Chopping the top on a 1932 Ford five-window coupe is by no means a novel task. It's been done many times, many ways. So what's so special about this top chop? It's the first time the roof has been cut on a brand-new United Pacific Industries reproduction 1932 five-window body.
In fact, this is literally the first complete body to be released from the United Pacific facility. When Roy Brizio of Roy Brizio Street Rods in South San Francisco, California, told the crew at United Pacific that he was building a special project for Vic Edelbrock Jr. at his shop they hurried up production to provide Roy Brizio Street Rods with their first example of a completely reproduction body, from sheetmetal to wood framing.
As a longtime employee at Roy Brizio Street Rods, I have seen plenty of original Henry bodies come through the door. While having "real steel" makes for good bragging rights, the amount of time it takes simply to repair the damaged, rusted, or poorly modified areas of an original Ford body usually adds quite a bit to the cost of the project. Starting out with brand-new, unmolested sheetmetal is a welcomed break from the usual tedious repairs, and can actually save quite a bit of money in the long run.
As for the quality of the body, both the detail of the panels and the quality of construction are top-notch. The stampings are true to the original and the body lines and reveals are very crisp and well defined. Like the Brookville three-window body, this body uses some overlapped seams where Ford didn't have them, but these can be cut out and butt welded if you're a stickler.
Since Edelbrock Jr. is a classy gentleman (and tall), we agreed on a subtle 2-1/2-inch chop for this particular job. The end result makes for a noticeably sleeker, refined profile, but doesn't have the nasty attitude of a more severe chop. This month we will take a look at the beginning of this chop with the completion appearing next month. As you are reading this, the finished car is being photographed for an upcoming feature here in STREET RODDER. Keep your eyes peeled for the full reveal.