Above: (left) a non-channeled '28/'29 Ford Model A Coupe. (left) a channeled '30/'31 Ford Model A Coupe.
Just like top chopping was born in the pursuit of speed, channeling a body over the frame rails started on the Dry Lakes and drag strips. It was a way of lowering the center of gravity on early coupes. The look became popular with Rodders as a way of covering up the exposed straight frame rails on Model A Fords.
All pictures above are from Eastwood.com
In the above gallery we can get a good idea of what is required to channel a Model A Ford Coupe. (Picture #1) bracing is key to ensuring the body doesn't collapse after the floor is cut out. (Picture #2) Cutting the floor out (Picture #3) The process of rebuilding the floor at a higher level than the stock one. (Picture #4 & #5) The finished height.
Going for a certain style:
Above: (first) a channeled Coupe (second) non-channeled or "Highboy" coupe (third) a channeled coupe (fourth) non-channeled or "Highboy" truck
Channeled cars have a low down and mean look, that you do not get with a non-channeled or "Highboy" type Hot Rod/Street Rod. Like all of Rodding, it's largely up to personal taste. Both build types will go through cycles of popularity. Right now, Highboys seem to be what everyone is building, but in a few years the low-down look will gain popularity again and we will see the trend return.
A channeled 1929 Ford two door sedan. Named 30 Days or Less the car was built by Ricky Bobby Rod Shop in Manchester, TN. Photo Courtesy of: Ricky Bobby Rod Shop Facebook
The two door sedan above was channeled over a newly constructed frame. Other major modifications include a drastic top chop. In order to keep the proportions correct the car was shortened at the rear windows.
The 2017 GoodGuys Hot Rod of the Year winner. A '31 Ford Coupe. Photo Courtesy of: GoodGuys
Just to throw you guys a curve, this is a '31 Coupe with a '32 Ford grille shell, setting on the more attractive '32 Ford frame. This variation is attempted by people who want the room of a Highboy, but do not want to see the rather ugly Model A frame rails. Again, it's all up to what the owner wants!
Sliced and Diced
So what do all of you think about this crazy custom modification? Is it justifiable to achieve the correct look? Think, "NO WAY MAN! that's way too much work!"? Think all cars should be kept as close to stock as possible and if they can't be concourse correct, then they should be saved for someone willing to put that kind of time and money into them? Have a Custom/Hot Rod term you want me to define? Tell me all about it in the comments! I hope this helps you all gain a little more insight into the Custom and Hot Rod scene! Be on the lookout for these kind of rides while you Keep on Cruisin'!
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