here's the chop performed in May 2018


start with some bracing to minimize body flex


then mark and cut the A-pillars


generously cutting out the rear window area


leaving a gaping hole


B-pillars are next


after the C-pillars are cut the roof comes off


instant convertible


aligning the A-pillars and checking drop and angle


to avoid porthole type short rear side windows


we'll cut out the whole side panel and move that backwards


steel bars inside the car support the wobbly roof


part of the c-pillar is used to fill the gap above the door


relief cuts at the base of the B-pillars and a ratchet strap to bend the posts in


checking comfy driving position...


trickiest bit obviously is the rear section


and that's the end of day one


finishing late with a barbie and a beer...


leaning forward the rear window area to match the roof curve


folding down the lower lip to avoid bump in the sail panel


roof panel filler piece


triangular patch panel is all it needs to finish the rear


nice flow of the roof line including the original drip rail swing to the rear mark the end of day two



puzzling back together the pieces of the door frame


with a lot of welding and hammering into position


making a rounded corner for rear side window


drop in a seat cushion...


...and have girlfriend check for cruising comfort


one doorframe each mark the end of day three and four



and then it's endless grinding of a zillion spotwelds


and li'l details like fixing the line of a door edge with welding rod


getting gaps kinda sorta straight


adding steel strips to the cut out C-pillar drip rails

to get a smooth flowing curve towards the rear


adding steel bars and patch panels to make the inside rigid as well


just never forget to step back and study the flow



but then it's back to work

like filling the welds on the pillars


and cutting down the inner window frames


the patient is bandaged with some glassfibre matting


the idea is to give the welds some extra strength

to avoid the bondo cracking all along the welds later on


not very traditional old school metal skillz kinda stuff like so, I know



so next I'm splashin' on copious amounts of bondo


the longboard surfin' sandman



ooooooooooooooooooooooo whadda dirty dusty kind uv'affair ooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo


then spray on some contrasting paint


and sand down with the longboard to reveal those low spots - cool unintentional patina effect


generally, I'm happy with the flow of the roofline


though I wish that drip rail would flow more with the roof line behind the rear quarter windows



lots more cool details as we go