“You can’t teach an old dog new tricks,” or so it’s been said. While I don’t buy that in its entirety, I’ll agree that we’re less likely to learn new tricks while working alone as opposed to working with others. Recently, I had an opportunity to work closely with the expert metalmen of Hot Rods & Hobbies in Signal Hill, California. There, under custom reconstruction, is a stately ’48 Cadillac sedan. With its roof lowered an appropriate 2 inches, there is no interruption to the Caddy’s inborn bulbous flow—it’s working. Now some may be thinking that a chop of such short proportions is mild, and therefore would not require as much head scratchin’ as a more radical chop. But let us assure you, for the curvaceous Cad, with its detachable post hardtop conversion, 2 inches did not come easily.
To get this project started, Andrew “Surge” McClelland discards the guards. This is where
Along the same lines it should also be noted that the smaller detail refinements don’t necessarily come easily, either. Take the deletion of the factory bumper guards, for example. Here in the real world, the seemingly subtle smoothing of this Caddy’s lumpy bumpers will require more than the ol’ proverbial “shave”, as it’s called. On this car, the factory’s stampings, as you’ll see, have seams and large indentations concealed beneath the guards. Short of its supporting bracketry, this type of bumper is comprised of five major components: a center (also referred to as a face bar), two large ends, and, of course a pair of large, in-your-face guards. While they do “guard” the bumper from impending peril, to some degree, the prominent protrusions have a downplayed secondary function, which is to create a visual distraction as they cover up the ugly truth lurking below. Because the guards are where your eyes go, you’ll not focus on the fact that the three welded-together horizontal sections of the bumper don’t even line up with one-another. Well, all of that is about to change.
Next, bumper meets poster board and an outline of its current shape is drawn before any cu
Although we have an extra bumper to be used as a metal donor, it’s also been used as a bum
In order to prevent the loss of this bumper’s overall shape, bracing will be necessary. Wi