The method in which Classic Trucks finds trucks worthy of being featured isn't always the same. It's true we spend a fair share of our time in the air flying to all reaches of the North American continent searching the truck shows for that one special pickup to feature, but sometimes the lead will come from an unexpected source nearby.
When the phone rang it was Bob Sage at Wheelsmith telling us that he'd just custom-made a set of four billet wheels to go on a 1949 Chevy pickup and it was worth having a look. The truck built by three friends collectively known as ACC (American Classic Customs) in Azusa, California, found the 1949 in Montana and then drove up and hauled it back home. The plan was to construct the nicest example of a Corvette-based Advance Design-series truck and then put it on the market for $160,000.
The stock 1949 Chevy 3100 frame was boxed for strength and a front and rear Corvette IFS conversion from Flat Out Engineering was installed. Adjustable coilover shocks from Chevs of the 40's were installed at all corners, and Corvette calipers fitted with special HPS brake pads clamp 12.5-inch Baer rotors. For rolling stock the aforementioned Wheelsmith 18- and 20-inch lightweight billet wheels are stuffed into Toyo rubber.
Corvette rack-and-pinion steering up front and a limited slip with 3.73:1 gears handles the rearend. Under the hood is where things really take on a Corvette feel. Power, 450 horsepower at 5,600 rpm to the rear wheels as recorded on ACC's chassis dyno comes from a brand-new 2013 GM Performance LS3. The LS3, thanks to a final dial-in by ACC, runs very strong, yet idles right down and pushes cold air from a computer-controlled Vintage Air A/C unit with no trouble.
Red leather and plenty of it fill the interior of the 1949, including a custom reworked bench seat and door panels. A particularly unique touch of class comes from red leather used to carpet the cab floor. Chrome strips pay tribute to the 1949 Chevy's linage to the Chevy Nomad wagon while protecting the leather carpet from harm. The mildly customized 1949 Chevy dashboard features a complement of American Muscle series Auto Meter gauges monitored through the spokes of Billet Specialties steering wheel perched on a full-tilt Flaming River steering column.
A GM Performance 4L65E computer-controlled automatic overdrive transmission is at the other of the column shifter. No New Age style custom is complete without a high-end sound system. ACC met vintage style with a Classic Car Stereo USA-630 head unit tied into a Boston Acoustics amp and speakers subtly blended into the interior. The ACC guys told us they waited a full two weeks to put the 1949 back together after drenching the truck in repeated coats of DuPont custom-mixed red urethane. The finishing touch was a painstakingly thorough color-sand and rub. No detail was overlooked when ACC themed the 1949 with a high style concept. The bed floor was fitted with rich African Mahogany then sealed with a glass-like heavy coating of marine grade varnish. The gas cap to the truck's rear-mounted tank pops up and then stows flush when not needed.
The guys at ACC did a first-rate job of building their 1949 three-window and there's no doubt someone is going to add up the total of the parts cost, the hours spent, and realize $160,000 isn't bad for a buy-it now fresh build.
1949 Chevy Advanced Design
American Classic Customs
Frame: 1949 Chevy
Rearend / Ratio: Corvette / 3.73:1
Rear suspension: Corvette Flat Out IRS
Rear brakes: Corvette
Front suspension: Corvette Flat Out coilover IFS
Front brakes: Corvette
Steering box: Corvette rack and pinion
Front wheels: Wheelsmith 18-inch billet
Rear wheels: Wheelsmith 20-inch billet
Front tires: Toyo Proxes T1R 235/40/18
Rear tires: Toyo Proxes T1R 255/40/20Gas tank: American Classic Customs (ACC)
Engine: 2013 Corvette LS3 6.2 liter
Valve covers: LS3
Manifold / Induction: LS3 with ACC 4-inch intake
Ignition: Corvette coilpacks
Exhaust / Mufflers: ACC custom / MagnaFlow
Modifications: stock exterior
Fenders front / rear: original
Grille: Classic Industries (CI)
Bodywork and paint by: American Custom Classics
Paint type / Color: DuPont two-stage / Viper Red
Headlights / Taillights: Classic Industries HID / CI LED
Outside mirrors: Classic Industries
Bumpers: Classic Industries
Gauges: Auto Meter
Air conditioning: Vintage Air
Stereo: Classic Car Stereo
Steering wheel: Billet Specialties
Steering column: Flaming River
Upholstery by: ACC
Material / Color: leather / red
Carpet: red leather