View original topic: JBCustoms Presents: Harlot. A Ď66 Beetle Chop.
phyregod Wed May 30, 2018 12:32 pm

This Beetle more or less fell in my lap. A dry, solid Ď66 with a couple dents and a million little dings. Iíd never considered building a beetle other than my wifeís Ď64. But itís here.. and iím Building it. I pulled the fender to fix the dents and figured iíd Do some shaving while I was at it. That kind of creatively spread like wild fire and I suddenly found myself mid-chop with a diced up beetle. I want to build something different. Thatís pretty hard being that these cars have been modified for decades. But.. stay tuned. I have some fresh ideas to throw out there! This car has become a platform to practice metalwork and fab. This lady is going to be poked and prodded a hundred different ways. Hence the name, Harlot.

The beginning:

phyregod Wed May 30, 2018 2:16 pm

Iíd bounced around ideas for how to Chop her, and how much. After googling a while and looking at different styles I kind of came up with my own. 13cm from the windshield posts which comes out to 11.025cm vertical. Iíve decided to go metric to make things easier all around.

I removed paint from the areas around most planned cut/weld lines. Easier to do it now than when itís in 100 pieces and all edges.

Windows and doors pulled.

Bracing added so the body doesnít move/collapse when I chop the roof off.

After much staring and dreaming and measuring.. Its time to start cutting.

Little snack!

Windshield frame split in two and dropped

B pillars measured and cut.

phyregod Wed May 30, 2018 4:24 pm

So.. Chopping the A and B pillars were child's play compared to figuring out this rear end.. I measured and stared for at least a week before cutting. I suppose this will be a modified Capella chop? Something like that. Hell, If it's original, lets call it a Harlot chop! 11cm vertical from the windshield and B pillars, back laid down to match.

Finally made a rear cut. This was measured a thousand different ways.

Cut all the way across the back. Only took half an inch here. Yup. Inch. Old habits die hard I suppose.

Inner and outer sides are cut. I plan on re-shaping that rear window.

The entire rear end is now cut loose save for these little bits by the decklid. They will act as a pivot while keeping the rear end in line.

B pillar removed, rear end initially Laid down.

Stretched the roof wider. I acutally ended up splitting the rear roof in two as well, as the stretch flattened the top a little too much. The framework here is what I had laying around, and honestly, it got a bit silly.

Used plywood to line up the window channels and clamped in place.

This is my finely calibrated laser cut marking device.

With... umm.. fine tuning tape. Screwed to the roof above Harlot.

High tech beetle choppin!

This poor baby.

Just had to do a little mock up. She's coming along! Pillars chopped, rear laid down! Now all I have to do is make it all fit and weld it up! Easy, right?!

rmh60bug Wed May 30, 2018 7:34 pm

Love it !

eyetzr Thu May 31, 2018 3:28 am

Love it. Mint, rust free, complete car fell into your lap & you felt the need to cut it up. Very nice. I can here the purists crying foul already. Looks great.

heywebonya Thu May 31, 2018 6:45 am

Wow, great progress and documentation. Bodywork amazes me!

phyregod Thu May 31, 2018 7:03 am

rmh60bug wrote: Love it !


eyetzr wrote: Love it. Mint, rust free, complete car fell into your lap & you felt the need to cut it up. Very nice. I can here the purists crying foul already. Looks great.

Yeah.. If this car were wearing its original paint I'd have shined her up like a pretty penny and flipped her. But the second paint job was awful and there was a few pounds of bondo in the roof. I think a tree fell on the car at some point. The driver door pillar was bent to the point that the door wouldn't shut all the way, etc. Its mostly rust free, has some little spots here and there I'm going to cut out and fix. I'd still felt bad for cutting her up. But.. No way was I going to sell this solid, weldable steel one and hunt down a mess of a rust bucket beetle to cut up. That would be pure insanity. And add months of work.

We do have a well cared for '64 as well. So maybe the purists can give me a little break.

vaughn bros. Fri Jun 01, 2018 7:11 am

Looks f'n great!😀

phyregod Mon Jun 11, 2018 10:36 am

Update! More work done. Lots of cutting, fitting, and modifying.

This is the driver door gap filled in from a piece of my donor roof. Looks like it isnít straight, but it is. Some fitting of the roof skin is needed before final bends and cuts are made.

I cut an 8Ē wide section from the front windshield. This will allow me to fit a donor piece with the full rear view mirror section centered up.

The windshield pillars need a tiny bit of fitting. A simple slice and some hammer work.

Donor roof skin. I cut off as much of the skin as I could. Placed the skin on the car and slid it around until I found the shape I wanted. The high point of the roof is in the factory location instead of shifting to the rear as you see with many chops. I didnít want that high back stanced hot rod look. Trying to make her smooth.

I cut the donor skin straight and square. (Chopped it off free-hand). Laid it on the roof, set the curves where I wanted them, clamped it up, and marked my final cut lines on the beetle. Then cut it. I was in the groove and forgot to snap pics of all of that.

Started tacking. This chop is 100% butt-welded. No lap welds. If iím Going to practice metal work, iíd might as well do it right. This will eliminate a ton of filler later.

Itís amazing how much the shape of the car has changed. Comparing the stock beetle (Alice) roof in the background to Harlotís.

This is where I left off. It was pushing midnight. Tacks were done from the outside corners in, as I can adjust the gap in the rear window frame. Otherwise iíd Have started in the middle and worked my way out.

vaughn bros. Mon Jun 11, 2018 4:40 pm

The sign of pro. This top is going to flow great.

MR71TRANSAM Mon Dec 24, 2018 6:37 am

Would Really like to see how your project looked Finished!

Rick H

ALB Wed Jan 30, 2019 1:37 am

Very cool! Have always loved chopped bugs. Any updates?

finster Wed Jan 30, 2019 3:05 am

cover up the blue beetle when grinding! :shock:

vaughn bros. Sun Aug 18, 2019 6:00 am

Update us!😀

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