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grouch 02-28-2008 09:22 AM

chop -- 2 questions
2 Attachment(s)
Looked at it too long so I'm not sure anymore.

1. Does the chop look right, in the attached image?

2. Can it be chopped that way?

The white places in the image show the original profile as well as the pie-shaped sections at the front and back that would have to be filled in. The Olds has a kind of belt of trim all the way around the base of the top, seen in the 'before' image. The side windows are dropped to where their bases are just below that belt. The windshield and back glass are then tilted slightly and the skin of the top is lowered until the curve matches that tilt. Total drop is about 2 inches, maybe a little more. The body tapers pretty sharply above that curve running along the tops of the fenders, so I don't think it would be a big strain to make the sheet metal meet the base of the window frames after cutting.

Is it dumb?

NEW INTERIORS 02-28-2008 09:29 AM

Look's good to me,They look good too, when you lean the post . :thumbup: I'm about to pick one of them up,Think I'm going to chop it up a little. :thumbup:

grouch 02-29-2008 01:33 AM

But is it a workable chop? I've never chopped a top so what I don't know about it makes me nervous. I probably should have posted in 'General Rodding Tech' but wanted to get feedback on the look, here, before tackling the technical side of it.

Leaning the windshield and its frame back will get me the lower profile I want, allow me to install a full-size 1-piece windshield, will make the transition from the steeper slope of the windshield to the lowered top smoother, and doesn't appear to cause any trouble elsewhere except for tucking the corners into the cowl.

Should be able to kinda peel back the upper part of the outer door skin, cut off the top of the door right below the current window frame, take out another 1 to 1-1/2 inch from the remaining part of the door, then set it aside until the top is brought down (to match the reassembled door to the opening).

The rear window would have to be done similarly, even though there's no door. It would have to be cut out from the top as well as the body because of dropping the skin of the top. That's needed to match the slope of the windshield and rear glass as well as getting about half the lowering done. At least there's no framed opening that has to be matched, like with the doors.

The rear glass actually looks like the least trouble because of that big pillar -- lots of room to smooth out transitions from one surface to the next.

Pros -- it preserves full-size glass everywhere, reduces the 'bubble' of the original top without getting rid of all the forehead over the windshield, preserves the shape of the side glass, reduces the stand-up barn door look of the windshield.

Cons -- extra cutting, the top tapers on the sides above the windows so it's not going to fit the new locations of the side glass, the center of the bottom of the windshield will kick up about 3/4 inch while the corners have to go down about that much into the cowl, once the cutting starts there's no going back to do a more conventional chop.

Half the time when I look at it, I think, "Yeah, the lines flow better that way", and half the time I think, "That looks like somebody grafted a modern top to an old body."

dinger 02-29-2008 09:46 AM

For what it's worth, and just my opinion, that Olds of yours is just about perfect the way it is. I'd be scared also. Maybe some advice from shops in your area? Good luck, Dan

grouch 02-29-2008 10:04 AM

Thanks, dinger. Shops in my area? Heh. There's one body shop with a guy who does some really fine paint jobs. He'd be the only one within an hour's drive of here that I'd expect to have any idea about chopping a top.

NEW INTERIORS 02-29-2008 11:08 AM

I have chopped some,But not that car.It can be done,But if it is your first one be careful.I'm about to get one like that,And I'm going to be chopping it up alot.I have a few Idea's up in my head. :thumbup:

lets cut it up 02-29-2008 11:34 AM

Chop that thing. I would do 4 inches, lean everything forward so you wont have to split the roof. lean the b pillar and cut out the back glass opening and fit it in after the roof is repositioned. It will be needing a lean too. The back glass is tempered so it cannot be cut. Cut that car and don't look back. Just my thoughts, Tim

knighthawk 02-29-2008 07:56 PM

It definetly needs a chop ! Start a t three inches, pull the top of the rear window (and roof ) forward , windsheild : sink the whole windsheild , make a recess like the newer cars have that hide the wipers . Peice of cake !.....hint.. just look at it long enough, it'l come to ya !

NEW INTERIORS 02-29-2008 08:04 PM

1 Attachment(s)
That's what we did on Let's cut it up,55 chevy,We sunk the roof down into the car. :thumbup:

grouch 02-29-2008 11:58 PM

I'd certainly like to see more photos of that '55. Especially around the windshield and back.

NEW INTERIORS 03-01-2008 08:17 AM

I'm trying to get Tim to post some more,This is the first chop me in him every did like this, :thumbup: But it work out great,I enjoyed being a part of it. :thumbup:

GaryD 03-01-2008 09:17 AM

A cool alternative I've seen done was on a '51 Chevy by Foose. He took a one inch strip out of the roof just above the drip rails and dropped the bubble that way. The top looked chopped but really wasn't. Heck of a lot less work for virtually the same look. I'm considering it on my '51 Pontiac 4 door. Lot easier than chopping 4 doors, and I get to keep the rear vent windows too.
I have link to it somewhere, I'll find it.....

Gary D

NEW INTERIORS 03-01-2008 10:16 AM

It won't look as good,The glasses will look the same,A 16'' glass will still be 16'' glass, But a 10'' glass or 12'' glass will be chopped.On a chop you want to keep the bubble,And make the glasses smaller.Then it will look chopped. :thumbup: Gary it does look good,I'm not saying it don't,But a chop is a chop. :thumbup:

GaryD 03-01-2008 10:39 AM

Yeah, good point. I'm considering the easy way for a couple of reasons. I only want to lose some of the hump to smooth the look, and I want to keep the rear vent windows. A true chop would lose the vents. The other thing I'm working around is the inspection rules here in PA. If I leave the top alone, I keep it titled a '51 and don't have to worry about the emissions, even though it's a newer Jaguar engine. Once I do a real chop, it becomes a reconstructed title and opens the can of worms.

NEW INTERIORS 03-01-2008 10:58 AM

If we are talking about the same car,You don't have to lose the side vents,I have seen them chopped and kept the side vents.You just make them smaller.and the door glass longer. :thumbup: But I think it will look good the way you are planning to do it. :thumbup: Down here they don't come down on us,If we chop them up.It is another story when you build a home made car here, :mad:

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