Thursday’s Chops

In my younger years I always considered a Hot Rod one that had a chopped top.  In our little town we all learned how to chop tops, some not very pretty, some O.K. and once in while we would end up with a quality job.  After college I continued to admire cars with chopped tops clear up until the late 70’s when the resto-rod became the style of the times.  Lobeck changed all that with a black sinister looking Deuce sedan and maroon hiboy roadster, both of which really put me back on track.  I don’t think I would cut up a real nice stocker today but I sure would purchase a chopped car over a stock car in a minute.  Body manufacturers reproduced cars with chopped tops and made them available for a reasonable amount of money.  Today with the steel reproduction coupes a chop top will set you back $5-$10K depending on where you take it.  If you add the $25K for the body you can see why Walden charges the money his does for his 3 window coupe with the laid back front post.  In summary, chopping a top is not for an amateur, especially on an expensive body.

Over the years people have coined names for the chop tops.  Early dry lakes look, Bonneville look, leaned back front post, angle chop (front to rear) and street chop were all common terminology for the Hot Rodder.  In the 80’s several builders were only chopping the cars 1 inch or so.  I don’t know what they were thinking but someone thought the lines were greatly enhanced with the 1-1 1/2 inch chop.  I had Steve Davis chop my three window 2 inches and it really liked the look.  Lombardo (CSR) was hooked on the 2 inch chop and built a 34 sedan and 32 sedan delivery for his personal ride.  Paul Beck in MI did the rear door conversion on both Barry’s and Chuck’s delivery.  Today you can purchase the McRae kit and save loots of money.  Both Barry’s and Chuck’s car are still around and still look good.  The chopped top car is still very popular in most hot rod circles and in my mind well worth doing.

On a sad note, Barry Lobeck passed away today after a long battle with cancer.  He will always be remembered for his contribution to the “Ohio Look” hot rods.  He was blessed with a god given talent to put together some real trend setters in the Hot Rod world.  The industry will miss him and his cars.  Rest in Peace Barry.

Stay Tooned!


Bob Bauder built this  4 inch chopped sedan in the 80’s and it was a hit everywhere it went.  This car is still around and looking good.

The Rolling Bones built this B’Ville styled racer which is street driven and bad looking.  Note non-dropped axle.

RB also built George a nice model 40 B’Ville looing coupe.  I am not sure the height of the windshield but no cop could catch him anyway.  Rmember those days?

Rudy can build the B’ville look also as shown here in this recent Deuce 3 window.  The chop is street legal barely.

This 5 window is getting a big haircut to give it that B’Ville Dry Lakes look.  The front to back slope is evident in this photo.

SO-CAL, Pierson Bros. coupe really has the true maximum B’Ville profile.  I shot this photo at the NHRA Museum last month.

Here is a side profile of a very heavy chop.  The front posts become very difficult to make perfect and keep the door hinge pins in line with each other.

Cutom Auto built this sedan for Henry and it still sets me on fire with desire for a chopped sedan.  This is an angle chop 4″ to 3″ in the rear.  I like the cloth top insert with metal underneath the cover to keep out the wind.

This is a local car that is not chopped and I prefer the 33/34 sedan in a stock configuration.  Chopped ones seem to look squashed to my eye.  This is a primo body as shown in the bare metal surfaces.

Today’s Garage Scene…dreaming.

For those of you who requested a better photo of the Woody Tim is building…here you go.  Note neat installation of the A/C system on the inside of the inner fender panel.  Once the fender is installed you see none of this.  Tim fits the hood prior to installing fenders.  Note the nice fit of the hood which is a difficult task on a 40.

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