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1947 Dodge Model D

Kustom Street Rod 

 

 Built for :

Richard and Trica DeLaHunt

By:

 

Rich asked about a street rod and get one built to his families needs. First a small coupe was considered until we talked about Trica and 3 preschool children going on rod runs together. 

The Dodge was found in Northern Minnesota and came from Montana originally. Rich purchased the unit and brought to us. Two years and 1200 hours later we have the Dodge Kustom ready to go.  

Special features on this unit are the keyless entry which operates the front door locks and trunk. Dead bolt safety locks in the rear suicide doors prevent the door from opening while in drive or reverse along with 3 full shoulder harness belts. Full power window, locks, antenna, seats, air conditioning, cruise, tilt wheel, CD player and we even considered a rear TV. 

Enjoy reviewing the project. 

Harlan Goerger, Hot Rods by HG                                                                                       

This is the 47 Dodge as it came to our shop. It is complete and runs.

It had been painted several years ago and looked pretty good. Paint is deceiving, there was some poor body work underneath the unit.

The 47 had rear suicide doors and plenty of room inside the car. This unit can easily hold 6 adults.

The complete stock interior, most of this will go.

We decided to chop the top first and started by stripping the entire interior out. Then marks were made and measured out for the cuts.

Here the back is marked for cuts. Note the bracing in the rear window. A full width cut across the top is needed to move the rear window. The side vent window will also be removed to allow the roof to move.

More marks and more bracing. The interior is braced front to back and side to side as well.

The first cuts are the rear quarter window and center post.

Here the roof has been cut and is going back together. The roof is moved forward and the rear window is pushed down. About 1 filler is needed to fill the gap. Relief cuts are made to get the curve to fit.

This is before the rear window is lowered. You can see how much a 3 chop changes the car.

The back window and roof is welded in place. There was lots of hammer welding on the cross fill piece.

Now the quarter windows are cut and fitted back in. The challenge is to keep a smooth and usable radius on the corners. The quarter windows will open and close when done.

The roof is in place and the posts are being fitted. Really changes the profile of this car.

The body is pulled from the frame and all the hardware is pulled from the frame. The body is on a set of rollers and will be worked on along with the chassis.

The frame is mounted on our frame jig to keep everything in line.

A Camaro clip will be installed. The frame is marked out for cutting.

The frame is cut, cleaned and prepped for the Camaro clip. We had measured back until the two frames were the same width and cut there.

The Camaro clip is fully welded on and reinforced for strength. A full rebuild will be done on the front suspension.

The LT1 engine and trans is set in place and parts are fabricated .

We are using a Camaro rear axle with the full torque arm that runs from the rear axle to the transmission.

The torque arm had to be lengthened so we simply built a new one from tubing.

The LT1, Trans and rear axle with drive shaft is installed.

The frame horns were measured out, cut and capped.

We had the original radiator recored with a updated high performance core. Here the stock mounts are modified and mounted to the frame. Note the entire support bolts to the frame horn caps.

A look at the rear axle and suspension once it was painted. Coil over shocks provide the ride.

With the engine, trans, radiator and other items fitted, we can begin the engine and chassis wiring. We salvaged the original wiring harness and modified it.

The chassis is just about ready to go. Add the exhaust and some power and it might run.

Back to the body, the top is chopped and we are ready to cut some other things apart.

The dash is fully removed, this car is just a shell.

We did put the body back on the chassis to make sure the drive train would work and the radiator and front clip would fit.

Some work done on the roof, note the interior trim piece on the rear quarter window is fitted.

To the back of the car, we have to mock up a rear pan and there are no aftermarket parts for this car. A large paper template is made to give us a guide.

The rockers needed full replacement. They are fairly flat and pretty easy to fabricate.

Here the rocker panel is in place and ready to weld in.

The torque arm and drive shaft gave us problems and we had to modify the floor tunnel for clearance.

The rear axle needed some additional clearance as well.

The new tunnel in place.

The entire firewall was cut out and a full sheet of 16 gauge was cut to fit. This was fully welded in to the cowl and floor toe board.

This is the finished firewall after jamming it.

The Hagen Frenching units were used to change the headlights. We did not like the fit on this car and added filler pieces to smooth out the fender for the look we wanted.

Here the headlights are fully welded along with the park lights that were filled.

To the rear, Hagen fuel door is mounted lower in the fender and recessed Cadillac Taillights are formed and welded in. The old fuel hole is filled in.

This shows the Cadillac lens fitted and ground down.

The chassis is complete and fitted back, the firewall is done and jammed. Its starting to look like a runner.

With the front end and hood back on we can start with the front grill. First we formed the bumper to the body.

The doors are fitted along with the back fenders.

The rear pan had been rough fitted and made on an English wheel. It still needs some fine tuning for a great fit.

How it looks without the pan. The license plate is frenched in. This is one large rear end.

If you look close you can see the inner frame work for the grill oval. Sheet metal was cut and welded to form the oval shape.

This shows the oval grill opening. The entire front clip is welded together as one unit. Lots of welding and metal work to get this unit straight. Lots of old damage that had never been fully straightened.

Primer on, primer off, primer on, primer off.

The doors were modified to accept Nissan door handles with key pad access. A good location was determined and the units welded in.

The key pads control the door locks and windows on all four doors.

Here the Nissan latches and solenoids are mounted. We had to do a great deal of modification to the inside of the doors.

 

The rear suicide doors also have electric dead bolts that lock when the car is in gear.

The doors in filler work. With a chop job and the latch work there was a great deal of body work to do.

Drivers door is fully jammed, weather strip is on and all the wiring is installed.

The old dash will not go back in. We do need to use it as a pattern for the new one.

The new dash is mocked up and fitted. Steel tubing and 16 gauge sheet is used to make the new dash.

The new dash with gauges and controls mounted. It will be fully upholstered so we will not do any body work on it.

A shot of the new dash with the upholstery on it.

The car is assembled and the initial base coat is put on. Some flaws show up so more blocking is done to make sure they disappear.

The full base coat is put on and a coat of clear is layered on.

The Ghost flames are laid out and taped off. This takes more than a few minutes.

The painted car with Ghost Flames and glass fully installed. Now for the interior.

Loaded to go to the upholstery shop. It does run and drive.

The bucket seats, counsel, dash and door panels are done in a light colored leather.

This is one big back seat. Easily will hold three car seats.

Completed car with chrome rims, tube grill and leather interior. Power door locks, windows, seats, a full stereo system, safety locks on the rear doors that lock when in gear and a few more electronic go fasters.

 

With the LT1 this sedan is far more than a grocery getter!

Show time, this is the Toppers Car Show in March.

 

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