Traditional Kustom Hot Rod and Vintage Culture
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1953 Chevrolet - Mrs Metal

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We don't care the People Says , Rock 'n' roll is here to stay - Danny & the Juniors - 1958
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Message  Predicta Dim 29 Mar - 12:23

MS. METAL TAKES GIRL POWER
TO A WHOLE NEW LEVEL
by Stan Sturgis
Photos by Chuck B.
From the August 2004 issue of Prick Magazine.
1953 Chevrolet - Mrs Metal  Phatri10   1953 Chevrolet - Mrs Metal  Phatri11

Wow! This month our phat ride is awesome. We have had plenty of killer whips in the past, but the story behind this one is exceptional. Amy K. Conrad is a jewelry maker with a masters degree in jewelry and metal work. Although Amy is not trained in automotive metal work, she completely restored and revamped her 1953 Chevrolet. What started out as a classic car in decent shape turned into a head turning customized hot rod. Amy a.k.a. "Ms. Metal" considers herself an metalsmith/artist, not a grease monkey, yet she spent two years in her garage disassembling, sanding, cutting, welding, molding, polishing, sewing, rebuilding and re-painting her Chevy. "I just bought a welder and went to town,"she says. Amy actually used the project as her thesis show from graduate school. The car was exhibited in a museum last April.

Amy's boyfriend, Gary "Tank" Burney, is a mechanic. "He told me what to do mechanically, pointed me in the right direction and looked over my shoulder through the entire project. I could have never done it without him." she adds.

Her skills working with metal did cross over, "It's just on a much bigger scale from jewelry making," she says. Not only did she do the bodywork, Amy upholstered the interior, rebuilt the motor and hand crafted custom features like the fins and tail lights, shaved door handles, frenched (sunk back) headlights, created custom sterling silver ornamentation and webbed wheel skirts. The webbing that serves as a rear wheel skirts was a challenge for her.

1953 Chevrolet - Mrs Metal  Phatri12   1953 Chevrolet - Mrs Metal  Phatri13

Each section of the webbing had to be formed individually with a roller or by hand before being welded," Amy recalls. Her jewelry making skills came into play in the more intricate details which include spider webs cut out of silver over the headlights, sterling silver pinstripe designs that accent the dashboard and silver webbing covers over the stereo speakers and dome light. It is truly amazing.

Amy says that the most annoying part of the whole endeavor is that no one believes that she actually did all the work! "It drives me crazy. People say, 'Well I can see that you might have done this or that, but who actually did this part?' Most guys just can't believe that a girl like me could do it all, but I did damn it!" She gave us pictures of the process to prove it. By the amount of emotion attached to the car and the pink paint overspray all over her garage, I for one believe her.

Amy has also made custom jewelry to match her phat ride. She is currently working as a jewelry making teacher at the University of Georgia, but she has plans to make and sell custom parts and car part jewelry as a side gig. Ms. Metal Kustom Equipment online store is up and ever expanding. Check it out at www.ms-metal.net. She is also a proud member of the Atlanta based Reanimators Car Club.

1953 Chevrolet - Mrs Metal  Phatri14 1953 Chevrolet - Mrs Metal  Phatri15 1953 Chevrolet - Mrs Metal  Phatri16


The specs break down like this:
- 1953 Chevrolet 150 Business Coupe
- Body Custom Fab: 3 inch chopped top, frenched headlights, custom fins, front fender smoothed out, front valence modified for 54 Chevy bumper
- Custom mixed pink and white paint self-applied with help from Gary Burney and Philip Sims
- Engine: 327 with aluminum heads
- Transmission: 700r4
- Dual exhaust
- Intake/Carb: Edelbrock 3 duce with 3 Rochester 2 throats
- Mallory Ignition
- Rear End: 10 bolt from Monte Carlo
- Suspension info front: cut coils, rebuilt
- Suspension info rear: 3 inch lowering blocks
- Brakes: front Camero disc brakes. Rear Monte Carlo drum
- Wheels: 15 inch wide whites
- Interior: White tuck 'n' roll all around
- Modified 1960 Impala steering wheel
- Tail lights from a 1959 Caddy

_________________
We don't care the People Says , Rock 'n' roll is here to stay - Danny & the Juniors - 1958
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