When we left you last month, veteran metalman Scott Guildner had cut the roof off of Carl Tucker's perfectly good Shoebox Ford in an effort to obtain visceral excellence. With 3 inches taken out of the back and 4 hacked off the front, the freshly lowered lid was tack-welded into place and starting to look really good. Of course, cutting off metal is the easy part when it comes to chopping a top. Getting everything lined back up again is the hard part, which brings us to this month's installment.
Because a car's roof tapers outward as it gets closer to the doors, the top was too narrow after Guildner cut off its foundation, so everything needed to be stretched, widened, and cut to fit. A few strategically placed nips and tucks had everything lining up like little kids in a lunch line, and a few bites with the tin snips provided filler panels for the edges of the quarter-windows, which restored the compound curve that existed before the chop.
Things are starting to get a little more tricky in this stage of the game, as a little bit of fabricating is required, but have no fear. Take on each step as a project in and of itself, and don't forget to tack-weld everything together with as little actual welding as possible. So, if there's a problem, a few touches with the grinder will start things over at step one. Now follow along as we widen the roof, suck in the tops of the doors, stretch the window frames, and patch the quarter-windows. Next month: the back window, finish-welding, and Bondo!
Guildner Kustoms 8011 Langdon Ave., Dept. R&C Van Nuys, CA 91406 (818) 709-2139