I've had this build in my mind literally for years. After I sectioned a '62 Lark at the bottom, I wondered what other bodies that method would work on. The '40 soon came to mind. One thing I don't like about fat fender cars being sectioned at the top is the hood gets sectioned too. To me, it gives the car a bloated fender /tiny hood look. I decided that my section would be different and subtle. I wanted it to be hard to spot. I also wanted a fairly subtle chop. I decided to do three and three with the section and chop. So, I cut strips of tape 3 mms wide and laid them out on the body where I wanted my cuts and marked them. I traced the wheel openings on tape, cut them and placed them 2mms higher and marked them.
As I was doing the section work, I was thinking about the chop and how I really didn't want to do the same chop I did on another '40 I built years ago. I decided that instead of lengthening the roof like I do on a typical chop, I would lean the C pillars forward. All of the cut lines got changed! After studying what I wanted to accomplish, I decided to attack half of the roof at a time. My first cut was across the roof in line with the vertical door lines. On the A pillars, I cut them as close to the bottom as possible. I took out the 3mms from the A and B pillars and glued the front section back on. Then I cut the rear section away cutting across the tulip panel and horizontally at the bottom of the C pillars. I began trimming away the C pillars to make the roof section lean forward until it met the front section. The rear roof section ended up needing to lean 2-2.5 mms. I wasn't liking the shape of the quarter windows as I was test fitting. That was when I decided to convert it to a 3 window. Never seen one before. So, I thought why not? At the worst, it'll be trashed and I'll have a bunch of parts. I filled in the quarter windows oversized and then planned the shape for the rear of the doors. I made the window frame lean at the same angle as the rear of the C pillar. After I got the shape set, I scribed in new door lines, filled the old ones and added new drip rails. Sorry, I didn't take photos of the process. I can mark the cut lines and take photos if anyone wants to see how it was cut up. Here's where it's at at the moment.
Love it. That sneaky section job is just the right amount--it takes the fat out, but doesn't wreck the proportions. Still, the roof starts to look too tall...but then you chopped it, bringing everything back into balance again. I thought I would notice the rear fenders missing that material on the bottom, but once the wheel arches are re-radiused to compensate, everything looks normal again.
This is an ambitious project, glad it turned out rather than becoming spare parts! Looking forward to seeing more
Roger, I’d really like to see you mark the cut lines and take photos like you mentioned. This is working so well and looks just right, I rarely like chopped ‘40s but you’re making it work. I think it was you that did a subtle chop on a ‘40 sedan not long ago that I really liked, man you’ve got the touch!
"Asps.....very dangerous.....you go first." -Sallah
Thanks Chris and Kerry! Kerry, when I get this first round of primer sanded off, I'll mark it and take a photo before I shoot it again. I couldn't wait to get primer on it. All I kept seeing when I looked at it was that filled in quarter window. I had to see what it was really going to look like. I added louvers to the hood and fenders. The plan is to use the Buick Nailhead from the '29 roadster. I haven't decided if I will use the fuel injection or carburetors yet. I have the interior sectioned. Still have to do the door panels. But, the hard part is done. I added the windshield gasket and the height of the windshield doesn't look right now. Especially when I compare it to my other chopped coupe. Anyone know what the stock height of the 40 coupe is? Here it is in the first coat of primer.
There's a big difference in the height of the windshields. My sedan has a taller windshield also. The gasket I made may be a little thicker. But, it isn't THAT much thicker. I'm concerned about raising it to look better because it may cause an issue with the brow of the roof. I can make the gasket a little thinner. But, not enough to help. The brow is different between the kits. That may be the issue. I need to figure out which one is closer to actual.
Despite the windshield issue, this is looking very good so far. Converting it into a Three Window was a great idea and the modification is done very well. That subtle sectioning looks just perfect as well. Like you said, it's not easy to see what has been modified and how much. This is a very interesting project.
I like the shortened windshield actually...the chop has a forward lean, so it makes sense to not have a super-tall windshield. Gives it that aggressive hot-rod look. I like how it looks with running boards too!
Post by Bernard Kron on Mar 11, 2019 11:29:20 GMT -5
I agree with Chris. If you look at the side view in the primer shots the door window has a forwad taper to it. The extra weight of the windshield surround draws the eye forward and emphasizes the forward lean and adds "heft" to the overall look. Adding the louvers, especially the little detail louvers behind the wheel openings, serves to emphasize a more "meaty" hot rod look. I think it looks great. Keep it sez I!
I figured out what the issue is with the windshield. The problem is actually at the bottom instead of the top. The bottom of the windshield/cowl is on a higher plane than the top of the door/bottom of the side glass. I'm going to thin the gasket a little more. But,that's all. I could fudge the bottom of the windshield and doors each way. But, it wouldn't be worth the effort IMO. I have the body ready for final primer and I marked the cut lines before I did the final sanding.
You're welcome Kerry! This chop will work even if you want to keep the top as is. But, it will change the shape of the quarter windows somewhat. I think it will work fine for a custom. Especially if one canted the B pillars slightly.
This build is quickly turning into a pain in the ass! I had the chassis all glued together, sanded and ready for primer. Grabbed the Nailhead to check the fit. I thought it fit in the '29. Shouldn't take much to make it fit the '40? Wrong! I had cut out the X member out and totally rework everything! Once I got the engine fit to the chassis, I checked the fit to the body. Shit! I had to rework the pulley setup and relocate the alernator, grind a bulge in the splashguard, move the radiator forward as well as cut down the height and grind down the trans tunnel. I do have it back together. But, it killed most of the day. Then today, I realized that I'm going to have to rework the door panels too. Longer door means a longer door panel. Trying to decide if I'm going to totally rework them or just move the door line and sand the detail off the bottom and cut new lines in. Either way I go is going to be a pain! I have to keep telling myself that it will pay off in the end. But, at this rate, I don't know if the end will ever get here!
Oh no! Sounds like one of those projects that just grows and grows until it's outta control. You'll get there, just keep picking at it! This must be the Revell nailhead, right? The AMT '40 Ford kit's nailhead has a ford-style trans and will fit the engine bay, but the Revell piece is bulkier.
I have a back-burnered '40 project with a Cadillac engine and it was shocking how much work was required to make the Caddy fit...frame, firewall, interior all had to be modified and with the Revell '40's multi-part construction it was a fiddly business. It kinda burned me out, honestly. Put it back in the box and I'll get back to it eventually.