Channeling results in a lower than stock overall height, and eliminates
some legroom in the vehicle. For my wife at 5’1” tall this might not be a problem, but for me at 6’ 2” it could
be. The overall effect is to give the car body a more massive appearance.
Removing the floor from the vehicle, dropping the body down on the frame to a lower than stock
location, then reinstalling the floor above the frame rails is called “channeling”. An additional advantage is
that the suspension is not altered.
Some new reproduction bodies are designed to be channeled over the frame so that the floor pan
fits between the frame rails. This makes the body as low, but without losing legroom as if one were to channel
an original steel body.
Highboy coupes are often channeled to lower the front of the body an inch or two over the
frame, while the rear is left in its stock position. Some drivers prefer this more aggressive stance.
As a general guideline, a subtle channel job would be a couple of inches to the depth of the
frame rails. An extreme channel job would be more. In an extreme case, the car’s doors might have to modified,
because not so much of the door opening would be usable.
With channeling, each automobile has its own engineering challenges in modifying the various
components of the chassis. Beyond the mere engineering feat, ordinances may dictate your methods. Local laws may
prevent extreme modifications.
Safety should always be your guideline.
Channeling is popular amongst hot rod and leadsled enthusiasts. Minitruckers usually refer to
channeling as a “body drop”.
Talk about a difference of opinion -- witness the wide variety of options between the gorgeous
street rod above and the classy rat rod to the left.
Both are a sight for sore eyes with one thing in common:
There is nothing subtle about either of these two beauties!
Visit a local hot rod show, or one of the national events and discover how hot rod owners
express their creativity with both subtle and extreme variations of chopping, channeling and sectioning.