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1948 Chevy Pickup - Orange Slice

Ron's '48 Chevy 3-Door

By Bob Ryder
Photography by Bob Ryder

The current baby boomer generation has exited turn four and is accelerating down the home stretch. During the baby boomers' time, they introduced the world to hot-rods, lead sleds, muscle cars, and vintage custom trucks. These high-performance machines have become a part of their extracurricular activities during their journeys through life. Some became addicted at a young age, while others were diagnosed later on in life. The custom rods and trucks have played a big part in this generation's lifestyle. We hope this hobby and lifestyle will be passed on to the next generations to come.

One of these baby boomers is Ron Dixon from Yuba City, California. Ron has owned many wild rides since his teenage years, but he became serious later in life when he could afford more exotic customs. During the past 18 years, he has built and owned a '41 Willys, three '34 Ford Coupes, and roadsters. His most recent creation is this incredible, orange and yellow flamed '48 Chevy Crew Cab, 3-door pickup, which has a potent '08 406ci supercharged small-block. Ron is actually the second owner since the project began. Ron purchased the truck from Chuck Wilgust in Ontario, Canada. After Ron bought the truck, Chuck kept it at his shop in Ontario to complete some modifications, which took two years. It was then shipped out to Ron in California. Frankie Martinez Jr. at Cool Custom Auto Upholstery in Yuba City, California, designed and completed the immaculate interior. While at Cool Custom Auto Upholstery, the previous supercharged small-block 350 detonated while being moved.

A new 406ci Dart engine was machined, blueprinted, and balanced by D Riley and his team at D Precision Engines in Yuba City, California. The Edelbrock aluminum heads were ported and polished, and there's a crisper Comp Cams hydraulic roller cam with 282 degrees of duration and .620 lift. A set of Eagle connecting rods link the Eagle pistons to the Eagle steel crankshaft and the heads were set up with a set of Comp Cams 1.75 roller rockers. The air/fuel mixture is delivered through a pair of 650cfm BLP carburetors, while a 671 blower drive service (BDS) supercharger force-feeds the healthy 406ci small-block. When the ignition key is turned on, an electrical charge is sent through the MSD coil, MSD distributor, and MSD ignition wires to the spark plugs, which then ignites the air/fuel mixture inside the heads' combustion chambers. A pair of Sanderson block-hugger ceramic coated headers direct the gasses into a 2--inch-diameter exhaust that flows into a pair of Flowmaster mufflers. Next, a LoKar shifter was bolted up to the ididit chrome steering column, then it was capped with a custom leather-wrapped Billet Specialties steering wheel. Then, a beefed up GM 350 automatic transmission received a 3,000rpm stall converter. The mighty 690 hp is dispersed to the rear wheels through a Dutchman independent rear suspension (IRS), while the Ford 9-inch center section was stuffed with 3.73 gears.

The immaculate chassis was based off of an '88-`96 Chevrolet pickup frame with a set of four Air Ride Technologies Shockwave `bags that allow the running boards to hug the ground. Meanwhile, the horsepower is decelerated by a pair of GM power disc brakes up front, and Wilwood disc brakes out back. A set of American Racing 17- and 20-inch chrome Hype wheels were wrapped in Goodyear Eagle, 245/45R17 front and 275/45R20 rear, rubber.

Chuck Wilgust created the unique 3-door extended Crew Cab, by using two '48 Chevy Cabs, cutting the front half just behind the doorjamb. Then, the rear half was cut and fused to the front half. The cab's lid was then lowered 3- inches, while the door handles were removed and shaved. Chuck also designed and fabricated the custom bed with a molded-in floor, featuring polished stainless steel stringers. The rear fenders were also molded into the bed sides, while the front and rear bumpers and running boards were fused to the body and the bed. The headlights were frenched, while the rear taillights were rescued from a Chevy van, then cut down to fit. After the body mods were completed, Chuck laid down a couple House of Kolor White basecoats, then covered it with multiple coats of House of Kolor Tangelo Pearl Orange. A set of traditional hot-rod wispy yellow flames were taped off, masked, and sprayed. Then, the entire painted surface was buried in multiple coats of House of Kolor Clear.

Opening one of the three doors exposes us to the incredible custom interior, courtesy of Frankie Martinez Jr. at Cool Custom Auto Upholstery in Yuba City, California. The full-length custom fiberglass waterfall center console houses the two rear 8-inch subwoofers, LoKar shifter, Kenwood head unit with a KVT-817 DVD and Auto Meter carbon fiber fuel, oil, water temp, and volt gauges. The front Lexus bucket seats and custom-made rear seats were covered with Classic Cashew and Phoenix leather inserts. The Vintage Air system is responsible for the interior's ambient temperature.

As this feature was written, we got word that Ron had to go in for open-heart surgery. Fortunately, everything was corrected and Ron is recuperating at home. He was bummed that he wasn't able to make the Summer Pleasanton Show this year. We hope to see Ron and his wonderful wife, Linda, at a show real soon. Our best wishes to you, Ron, from the Truckin' staff.

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