It seems most videos on YouTube that show the procedure for chopping the top on a custom or hot rod are either far too short, omitting important steps and context that help viewers understand the process, or belabor each point with a lot of blabbering about what makes this difficult. Cutting the top off a vehicle requires skill and competency with various metalworking tools, sure, but it also takes a keen eye, not just for the overall package but for the details that make a chop flow. Each chop is unique, made up of thousands of individual decisions, hammer strokes, and beads of weld.
Despite a minimum of dialogue, this time-lapse video of Mike Bello of Bello’s Kustoms taking three inches out of a 1937 Ford’s roof doesn’t gloss over any details. You can see Mike’s thought process as his hands work over each piece. It’s evident he’s done this many times before from every step that seems incongruous at first but later proves prescient. Though rendered in steel, the work here is far from cold and emotionless. It’s well worth the watch, even if you never plan to chop a car.