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"Rivet City" 1927 Chrysler 3 Window Coupe

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by Steve Temple  More from Author

Giving a 1927 Chrysler a really personal touch...and 3,000 rivets.

Photos by Steve Temple

It’s only fitting that a battleship-gray 1927 Chrysler would be chock-full of rivets, some 3,000 in all, just like on those huge steel dreadnoughts. And it’s also fitting that Bear Metal Kustoms hammered this 3-window coupe together, since the company specializes in bare-metal, mechanical-style street rods. Owner/founder Jason Pall sometimes goes to great lengths to find the right grade of tin, though.

“I drove all the way from California to Denver, Colorado to pick [the body] up,” he recalls. Then it sat at his shop for several months without anything being done, just waiting for the right guy to come along.

That would be alfalfa farmer Bob Rohrer, who showed up at the shop to check it out, saying he wanted to buy a hot rod to add to his Gasser, Pro Street Willys and truck collection. When he saw the Chrysler, he made Pall an offer that he couldn’t refuse, basically giving him free rein to build what he wanted, with only occasional input from Rohrer.

Rohrer would periodically stop by the shop to check on progress and offer up his ideas, and after 11 months the Chrysler was done just in time for Sacramento Autorama. Since then, it has shown up at a slew of other events, where spectators often praise the all-Mopar drivetrain, but also wonder out loud if the doors were stretched. Actually, they were not, because Pall went to some pains to make sure the roof chop preserved the right proportions, and the factory frame is longer than a Ford of the same era. Onlookers are also stunned by all the handcrafted components, along with the WWII treatment. Damn the torpedoes – full speed ahead!

Bear Metal Kustoms

Buildup Details and Modifications

Chassis: Stock length frame. Front lowered seven inches (4” Z on frame;3” lowered with spring location and “suicide perch”) 14” Z in rear frame

Suspension Type:
Front: Transverse leaf
Rear: 4 link and coil over (rear)

Spindles: Ford

Springs: Ford (front); Aldan (rear)

Type shocks:
Front: Lever-action Chevy
Rear: Aldan coil over

Front: Chevy Disc
Rear: Stock Ford 9-inch drum

Wheels: Early Wheel Company
Front/size: 16x4.5
Rear/size: 16x6

Tires: Firestone
Front/size: 6.70 -15
Rear/size: 8.90- 15

Other modifications made to chassis/frame: custom-built Z’d tube chassis, tubular cross members, hidden tow hitch


Engine: Dodge 440 V8

Mods to engine: Cam, Dual 4 barrel carbs and intake

Transmission modifications: 727 Torque flight with Mopar shift kit

Modified driveshaft/material: DOM custom length driveshaft

Relocated battery: Hidden in rear package tray

Rear End type/modifications: Ford 9 inch

Ring & Pinion Ratio: 4:11


Custom tube headers, 1.25” diameter

Muffler type: motorcycle baffles


Body style: 3 window coupe

Body modifications: Custom-built deck lid, molded-in roof and visor, hand-built windshield, aluminum roof insert, custom aluminum wheel wells, hinge covers, rear panel, vent cover, handmade patch panels, driver-side door skin, deck lid, aluminum inner deck lid panel, custom aluminum gas tank

Chopped: 3”

Grille shell: Ford sectioned and smoothed custom aluminum insert

Paint color: BattleshipBlue/Grey

Paint brand: Dupont

Headlights: BLC repros

Taillights: Buick

Door handles: None- electric door poppers with remote

Gas filler location: under deck lid/ custom aluminum tank


Dashboard: Custom aluminum blisters and machine-turned dash insert, Steve Moal aircraft gauges

Steering wheel: Aluminum Speedway Motors

Seats: Custom aluminum bomber seats with lower cushions

Upholstery: Military canvas olive drab

Floor: Riveted aluminum floor

Headliner material: Military canvas olive drab

Upholstery shop: Upholstery by Jimmy Z

Additional interior modifications: Custom aluminum riveted door panels, floor (30 pieces), dash, seats, package tray, driveline/ trans tunnel, custom hand-cast shift knob, Lokar shifter, power windows, power locks


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