Nothing infuses life into a stock body better than some well thought out restyling. A perfectly executed chop not only adds edginess to your car’s personality, it also forever changes its overall look and attitude. Regardless of whether you decide on a mild chop or one that gives your car a hammered to death look, one commonly overlooked facet of the job revolves around how to finish off the inside.
After the 6-inch chop on Dick DeLuna’s ’34 Ford five-window coupe, the garnish moldings we
All you need to do is take a close look around when you are walking through an event and you’ll see many chopped cars with nicely completed exteriors. Take a peek inside and many times you’ll notice the lack of garnish moldings around the inside of the doors and window openings. Many times it was because the bodies when purchased never included the moldings and locating originals is akin to finding a diamond in a pile of rocks. Other times it’s because it always seemed like a lot of work to re-proportion them to fit their newfound openings, something they were never intended to fit.
In either case, thanks to the Internet, locating replacements is a lot easier than in the past, especially with manufacturers like Brookville Roadster and Steve’s Auto Restoration now offering steel reproductions for 1932 and 1934 Ford three-window coupes and Waddington Street Rods offering them for Model A pickups. On a recent visit to Rolling Bones Hot Rod Shop in Greenfield Center, New York, we came across Dick DeLuna’s freshly chopped ’34 Ford coupe ready to have its garnish moldings reworked to fit their reconfigured window openings.
To get started, the factory gusset located at the bottom section of the A-pillar was marke
Before getting started, Keith Cornell of Rolling Bones media blasted the gennie garnish moldings to uncover any potential issues. Once blown clean, he proceeded to hang the moldings inside the car to get a look at the amount of reworking required to make them fit. To begin, a measurement of the stock molding B-pillar height indicated it was 13 inches from outside to inside. A measurement of the chopped window opening at the B-pillar was 7 inches, confirming the 6-inch chop.
Cornell then proceeded by first removing the A-pillar molding gusset by peeling it back with a hammer and slim chisel, then removing the balance with a pair of side cutters. He followed by grinding the area clean to eliminate the factory spot welds with an air-driven grinder topped with a 40-grit disc. Next he measured 1 inch up from the garnish molding base on each end and marked it with masking tape. Using a 4-inch cutoff wheel, he separated the garnish molding from its base and followed by removing the remaining 1-inch stubs at each base.
With the base of the garnish molding anchored in a bench vise, he began the process of reshaping the openings on each end to accurately allow each upright to slide back into place while using a combination flat and half-round hand file. This is one of the more time-consuming areas to rework as it takes time to finesse the opening configurations requiring the upright to be set in place numerous times before it’s perfect. With the openings reshaped, he lowered the uprights into the base one final time to ensure the contours were well matched.
Beginning with a hammer and chisel to break the first spot weld, the gusset was gradually
Keith Cornell of Rolling Bones Hot Rod Shop marked 1 inch above the fore and aft base of t
Here you can see the split door garnish molding ready to begin its transformation.
Cornell proceeded with the 4-inch cutoff wheel (while wearing protective eyewear) and remo
Using a combination half-round and flat file, the A- and B-pillar areas are reworked by gr
In this close-up you can see the nice fit of the upper garnish as it meets the base.