We started this project with an S&W chassis kit. We are trying to keep the funny car cage low. A handmade aluminum seat was required. Currently we are just putting up tubing and tacking up making sure it all fits!
The G-body designation was originally used for 1969–1972 Pontiac Grand Prix and 1970–1972 Chevrolet Monte Carlo personal luxury coupes.
The term “G-Body Shuffle” became popular in the drag racing community for the vehicle’s side-to-side motion of the rear end after taking off from the starting line. This was due to the car’s triangulated four-link rear end suspension, which caused uneven torque to the rear wheels under strenuous driving.
The photo above is an overview of this Malibu drag car after plates have been installed inside and outside of original frame. In addition, chrome moly tubing was welded side-to-side. Notice the torque box tied to tubing placed on the rear frame rails.
Below shows the frame rail fillers on narrowed frame rails to allow a bigger tire.
This drag racing Malibu had been doing the G-body shuffle for years and was breaking in half. Frame rails were cracked and had been patched numerous times.
To help tie things together — we bent up one more bar in the shape of the front of the torque box. Trailing arms go right back in and no suspension bind.
Like NEW and now ready for lots of horsepower.
This plate-up and bar-up tightens the rear of this G-body style drag car. This Malibu is going feel different off the starting line. Doing what we can to combat the G-body shuffle.
The vega wagon S&W chrome moly chassis came off the jig table for the final TIG weld up.
Currently we are putting all the parts back into the chassis for final tabs and electrical placement etc.
The wagon skin is shown below. We have been doing final trimming of excess sheetmetal and grinding and detailing of the inside of body and primer applied. Plus we made the front mounts for the Glasstek 6″ stretched fiberglass front end.
Next we will make the fuel cell mount, NOS bottle mount, fire system bottle holder etc.
The final chassis weld up is looking good.
Below shows the battery box is in. Now we simply need to setup the master shut-off switch mount and put the body back on.
The ’36 Coupe sheet metal fab work is nearing completion.
Time to tackle the dreaded . . . hole in the roof.
We had to cut the hole in the roof even larger to clean-up the edges and make it straight. We took some new 20 gauge steel and put it on the template, added an extra half-inch for the step around edges, and now it has a flush fit.
The roof panel needed support so we bent up some half-inch Chrome Molly tubing. We shaped the tubing into place, welded tabs onto the body so that the tubing had a landing pad for the roof frame to be attached.
This 1936 Plymouth Coupe originally came with just a round cluster in the center of the dash. Luckily the car came with extra parts – one which was a deluxe factory dash – so we opted for that.
We built the gauge clusters panels to fit and match the original style. The original gauges where square – but these look great and work within the budget. A clock, cigarette lighter, two ashtrays (one for driver and one for passenger) – this is going to be a neat car. We still have more work to do and it will look cool once we are finished.
Below are the custom exhaust headers we built for the 33 Plymouth Coupe. We just got them back from Cerakote Coating, plus we found a local stainless steel and aluminum polisher that dipped these Edelbrock Competition Merge Collectors . . . and they look amazing!
So then we got some zoomie pipe from Smiley’s Custom Headers and found some flanges on the shelf . . . and we created these custom zoomie headers. Usually zoomies on naturally aspirated engines don’t sound good – but this custom set sounds awesome.
At 79 years old this 5-window coupe needed some “reconstructive surgery” when we first brought it to the shop. Like any good plastic surgeon we followed the natural flow of the curves — to avoid that un-natural forced look.
This big booty is from our next project a 1936 Plymouth 5-window Coupe.
First we repaired the rear roll pan and widened the rear fenders 2″. We filled tailight holes, and widen the running boards 2″ at rear only – to match fenders.
Keeping it Real
Below is the driver side lower door skins, lower rear front quarter panel as well as the rocker were replaced — to keep it all steel.
The inside driver side sheet metal panels had to be stepped.
The inner door frame (the door skin pinches over) was swiss cheese so it had to be rebuilt. It’s shape is a double compound curve, achieved by stretching and bending.
The ’36 Plymouth has some great natural curves – like these huge wheel wells.
A custom narrowed Ford 9″ rear with disk brake on coilovers, with 355 gear and Posi and Moser 31-spline axles. . . adds durability.
Below shows the front disk brakes, tubular control arms and coilover front suspension.
The passenger side received the same treatment as driver side
The passenger side inside inner-door frame also had to be rebuilt. The inner rocker boxes were OK on both sides.
All good chassis fabricators knows that making each element look good and fit within the parameters of the project can be challenging.
When making any type of custom car parts we search of the optimum setup.
We recently made these wheelie bars for our ’33 Plymouth. We considered the wheel base, power, tire size and transmission choice for the proper length and height of the wheelie bars. An added challenge with this project is very tight quarters to work within.
These highly engineered wheelie bars look good – and should perform the same. We hope to bring the ’33 Plymouth to the Bristol TN Super Chevy Show in September.
The side canards have been tacked in place on this project. Once they are finalized they will mimic the curves of the car. Not only will it look cool – they will help increase the aerodynamics and air flow.
The forward exposed door hinge on the this 1936 Plymouth is not a good design, and nobody sells a door hinge kit for this car. But the car still needs two doors that operate correctly. This photo shows the completed upper door hinge we made — that should last forever.
Plenty of machining time was needed to build these inside upper door hinges. We also had to cut out the nut plate inside the door post because plates were stripped out.
Driver side bolted up, the hinge pivot points TIG welded, and now the driver door is swinging free and latches up tight.
DONE. . . driver and passenger hinges built and doors mounted.
Just another day . . . doing the impossible. . . for the unknowing.
Now on to the next project on the list, for our 1936 Plymouth 5-Window Coupe.
Anyone restoring a 1936 Plymouth Coupe can buy a fiberglass fender online. For this coupe that would not be the case. We are lucky enough to have a decent looking metal fender to start with. We are keeping the steel fenders and widening them.
This car will run a 275/60-15 tire that will be perfect for this street hot rod. This tire has a wide profile that will give this ’36 coupe that race ready look — yet it is a DOT tire.
This car is nearly 80 years old and has been stored for many years inside a storage unit, on a concrete floor. Many classics are not that fortunate. This will help keep the project moving along and within budget.
The final “hit list” on this 33 Coupe is getting smaller every week.
We started this 1933 Plymouth Coupe project 5 months ago — and with steady progress — we are nearing closure. This has been a great project for the iCanFab shop with lots of metal fabrication and welding!
In the photo below, you can see the sheet metal fabrication on the firewall is finished. Around the front window the tabs have been welded for the Lexan® front windshield we will be making.
This car’s suspension is very important. This Coupe will be a street car, yet at the track will be built to handle 1200 HP. Below photo we test fit front end with shocks.
The 33 Plymouth Coupe has this great grill, but the cooling fan we need is to big and heavy to simply zip tie to the radiator core. So we had to be creative and fabricate a mount system that became part of the grill shell.
The photo below shows lots of overall progress with the wiring; including placing of the brake system, wiring the entire car, engine, Nitrous Oxide System, vehicle lights and accessories.
The below photo shows the final sealing up of the firewall and behind dash is complete. Plus we just finished welding this mount we fabricated to hold the Racepak Digital Dash data system.
Monday we hauled this 36 coupe back from Florida. If you have ever driven I-95, usually – it’s not the “thumbs-up” gesture you see on the roadway. But this trip was a hoot. Seeing all those fellow drivers who appreciate this type of classic was great. Needless to say, we look forward to starting this all-steel 5-window 1936 Plymouth Coupe project.
We are in the final stages of mocking up the car, modifying suicide hidden door hinges, attaching grill shell mounts, radiator mounts, and stretching the hood to fit.
Below shows the trans tunnel and drive shaft tunnel are in. We had to split front drive shaft loop to make the drive shaft tunnel removable and serviceable. When this car is done – it will be a breeze to maintain.
New door hinges helped to smooth up the body lines with the suicide doors. It was a must to remove the original door hinges, which were external and hung outside this car body. The new hinges have been installed, checked and welded in. Strikers and locks will final final the doors.
Just a few months ago — this car was just a shell and a plumb bob. WE have done some fantastic metal fabrication. Steel tube, sheet metal and aluminum are are all in play right now. Here are a few action shots from today.
There are many factors to consider when building a hot rod or any street car by yourself. First of all, do you have the skills required to build your own car? Secondly, do you have all the tools you will need to finish the project? If you answered no to either question – you can buy this one complete in a few months.
Custom fabrication on 1933 Plymouth Coupe
In the photo below, we are sizing up for wheel tubs and cleaning up and trimming off excessive sheet metal, plus finishing up the anti-roll system.
These cars usually have the tires outside the body, and that would be a skinny tire.
This ’33 will have big block power and will need a bigger tire. To put on a bigger tire, we opened the quarter panel four inches. We sectioned up the old fender and re-attached it to the quarter panel. Then we filled in the blank spaces with hand formed sheet metal. The rear section of the fender was shortened and moved up, as seen in the below photo.
The goal is a balance of style and comfort.
Door bars and seat mounts make the interior of this ’33 Coupe small, as seen in the photo below. Since we had an aluminum seat laying around the shop we decided to take out the Sharpie pen to design a custom template for a bomber seat that would better fit the interior, and accommodate a larger driver.
Once we created the drivers seat to our liking – we made the passenger seat from the driver seat as our template.
Flat level and square to centerline.
The below photo shows final on anti-roll bar, 4-link bars, shock mounts and final on wishbone.
This 1933 Plymouth Coupe project will be a multipurpose Hot Rod once complete.
The project photos below document the chassis and suspension fabrication. When finished this Coupe will be a street car. You will be able to drive this car on the street. Plus when you feel like it . . . you can drive the car to the race track and make a few passes if you feel the need!
Engine placement is critical. Weight, balance, and the center of gravity — these are all important factors to consider.
The photo below shows the Floor X and drive shaft loops.
The photo below shows us sizing up a tire.
The photo below shows — we have room for Zomie exhaust.
Bracing is important also making it NHRA legal, as seen in the below photos.
Almost done adding tubing, just a few more pieces. See kids math does matter! Pay attention in school and you too can become a mechanic, fabricator and all-around Hot Rodder!
The chassis kit arrived in a few big boxes and included a pair of front frame rails; a pair of rear frame rails; bent 1-5/8″ round main hoop crossmember; upper and lower A-arm mounts; tubular Pinto rack-and-pinion crossmember and mounts; complete roll cage assembly; rear coil-over upper shock mount with tabs and hardware and one engine mount loop.
As seen here we are checking the wheel base. Upper control arms are not laying on frame rail to the shops liking with the seven degree of caster. . . so we will stretch. Wheelbase to be determined later.
As seen below — adjustments have been made — and we keep moving forward with the project. Efficiency is very important when trying to build a project on time, and within a budget.
Don’t fool yourself — planning is important — but being a professional machinist and fabricator is the most critical. These are all important stages of the chassis build and proper decisions and implementation need to be made — with confidence.
Everything in a custom street car needs fabrication – off the shelf parts just won’t do. Properly building a chassis and suspension, the headers, the roll cage – it all takes planning – and precise machining and welding.
Now that this JIG table is ready — Bring on our 33 Plymouth Coupe!
UPS arrived – and we received important parts to finally start the car. It should be today.
As you see below if you are looking for dzus fasteners – you may not find any locally because they are all on this car. You can see here the hatch back is removable – PLUS so is the tranny tunnel and all the center floor to the rear bulkhead.
Now just one more shipment – waiting on the front grill parts. Looking forward to a fun weekend at Bristol Dragway the Super Chevy Show.
This 72 Vega will be in the DOT (1/4 Mile) Sportsman Class at Bristol
Here is an update on the status. Everything is coming together – but it’s crunch time – and we are awaiting final parts to arrive. I just talked to our Canadian connection and hope our few hard to locate parts – like the grill valance – will arrive before Friday. Here are a few photos I took this afternoon in the shop.
All the sheet metal work, custom metal fittings and chassis fabrication are all done right here in our shop.
This is a 350 SBC and it looks HUGE in this car. Look how those custom exhaust headers fit so nicely and look so cool!