Rod & Custom Feature Car
Chuck Williamson
McCrory, Arkansas
1953 Dodge Meadowbrook Suburban
Owner contact info:

The chassis is mostly Washington state grown, starting with the Art Morrison Air Spring Plus front and rear suspension to drop the Dodge. The front framerails were modified to make way for the Ron Davis aluminum radiator and beefed up with a Panhard bar and anti-roll bar-with additional frame mods and mounts completed at Tim Levin Fabrications in Marysville, Washington. The rear includes an Art Morrison four-bar setup, along with a 9-inch Ford housing with 3.55:1 gears and limited slip, with a Strange S-series center section and 31-spline axles, and a Panhard bar. The Air Spring system is set up with an Air Ride Technologies springs and compressor system. Gabriel gas shocks and Wilwood Pro Series brakes are all around. Brakes feature a Hydratech Hydroboost booster. The power steering rack is from AGR Performance.

Even better than a Chevy in a Chevy or a Ford in a Ford is a Hemi in something actually produced by Chrysler. Dodge introduced the Hemi in 1953, but this one is a new 426 from Mopar Performance, bored, stroked, blueprinted, and balanced by Matt Hensley at Hensley Performance. It's packed with Ross pistons and Manley aluminum rods, plus a Crane Cams PowerMax hydraulic camshaft. The heads, crinkle-finish valve covers, and intake manifold are from Mopar Performance; a pair of Edelbrock Performance Series 600-cfm carbs is topped by a Billet Specialties air cleaner. Tim Levin built the headers, connecting to a custom exhaust system fabricated by Danny Liles at Mid-South Parts and Service in Jonesboro, Arkansas, and running into Flowmaster Outlaw round-case race mufflers. The Chrysler 727 transmission, assembled by Roger Williamson in McCrory, Arkansas, is equipped with Kevlar bands and a trans cooler, plus a PTI 2600-stall converter. The ididit column shifter runs a Lokar cable shift. Hughey Machine Shop in Jonesboro built the custom driveshaft.

Body & Paint
To enhance the stance of the low-sitting wagon, Chuck elongated the looks of the body by eliminating the vent windows and side-window pillars, along with every piece of hardware and trim from the hood, rear, and sides, and filling seams wherever possible, including the tailgate. The new side glass was cut and installed by Raburn's Mobile Glass in Jonesboro. The bumpers and grille were kept chromed, redone by Dan's Polishing in Adamsville, Tennessee. Chuck looked all over for that stock grille, finally finding what he needed at Collectors Auto Supply in Oroville, Washington. Autonik headlights incorporate LED turn signals; taillights are LED '39 Ford-style lights from Technostalgia. Final bodywork was completed at Roger's Rod & Custom in Jonesboro, where John Sutton shot the Rudder Red paint from DuPont Hot Hues.

Wheels & Tires
The big 'n' little tire and wheel combination adds to the street/strip character of the wagon, with 29x15.5x15 Hoosier Pro-Street Radials rolling on 15x15 Weld Pro Star rims with 4.5-inch backspacing. Riken Raptors, measuring 235/45ZR17, are mounted on 17x7 Crown Jewel five-spokes from Boyd Coddington Wheels.

The interior was finished with a lot of contemporary elements. Anthony and Angela Fry at Fry's Upholstery in Swifton, Arkansas, dressed up the Jeep Grand Cherokee power seats, custom center console, and door panels in buckskin-colored vinyl with ostrich-print inserts. The console holds the controls for the Air Ride system, power windows and doors, and Vintage Air air conditioning. The A/C vents are from Phipps, as are the front and rear dome lights. The dash was modified for a set of Odyssey Series I gauges from Dakota Digital. The Flaming River steering wheel is mounted on an ididit tilt column. Fry's installed the JVC DVD-CD-MP3 system and the Juliano's seat belts. Behind the seats, wheel tubs were built to accommodate the rear tires.