My first move was to remove all the interior, the soft top material
and wood support.
I'm not a metal fabricator and I wouldn't let just anyone start
cutting on the 36 my family has owned since the early 1970's
So I had been talking to Craig, owner of
Hershey's Hot Rod Shop for over a year about
getting my car scheduled in for the work. We finally got
together, so here we go.
hard can this be I just want 2 3/4 inches of the top! Shave the
handles and fill the bumper to frame openings.
Mark a few lines here and
That looks good, lets get
the party started.
Paint has got to
I forgot at this angle, 2
3/4" actually chops the windshield a little over 3 inches!
One of Craig's helpers
removing more paint.
Craig making sparks fly!
The back half is off.
have I done???
Okay... shake it off...
Let's see how she fits
Okay... it could be
worse. I knew as I dropped the roof down it would get
longer front to back.
and rather than stretch
the back window I opted for adding metal here.
This shot shows some of
the bracing we added to support the body while it was topless.
The top of the door and
windshield frame are still missing, so you don't get the full effect
of how much we cut out yet. Another thing with my car, was
neither door, was anywhere near "perfect" as far as fit and alignment.
That's probably the way it came from the factory. But I decided
to fix it while we were at it. We actually cut the ends of
the doors off and put them back on to get a better fit. They
"will" be perfect soon!
Just another shot of the
initial fitment. It actually was very close.
We'll leave filling the top till last. And I'm still
looking, real hard at all that height above the windshield and
doors... some of that may have to go!
another dusty angle.
and one from the back.
Craig stitching her up.
The right side.
After I downloaded these
pictures, I realized I didn't need a flash while taking pictures in the
Hopefully pictures will
get a little better now. Here's a few more views from the next
Not bad from the back
That fit together well
This shows how much longer it got from
front to back.
And rather than change the shape of the
back window I opted for adding metal here.
Filling in the top will be the last thing
we do, but I'm still thinking there is a lot of height above the
From this angle, chopping a little out of
the top above the windshield and leaving the back alone would give me
a little more rake...
The next several pictures are just
different angles of where we are to this point.
Again, the tops of the doors and the
windshield frame are not in so it's not real obvious how much we have
Tedious work tacking everything back in
place, so as not to warp the metal. Takes a little patience.
Now that's a nice cut'n splice.
Just looks "wicked" at this angle.
Made a little discovery here!
There was damage here, above this window the metal had been bashed in
at one time, and hammered back out. The whole are had been
leaded over and they had done a fantastic job. But for
welding, all the old lead had to come out, and the metal here was
really thing. This slowed the process down considerably.
Time to fill the top... but I did convince
Craig to take out more. I wanted to channel the top a
little, just above the windshield and door windows. To get the
rake the top needs.
A week later...
When we got ready to fill the top I decided
I wanted to cut a little more, so we made the opening a little bigger
cutting more to the front to eliminate all that height above the
windshield and give the car a little more overall rake.
The tops of the doors are on now too, so you get a better visual in
this side shot.
At this point we still have some shaping to
do on the top--just a little flat.
It took forever to get the shape right on
this side where the body damage had occurred just above the rear
window, but Craig was finally satisfied. We didn't use any
filler Criag did it "old school style" and leaded everything that
It may look like bondo but there's still no
filler at this point. Craig leaded all the seams back in
and what you see here is just a skim coat of Metal to Metal.
The passenger door had a little waviness we
didn't like, so I figured now was the time to see what was going on
under the paint.
A week later...
After stripping the passenger door, it
didn't seem like it would take that much to strip it cowl back.
And, there were a couple of ripples in the rear quarters we felt
Surprisingly enough, other than the damage
on the top right, this car was fairly straight!
Here's the cut out for my tail light
This is the tail light assembly with our
home made housing
The third brake light
My Rootleib one piece hood
Pretty proud of those flush mount LED's
Deck lid primed
Driver door still hanging in the paint
Waxing right over the taillights should be
Color sanding the passenger door
Color sanding the deck lid
Stay tuned! More coming.