When I was asked by Chuck Barnes and the crew from Nostalgic Auto Body in Island Lake, Illinois, if I wanted to chop a ’50 Merc they were building, I replied with a quick, Heck yeah! I’d chopped a few cars over the years, but never a Merc.

They say that chopping the top and finishing the sheetmetal is only 40 percent of the job. Reworking the garnish moldings and modifying the windows typically takes longer than the chop itself. When I was wrapping up the chop on the Merc, we started talking about reforming the quarter vent windows to make them open and close just as they did from the factory. I knew there weren’t too many Mercs out there with operable quarter vent windows, so this idea was both challenging and appealing.

My own shop, The Tin Man’s Garage in Elburn, Illinois, specializes in design, metal shaping and fabrication, and chassis fabrication. Most of my regular customers come to me looking for unique ways to build and shape parts and pieces that sometimes seem impossible. This job took a lot of work and required a lot of careful planning and detailed modifications to make it work and fit properly--but I loved the challenge.

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The Tin Man's Garage, Inc
IL
630-262-0752