No guarantees are given or implied as to the suitability of this material for any purpose whatsoever.

October 22, 2003

This page will constantly be under construction, as will the Rod !!!  

E-mail me, especially if building a 30 or 31 Coupe
Making a Hood for my 1930 Ford Coupe Hotrod

I have an original, but a little rough, hood for my Ford coupe but I wanted to try and make my own 3 piece hood. I guess I could go and buy one of the "name" brands of hood plus a hinge kit and latch kit, but as I like to give most things a try, making one was worth a go. If it does not work out, then I can fall back on the original hood!

I used the original hood to get a rough idea of the size of metal required and cut out an oversized piece of 0.9mm sheet steel. I would have liked to try doing the hood in aluminum, but the steel was free.

I used some rollers which are at the night school class I attend, but it would be possible to do much the same by rolling the sheet over a large pipe or similar. Even so, it's not easy to get the curve in exactly the right place and patience is required, just doing a little at a time, trying it up to the pattern as I went. The pattern was made from wood and traced directly from the cowl and radiator shell.

A swage line was carried through in the same position as the original, using measurements taken directly from it. My swage was not exactly the same as original but I hope it will not be noticed! I don't know of any easy way to do this without a swaging machine, but a couple of suitable spaced creases with a folding machine may suffice.

The edge was then folded on both sides. I folded about a 7/8" or 22mm fold. This was tricky as it would not fit into the folding machine too well. It would be possible to do this using pieces of steel and manually do the bend but you would have to be careful not to stretch the metal. (Hammering stretches the metal)

Still to come:

Fitting the lock.

A few versions of hinges were tried, before settling on stainless steel. Stainless rod was used and bent over a 2" round form in a simple home-made jig. Stainless plate was used for mounting to the hood top and a 10mm piece of stainless rod was drilled for the hinge pin. The hinge needs to be designed to allow the hood top to lift up, without binding on the side panel.

Stainless is hard stuff to work with, but polishes up nicely.


In the hood itself, another piece of the tube was fitted into the folded edge. It will take the hinges and also the catch. A small bear claw latch was to hand, so it was decided to use it. Stiffener rods of 3/8" steel were bent up by hand and fitted into holes drilled in the tube and then welded. The tube with the stiffeners and latch etc, will be removable, to allow easier painting of the hood top.
Another page in the construction of my 1930 Ford coupe Hotrod.
Two supports need to be added from the firewall to the radiator. Looking at some of the commercial ones, they always seem to be made from rectangular steel, so I used a length of 1 x 1/2" tube, as used in the hood inner stiffeners. Brackets to hold both ends need to be made and also the hinges for the hood top, were fabricated from a piece of distributor shaft by cutting to length and drilling down the centre. They were welded to the side bars.

The result so far, seems to be working out pretty well. Theres quite a bit of work involved but it's rewarding to see an opening hood for only $50 !

19th Nov 2002

Jan 2003 The hood is now fitted to the frame. I used stainless pop rivets. Not my favorite fastening method, but actually looks OK.

Hinge welding Jig
bending with heat


For VERY detailed info on making a hood top, see these sites.

Steel Version

Aluminium version