1952 Chevy Truck Chopped

My good friend John started off with a clean dry Colorado body on this project, with no motor or transmission. An S10 was purchased to swap the body over and at the same time install a simple air bag suspension with 4-link and panhard bar. During the body swap we got to thinking how much nicer this truck would look with a proper roof chop. We didnt want to remove too much, so it was decided to remove however much was under the back window, therefore having all the glass looking equal. Dont be fooled by the size of the cab, this chop top can take as long or longer than sedan, the roof needed to stretched out after the 3″ chop and cab radius matched up. Once that hurdle was passed we turned to stripping the rest of the body parts to bare metal for epoxy primer. Any needed rust was repaired and a few other body panels got cleaned up, such as shaving the firewall for a smooth look and removing exterior door handles. The body made its way back onto the frame who by now had a hot 350/350 combo. The truck was put back together and made into a driver, it was enjoyed and cruised around from show to show all the while more kustom touches made their way onto the truck. The running boards were extended at the front to meet the fenders, 53 Buick headlights were Frenched in, the two piece hood was made one with a small peak and even full fender skirts were fabricated from scratch. At the time the truck could be seen and its many tones of primers. We always had the intentions of “finishing” it up nice one day…

 

So phase 2 as we like to call it, brought the truck back to the shop minus the 350/350 combo as it was more hot rod motor than a cruiser. The plan was to now put an LS series motor for a more modern feel and help the fuel economy. The body was once again removed and all previous work was “finalized” as well as some work we intended to do such as the 51 Buick dash, column and 53 Buick steering wheel. This also gave us a chance to go over the frame and freshen it up, not only with some new paint but we upgraded the airbags to Slam Specialties and turned to Accuair for their E-level management system. Everything was plumed to look factory and provisions made for the 5.3L and 4L60E trans. We even decided to have a pair of 53 Buick Skylark wire wheels restored for the front of the truck. The body received some SPI epoxy primer thanks to Manny at Tropical Glitz and we finalized all the body work best as we could. The color was chosen and mixed up, a 55 Porsche color called Turkish Red. Every part was painstakingly hung and sprayed with SPI sealer, Sikens single stage and finalized with SPI Universal Clear. With the frame freshened up and the new motor sitting on it, some dressing up was done to match the rest of the truck and before you knew it body parts were finding their spot again. All new glass was cut from laminated safety glass and every new seal available was installed. Nostalgic Air provided us with the new A/C system that we stealth mounted so it does not conflict with the timeless styling of the 51 Buick dash. A stereo system was also hidden out of sight for your I-phone use and even power windows were installed using original window cranks as the up and down switch. The interior was handed off to hot rod icon Jeffrey Phipps who turned out some nice 4″ pleats on the modified bench and fabricated aluminum door panels. The carpet was handled in shop and edges bound by Phipps to match the seat. A nice feature we typically integrate in all these old trucks is a tilt oak hardwood bed. This gives us access to all rear suspension components for ease of service and also hides the gas fill neck. So now we have an old 52 Chevy truck that has been chopped, Frenched and kustomized to look as if it could have been built in the early to mid 50s, while its riding on a modern chassis with modern drivetrain and suspension. It sure brings the best of both worlds if you ask me.

  • stock cab (roof paint removed)
  • 2.5
  • first cuts by hacksaw
  • lid removed
  • stress cut for a-pillar alighnment
  • a-pillars alignment
  • rear section removed
  • rear section removed stock back glass
  • alighning rear section
  • stock size back window opening
  • two halfs rejoining
  • door tops mocked in place
  • door tops being grafted on
  • lead work
  • lead work
  • high build primer
  • high build primer
  • roof primer blocked out / cab bare metal
  • bare metal preping for epoxy / primer
  • epoxy primer
  • epoxy primer
  • epoxy primer
  • epoxy primer
  • firewall shaving
  • firewall shaving
  • new floor pans
  • trans tunnel sheetmetal work
  • s-10 frame 4-link
  • air tank modified & mounted
  • rear drum rebuild
  • rear end installed
  • single stage gloss white motor / trans
  • test fit cab / motor on frame
  • motor / trans installed
  • assembled chassis
  • cab mount spacers & rubber
  • assembled chassis w/ borla exhaust
  • booster / trans crossmember fabricated
  • assembled chassis
  • assembled chassis
  • stock bench lowered & chopped
  • all mocked up ready for test drive
  • all mocked up ready for test drive
  • first drive to the gas station!
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comments

One reply on “1952 Chevy Truck Chopped

  • Ulf Christiansson

    Hi !
    Great “how to” series of pictures , Im planning to do the same topchop job on my -52 Chevy pu 3w . Thanks for showing !
    Best regards Ulf Christiansson

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