This is not my car, but it is in my garage, and all of my projects are on hold for the moment, so here’s an update on my friend’s 1931 Chevrolet 5-window coupe, which we dragged out of some guy’s back yard a few weeks ago.
This thing is, by any measure, an ambitious undertaking. It is a body (well, let’s be honest, parts of a body) and a frame. So all it needs is everything. Literally everything. The body is held together with tiedown straps and some of the old original Fisher Body Corporation wood.
Where would one begin on a project like this? Does it really matter? After a bit of discussion and a few beers, we decided that the body needed to be at least tied together in some manner so we could set it aside while we figure out suspension, drivetrain, etc. These early Chevrolets had most of their skeletons built of wood, including wooden floors, which rotted away over the decades. That is a primary reason that you seldom see one still on the road. This car doesn’t retain a single piece of its original floor. Just air.
The trunk is from a different car and will take some massaging to get it into place, but the trunk is not the primary concern.
The immediate goals are to:
- Replace the wooden body structure with steel
- Get the cowl tied to the main part of the body
- Make doors swing
- Channel the body over the frame
- Build a floor
No big deal, right? So we started with some body patch panels so we could get an idea of at least where the doors should line up.
I should mention that the goal is to build some sort of rat rod/traditional hot rod. It won’t have a bunch of skulls and parts made from PBR cans, but it may not have 100% period correct parts either. Just a simple, honest, drivable hot rod is what we are going for here.
Hey look, we’ve accomplished something. How do you eat an elephant? One patch panel at a time.
This car belongs to the same friend who helped me assemble the EV Midget racer. Those of you who have followed my less-than-illustrious Hooniverse career know that I’ve started with a body and a frame before – to what I consider great success. We keep telling ourselves that this is just like that…only bigger.