The metal magicians at Steve's...
The metal magicians at Steve's Auto Restorations made a host of changes to Roger Hill's '39 Chevrolet. While some modifications are dramatic and others subtle, all blend together perfectly and none were made just for the sake of change.
Every once in a while you run across a car that makes you do the classic double take; a car that's so stunning you have to study it to figure out why. Such is the case with Roger Hill's '39 Chevy. There are a ton of modifications, but they're all so well integrated that no single modification becomes the focal point-everything about it is right.
As the team at Steve's Auto Restorations (SAR) explains it, this project started off with minor rust repair and a chopped top as the goal, but as often happens one thing led to another. The body now sits on a Morrison chassis with IFS and power rack-and-pinion steering at one end, a Strange rearend on triangulated four-bars at the other, Wilwood disc brakes at all four corners, and a 409 underhood, the sedan will ride and handle, and go and stop with the best of them, but we're getting ahead of ourselves. We'll get into all that in the future.
Of all the changes, the chopped...
Of all the changes, the chopped top and the slanted B-pillars are the most noticeable, however there are several other modifications that improve the car's look while being so well integrated they go almost unnoticed-the wind wings have been removed, quarter windows have been shortened, rear window leaned forward, and the taillights have been lowered.
Of all the modifications SAR made to the Chevy, one of the most spectacular is the chopped top. A time-honored tradition, when properly done nothing makes an early car look leaner and meaner than a lowered lid. Unfortunately, with some cars, like two-door sedans, the process can be challenging at best and disastrous at worst. Like chopping a triangle, taking anything off the top makes it difficult to reunite the severed portions. Typically, lots and lots of slices are made to the rear of the roof and the A and B posts to reunite the top to the body but often contours that result, leaving much to be desired. Another method is cut across the top and stretch it lengthwise with a filler piece, but here again the contours are often compromised and the top will end up with a flat section in its profile. Then there is the method used by SAR, they built new panels where they needed to make sure the shapes were exactly what were desired not just what resulted when the mismatched pieces were reunited.
There are many more modifications to discover; we'll be following along as the slick Chevy gets closer to completion in early 2011. Until then, study the subtle simplicity that is so complicated to achieve.