Late-‘40s pickups have become a staple in the hotrod community. We’ve seen all sorts of different builds using the same classic body, each with their own unique style—yet this old Chevy is unlike anything we’ve ever seen before.
Built by Sparks Speed Shop, out of Bethalto, Illinois, this is one cool ’49 Chevrolet pickup! We tracked ’em down and got the backstory on this awesome build.
The project started out as an original 1949 Chevrolet truck, but the only part left from ’49 is the cab. “Any rust issues on the cab were repaired properly,” explained Ben Julian, owner of Sparks Speed Shop, “The cab was then sandblasted to bare metal, sealed, and worked so that everything fits correctly.” The cab has handmade floors and a firewall that were fabricated in house at Sparks.
Both doors, the bed, fenders, and running boards are new sheet metal from Antique Auto Parts and Sale. The hood is a one-piece hood and all of the parts were carefully fitted to the cab and frame so that everything lines up perfectly. The striking charcoal paint color on the car is a PPG paint mix sprayed in house by the folks at Sparks Speed Shop. “The color is a mixed metallic charcoal grey with a satin clear coat,” Ben explained.
The truck sits on a complete chassis by Total Cost Involved and features a polished four-link rear suspension system with Ridetech coilovers, polished front A-arms with Ridetech coilovers, and Wilwood disc brakes on all four corners for reliable stopping power. When Spark Speed Shop set this build on the TCI chassis and supported it with Ridetech and Wilwood hardware, they knew what they were doing.
Powering this street machine is a GM performance 350 cubic-inch engine that puts out 300 horsepower and 335 lb-ft of torque. “The engine features FI-Tech fuel injection, a Billet Specialtis serpentine kit with A/C and power steering, Hooker headers, MSD ignition, and a GM performance dress up kit. In addition to the 350 cubic-inch engine, the drivetrain features a 700-R4 automatic transmission built by Transmissions to Go, a custom driveshaft built by Denny’s Drive Shafts, and a Ford 9-inch rearend with 3.70:1 positraction gearing. “The fuel tank is an aluminum tank that is setup for the electronic fuel injection,” Explained Ben, “And the engine is cooled by an Afco radiator and electric fan.”
The build sits on a set of 20-inch Detroit Steel Wheels that were sanded and custom painted in house at Sparks Speed Shop. The center caps and trim parts were hand-sanded to match the brushed finish on the rest of the trim parts. The look of the wheels is perfectly matched to the style of the rest of the truck and the design flows seamlessly top to bottom.
Inside, the interior is 100-percent custom and features a Restomod A/C system, ididit steering column, Billet Specialties steering wheel, and Clayton Machine Works window cranks and handles. The custom interior was stitched in house using Relicate leather and carpet.
The instrument cluster is out of a 1959 Impala and was custom fit to the dash of the truck. The ’59 Cluster has also been upgraded with Classic Instruments‘ gauges for a high-performance and accurate readout on the truck’s current status as it’s cruising down the road. The interior also features a high-end Kenwood stereo system for quality tunes while cruising, and blue ambiance lighting for the best possible interior accents at night.
This is one of the coolest hotrod truck builds that we’ve seen in a long time. The timeless look of the finished wood bed combined with the custom look of the Cadillac dagmar bumper and ’59 Impala instrument cluster to create the perfect style for this one-of-a-kind truck. The style flows seamlessly inside and out with the interior perfectly matching the aesthetic of the exterior. We love this truck.