Ever since I used a pair of C10 trailing arms with airbags on a customer's car a couple of years ago, and was impressed with the ride quality those long arms offered, I planned on using a pair on my '49 Chevy. I even went so far as to scrounge a pair from my co-worker, Custom Classic Trucks' Cody Wentz, when he upgraded his own truck.

Then, I got to talking with Danny Nix at Classic Performance Products, and a plan was hatched to use my car to prototype a new bolt-in trailing-arm kit for the '49-54 Chevys. This fit perfectly with my bolt-together theme for the car, so I dragged the sorry-looking coupe over to CPP's Anaheim facility. The stock closed drivetrain wasn't part of my plan, so I replaced the stock rearend with a Currie Enterprises custom Ford 8-inch axle featuring 11-inch brakes, big-bearing Torino axle ends, new 28-spline axles, and 3-inch axle tubes. I didn't feel a 9-inch was necessary in what will essentially be a cruiser, albeit hopefully a long-distance one. Plus, space under the car was at a premium, as I'd already C-notched the chassis and altered the floorpan, and the smaller 8-inch pumpkin would offer more clearance. Since I'd already modified the driveshaft tunnel to clear the stock enclosed driveline, which ran down the center of the tunnel, I requested the axle from Currie with the yoke centered and the pumpkin offset, too-another reason for making the most of the space available.

Opting for ShockWaves from Air Ride Technologies to provide suspension, rather than the regular airbags I'd originally envisioned using, meant this part of the install will differ from the production version of CPP's kit (though the lower ShockWave mounts as shown here are available, too), as my car has an additional 4 inches of suspension drop, thanks to the C-notch. 'Bags and another crossmember will replace the ShockWaves on the production kit, since a stock floorpan won't allow the height required to fit 'em.

With all the pieces of the puzzle in one place, here's how the Purple Pig went from having its stock axle swaying around on 6-inch blocks and leaf springs to riding in style with long trailing arms and adjustable air suspension carrying a 3.55:1-equipped live axle with brakes big enough to haul the Chevy down from the speeds at which I usually travel. Hey, they're cars, and I drive 'em like I do my daily.

SOURCE
Air Ride Technologies
350 S. Charles St
Jasper
IN  47546
812-482-2932
www.ridetech.com
Currie Enterprises
7-14/-528-6957
www.currieenterprises.com
Classic Performance Products
175 East Freedom Avenue
Anaheim
CA  92801
800-522-5004
www.classicperform.com
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