Tag Archives: 1951

  • Hollywood Hot Rods- How To Chop a Mercury with help from Eastwood

    Chopping a Mercury with help from Eastwood
    By Jim Aust/Hollywood Hot Rods

    Every since the first sleek new 1949 Mercury hit the street crafty restylers have lusted after examples with the roof a bit lower than the factory offerings. Sam Barris was among the first to chop his own personal Mercury, and the process would be repeated thousands of times over the next seven decades. Just as the title “custom” means, personally designed customs each have a unique style and equally unique method of creation.

    The guys at Hollywood Hot Rods have built a series of much loved custom vehicles so it’s only natural that they would have chopped a few Mercury’s along the way. Refining the process to a science, Hollywood Hot Rods get the job done lowering a lid on a Mercury (or any vehicle) with the help of various tools from The Eastwood Company. For this demonstration an Eastwood Shrinker/Stretcher is used to a few of the vital steps in the process completed. Follow along as Hollywood Hot Rods shows how they lowered a roof on this 1951 Mercury.

    Chopping the top on a Mercury is so popular at Hollywood Hot Rods that they have to wait in line for their turn under the knife.

    The easy part is removing the top, the tough part is putting it back on correctly.

    After lowering the roof the desired amount, the corners of the windows now require reworking to close up the gaps created in the process.

    This view shows the great deal of work that will be necessary to reshape the rear corners of the quarter windows.

    The first step is to trim out the rear corners so that new corners can be fitted in place.

    To fill the corners small strips of sheet metal are cut and folded 90-degees in a sheet metal brake.

    Next up the Eastwood Shrinker/Stretcher is used to shrink one edge of the custom new pieces to replicate the look of the factory corners in the newly required radiuses.

    The newly fabricated pieces are carefully fit into in the trimmed out window corners.

    The new window corners are tacked in place and checked again for proper placement before final welding is completed.

    Once the final welding is finished the corners are shaped with a die grinder equipped with a barrel drum sanding head.

    On this particular chop the decision was made to round-off the upper rear door corners rather than retain the square factory style corners.

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    Rather than cut the original door corners into multiple pieces, Hollywood Hot Rods prefers to create new sweeping corner from fresh sheet metal.

    Repeating the earlier process, new inner door corners are made with the Eastwood Shrinker/Stretcher. Once the new door corners are in place they are welded and smoothed the same way as the window corners.

    Just a few steps transformed this Mercury from a stocker to show stopper! Hit the Hollywood Hot Rods Website to see more of their work, enlist their services, or buy some sweet HHR gear!

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  • Custom Body and Interior Modifications- '51 Ford Shoebox Street Rodder Road Tour Car Project

    The crew at Honest Charley garage have been kicking butt on the body of this once-rotted 51 Ford Shoebox Ford. After replacing the rotted lower quarters, they moved on to making some subtle modifications to smooth out the body of the Ford while they have it in bare metal. Below Richard from Honest Charley shows you how they butt welded, lapped, and plug welded some of the patch panels on the car and a neat way they're reusing the OE Ford taillight while smoothing the rear quarters.

    After shaving and smoothing the exterior of the car, the crew moved to the interior to address the issues that stemmed from channeling the body over the chassis to give it the sleek, low ride height they desired. The first issue is that they needed to make a new package tray that didn't interfere with the four-link suspension, and looked original. After rolling some beads and fitting the piece in they have a strong, OEM-looking package tray that both looks good and is functional as well.

    With the floor pans and package tray in place, the team moved back and began working on the trunk. When channeling the Ford they ran into typical problems, and the rusty trunk floor had to be removed to raise it up to clear parts of the chassis. They made new patch panels and deleted the spare tire recess so that Jerry Dixey could cram all of his stuff in the car while he's driving it around the country. After rolling beads in the metal to stiffen the new trunk floor they welded they floor back in and they now have a factory looking trunk floor that doesn't hit the chassis.

    Stay tuned for future updates, we can hardly keep with how fast these guys work! More body mods and a roof chop are to come!

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  • A 48 Chevy Truck That Drives As Good As It Looks

    Here in Eastwood country, (Pottstown, Pa. to those not familiar) we have a great classic car community. Because of that, the sound of rumbling exhausts is common to hear echo through the building as they park out front of our retail store. One of our regulars is Bob F. He used to run a repair shop in the area many years ago and has had a ton of experience restoring classic cars and trucks. In fact Bob even had his hands on a vintage Eastwood delivery van we had at our old headquarters many years ago!

    Bob's latest creation is fresh back from SEMA 2011. That's right, Bob and his wife took his 1948 Chevy 1/2 ton truck the 2,000+ mile trip to SEMA this year, and it performed perfectly! This says a lot about Bob's builds, I can't say I could do that with any of my projects completely stress free!

    This truck is able to cruise those distances partially because of his drivetrain choice. With a Chevy 383 mated to a 400 turbo transmission with a Ford 9" rear with 370 posi, Bob is able to keep up with traffic and get pretty decent fuel mileage on the highway. Of course when he needs to "get-up and go" the engine really opens up and moves this truck!

    With age, comes the need for creature comforts. Sure when we were all younger it was cool to have an obnoxiously loud rod with no windows, no heat, and solid suspension, but as the years go on, it takes a toll on you and you'll find the need for a handful of comforts when making drives like Bob and his wife did! He started with adding the normal comforts that we all take for granted on modern cars, power steering, power brakes and even A/C. But then he went one step further and added cruise control. It's no wonder Bob loves doing these long cruises! I can say that all of this was added in a non-obtrusive manner and didn't scream "Gadgets!!" like some other classic vehicles kitted out with modern accessories like he added.

    There are loads of subtle mods performed to this truck. Some of which were so well done, you could tell "something" had been done, but hard to put your finger on what exactly it was that he did to make it look so "right". A few of the highlights for me was changing the front glass to the later single piece windshield and even some of the sheet metal on the front end. Bob also did some chopping of the body/running boards to get the truck looking proper when at ride height. Lastly, my favorite mod was the body trim that Bob fashioned out of brass stock, then had chromed. He drilled, tapped, and added studs to the backside of the trim to secure it to the cab and finish out the OE+ look that he has so expertly done on this truck.

    We want to thank Bob for bringing his truck by, and we are glad our products could help bring this truck to the level that it is now at! Keep up the good work Bob, can't wait to see what you turn out next.

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