene and using that for the joint line. It was then a simple matter of drawing a parallel line with dividers and filing the same arc till I got a snug fit. Bonus! Moving it up allowed me to drop the front of the hood the equivalent of what I would have nosed it. Didn't expect it but glad it happened.

Here's the first glue up

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This is how the added strip looks. I paralleled the hood's arc with dividers and filed till it fit. Also, note the black paint. The hood was wider than the opening due to it being moved ahead on body. I laid the hood in it's future position overlapping the fenders and sprayed the flat black from the underside. What didn't get covered on the edges got filed away

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This is the final result. Once it's sanded the seam will disappear and presto a longer hood..

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Edited by Farmboy

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Here's my primer queen! The front end work is almost done, just some fine tuning to do. I'll modify the front fender openings next and then....the chop. I also have to make a grille opening but I don't have a firm idea on that yet. Anyway, here she is so far with the firewall and fenderwells installed to ensure everything fit. As always, comments and critiques are welcome.

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Posted · Report post

Wow! Nice body work, Mike! That's going to be a nice custom. I'm eager to see how you do the top chop on that fastback roof.

Sam

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Posted · Report post

So far so good. This is coming along very nice so far. Really like what you have done with the front end so far. Keep up the great work and look forward to more pics of the progress.

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Posted (edited) · Report post

I'd taken enough deep breaths so it was time. In preparation for the chop I've removed the B pillars. I cut them super wide so I can have them to angle after the chop. Notice also I've opened the rear of the front wheel openings

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Here's the rough cut line i'm going to follow. I've already done the top cut.

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no turning back now.

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Here I've put the chopped top in position, made cut lines on either side of the window back to almost the trunk line. After bendng the rear section down to meet the chopped top, I marked how much of the side (sail?) panels need to be removed. I did this by removing a pie shape who's point is at the end of the previously cut lines back to the trunk. Look at the pic a few seconds and it beccomes clear.

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...and this is the chop showing the top and sides coaxed in to position with a well worn pair of needlenose pliers. I also bent the bottoms of the A pillars out ever so slightly to meet the uppers. It takes a while but going slow ensures no kinks in the bends.

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Total time about 90 minutes. Hope it was of interest. I'm sure there are other ways -- better ways -- but I think I'll get what I want without too much fuss. I'll be back when I have the chop smoothed in, or almost so. Comments and critiques welcome.

Edited by Farmboy

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Posted · Report post

I reinforced the cuts and splices with thin strips of styrene rather than just gluing the ends together. I filed just the smallest amount off the mating edges to allow the strips to friction fit between them and slathered on the tube glue. Solid.

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Here's a better view of the chop before the angled door frames.

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This shows the door frames. I had planned to use the originals I had sawn away...cut one of the too short so that idea went south. I did get lucky with a thin strip of styrene with two half-round's glued to it. I think it actually looks better than the kit stuff.

Q0owfF4pW7oVadrdvDUqSsH5MFr4QieV.jpg

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Posted · Report post

Great work man that think looks awesome

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Posted · Report post

Great looking chop

Nice follow thru photos too.

Nice to watch how it's done..

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Posted · Report post

It looks great and your progress photos make it look easy!

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