Chopped Top - 1946 Ford Coupe



John & Linda Stanford - Towanda, KS


 The story goes, that a fellow had started on this project car a few years ago, but unfortunately had fallen ill.  He had prepared the chassis with leaf springs in the rear, a Chevrolet 10 bolt differential , disc brakes on the front and it was setup for a Chevrolet small block engine. He then sprayed the whole chassis assembly orange. The coupe body was de-chromed and the top was in the process of being chopped when the fellow got sick.  He was unable to finish the project, so he sold out the two 46 Fords he had.  One was a fairly complete flat head 6 cylinder  2-dr sedan and the other was a (no engine or trans) v-8 coupe.  

Another gentleman  bought the cars and later decided to sell both of them. I believe that the second gentleman thought that the 2-dr sedan would sell quicker if it had the modified chassis under it, so he switched bodies on the two chassis, placing the unfinished coupe on the sedan frame, and the sedan body on the coupe frame. The sedan now, would make a nice street rod or resto-rod project.  The coupe although setting on a complete stock 1946 chassis with engine, transmission and rear end intact, would require a lot more body work, being that the chopped top project was unfinished (which would scare off a lot of buyers). He felt that the coupe would require a buyer that wasn't afraid of extensive metal work..

And then along came ole John, a overweight, slightly pot bellied, white haired , street rod dude, custom car dreamer.  When John looked over the car, he saw a car that had a perfect floor, a straight body, minimal rust and a heck of a lot of potential. The rest is history in the making.  John is looking forward to getting down and dirty on the little coupe. John also received a 1947 frame with rear end and front end , a 47/48 Grille, a set of 47/48 front fenders and an extra gas tank in the deal. 


The main purpose of this project is to finish chopping the top, modify the garnish moldings, primer the car and then put it up for sale. The proceeds will go toward  parts and goodies for his 1951 Mercury Convertible project.


Here are a few of the pictures taken while John temporally stored the car at one of his friends places while he made room in his shop for the project.



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Well after John got the car home, his wife wanted a couple of pictures , so here they are below.


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The last picture was taken just 3 hrs after the car was unloaded from the trailer.


John did an inventory of the contents in the car after getting it home and found the dash, the '46 grille, the fender splash pans, the front and rear pans that fit between the body and the bumpers, and the front and rear bumper with brackets. The drivers door had already been chopped, while the passenger door had been chopped but not welded together. He also found all of the stainless that had been removed from the body as well as all of the the interior garnish moldings. The rear fenders still need to be picked up. About the only item missing at this time appear to be the door and trunk latches along with the hood hinges and running boards. Considering what John gave for the unfinished project...he is well pleased.


Here's a couple of pictures of the extra frame I received. I will probable set this frame as a new chassis for the coupe. I most likely will use a Ford  9-inch differential on leaf springs and a IFS front end with rack & pinion.

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As days pass I continued to sand on the body, so I could shoot good coat of primer on the bare metal. Once the primer is in place and know that the rust is not returning, I will begin work on welding up the body of the car.  

Here are a few shots of the body in primer. A couple of the shots were made after I had welded the chop-top seams.


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The previous builder started on replacing the passenger side inter and outer rocker. He had welded the from portion of the rocker in place at the cowl and door interface. The passenger side door is not on, and the rear door post is not welded to the floor pan. The body needs to be leveled on the frame so I can weld the passenger door rear post in place.


When  I started to mount the doors, I found that the lower mounting plates for the door hinge screws were missing. I found one old plate that two of the screws matched, so I drilled and tapped for the third screw. Using a piece of 3/8" steel plate, I then duplicated the missing mounting plate, reversing the hole pattern for the opposite door. Once this was done, I was able to mount the doors.


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Stay tuned! more pics and info to come!


Thanks for viewing!