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top chop vw beetle

As promised I made this summary for the top chop of the vw beetle 1950 with the oval backwindow.

I bought the car in septembre 2021, with the idea to give it a top chop.
It was to expensive to make it original in total so I decided to create something I like.
My idea was to give it customizations as much as possible, but with originality in mind.

I wanted suicide doors, but with normal doorhandles, a shaved and lowered roof, the windscreen stand a bit slanted, modern lights but still the original looks, stepsides that match the car better, bigger exhaustpipe look and a more clean dashboard. And overall the car should be lowered and a bit modernized on the drivetrain and comfort.

The first thing was the engine; I was seized and after inspection I decided to get another one. I bought one cheap and overhauled it and made it running and decent again. So now I got a car that runs and ready for the next steps.

The ribbed doors were extra doors so I replace the newer doors with the ribbed doors and used the stock hinges to create the suicide doors.

After the doors fitted nicely a braced the body the get ready for the top chop, doors and windows out and it was ready for some measurements; I decided to have a pivot point at the engine lid to keep the nice flow it already has in the roofline. The other point to decided was at the a-pillars, 8 cm is the perfect drop to keep enough sight view and enought head room in the car.
so measuring the total length of the cut and the drop of 8 cm I know how much should be taken out per cm and I marked that on the car. With some tape I indicated where to cut. After cutting I spotwelded extra braces/plates inside the open a-b-c pillars so the roof piller would slide over these plates so I could spot weld the roof pillars exactly in place and have a stronger joint.

I had to cut the roof in half to have a slanted windsreen later so the rear part was widened with 4 cm at the b-pillar and 0 cm just above the rear window. I tacked this roofpart in place and started with the slanted windscreen

I made a cut at the lower end of the a-pillar to bent the half a-pillar, in total I bended it to meet 140 degrees. also in the roof I had to cut the a-pillar at the top and bent it to meet the lower part of the a-pillar. after a perfect fit I tacked the front roof part in place and cut right in the middle because also this part needs 4 cm widening to meet the pillars.

After widening and perfect fits a tacked the whole roof and in the proces I decided to give the car a split windscreen to get a mounting point for the inside rearview mirror and the safari windows. With this extra mounting pount in the middle the safari windows can be splitted in two so that driver and passenger can have its own window to control the fresh air.

When the roof was off I easily could modify the dash so I shaved the speaker hole with a nice clock and I shaved the lower part and decide to give it switches for all the car functions.

Now the top chop was what I had in mind, it had to be shaved so I get rid of the driprail. A precise cut allong between the driprail and the roof was done and the roof and side panel part are welded back together. Not a difficult job but time consuming to get it back to strenght and shape.

Time to finish the doors, I cutted the top half off and made it fit the dooropening, to keep the lower bend at the a-pillar side of the door I cutted the whole bend out an slided it to the back fit the top bend again. Keep in mind also the a-pillar side of the doors had to be bended to meet the slanted windscreen so the door curve at top of the door had to be bended down a bit. Some cuts in the curve helped to bend it down.

Topchop succeeded; time to finish all the welds now!

I started creating the side steps; I bended a tube to meet my requirements and fitted it to the car. I took a lower part out of the fenders so the stepside could run futher to give it a more stretched look. After testfitting I made plates to weld on the top. I made a frame to get the stepside welded on and to bold the total stepside to the car.

I notice some rust on the heater channel and decide to replace that, so body should be taken off.

Heater channel is replace but now the body is of it is easier to get all the things done on the chassis to get the car running, rolling and stopping, so I decided to get this all done first; Lowering the suspension, redo the brakes with brakediscs, getting all the mechanics done and replacing all the lines. After I have done this I will mount the body and go futher with the last body modification and some body repairs.......

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Hi it's funny i did a chop similar to this but , i only went al litlle more far.
I chopped mine 10 cm on the b-pillar and 12 on the a pillar then tilted whole back from the rear apron the top of the back window forward using the firewall as a hinge.
You can find it on Facebook Gomes Custom Creations
Some pics of the original capella chopped Beetle in this thread


Interesting how it's the "lesser trodden" route in chopping a beetle _ the two roofs /flat chopped approach being much more common, when you consider "sprint mini coopers" being chopped this way (slightly leaning in the A n C pillars) n pre date the capella approach by a decade or more...

Another chopped bug


I had this link saved aged ago _ seems to bring up them nasty pop up "you've won" etc pages every 2nd attempt to click onto it... Apologies for this _ it was okay to link when I originally saved it as I also sent it onto a friend who is into vws

HI Jorg,
Its sort of explained here, but not very well_ the rat rod lads use this approach quite a bit n it's often mentioned in their for sale ads...

I'll post up some other links in a minute _ very early 50s oval channeled n chopoed with heavily leaned back A pillars...


Same car still owned by original owner builder...


I've a few other links to chopped bugs I might put up if you have no objections.

I hope to build a chopped bug sometime in the future~ just at Collecting rough cheap doors at the moment stage...
Well I didn't know that this kind of chop has it's own name. Where did you find information about this Cappella chop? The decklid does meet the roof very well so in my case I don't have to correct a gap. Because the chop is not that big; from rear to front is a chop from zero to 8 centimeters.
Love the approach you took with your Oval _ I have been a big fan of this style of chop _ the " capella chop" they call it in US.
Very hard to find much details on the technique applied to a fully fendered Bug.
Whats the approach with the decklid _ the transition to roof?
I saw a 70 era beetle in a magazine years ago n the added a wedge band to the closing edge area swage line of the decklid. I was thinking rotating the rear wings slightly forward ala some drag cars might be another solution to this...
Anyways best of luck with the build, I'll be checking in again!!
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