Thanks for the informative post. For those of us who aren't professionals schooled in the art of bending hinges and panels, the shim solution works great. And man, you are dead-on about the factory not using hood shims on old cars because anything within 1/8" was good enough. I have found that 55-57 Chevies vary by as much as 1/4" in some dimensions from one car to another, a prime example being fore/after engine placement relative to the firewall.
I haven't been on this forum for quite some time, but just today received an e-mail with links to this post and others. I plan to spend more time here.
Hey, don't get a big head, but from time to time I still refer to an article you wrote many years a go on MIG welding.