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1948 Chevy Pickup - Black Beauty

Reinventing the Classic Flatbed Chevy Formula

Patrick McCarthy
Oct 28, 2013
Photographers: Isaac Mion
The moment someone utters the word flatbed, images of a tired, dented work truck sputtering down the highway spring to mind. Sure, flatbeds may be functional, but they're nowhere near as sexy as a smooth metal fleetside or stepside, right? Dick Hoffman of Denver would disagree, and after seeing his gorgeous take on the classic flatbed Chevy design, we're right there with him. This '48 pickup proves once and for all that a flatbed can be sleek, sensuous, and absolutely stunning.
This truck started life drastically different from what you see here, since it was originally a 1½-ton flatbed model. Owner Dick Hoffman entrusted Denver–based shop Color on Wheels with the build, and they quickly got to work converting it into half-ton configuration. The process began by fabricating an all-new custom frame from steel plate, complete with a Heidts Superide independent front suspension and polished coilovers on all four corners. Heidts tubular control arms hold new drop spindles and 14-inch Wilwood big brakes up front. Out back a triangulated four-link suspends the new 9-inch Ford rearend, which is outfitted with Moser axles, 3.73 gears, and 13-inch Wilwood discs. Completing the rolling chassis is a set of 18- and 20-inch staggered Billet Specialties wheels wrapped in BFG rubber.
Photo 2/5   |   Combining a ’48 split-window cab with the more modern ’54 frontend creates a subtle new look. You’d never know this sleek Chevy was originally a 1 1/2-ton work truck.
Before dropping a cab and bed onto the new chassis, a 350ci V-8 was heavily massaged to power the classic Chevy. With a forged 383ci stroker rotating assembly, ported and polished aluminum heads, an aggressive cam, FAST fuel injection system, and Sanderson long-tube headers, this small-block pumps out more than 500 hp at the crank. Bolted to a built 700-R4 transmission, this setup provides more than enough power to smoke the 10-inch-wide rear tires at will.
"This '48 pickup proves once and for all that a flatbed can be sleek, sensuous, and absolutely stunning."
Finally, the cab was dropped back in place. The decision was made to keep the '48 cab with its split window design, but newer '54 frontend parts were installed for a sleeker look. In the rear, custom fenders and a roll pan were formed to accommodate the flatbed configuration. LED taillights and a wide center-exit exhaust tip were added for modern styling, and it was all topped off by a stunning Brazilian cherry wood bed. Brushed aluminum accents and a matching cherry wood toolbox finish off the bed, leaving an ideal mix of classic and custom styling cues. Inside the cab, black wool carpet, leather headliner, and a Glide leather bench seat was installed by Auto Weave Upholstery, in Denver. Vintage Air A/C and a Lecarra leather-wrapped steering wheel make the driver's seat a nicer place to be, while an Alpine stereo system with custom under-seat sub box handles audio playback.
After countless hours of hard work and fabrication, this classic Chevy was finally complete, and it looks truly stunning cruising the Colorado highways. The owner wants to thank the build team at Color on Wheels, as well as everyone else that had a hand in seeing this project through to completion.
Inside the Build
Year Make Model:
1948 Chevy Pickup
Owner and City/State:
Dick Hoffman • Denver, Colorado
Type: 350ci V-8 with forged 383ci stroker rotating assembly
Heads: Ported and polished aluminum
Cam: Comp Cams
Induction: FAST four-barrel throttle body
Exhaust: Sanderson headers, Color on Wheels custom exhaust
Fuel System: FAST EFI system, 36-pound injectors, Walbro fuel pump, 27-gallon aluminum tank
Ignition: Moroso plug wires
Engine Management: FAST
Output: 525 hp, 525 lb-ft of torque
Built by: DC Racing Engines • Denver, Colorado
Transmission: Built 700-R4
Rearend: 9-inch Ford with narrowed Moser axles, 3.73 gears
Front suspension: Custom-fabricated frame, Heidts Superide IFS with polished stainless coilovers, Heidts drop spindles, Heidts tubular control arms
Rear suspension: Custom back half, Heidts Superide polished stainless coilovers, triangulated four-link
Brakes: Wilwood 14-inch front disc and 13-inch rear disc, braided stainless lines
Wheels & Tires
Wheels: Billet Specialties Bonneville G, 18x8-inch front and 20x10-inch rear
Tires: BFG Traction T/A, 245/45R18 front and 295/35R20 rear



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