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How much body flex in a 57 chev 2dr hardtop?

There's a 57 chev hardtop I will be painting, the owner pulled the body off of the frame without adding any bracing. Just curous if anyone here has been in this situation and what they've run into as far as distortions etc... I'm sure it was lifted from both ends when it came off, he had the shell setting on a trailer with it supported front, center, and rear for about a year. I seen the car when it was together and panel fit wasn't too good but probably within factory spec. The car has some good waves above each rear wheel opening but has absolutely no evidence of any rear impact damage, not sure what they did to cause this. The last 50's chev I was involved with was a 58 convert and it was braced up well when the body came off of the frame. I think my only course of action is to support it well and fit all the panels to confirm then brace it up well before it goes on the rotissery-still there might be a chance things might change when it goes back on the frame.
my rotisserie has mounts for the bodies. that way they set as they were on the frame. on an end and end rotisserie they must be braced . yes there is a lot of flex in the converts and hard tops.
they stay on this from blasting to final buff .



Active Member
Those waves above the rear wheel openings are very common and due to body flex. That is the part of the body with the smallest and weakest cross section. Was the trunk floor replaced?

To answer your title question. Yes, more flex than I like. Brace it well before putting it on your rotisserie. Mounting it back on its chassis and getting doors and deck to fit will be the tricky part. Tri five chevys can use body mount shims to help align the doors at that point. Good luck. And just for fun here's one we did about ten years ago. I looked for a pic of it on our rotisserie and couldn't find one. ~BOB

Hey Bob good to see you posting, I bet the new job is taking all your time.

How bad is that 57 body? I have seen several solid HT bodies without support, and solid convertibles only braced between the door openings, but solid bodies are rare these days. Years ago a lot of guys use to pull the rear wheel opening out some to accommodate wider tires, and some would bend the flange up also. In this case the wave would be at the top of the wheel opening, and it seems to me that the distortion you are talking about would be up at the top of the 1/4 panel. In any case it doesn't take much time to strengthen up the door opening if the car is fairly solid.

This is the shop that is building the complete bodies you see for sale by many venders. They also do other makes as well.
Doesn't look like any support to me. I think these bare bodies are only about 500#

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Here's how we're supporting a 71 Cuda. this is two weeks ago. and I have the same rotisserie as the last post except I cut the little casters off. What fun. ~BOB
Saw a 57 HT being put on A two post lift once, the b-pillar door gap opened up about 3/8" at the beltline with the doors closed. Yeah, they move.