Wednesday’s Bonneville, Salt, Street Coupes

I normally have never been interested in the hard hammered Bonneville style coupes and sedans. I figured they were very difficult to drive on the street and in our state — illegal. The Rolling Bones company has changed all that. They have attracted many Hot Rodder’s looking for something different from a fully equipped state of the art cruiser that shines with chrome and high end paint jobs. Yes, the early looking Hot Rods that come out of the Rolling Bones has the look that has become popular on coupes and sedans being driven on the street. Hard hammered does present some problems but the owners endure the difficult vision and comfort problem with the smile on their face when they pass someone on the street. I know several owners of this style of Hot Rod that have driven their cars across the country more than once. I must admit, I love looking at them and the unique style that the Rolling Bones incorporate in their builds. They have brought forward the true Bonneville style Hot Rods using some excellent engineering from the past with some of their own from today.

The demise of Bonneville for the time being hasn’t put a stop to building the Salt appearing coupes and sedans for the street. I think both the younger and older crowd enjoy building these cool Hot Rods and will continue to do so. Most, but not all, start with a fairly rough body and make it into a racer with heavy hammered tops and laid back front post or in roadsters a laid back windshield. The heavy chop 5-6″ usually are really difficult to see out of and could get you a ticket in LA. The conservative 3-4″ are very drivable and more to my liking but still can have the look with the laid back front posts. It takes a real excellent metal man, like Rudy of Fullerton Fabrication, who specializes in Model 40 hammered tops. There are others that have the eye like the Rolling Bones guys as well as several more. Not a job for the amateur metal man.  I have some examples of these Model 40 coupe builds to share with you today. For the fellow that ask me the question, these should give you some ideas.

Stay Tooned!



The rear has the look I love in a Hot Rod. When you follow this car you will feel your heart beat a little faster.


The 3/4 profile of the Bonneville style coupe really excites me and requires a closer look.


The laid back front post looks about right to me and matches the slope of the grille and louvers. The car is very drivable.


By contrast this heavy hammered and laid back front post would present a driving problem for most. The look is truly a Salt Flat racer profile.


This one is very drivable and has a similar look without the laid back front post. I like it.


Rudy has finished this one from above and it screams Bonneville Salt Racer and street driving Hot Rod.


Here is another heavy hammered coupe with the look for the Salt.


Shaping the top takes some real talent to make it look correct.


The conservative 2-1/2″ looks good also but doesn’t have the laid back front post style.


Warren built this 34 coupe and chopped it a couple of inches for a nice street looking coupe. Flawless work inside and out and metal finished to perfection.


Larry has owned this coupe for many years and is always a crowd pleaser.


The 60’s look is the style that never goes out of style. Features in RJ along with Billy’s 34 coupe.

car pics 004

Another mildly chopped coupe that is a real high school Hot Rod.


Rudy had this one in his shop when we visited him a couple of weeks ago.


I like hammered 5-windows coupes like this one which is drivable, raceable and beautiful.

frame pictures and chop pictures 015-1

In process coupes show the amount of work involved to lay back the post and make it look right.


Sometimes the top is dropped really low and makes seeing out the windshield difficult.


Here is another one under construction at Joker Fabrication. The amount of the chop is up to the owner/builder but once it’s cut it is hard to add back material. I have seen the Kennedy Boys do it.


The front post have been laid back to meet the heavy chop and forward rake of the top on this 5-window. Lots of skilled metal work.


I like this clean 34 with steel wheels and bias tires.


Not often seen is the gas tank cover added to the rear. I like’m but shortened.


This is a recent build and is very well thought out Hot Rod.


A track nose 34 has the racer look.


Here is one chopped with straight post and top hinge removed.

coupe 4

The Bonneville look with heavy chop and laid back front post. Take your choice.


Long time builder of some neat cars is Billy Vinther who has owned this beauty for many years.


George’s, RB built coupe, making it go fast at B’ville. He also drives it on the street.

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