1948 Chevy Truck - Marriage Counseling
From the March, 2010 issue of Custom Classic Trucks
By Dakota Wentz
Friends don't let friends drive imports, or at least that seems to be the case for Daniel Hanson. You see, back in high school Daniel's good friend Nick Fredricks built a '42 Chevy Coupe with his dad. Since the first day Daniel rode shotgun, he knew that someday he and his dad needed to embark on a journey like that, and Nick had always told him that he'd be there to lend a helping hand if that day ever came.
A truck always lurked in the back of Daniel's mind for the build, and when this '48 Chevy poked its head into the picture it was a done deal. The only problem was Daniel was married at the time he purchased the '48, and didn't exactly have the extra loot needed to proceed. But when Daniel's divorce entered the picture he figured what better therapy is there than beginning the build of a lifetime with his old man, Larry Hanson, and good friend Nick. Being that Daniel had no formal training in building hot rods, the build was a little hit-and-miss at times. Yet in the end, you would never know that this stunning '48 is the brainchild of a rookie.
When it comes to updating the chassis of a classic truck there are more applications out there than even an iPhone could run. Whether one chooses to use new parts, junk parts, American parts, or European parts, so long as the shoe fits, it's a go. When it came time for Daniel and his crew to fast-forward the chassis of the Chevy into the 21st century, they rustled up an '89 Jaguar XJ6 frontend. Just like a Mustang II swap, the Jag frontend outfitted the Chevy with all the modern necessities: independent suspension, rack-and-pinion power steering, and disc brakes. The frontend also equipped the '48 with one thing the Mustang II can't: adjustable torsion bars, which allowed Daniel to dial in the front ride height. Out back, Daniel kept things in the realm of the red, white, and blue with the addition of a Chevy S-10 rearend mated with a set of lowering blocks and Bilstein shocks to complement the front end drop. Bucking the trend of a small-block swap, Daniel kept the '61 235 inline-six that came with the truck. He did have Larry rebuild the motor and hop it up with a Clifford intake manifold and an Edelbrock carburetor and air cleaner. Completing the drivetrain is a 700-R4 tranny. One thing that just wasn't an option for Daniel was tubbing the rear of the Chevy, yet 20-inch rolling stock and a static drop was mandatory out back. In order to fulfill the quota, Daniel ended up ordering a set of 20-inch American Racing Torq-Thrust II wheels with a 3-inch reversed backspace, and Kumho 255/35 tires. Up front, the truck sports 18-inch Torq-Thrusts with Kumho 215/45 tires.
When Daniel settled on the '48, he picked it for its looks, and for that reason he saw no reason to change it-much that is. With Nick's help, Daniel tweaked a few things, such as shaving the vents on the side of the cab and smoothing the firewall. Another small touch is the custom-made bedrail caps that Daniel's brother worked up for him. When examined Sherlock Holmes style, one will find that the bed caps actually house LED lights, and act as backup lights. Beyond that, the '48 is all '48. The shade that struck the right cord with Daniel was Omni's Sydney Blue Pearl; therefore he picked up the paint gun and coated the Chevy. Setting a nice contrast in the bed is the oak wood stained with a dark mahogany toned hue.
Inside the cab is another combination of Sydney Blue Pearl and mahogany. For the metal inside the cab matches the exterior, and the upholstery is stitched in Ultra Vinyl Mahogany by WY-CO Rods Auto Interior. Adding pizzazz to the Astro van seat and custom door panels are Ostrich skin inserts. Rounding out the rest of the cab is the Flaming River column topped with a Torque Thrust steering wheel wrapped in tan leather. Staring the driver in the face is a set of Auto Meter MCX gauges, and a Vintage Air A/C system keeps the cab cool. Now that the build is all said and done, Daniel has no problem admitting that without the tripod of Larry, Nick, and himself the truck would still be sitting out in the yard, or even worse, long gone! For that reason, Daniel will also admit that the '48 would be the last thing they pried from his cold dead hands.