There are some deals that are just too good to pass up. Take, for instance, numerous happy hours that revolve around $1 a beer, Jack In The Box two for $1 tacos, or Wal-Mart's $9.99 DVD combo pack consisting of The Three Amigos and Spies Like Us. No one can walk away from solid gold such as that! When Gary Paolucci stumbled across a '49 Chevy truck knee deep in completion, he couldn't pass up the deal the owner offered him to take the build off his hands.
Gary found the truck out in Nebraska, and at the time the previous owner was rounding third base on completing the truck, but for some reason he decided not to finish the truck and offloaded it to Gary, who had no qualms with that decision. Although the truck could have easily been finished in a mere matter of weeks, the truck wasn't exactly Gary's style, so he took the '49 to his Long Beach, California-based shop and went to work.
The biggest problem with the '49 was the suspension setup, especially the fact that it didn't lay frame. Gary's first task was to tear out the existing suspension and install a Chevy Nova clip in its place. Along with the IFS Nova clip came disc brakes and an ever-so-important airbag setup. In similar fashion, the back was outfitted with the 12-bolt rearend from the Nova and a parallel leaf spring setup, and, of course, airbags as well.
With the suspension and stance set, the next hurdle was deciding on wheels. The verdict came in as a set of Boyd Coddington Junkyard Dogs, which Gary later had chromed. Yet in order to stuff in the 20x10-inch rollers under the truck's bed, Gary had to mini-tub the bed. As for the front, the 18x8-inch Junkyard Dogs slid right in. The custom rear roll pan was already installed, and Gary figured something needed to be done up front as well. What he ended up doing to give the '49 a cleaner look up front without touching the body was to shave the front bumper bolts.
When Gary began contemplating what powerplant should sit between the framerails, nothing sounded better, literally, than a Chevy rat motor. Gary ordered a GM Performance Parts 454 crate motor. From there he ordered an Edelbrock intake manifold and a more aggressive Edelbrock cam. Providing the air and spark is a Holley carburetor and Mallory ignition. The last detail to go on the engine was the custom-built see-through valve covers. Backing the big-block is a Turbo 400 transmission with a Lokar shifter.
One of the key factors that led Gary to buy the Chevy is the fact that the previous owner had already completed all the paint and bodywork. And considering the color he chose was the deep and rich GM Indigo Blue, there was no need to change anything.
With the exterior finished, Gary just had to make up his mind on what he wanted to do with the interior. Keeping with the blue theme, Gary went with a blue German leather interior. The front seats were pirated from a Jaguar XJG and covered in the blue leather. Then the door panels were stitched to match the seats. Where the radio once sat in the Chevy's dash, four Auto Meter gauges to monitor the Chevy's heartbeat now sit. Auto Meter gauges also replaced the speedo and tachometer. Lastly, the interior was topped off with "Wolfy" the shift knob. Now the only thing left to say is that the '49 turned out to be one good deal.
Everything about this truck...
Everything about this truck is blue, even the German leather interior. Also notice how Gary installed four Auto Meter gauges in the upper middle of the dash.
Powering the '49 is this decked-out...
Powering the '49 is this decked-out GMPP 454 crate motor. Dig those see-through valve covers exposing the rat's internals.
Oh so familiar is this Boyd...
Oh so familiar is this Boyd Coddington 20-inch Junkyard Dog, yet something isn't quite right. That's because Gary's set of Boyds have been chrome-plated for a unique look.