Over the years I’ve owned the Purple Pig ’49 Chevy, especially when it was on the road, I’ve always wanted to do something about the “plain” rear bumper. I felt it needed something a little more elaborate to add extra styling, as well as a little more chrome, to the rearend of the car. A few months ago, I stumbled across a mid-’50s Oldsmobile in my local late-model junkyard. After a few hours with wrenches and a hammer and chisel, the grille was mine for a paltry $18. I figured it’d make a neat addition to the ’49, with the exhausts exiting through the oval sections.

To make it more of a feature, as well as an attempt to slim it down a little, I decided to recess the rear panel and form it around the Olds grille. (That’s why the centersection of the panel and floor I installed last month weren’t fully welded, and why the latch mount was only tack-welded in place.) Once I had the center of what would become my new bumper mounted, I could tackle the ends of the bumper. My Miller Spectrum 375 X-Treme plasma cutter proved its worth in trimming the old Chevy bumper end sections to fit up against the Olds grille. Using the plasma took minutes instead of something that would have taken much longer to do neatly using a grinder and cut-off wheel, especially as I had to sneak up on the final cut, trimming small sections away until I achieved the fit and look I was aiming for.

I took the opportunity to move the bumper ends closer to the quarter-panels, and also welded up the old mounting holes. With new side mounts welded to the backside of the bumper ends, all I have to do now is fabricate a couple of mounts to replace the old bumper brackets, between the quarters and the chassis. You’ll notice I mounted the Olds grille directly to the rear crossmember, rather than on brackets that would give a little. I did this for two reasons: mainly so the bumper wouldn’t move around and scratch the paint on the edges of the recessed rear body panel, but also, as the car is so low, and the bumper is its lowest point, if it ever gets hit, I have a feeling the bodywork will take the brunt of an accident, not the bumper, so there’s no need for it to be fitted on sprung steel brackets! Now I’m one step closer to completing all the sheetmetal welding, and rapidly approaching the body prep and paint stage. Finally!

SOURCE
Miller Electric
1635 W. Spencer Street
Appleton
WI  54912
920-734-9821
http://www.millerwelds.com
HarborFreight
3491 Mission Oaks Blvd
Camarillo
CA  93011
800-444-3353
www.harborfreight.com
Summit Racing
Akron
OH
800-230-3030
330-630-0240
http://www.summitracing.com/
EMS Automotive Products
Cleveland
OH
http://www.emsautomotive.com