When it comes to metalwork, some jobs bring out excitement and ambition... while others lack even the slightest glimpse of luster. Items such as frenching, chopping, and shaving all have the benefit of adding that "edge" to one's ride that makes a hot rodder eager to hit the garage. Unfortunately, the flip side of that is the backbone of the metalwork industry; items such as patchwork, rust repair, dents, and dings. It's the type of metalwork that is the equivalent of opening your wallet only to find a stack of receipts and no cash! But, it's all part of the necessary evils to building one's ride. One of the major areas of this fundamental groundwork is repairing floors. Between road rash, rust, cuts, and much more, hot rods of all kinds end up needing some sort of repair work down south. In extreme cases, like this particular subject, a new floor is the only answer.
The key to any successful structure is a solid foundation, and the same goes for hot rods. In terms of the body of any vehicle, the foundation always begins with the floor; and when you're dealing with a media that often rivals Betty White in age, the flooring in a vehicle is anything but sound. The most common threat is the rust factor, but then you throw in the dents, crinkles, and the ever-changing landscape of a floor to accommodate the latest and greatest drivetrain of each passing decade and, let's just say things can turn awful sour real fast. For some vehicles, the aftermarket has conjured up a quick fix by offering direct replacement panel patches—even entire floors. But for other applications, it's still a one-off procedure.
Star Kustom Shop (SKS) has been in the process of radically changing a 1951 Chevy in various aspects. The latest venture, before any more creative metalwork can take place, is installing a new floor. As mentioned above, the floor of the Chevy has seen its time on the streets and paid a price in just about every imaginable way. The other problem SKS had is when they sectioned the Chevy and removed the top, the body shrunk and the floor stayed the same. Now at first thought that wouldn't seem to pose any problem. However, the kicker is the fact that the stock floorboard sits up high to accommodate a nice comfortable ride, which now leaves the passenger sitting awkwardly above the door line of the sectioned sedan. Not a complementing look. Couple that with the chaos surrounding the floor's condition and the only foreseeable—well most logical and well-suited, solution—is to fabricate a one-off floor for all the Chevy's needs.
When it comes to fabricating a floor, it seems pretty standard; create large areas of metal and plug them in. In a nutshell that's really about all there is, but the obstacles really set in when it comes to fabricating bends, breaks, transitions, and various rolls that are all vital to flowing and gelling with the landscape of the surrounding area. SKS is going to fabricate a one-off floor for the Chevy from 18-gauge cold-rolled steel. Throughout the process they will show how to "work" around the aforementioned obstacles, and employ a bevy of alterations to create a sound and strong structure. Being that the Chevy is receiving a 454 big-block and 700-R4 transmission, they will also be fabricating a new firewall... in other words, the Chevy is getting a complete one-off floor substructure. And oftentimes it's easier to start with a clean slate as opposed to trying to fuse two elements together. Keep in mind that even though the subject on hand is a 1951 Chevy, creating a floor is the same procedure regardless what make or model is on hand.