Rod & Custom Feature Car
1950 Chevy Fleetline
Simple, affordable, and functional, the Chevy's stock suspension is updated with Fatman dropped spindles and custom springs in front and a Chevy S-10 rear axle on Posies leaf springs and lowering blocks out back.
Even the small-block V-8 is vintage. It's a '63 283 that was treated to fresh machine work at Heath Machine in Geneva, Nebraska, before Bone Engines in Grand Island reassembled it with Comp camshaft, Edelbrock intake, and Rochester QuadraJet. Since our photos were taken, Earl has added Sanderson headers to route fumes through the glasspacks and dual exhaust. A 200-4R overdrive transmission-rebuilt by Heartland Transmission in Kearney-keeps the revs low for highway cruisin'.
Wheels & Tires
The Chevy's stock steel wheels use Goodyear 6.70x15 wide whitewalls to help show off the nicely polished Studebaker hubcaps.
Body & Paint
Bodywork and paint credit go to Gary and Dean Gerberding at The Body Shop in Grand Island, Nebraska. Over the course of a decade they filled the Chevy's hood, molded in a '53 Chevy grille, frame, frenched the headlights using Merc rims, and gracefully added '50 Ford windsplits and taillights. A one-piece Olds windshield and shaved handles and trim-including the beltline moldings-further cleaned things up. The stock fender skirts were extended to match the rear fender lines, while a single antenna was frenched into the top of the right front fender. Shaved stock bumpers and a floating grille bar-built from two dummy spotlight housings and a center bar of unknown origin-provide the necessary brightwork. The rich maroon hue is actually a single-stage enamel fleet color, and looks more appropriate for the era this custom represents rather than a flashy candy color.
Stanley Upholstery in Red Oak, Iowa, stitched the stock seats in period-appropriate black Naugahyde, with rolls and pleats that extend up and over the seat tops. The door and side panels got a similar treatment. A dash of pinstriping by Jim Curran adds class to the dash, along with a Chevy DeLuxe accessory wheel from Night Prowlers and a Lokar shifter. Vintage Air has been added since we shot these photos.