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Home : Scrapbook : Roamin Angel Corner Index : 1949 Chevy Pickup

1949 Chevy truckIn the old days, hot rodders would modify their vehicles by finding parts where they could, making parts they couldn’t find and doing all the work themselves. Nowadays, there are so many specialty shops and parts dealers that you can find almost any part or service you want. For a price. But Steve Seward is an old-style hot rodder. With his business, Rough and Ready Street Rods, he has the tools and machines to do about anything and the skill to use them. Plus he enjoys doing it. About twenty years ago he saw a ‘49 Chevy pick-up for sale. It was in decent condition and all original, with an in-line six engine and Cal-Trans-looking orange paint known as “Omaha Orange.” He had owned and loved a few of those trucks over the years and bought it, planning on doing a re-do when the engine blew. Sixteen years later it finally did, and Steve set to work. After going though a ‘64 327 CID engine, he dropped it in with a BorgWarner 5-speed overdrive trans with a ‘70 Corvette clutch and pressure plate that required custom-making many parts to adapt them to each other and the truck. A 3.55:1 8 3/4" rear end from a Dodge drives the rear wheels while he adapted the suspension from an ‘81 Z-28 Camaro in the front. To gain traction, he used diamond-plate steel for the bed’s floor. In the interior, he used Chevy Blazer seats and a Flaming River tilt column with a ‘92 Chevy pickup steering wheel. Finally he repaired all the dents, cracks and holes in the body before painting it yellow, a long-time favorite color. Almost everything Steve used came from wrecking yards or he found on KNCO’s Swap Shop and he did almost all the work himself. That includes machining, mechanics, body repair and even painting. In doing so, he had a lot of fun and saved a lot of money. And that is exactly how hot rodding was done “in the old days.”

1949 Chevy pickup

This is Steve’s daily-driver and work truck, although it looks too good for that. He had the 17" wheels custom made with negative offset in the front and positive in the rear.

Steve flycut the pistons to make the small-block engine run on regular, but he added Sanderson headers and a Mallory HEI distributor for performance. A Be-Cool radiator he salvaged from a car he previously owned keeps the engine cool.

Steve kept the interior neat and uncluttered, using Auto Meter gauges and an AM/FM radio he saved from a car his dad owned. He added P/S. P/B and Old Air A/C for comfort.

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