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Off With Her Head! - Project Prelute Part III

Illustration for article titled Off With Her Head! - Project Prelute Part III

It’s not every day you get to shear the roof off of a car. And for good reason - you could easily make an irreversibly crooked cut, injure yourself with a runaway sawzall, or worse still, end up with a tacoed car. That’s why you build a full CAD model of the car and perform finite element analysis simulations to check that everything holds up under static and dynamic loading.

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Or in my case, just whip out the angle grinder and a fresh 45-grit wheel.

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That said, a lot of seat-of-my-pants engineering went into making sure the car wouldn’t buckle. To back up a little, this was what was already in the car before the cut was made:

Illustration for article titled Off With Her Head! - Project Prelute Part III
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So I was fairly confident when I severed the C-pillar as well:

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Illustration for article titled Off With Her Head! - Project Prelute Part III

Earlier on, I’d realized the original C-pillars had a good chance of being reincarnated as the new B-pillars, so I made sure to save them:

Illustration for article titled Off With Her Head! - Project Prelute Part III
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After a lot of iterative trimming and bending to fit:

Illustration for article titled Off With Her Head! - Project Prelute Part III
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Crazy Z-shaped weld at the top.

Illustration for article titled Off With Her Head! - Project Prelute Part III
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Flash forward 10 months, and I’d say it worked out pretty well!

Illustration for article titled Off With Her Head! - Project Prelute Part III
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Next time: closing off the rear wall.

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