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1948 Pickup - Full Circle

Gary Caton's '48 Chevy Five-Window
December, 2009
By Grant Peterson
Select to EnlargeYou might have been warned about putting all your eggs in one basket, but what if you put all those baskets safely in a classic truck? Even though Gary Caton's '48 Chevy started out life as an egg truck and anything but classic in post-World War II's burgeoning America, it would take more than half a century to be treated as such. In fact, it was rolled into a barn for 25 years and then forgotten where trees would eventually block the doors and form a time capsule of sorts.

Gary found out about the sleeping truck through a friend and took Carl and Shane Carey, of Carey's Classics in Burgin, Kentucky, to scope it out. Despite the many years spent in the barn, it was in worse shape than expected and they advised Gary against buying it. That didn't slow Gary down, as he was set on finding a '48, which he soon did and signed his name to the title of a running, fairly updated 3100.

A few years went by and Gary both drove and showed his '48, but he couldn't get the old egg truck out of his mind. Eventually he went back and bought it. After taking it over to Carey's Classics, Gary's wife (now ex) warned against spending too much on the truck. Well, soon there wasn't anyone nagging him about the money and the work began. He really wanted most of the stock good looks on the outside with an updated suspension and drivetrain. A rolling chassis from Fatman Fabrication was ordered with a Mustang II IFS and a four-link in the rear with RideTech's Pro Ride E2 system at each corner. Amongst the polished stainless steel control arms and the John's Industries Ford 9-inch are two pairs of Baer 13-inch disc brakes. Once it was certain that the frame was finished, it was sent off to Armstrong Custom Powder Coating. Gary picked out a set of 20-inch Billet Specialties Roulette wheels and wrapped each one in BFGoodrich rubber.

Once the chassis was back, the '00-model Chevy LS1 and 4L60E transmission would be set in place. The 5.7L engine runs like a top-a powerful top-thanks to a Magnuson Pro Charger! The LS is said to be puttin' 500 ponies to the crank. A polished serpentine belt system from Street and Performance ties the front of the engine together while a pair of Sanderson headers lead to a coated custom exhaust system by the Muffler Shop.

After the sheetmetal was 'blasted, Carey's Classics found a bit more rot than even they expected, but Gary was determined. In the end the drip 'rails were shaved but little else, even though a few of the stock lines were smoothed out. A new smooth steel bed from Mar-K was ordered and prepped along with 'glass rear fenders from Superior Glass Works that are 2 inches wider than stock. Once the body and prep work was done, Shane Carey mixed up a custom blend of silver using PPG products that would soon cover the truck from top to bottom, inside and out. Even the oak bedwood from Mar-K was given a special satin silver coat to flow with the sheetmetal.

Carey's Classics sent the '48 over to Lewallen Street Rod Interiors where David worked the magic his shop is known for. A pair of Pro Scat bucket seats and the door panels were covered in gray leather and snakeskin. Also upholstered are custom kick panels that house vents for the Vintage Air as well as speakers for the Sony stereo system.

After a quick and busy year at Carey's Classics, the '48 that was once left for dead, emerged from seclusion to be nicer than was ever imagined by the old farmer.

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Gary Caton
Danville, Kentucky
1948 Chevrolet Pickup Truck
FRAME: Fatman Fabrication
REAREND / RATIO: Ford 9” / 4.11:1 posi
REAR SUSPENSION: Fatman four link, RideTech
FRONT SUSPENSION: Fatman Mustang II, RideTech
BRAKES: 13” Baer disc
STEERING BOX: Flaming River rack-and-pinion
FRONT WHEELS: Billet Specialties Roulette, 20x8.5
REAR WHEELS: Billet Specialties Roulette, 20x10
FRONT TIRES: BFGoodrich KDW, 255/35/R20
REAR TIRES: BFGoodrich KDW, 295/45/R20
GAS TANK: Kustom Tanks
ENGINE: ’00 Chevy 5.7L LS1
HEADS: stock
VALVE Covers: LS2 carbon fiber
MANIFOLD / INDUCTION: Magnuson Pro Charger /
Magnuson Pro Charger EFI
EXHAUST / MUFFLERS: custom 2 1/2" / Flowmaster 50 Series
HEADERS: Sanderson
STYLE: 3100 five window
MODIFICATION: shaved drip 'rails, altered running boards
FENDERS FRONT / REAR: stock / 2” wider, Superior Glass Works
HOOD: stock
GRILLE: stock chrome
BED: Mar-K
BEDWOOD: pickled gray oak, Mar-K
BODYWORK: Carey’s Classics
PAINT: Carey’s Classics
PAINT TYPE / COLOR: PPG / custom mixed silver
HEADLIGHTS / TAILLIGHTS: Diamond Cut / custom LEDs
BUMPERS: smooth stainless steel
GAUGES: Classic Instruments
DASH: stock
STEERING COLUMN: Flaming River, tilt
SEATS: Pro Scat buckets
UPHOLSTERY BY: Lewallen's Street Rod Interiors
MATERIAL / COLOR: leather and snakeskin / gray
CARPET: gray square weave


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