As I mentioned in one of my previous blogs, I had a freind in high school who shortened a Corvair by 36″.
I also cut the inner rocker panel frame but did not cut it out. I bent it in slightly so it would fit over the existing frame on the forward end. It would help with the structural integrity of the unibody. Along with that I decided that rather than cutting a clean line across the floor panel I would stager the cut at the hump also helping to improve structural strength.
I had installed supports underneath to keep the car from falling into two pieces and now it was time to fit it together. It was my lucky day! I grabbed the rear bumper and literally just pushed the two sections together. The frame on Hornets, Concords, Gremlins and Spirits tapers slightly from front to back so the extended inner rocker frame slid perfectly over the forward frame. I put some screws in the side frame and started welding. The roofline was a little more challenging but worked out fine with a little massaging. I built it about 20 years ago and was on a tight budget. After shoring up the frame and welding the opera windows back into place I started the body work.
It turned out pretty good. I added a 401, 4-speed and was on my way. About 5 years later finances were looking a little better and I decided to redo it. I wasn’t crazy about my first paint job and it was starting to look dated. I also had some different ideas. One was to use Eagle bumpers and integrate the bumpers into the body and flares and remove the targa band. The other was to remove the factory AMX front spoiler because I wanted a lower profile and knew the front spoiler would never last. I also wanted custom wheels and 50 series tires.
I never really liked the 78-79 Concord taillights so I replaced the rear panel and added the 1980-up taillight setup. I liked it better but am not sure the time was worth the switch. The interior was redone and I added Mustang GT seats in place of the AMC buckets and had them reupholstered to match the door panels. A much better seat! The last thing was to replace the t-10 4-speed with a t-5 from a ’89 Mustang GT. This was a great car to drive and handled fantastic. I don’t own it anymore but it’s still around.