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.

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

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:

So I was fairly confident when I severed the C-pillar as well:


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:


After a lot of iterative trimming and bending to fit:

Crazy Z-shaped weld at the top.


Flash forward 10 months, and I’d say it worked out pretty well!

Next time: closing off the rear wall.