Archive for the ‘Gene Winfield Chop Shop’ Category

Milwaukee World Of Wheels- Live Winfield Chop Shop on a VW Bug

When you hear about Gene Winfield chopping a car most of us immediately think of a low, sleek Mercury or some sort of 50′s American vehicle. This time around at the Milwaukee World of Wheels he was presented with a classic VW Bug. Now this isn’t the first time someone has chopped a bug, but most times they look very WRONG when their done. Most of them the lines don’t flow, the roof looks squashed, etc. If anyone could do the job right, it’s Gene. We dug around and found out that the Wisconsin Hot Rod Radio had covered the event and even interviewed Gene about the project.

You can see that Gene and the crew had to make ton of cuts to get the chop just right. In the end they pretty much took the entire top of the car off all the way down to the rear decklid. This allowed them to proportionally lower the roof back down and keep the lines looking right. We can imagine some VW purists are cringing over these photos after seeing how clean and unmolested the car was to start with!

After a bit of time welding the roof back up and hammer welding all of the joints Gene and the crew had the car mostly complete minor some small details. It goes to show that Gene really can chop ANYTHING you put in front of him!

Thanks to the Wisconsin Hot Rod Radio Show for the pictures and make sure you listen to their interview with Gene from the show. You can listen to that HERE. Check out all of their pictures from the show HERE.

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Kansas City World Of Wheels- Live Winfield Chop Shop On A 1940 Ford Convertible

This time around Gene’s Live Chop stopped in Kansas City, MO World of Wheels. The host club for the show was the The Rodtiques of Kansas City and they found a 1940 Ford Convertible they wanted to chop. This is one of the more difficult chop jobs for the “average joe” but that didn’t phase Gene. Five guys from the Rodtiques help through the weekend. They decided to chop the convertible top and bows 2.5″ all around. By the end they had the roof moving up and down again and it sounds like everyone was really pleased with how it came out. Unfortunately there was a fire ban in the building and Gene wasn’t allowed to show off his famous gas and hammer welding. Instead he picked up his Eastwood MIG 135 to weld the seams. There were definitely some challenges during this project, but this is part of traveling and doing this live, but everyone adapted and worked hard to get the car back together by the end of the show on Sunday. Dan Stears was one of the guys in the Rodtiques that helped and he was kind enough to share his pics below of Gene and the group at work.

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Cincinnati Cavalcade of Customs- Live Winfield Chop Shop on a 1949 Ford Shoebox

This time the traveling Winfield Chop Shop stopped in Cincinnati for the 2013 Cavalcade of Customs. This time around the car under the knife was a stock 1949 Shoebox Ford with the original flathead V8 owned by Tim Jones. Tim has owned the car for 3 years and he’s been into cars since he was a kid. He told us that the chop and the project is in memory of his late Uncle Ron that had a shoebox Ford project he never got around to finishing. After hearing word the Winfield Chop Shop was looking for a car to chop at the Cincinnati Cavalcade of Customs, Tim quickly offered up his ride. The shoebox rolled into the show looking fairly standard and in pretty good shape overall. Before the show Tim had made up tshirts and banners to sell and display for the chop. This was a way for everyone involved and the crowd to get a souvenir of this historical event (and help Tim pay for the chop).

This time around Gene had a very talented set of hands to help him with the project. Mike Wagner from Cornfield Customs, Jason Graham of Jason Graham Hot Rods, and a bunch of other talented local builders help make this job go as quick and smooth as possible. In the end there were about 7 or 8 guys in the crew and each one worked really hard all weekend. The car rolled in Thursday and the crew jumped right in on Friday. Gene first laid some reference marks in tape while the crew got to business bracing the body, removing the interior, and removing paint where they wanted to make the cuts for the chop. In the end they agreed to take four inches out of the front and 5 inches out of the rear of the roof, while laying the back window down in the process. This is a perfect chop and won’t make the car look like a cartoon when it’s done.

With the car braced and the paint stripped down Gene got to doing what he’s done thousands of times before, cutting a roof apart. As always he showed everyone he’s a surgeon with the reciprocating saw and an angle grinder!

Once the roof was cut the crew began taking the height out of each end to get the lower, more streamlined roofline they wanted. From there they were able to relief cut the roof and the area surrounding the back window to lay it down to match the new lines of the roof. While doing this the crew decided they needed to fabricate new sail panels in the back which needed to be fabricated from scratch. Gene, Mike, and the crew used Eastwood teardrop mallets and sandbags, an english wheel, and a number of other tools to get the shape into the sail panels so that they could blend everything easily.

With all of the new panels held in the place with clecos panel clamps Gene and the crew began welding everything back together. As they welded Mike and the crew really put in some time hammer and dollying the weld seams flat so that the car will need little filler.

By the end of the day Sunday the majority of the roof was welded up and back together. The new lines and look of this shoebox is killer and we can’t wait to see it all finished. Tim commented after getting home “I had a blast being around Gene and the whole crew. Gene is a super nice guy, and I’ll never forget the experience. I also have to give a ton of credit to the entire crew for working really hard. Mike Wagner from Cornfield Customs was incredible. He’s a great guy and builder.” Obviously there’s more work left to get the car done, so Tim sent the car home with Jason Graham Hot Rods to complete the rest of the chop job. Tim tells us that he plans to build a driver. He wants something that has a low ride height (to match that roof!) with a strong running Flathead with a few tricks and upgrades. It’s obvious in the pictures that everyone involved was exceptionally talented and worked well together. Gene puts another live chop under his belt and he’ll be traveling to the Pittsburgh, PA World of Wheels on January 25-27. We can’t wait to see what car he does next, but we know Gene doesn’t care either way, he’ll chop anything they put in front of him!

If you want to see or purchase any of the Eastwood tools and supplies Gene is using in each of these events check out the Gene Winfield’s Chop Shop Tool List. If you want to see more coverage of the shoebox chop or to buy a tshirt or poster, be sure to check out Tim’s website about the project here: Also make sure to check out some of the shops of the talented guys that helped on this project here: Cornfield Customs Jason Graham Hot Rods. Also check the full schedule of indoor World of Wheels, Cavalcade of Customs, and Autorama shows at

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Winfield Chop Shop Tour Houston, TX – Part 2

In our first post we gave you the background of the traveling chop shop Gene and the Championship Auto Shows guys are running at a number of indoor shows this winter.

We were able to compile some more photos of the chop process from the Los CoChinos Car Club that assisted Gene with the chop (and also supplied the vehicle!). As we mentioned the donor was a 51 Chevy Hardtop that was chopped. We didn’t mention though that the car also got a rear window section from a 47-48 Chevy to further customize the car. It took a bit of fiddling, but eventually they got the rear window section fitted into the roof.

After the seam was welded, Gene and the crew went ahead and made a new panel for the one rear corner to make it all fit seamlessly. He used Eastwood Plastic Metal Shaping Hammers and Sandbag to form the panel and get the rough shape that was needed to fit the roof.

After the last seams were welded they only had minimal grinding to do to smooth the seam and the car is now ready for lead or plastic body filler and paint.

Thanks to member “Skyrodder” from the H.A.M.B and the Los CoChinos Car Club for their photos from the event. Stay tuned for the next event in Cincinatti, OH on January 11-13 or check the Autorama website for more info.

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Eastwood tools to be used in Gene Winfield Chop Shop Tour- Stop 1 Houston, TX Autorama

This year at SEMA 2012 we were running around shooting some of our favorite show vehicles of the week. I happened to run into Gene Winfield as he was debuting his 2nd rendition of his custom Ford he calls the “Pacifica”. We did a nice interview with Gene (check it out below!) to find out about the truck and also hear about what he’s up to in the future. He told us about an exciting tour he was starting shortly after SEMA with Championship Auto Shows called the “Gene Winfield Chop Shop”. During the tour Gene will be working with a local car club to chop a different car at 9 different Autorama, World of Wheels, and Cavalcade of Customs shows. These events are already some of the best hot rod and custom shows in the world; but this really gives you something unique to see at each event!

We were extremely excited to hear about something like this and Gene mentioned he needed some tools to help him get each chop done right. Gene’s been a long time customer of Eastwood and he’s always mentioning our products in his workshops and instructional videos (Thanks Gene!). So when we offered up our tools and supplies for the event, he was happy to supply us with his “wish list”. Fast forward a few weeks later and a “workshop in a truck” was enroute to the 53rd Annual Houston Autorama full of Eastwood tools and everything he needed to feel right at home.

Once the truck arrived and everything was unloaded, the custom hand painted backdrop built by Detroit artist Julie Fournier was setup and the first “patient” was rolled in. The task was to put an aggressive chop on a 1951 Chevy Hardtop. They only had 3 days to give the car a new look and they jumped right in. The lines were drawn out, paint removed, and the reciprocating saw and plasma cutter made quick work of removing the roof.

After removing the excess, Gene and crew dropped the lid back down on the car and they used the Eastwood MIG 135 and an oxy acetylene torch to reconnect everything. Along the way Gene gave a great tutorial on hammer welding the chop seams flat with Eastwood Pro Hammers and Dollies.

After the long days of work, the Chevy was looking much better with the chopped top and is now ready for body solder lead filler, or plastic body filler to smooth the seams and get the car ready for paint. This was only the first event, but we can already tell it’s creating a lot of buzz in the show circuit, and we can’t wait until the next one at the 53rd Cincinnati Cavalcade of Customs.

We weren’t able to make it out to Houston this year for the show, but the guys at Bang Shift were there and had some great coverage! We put a few of their great photos of the Chop Shop below, but be sure to check out all of their coverage of the Houston Autorama HERE. Want to see what tools Gene thought were necessary to chop a roof or build a custom car? Check out Gene’s Chop Shop Tool List.

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