Rod & Custom Feature Car

John & Elaine Boyce, Omaha, Nebraska, '38 Chevy coupe


The C5 suspension is part of a Mike Adams chassis built around a 1 1/2-inch tube frame. Dual tubes run the length of the car, which has been stretched 3 inches. The design changed as the car evolved, and a Firestone IntelliRide electronic ride height system controls Air Ride Technologies airbags. A custom 3/4-inch rear antisway bar stiffens the rear, and four-corner discs handle the stopping.


The Magnuson supercharged Corvette LS1 gets fuel from a 20-gallon tank feeding a 2 1/2-gallon cell. Locating the pump in the small tank keeps it submerged when John goes "wild man." An air-to-water intercooler is located behind the front wheels. A custom radiator from Steve Long also keeps engine temperature low. John controls the C5 six-speed with a Hurst-handled B&M short-throw stick, backed up with 4.10:1 gears.

Wheels & Tires

The narrow sidewalls have been polished smooth on the low-profile rubber, which measures 225/40R18 in front and 315/35R20 in the rear. The rims are 18x8 and 20x12 Intros, but you won't find these custom one-offs in the catalog; only on John's coupe.

Body & Paint

The entire body was reshaped. Above the beltline, the top was wedge-chopped an inch at the rear and 2 1/2 in front, and the whole piece moved back 3 inches. The trunk door was shortened the same amount. The windshield was leaned back and the B-pillars and rear window tilted forward. The top was pancaked above the driprails, which were replaced with a quarter-inch rounded flare. In keeping with the redrawn lines-which make the coupe look like it's going 200 mph while standing still, according to John-the Grill Art grille was slanted 8 inches; the sheetmetal around the grille was wedge-sectioned 2 1/2 inches. The curvy side mirrors and taillights are also one-off handbuilt pieces. Even the rear fenders-widened an inch, raised on the body 3/4-inch, and cut and bobbed 2 inches, contribute to what John refers to as "very definite European lines." The reshaped doors were created from two-door sedan doors, which are about 5 inches longer that stock coupe doors.


The coupe went to the Recovery Room for a complete interior redo, where Tracy Weaver modified the Flo-Fit seats, separated by a Boesch-built console. The "cigar-colored" solid and perforated leather upholstery is set off by stainless steel inserts and aluminum accents. The high-end aircraft carpet resembles the short-loop material from the '60s. The steering wheel is from a '57 Cadillac, with Jerry Conwell's engraving on the horn ring (he did the hubcaps too). Parts from a '60 Chevy were borrowed to create the unique floating dash, fitted with Classic Instruments custom gauges-including a speedometer that winds all the way up to 200 mph. We'll have to ask John about that.