While its not a Chevelle, Super Chevy had a series of articles last year on turning a Nova 2dr HT into a convertible. It took at least two (may have been three) body shops to get it right. See if you can get some back issues a see what you are in for. I don't know, but are convertibles in the 70-72 even in rough shape that hard to come by? I'd find one and spend my money and time on that rather than trying to convert a HT.
After you get a convertible frame, the biggest hurdle to your dream would be if the 4 door is a sedan (posts around the windows) which I think all '71's were. To eliminate the post would require some serious redesign of the window glass to get the car sealed up. Yes, there are companies out there that can make a custom convertible top frame. Sounds like a very unique idea and an expensive one.
You could box the frame I had a friend who did this on his mid 70s fullsize chevy because he couldn`t find a descent convertible frame and his was all rotted
Sometime back there was a 70 Monte carlo in Super chevy that was a home brew convertible
anything is possible Mike
There is a sickness in that mans soul... I like it!
I have kicked around the idea of turning my beast into the ultimate thing that never was but it would cost way too much money. Also the top would be very long in comparasion lus lending it's self to damage from the weather.
There would be much fabrication to deal with, plus the 4-door has a 4" longer wheelbase. That scuttles the ideal of a covertible frame. It also means you'll be on your own when it comes time to fabricate a top. I saw a '41 Chevy 4-door turned into a really nice convertible, but the work involved was more than anticipated.
It would be cool to see, but seriously evaluate your own abilities for such a thing. If you're an engineer then you'd probably love the challenge.
Why not turn it into a 2door, 2 seater. Chop out the middle, and connect the front, and rear doors together. (saw it once a long time ago in a magazine with I think a Nova) Then maybe convertibleize it.
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