48 Fleetline Rebuild

48 Fleetline Rebuild

About this blog

This is a pictorial & written record of the total rebuild of our 1948 Chevrolet Fleetline Aerosedan which we purchased in July 2012 and have enjoyed for 5yrs. The car was imported from South Africa where it was produced factory RHD.

My vision for the car

Overall PlanPosted by Grant Zippel Sat, May 27, 2017 05:36PM
Since my early adult years I've wanted to undertake a full 'ground-up restoration'. In my early 20s I did rebuild a 1962 EJ Holden which won several awards, however the car was built in 3-stages (on & off the road) so not a planned project from start to finish. Over the next 20yrs, I purchased two rare 2-dr hard top Chevy's which previous owners had disassembled & abandoned the projects. I eventually realised that for a novice, this was not the way to begin. What I needed was a complete car (possibly drivable) so as to be sure verything required was present to begin with. I could then disassemble the car myself and know where every component belonged, providing a much better starting point. The Aerosedan was not produced in Australia so there are few here. This car has had a restoration 20-25yrs ago in Sth Africa.

Another reason I have yet to do a total-rebuild is due to a lack of confidence. I believe this undertaking will challenge me to overcome much of this. I've had 5yrs of driving & enjoying this car and have been gathering all the major components required for the build.

I get a real kick out of driving my classic cars and all 3 of them are over 50 years old. Stephanie has a late model Hyundai while I cycle to work daily. We also enjoy going on interstate trips to car events and discovering Australia's countryside. Adelaide's closest interstate border is 250km (150 miles) to the East.

This restoration will have upgrades to ensure we can comfortably cruise the suburbs of Adelaide along with long distance interstate driving well into our retirement years (perhaps with a vintage caravan in tow).

The build will be a traditional 'BOMB' low-rider style which by definition is a stock bodied GM product, (usually pre-1955) and loaded up with optional chrome accessories. Bombs usually have little or no body mods, but fabulous paintwork combined with the chrome extras & lowered suspension make the cars luxurious in style. Traditionally 'bombs' retain their 6-cylinder motors, perhaps with some mild modifications. Low & Slow is the motto!

Below is our car on on the 900km route home after purchase plus an example of a much lowered '48 Chevy Fleetline 'bomb'.
The modifications planned are;

* 235ci Blue Flame Chevy 6-cylinder (from a '55 Chevy)
* twin-carburetors on a Fenton manifold
* Fenton split cast-iron exhaust manifold
* TH700 4-speed automatic trans
* Limeworks collapsible Safety Shift column
* 1957 Chevy 3.36 open differential
* 1969 HT Holden front-end & suspension
* Rack & pinion steering (from a Holden VB Commodore) shortened to suit
* 2" dropped spindles (CRS)
* Ventilated disc-brakes (Holden HQ)
* 12v conversion (new wiring throughout)
* Fully restored ’48 Chevy radio with FM conversion & full-modern internals
* Fulton sun visor
* Rear skirts (wheel spats like on the grey car above)
* extra chrome accessories TBA

Currently the Fleetline is still 'on the road' but will soon be pulled down for this challenging project. I'm looking forward to it (I think) smiley.

Regards, Grant

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