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1948 Chevy Pickup - Quick Silver

This Parts Chaser Got One Heck Of A Makeover

By Jim Rizzo, Photography by Shane Reichardt

Gary Brown is heavy into trucks. That's no big deal, except to those poor unenlightened souls who're under the misguided impression that trucks are purely for work or transportation. But, the thing is, though the Brown family business is a Chevrolet dealership chock full of brand-new, high-tech pickups, Gary prefers to park his seat in a classic! At any given time this gent could easily pilot any of Chevrolet's latest, yet he prefers to be behind the wheel of this sweet '48. Talk about a man after our own hearts!

Gary's preference for pre-'50 iron stems from when he was just a lad of 17 and the proud owner of a '48 Chevy pickup. The old girl was a bit rough around the edges. But it carried him wherever he needed to go, and rarely let him down. In fact, that old workhorse served him well for quite a few years but, unfortunately, was put out to pasture when he decided to marry. Later, Gary ran across a '48 Chevy that was nearly identical to the one he used to have. The old pickup reminded him of his boyhood love (the one with wheels), and he instantly decided that it had to be his. With a bit of persuasion, he purchased the one-owner pickup and immediately put it to work, as both a driver and a dealership parts chaser.

Well, it wasn't long before he figured he'd treat the '48 to a complete facelift. In fact, he decided that since he was going to do it, he might as well do it right and make the old gem the rival of any of those shiny new trucks on the dealership lot. And as we're sure you'll agree, there's not a showroom-new truck on the planet that can hold a candle to this baby!

Once he'd had made up his mind to begin the truck's massive makeover, it was only a matter of days before he turned it over to the more-than-capable hands of Mike Goldman of Mike Goldman Customs. Gary had so much confidence in Mike's expertise that all he told him upon dropping off the truck was that it had to be silver inside and out. With that, he walked out the door, and the rest is, as they say, history.

Mike began the project by calling FatMan Fabrications. He had them send over one of their custom-made rectangular tube frames. Upon its arrival he installed the complete front suspension from an '87 Corvette and a Borgeson-connected, Budnik-topped ididit tilt column. Once the front end was in place he moved aft, where he mounted a drum-brake 9-inch rear using a FatMan triangulated four-bar setup and a pair of Carrera coilovers. Once the front and rear suspension and steering were handled, Mike then began to plumb the chassis. For this he used lots of stainless and various custom brackets and clamps by Fuzzies Performance. Before lowering the finished chassis to the ground, a quartet of Budnik billet wheels fitted with Goodyear rubber were mounted at all four corners

As for motorvation, Chevrolet ZZ4 crate motor was chosen for its legendary reliability and out-of-the-box performance. The engine was topped with an Edelbrock 750-cfm carb, an HEI, and a pair of HPC-coated tube headers. The healthy small-block was then backed by a B&M-cooled, ididit/Lokar-shifted, 700-R4 automatic and hooked to the 9-inch rear via a custom Denny's driveshaft.

Now, a chassis like this deserves more than just a bunch of shiny stock sheetmetal. Aside from massaging out the pickup's countless dents, dings, and rot holes, Mike decided to apply a bit of his customizing expertise on nearly every panel. He started by chopping the top a full 3 inches (taking only 2 inches out of the rear glass). He then removed the vent windows and modified the doors to accept one-piece glass. Next, the windshield opening was reworked to accept a one-piece, flush-fit glass, the body was completely shaved and filled, and the hood smoothed and fitted with a custom bull-nose-style peak.

The headlights were then frenched, and the parking lamps flush-fit. Moving to the back up the truck, Mike raised the bed 3 inches off the framerails and extended the bedsides and stake pockets downward by the same amount. He then fabricated a custom rolled rear pan to fit the raised cargo bed. And, as the perfect complement for his custom touches, he fitted up a Briz bumper and custom filler panel up front. Once the bodywork was completed, Mike coated his masterpiece with a flawless coating of PPG Brilliant Silver Poly and 2020 clear.

For the finishing touch for this most impressive pickup, it was handed off to Wayne and Pam McGriff for a bit of the couple's upholstery expertise. The McGriff's covered the truck's cockpit (including its custom seats and handmade door panels) with yards of glove-soft silver leather and silver-gray wool carpeting.

To say that Gary's got himself a nice truck would probably be one of history's biggest understatements. And short of wow, there's not much more that we can think of to say.

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By Jim Rizzo
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