APRIL 7, 2011: TO CHOP…OR NOT TO CHOP-THAT IS THE CAR GUY QUESTION

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Chopping the roof line on a vehicle is a hot button issue.

 

Some car guys believe that practitioners should be horse-whipped, while others believe that a custom roof line makes a vehicle look better-a lot better.

The Mason-Dixon line on this issue is a battle between original and custom philosophies.

 

But a chopped roof line has some other considerations that must be addressed beside the factory vs. custom argument.

 

This kind of custom surgery is similar to simultaneous heart and brain surgery on humans. It is incredibly complicated and dangerous. In the wrong hands, the patient may die in both cases.

 

A custom chop will involve removal of a roof and a big slice in the roof support pillars. The process will eliminate most shade tree artists because of its level of difficulty. A major screw-up means that an incompetent hobbyist may turn a perfectly good old vehicle into a parts car.

 

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A radical chop means that an owner may have a windshield with roughly the same visibility as a knight’s visor. The car show attraction of this kind of chop is not lost on the owner, but has he thought about whether he wants to drive it on the street?

 

Beauty is definitely in the eye of the beholder for this kind of chop. To some, it is a thing of beauty, while others think of it as the ultimate Krusty the Clown car.

 

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One thing is certain: a chop top ride has to be done right, regardless of the ensuing public reaction.

 

The welds have to be perfect and the rest of the logistics of the build have to be addressed. The most obvious alterations are the door pillars and the glass.

 

 

The pillars are one thing, but the glass is another beast. It will require a competent glass guy and a deep pocket. The cuts on curved windshields are a crap- shoot because the glass guy cannot guarantee success on the first try. You will pay dearly for every attempt to modify a windshield on a vintage vehicle.

 

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The best way to address a radical change to your vehicle by chopping it is quite simple: find out which shop has the best reputation for this kind of surgery in your area.

 

 

In our area we are lucky-one of the best already advertises with us.

 

Jim Sutherland

More chopped and unchopped rides at  https://www.mystarcollectorcar.com/

 

COMMENTS

ROBERT:”For an old school guy you might think I’d be against the chop. WRONG I love the look of the chopped mercury’s from the late 40’s & early 50’s. Those custom’s lead sleds we would go wild for back in the day”.

 

 

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