Malibu Lake, California's "Movie Mike" Geller makes his living buying, selling, and renting special-interest vehicles to movie studios. However, Geller is also a collector of sorts. Over the years he has owned a ton of really trick hot rods, including a variety of 1930s Fords, a '55 Chevrolet Stepside pickup, a few '58-61 Impalas, and even a '38 Lincoln Zephyr-Airstream camper- trailer combination. Now here's Movie Mike's latest, a '50 Chevy 3100-series Suburban.
"I found this thing on eBay. It had been sitting in a barn up in Oregon for 25 years," says Geller. "It was pretty cherry, so all I basically had to do was take it apart and perform what you would call your basic cosmetic and mechanical restoration!"
Starting with the chassis, Geller disassembled the 3.54:1 GM half-ton live rear axle and powdercoated the housing and the newly de-arched elliptic rear springs semi-gloss black at North Hollywood's Pyramid Powder Coating prior to reassembly. The same thing went for the factory I-beam front axle and leaf springs, as well as the chassis itself. In the process, Mike had all the nuts, bolts, and fasteners clear zinc oxide-plated by Van Nuys Plating, and the Chevy's steering box was also rebuilt back to stock. All-new brake components were used during the lengthy yearlong reassembly. However, rather than use the 16-inch original equipment GM steel wheels, Geller opted for a set of '38 Chevrolet artilleries rolling on a set of Coker Tire reproduction Firestone 7.00-16 "gangster whitewall" bias-plys.
Powering this beauty is a Coast Motors (Canoga, Park, California) assembled and machined 235ci Chevrolet straight-six. Internally, Geller's six-banger is 100-percent stock. However, on the outside the engine features a polished finned-aluminum Offenhauser rocker cover and a Jet Hot-coated factory exhaust manifold dumping the spent gases into a Morse Muffler (Burbank, California) custom exhaust system. Backing up Geller's inliner is a Dick Schumacher-assembled, floorshift-activated four-speed transmission.