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Converting a 4DR Comander to a convertible

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  • Converting a 4DR Comander to a convertible

    I recently bought a '63 Daytona convertible. It is all there but pretty toasty and probably only usable as a donor car for pars. A while ago I saw where someone took a 4DR and converted it to a 2DR. I have front clipped a car before so the process is not new to me but the info would be helpful. Anyone have a link to that build or one similar?

    JK
    Attached Files

  • #2
    It is fairly easy to convert a 2 Dr. Hardtop to a Convertible.

    I have never seen a pic of a Lark done that way, only a Photo shopped '53 Commander HT "K" Body made into a 4 Door Hardtop, a different "Animal".

    There also are actual 4 Door Sedans with the roof cut off made into "Roadsters" but again, not what you are thinking.
    StudeRich
    Second Generation Stude Driver,
    Proud '54 Starliner Owner

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    • #3
      Or you could make it into a 3 door just to be a little different....
      Attached Files
      1949 Studebaker 2R5 half ton pickup...

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      • #4
        Originally posted by 50Champ View Post
        Or you could make it into a 3 door just to be a little different....
        In the late '50s, Ford welded up bodies like that and I suppose Chevrolet did also. However, the error was discovered when it was time for the interior. They never got out the door as completed cars, simply scrap.
        Now, for the last several years, the Veloster is built like that.
        Last edited by studegary; 09-03-2019, 10:36 PM. Reason: Incorporated Craig's correction
        Gary L.
        Wappinger, NY

        SDC member since 1968
        Studebaker enthusiast much longer

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        • #5
          Originally posted by studegary View Post
          Now, for the last several years, the Tiburan (sp?) is built like that.
          I think you mean Veloster.

          Craig

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          • #6
            Maybe your new convertable is worse up close, but it looks salvageable, and it might be less work than the four door conversion. In my opinion, it would also have more value. Good Luck with the project, whichever way you go.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by 3x2stude View Post
              I recently bought a '63 Daytona convertible. It is all there but pretty toasty and probably only usable as a donor car for pars. A while ago I saw where someone took a 4DR and converted it to a 2DR. I have front clipped a car before so the process is not new to me but the info would be helpful. Anyone have a link to that build or one similar?

              JK
              Ian Roussel on Custom Car Garage (Motor Trend TV) did a mid-50's Olds by converting a 4-door hardtop to a 2-door by finding a 2-door donor and using the doors and b-pillar from it.

              Closer to home - A young fellow I know turned two different early 50's Packard four doors into 2-doors by taking out the back door, moving the b-pillar back to a distance he liked and used a section from the rear door to extend the front door to fit. He used the remainder of the rear door to fill in the rear door opening.

              I helped him enough to know it's straight forward but not easy. There are a number of small details that will come up but time and sheet metal overcame them.

              The biggest problem is you still have a four door roof and that doesn't look right. The Packards Troy did were chopped and the rear of the roof laid down to meet it. They looked great. Converting to a convertible should eliminate this step but I'd want to use the convertible frame.

              I'd need to dig through the archives for pictures but I can tell you Packard should have built some like these two.

              Found one

              Before



              After

              Last edited by sweetolbob; 09-03-2019, 08:22 AM.
              , ,

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              • #8
                Originally posted by 8E45E View Post
                I think you mean Veloster.

                Craig
                I think that you are probably correct. I am not a fan of those cars. I guess that I did not remember the model correctly.
                Gary L.
                Wappinger, NY

                SDC member since 1968
                Studebaker enthusiast much longer

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                • #9
                  Many years ago, someone bought a bullet nose convertible. To his surprise, the top half of the convertible had been grafted onto a bottom half of a 4 door sedan bottom and frame. It appeared to be well done.

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                  • #10
                    If this concept interests you, I have been watching some guys graft the body from a rusty 61 Plymouth fury onto the pan, if you will, of a 60 Dodge four-door sedan. Their courage level alone is beyond anything I have LOL but, they have made it work! I think it is on part 21 of the series. If you want to see it, look up ‘coldwarmotors’ on YouTube. They actually have quite a few episodes and getting all kinds of derelicts running.
                    Proud NON-CASO

                    I do not prize the word "cheap." It is not a badge of honor...it is a symbol of despair. ~ William McKinley

                    If it is decreed that I should go down, then let me go down linked with the truthlet me die in the advocacy of what is just and right.- Lincoln

                    GOD BLESS AMERICA

                    Ephesians 6:10-17
                    Romans 15:13
                    Deuteronomy 31:6
                    Proverbs 28:1

                    Illegitimi non carborundum

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                    • #11
                      As usual the original point has been missed here. I saw a long photo bucket run of a guy that grafted a 2DR and 4DR to make a cherry 2DR. I do not believe it was on the forum. Does anyone remember seeing this on the internet in the last couple of years? I am not looking for other ideas, (although appreciated), I just want to find the old article. I have front clipped a couple of cars and helped a few others turn a hardtop into a convertible so the task is no issue. None were Studes but the concept is the same. The article would just be useful information. Anyone remember seeing it?

                      JK

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                      • #12
                        again, off topic !

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                        • #13
                          Yes, it is possible to covert a 4DR into a 2DR, and then into a convertible. But it would be easier to start with a 2DR, and much more sensible to simply repair, rebuild, restore the '63 Convertible, even if doing so requires a new frame. The finished product will be much more desirable and have far greater value. I have seen much worse condition converts restored from the frame up. Cobble jobs tend to remain forever unfinished.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Jessie J. View Post
                            Yes, it is possible to covert a 4DR into a 2DR, and then into a convertible. But it would be easier to start with a 2DR, and much more sensible to simply repair, rebuild, restore the '63 Convertible, even if doing so requires a new frame. The finished product will be much more desirable and have far greater value. I have seen much worse condition converts restored from the frame up. Cobble jobs tend to remain forever unfinished.
                            One would be better off starting with a two-door, as four door '63 Larks, Standards, and Cruisers have a longer wheelbase.

                            Craig

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                            • #15
                              If you do it don't forget drainage for any water getting past the rear windows. In a four door they drain out the bottom of the door, the two door.....I'm not sure how it gets away but there will be a gutter i imagine below the glass to catch the water and drain it outside the car.
                              Diesel loving, autocrossing, Coupe express loving, Grandpa Architect.

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