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If You Want A Shorty, This Is It!


Don’t adjust your computer screen! This is another shorty, something we’ve been seeing more of on Barn Finds lately, but this one seems to have been executed to a much higher standard than any other I’ve seen! It’s advertised for sale here on eBay with an opening bid of $8,500, which I’m sure is a fraction of what it cost to create, considering over 1,000 hours went into the sheet metal work alone! This ‘Coupe D’BelAir’ is waiting in Sherwood, Oregon for you to come drive it home.


All you commenters that consistently express your dislike for these shorties, think about this before you critize this one. Number one, it utilized a collector-shunned four door, which many commenters have expressed their distaste for in the past. Number two, someone really took some time to integrate the roofline and character lines on this one; it really does look like a factory-styled car, not an awkward abomination. Number three, whomever did this left the single door on each side long enough that entrance/egress should not be an issue, unlike most shorties I’ve seen.


The seller tells us that they started with a solid shell that was extensively reinforced during the transition process. The paint is gorgeous and the chrome gleams, even the pot metal components and polished stainless steel. It’s obvious a lot of effort went into this car!


Just look at the shine! It’s nice to see the clean garage in the other pictures, and the seller was kind enough to take detailed under car shots that show that the whole car was finished to a very high standard.


As you might expect, the interior is done tastefully and in a quality manner as well, although there are a few tweaks I’d make.


As you might guess, we have a 350 cubic inch V8 under the hood attached to the ubiquitous Turbo 350 automatic transmission. The enigne compartment is just as sanitary as the rest of the build,  and reflects things like a conversion to a safer dual-circuit power braking system, power steering and neatly executed wiring and hose placement. I’m not usually a fan of shorties–but I’d love to try driving this car for a while! I’ll bet you’d get a lot of looks on the next custom car tour in your area. Anyone with me, or does even this nicely executed custom not appeal to you?


  1. Blueprint

    I like it a lot! Change to period steering wheel, hang fuzzy dice from the mirror and you’re good to go! (shortly, of course)

    Like 0
    • William H

      Haha, first thing I thought was that the fuzzy dice were in the wrong place… should be on the mirror.

      Like 0
  2. MH

    No way! I would have rather seen the do a restoration this nice on the 4 door it once was. I personally would rather have a 2 door then a 4 door.

    Like 0
  3. Kincer Dave

    I give them credit for a very nice job! I wouldn’t mind having it all!

    Like 2
  4. Tony S

    Neat concept – but most all I’ve seen, including this one, need to have the rear axle moved rearward 12-18 inches to fix the awkward proportions.

    Like 1
    • Steven C

      That’s what I was thinking

      Like 0
    • Jamie Palmer Jamie Staff

      Tony, agreed, but I think you might lose something that way, too. I did, however, instantly think of my Tyco 57 T-bird slot car where the body was altered to fit an existing chassis (they all look like this).

      Like 0
    • Alan Brase

      I like it too and agree that the back end hangs over too far. Heck, one could move the rear wheels back 2-3 inches without changing the sheet metal. That would make it better. I think 5-6 would be best.
      Gotta love the license plate!
      Gotta give respect to anyone does that much work on something as an artistic expression. Maybe not the Sistine chapel, but still one man’s art. If I were serious about buying it, it would make me feel better to look at in build photos to see how much metal and how much bondo. Bondo is really quite good if used thinly. Real body lead, even more durable, but few bodymen have that talent.

      Like 0
    • Kincer Dave

      If you did it so it wouldn’t look awkward you would basically have a 2 door 55 Belair, I think since it was done this way you have something totally different and unique. I don’t agree with cutting up a solid four door to build it but a solid wreck of a four door is acceptable in my opinion, it saves an old car and creates something unique and as you can see from all the comments a real conversation starter lol.

      Like 0
  5. roger pence

    With a two-inch section this might work–proportions are just wrong on shorties.

    Like 0
  6. jimbosidecar

    Nice work. Have to agree with Tony S as the rear overhang is a bit too much considering the proportions of the entire car.

    Like 0
  7. grant

    A+ on the execution but I just don’t care for these. I have a buddy in Sherwood who says he’s seen this, for what it’s worth he says these pics do not do it justice.

    Like 0
  8. Jose

    What a waste. If you must have a shorty use your imagination. Make it a roadster with cowlings, extended tail fins, with wide whites on chrome wire wheels. C’mon, man.

    Like 0
  9. 68 custom

    I thought someone sells a kit that you can use to convert a four door in to a two door convertible? I am just not a fan of shorties I suppose, though the work looks well executed. I knew a guy with a four door that was painted in black and gold with belair trim it looked great.

    Like 0
  10. Brad

    I cannot fathom spending a thousand hours removing all that material — metal that not only provided the car with straight, long lines it needed to balance the show-offy fins and chrome…. but *literally* balanced it: the long wheelbase making up for the front and rear overhangs. This looks like it handles as well as a Shriner car.

    Sorry, but this builder should’ve just bought a similarly awkward-looking Sunbeam Tiger – he’d have had 1000 hours of his life back to spend driving it.

    Like 0
  11. Chebby

    I will agree it looks nicely done. Aaaaaand back to the original premise: why bother?

    Dwarves are popular in movies, but nobody wishes to be one.

    Like 0
  12. JW

    Short and sweet, I like it !!!

    Like 1
  13. Brad

    I’ll temper my above statement with this; I took a few minutes in Photoshop and chopped the top by an inch or so, chopped the entire side down a couple inches, brought the rear trim up in line with the rest, moved the rear axle back a foot or more, and stretched the roof so the cab doesn’t look so bubble-like.

    This is about the only I can think of to build a “Shorty” …that isn’t also a “Stubby”.

    Like 0
  14. Skip

    Sweet and short! One nice “shorty” like that I spotted in 1999 in Lancaster, PA at the national meet of the Professional Car Society (PCS). It was a ’57 Chevy sedan-delivery that had been built as a service car for a small funeral home. It was a two-door car (not counting the rear door) and was a bit shorter than the Chevy sedan-deliveries I’d seen.

    Like 1
  15. Rotag999

    Like the Shorty wagons this not as much if you use a 4 door not a great loss.

    Like 0
  16. waynard

    I like this car a lot and could see owning it with virtually no modifications except maybe that steering wheel. It appears to be an excellent build and very well detailed. The owner / builder should be very proud of his / her craftsmanship. Well done!

    Like 0
  17. nighttrainx03

    I like this car a lot and im not a Chevy guy. Its different and its fun to see something that’s not just like everything else.

    Like 1
  18. JimmyinTEXAS

    I like Brads version, but I could drive the other..

    Like 0
  19. stan

    I like them both , but in my opinion Brads looks nicer, I would like to see Brads version with the front fenders shortened up a bit, nice work

    Like 0
  20. Brad

    Thanks guys. I acknowledge that it’s much easier to make a decent digital mock-up and cast judgement than to go build the real thing…. but glad you like it anyhow. : )

    Like 0
  21. Terry

    Total waste of time and money in my opinion. Butt ugly. I wish people would stop doing this. I have yet to see one that looks good. Even the clowns wouldn’t drive it.

    Like 0
  22. Jay E.

    I’d put bigs and smalls on it, the wheels/tires look out of proportion, but I like it anyways

    Like 0
  23. William H

    There’s one that runs around here. I see it all the time. Kind of odd when it’s heading towards you then turns off on a side street. Really catches you off guard. Last time I saw it was at Jaliscos in Lorena and I snapped a couple pics.

    It’s clean and the workmanship is top notch. Smooth metalwork. After looking at it for a bit I doubt I could even drive it. Looks to have very little leg room.

    Like 1
  24. Jeff N.

    This car drives incredibly nice and will turn around a dime. I bought the car off of eBay and trailered it home. it gets looks and comments wherever I cruise. It was an awesome Buy.

    Like 1
    • Jamie Palmer Jamie Palmer Staff

      Jeff, please post an update with pictures — that’s great!

      Like 1
    • JimmyinTEXAS

      I agree with Jamie, pictures and a write-up would be cool as the car.

      Like 0

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