1948 Chevy Truck - Donny's Flamin' Briquette
Lo Fat 48
By Bob Ryder
Photography by Douglas Sonders
Donny Harley from Clinton, Maryland, has been involved in custom rods for 30 years. About six years ago, Donny and his sportscaster buddy, James Brown, made a road trip out to California to check out the West Coast custom scene. One of the shops they visited was Jim Noteboom's Bones Concept Cars and Trucks in Hemet, California. Bones is one of the well-known custom builders in SoCal. During the '50s, while he was in his late teens, Bones built a full custom candy-orange '53 Chevy that appeared on the cover of Car Craft magazine. Ever since, Bones has been building some of the wildest customs, rods, and trucks on the planet.
One of Bone's show-stopping creations was this PPG Triple Black and House of Kolor Tangelo Orange flamed '48 Chevy pickup. Donny's buddy, James, had to have the truck. So, he bought it. After driving and showing the black and orange flamed '48 for five years, James sold it back to Donny in December of '06.
The truck's custom frame was boxed and stepped, while the front upper and lower A-arm use a pair of '84 Camaro spindles. The rear suspension was four-linked, while both front and rear suspensions were assisted by Air Ride Technologies pneumatic 'bags with KYB shocks, which allows the truck to layout on its running boards. A set of Colorado Custom South Park 17x8-inch front and 18x10-inch rear polished aluminum wheels are consumed in BFGoodrich T/A 215/45ZR17 front, and 295/45ZR18 rear rubber. Bubba's East Coast Rods and Customs in Fairfax, Virginia, ensured everything looked the part of custom on the chassis and performed all of the detail work.
For power, Bones had Bubba's East Coast Rods and Customs drop in a Chevrolet ZZ4 Fast Burn 385 350ci V-8 crate engine. An MSD coil and distributor supply electric pulses to the spark plugs threaded into each combustion chamber. The burnt gasses are exhausted into a pair of Dynomax headers that flow into a pair of Dynomax mufflers. A built 350 automatic transmission allows for smooth, but firm, gear changes.
The cab was chopped 2 inches, then channeled 2 inches over the framerails. The five-window cab was reduced to a big wrap-around Lexan rear window. Bones fabricated a custom bed with a tilted tailgate, featuring Oldsmobile Silhouette wrap-around taillights. The suicide hood was pancaked 2 inches, then pie-cut 1-inch. The '48 was then loaded into the trailer and delivered to Kal Concepts in Bakersfield, California, where custom paint guru, Craig Fraser, sprayed the entire sheetmetal with PPG Triple Black, then engulfed the entire truck with some wicked, wispy, House of Kolor Tangelo Pearl flames. Each flame was outlined with House of Kolor Magenta Pearl pinstripes.
Ron Mangnus of Custom Hot Rod Interiors in Rialto, California, is responsible for the incredible stitch work of the '84 Camaro, where black leather bucket seats were mounted atop the black carpet, then separated by a black leather custom waterfall center console. Meanwhile, black leather flame-embossed door panels, and a wrap-around black suede headliner tops the interior. A Vintage Air system maintains an ambient comfort zone in the interior. The Flaming River tilt column is capped with a Colorado Custom 14-inch black leather covered billet aluminum steering wheel. A Lokar pedal assembly controls the stop and go motions. The audio sound is kept simple with a Kenwood head unit that is powered by an Alpine Class D amp that is hidden under the seat. Meanwhile, four 6-inch Alpine speakers deliver the vibes.
If you attend any East Coast Goodguys shows, you can't miss Donny showing or cruising in his sizzling Lo Fat '48. Special thanks to Bubba's East Coast Rods and Customs for all of their help getting the truck to this stage