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1949 Chevrolet 3100 - The Right Stuff

The Right Coast Association's Giveaway '49 Chevy
November, 2007
By Chuck Vranas

An old saying in life professes that there are no free rides. However, every once and a while rules are meant to be broken, like when you lost your money for the bus and the driver took pity on you (especially when it was raining!), or when you broke down on the side of the road and a passing motorist stopped to give you a much needed lift. It's far and few times in today's life that you ever get something for nuthin', but then along comes Bob O'Connor, president of the Right Coast Association, to send off the old ways and start a whole new tradition. Each year since 2001 at the Syracuse Nationals in New York, Bob has given away a turnkey car to some lucky qualifying participant. The program was such a success that over the years they've given away some pretty bitchin' rides, including a trifecta of Deuces, a '37 Ford pickup slammed to the pavement by Wild Rods, and even a brand-new S-10. This past year, however, Bob decided the classic truck crowd needed some much deserved attention when he resolved to pull out all the stops and build a wicked '49 Chevy hauler to pass off to some lucky winner.

Giveaway vehicles are extremely time- consuming to get involved with, as they require a bevy of suppliers and builders to donate both their time and products on a very tight one-year schedule to make it all come together. The initial kick-start of this project got its first breath when longtime hot rodder and Right Coast Rep Dick Royer of Harrisville, Rhode Island, offered up a gennie '49 Chevy cab to act as the build-up's base. Bob liked the idea so much that after having some artwork done by Pfaff Designs on what the finished truck would look like, he began to put the plan for the latest giveaway vehicle into motion. Dave Tucci of Tucci Engineering was the first one to step up to the plate by having a virtual trailerload of parts delivered to his shop in Marcy, New York, to get the ball rolling and build the '49 into a complete roller.

Knowing that the first and most important part of the build would be a bulletproof base to support the truck, Bob contacted Fatman Fabrications, who generously offered up one of their complete Stage II roller chassis loaded to the hilt with all the right stuff. Starting with a spine constructed from 2x5-inch 'rails, the front suspension makes sure the truck will handle like a slot car thanks to a set of polished stainless steel control arms combined with coils and Koni shocks, while steering duties come courtesy of a rack-and-pinion unit. Wanting to bring just enough whoa into play, hearty 11-inch Master Power discs help bring the truck to a crawl when needed. To be sure the back end is just as tough as the front, a 9-inch Ford rear was called to duty, filled with 3.50:1 gears, while suspension chores are handled by a Fatman four-link combined with Carrera coilovers. Needing the growling sound of a healthy Bow Tie under the hood, Dobles GM Parts Depot in Manchester, New Hampshire, stepped up and donated a 350 crate V-8, while the gang at Mr. Gasket and CoolFlex made sure there was plenty of dazzle added to the mix with just the right amount of chrome goodies to bolt on. Linked to an RMP-built TH350, the truck was given just enough oomph to keep anyone happy pulling away from a green light while rolling with plenty of style thanks to a set of Radir Tri-rib wheels shod with Diamond Back wide white radials.

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With the truck now well on its way thanks to Tucci, it was time to send it off to Woburn, Massachusetts, and the care of Lenny Schaeffer and his crew at Chop-Shop Customs to dial in all the final custom metalwork and get it ready for paint. For plenty of glamour, Lenny laid down a slick coating of vibe that came courtesy of DuPont's Hot Hues paint line, giving the truck its signature good looks. After he added some tasty flames, a final call was made to Charlie Decker of One-Arm Bandit Striping to round out the last bit of perfection to the truck's smooth body. To be sure that its business office was as comfy as his living room, Bob rang up Fly Boyz Street Rod Design to stitch up a winning combination of Naugahyde and wool square-weave carpet to bring the last bit of the build together.

Add in a dash full of Haneline gauges, steering handled by a Flaming River tilt column topped with a Grant steering wheel, and crisp cold supplied by Hot Rod Air when those days get scorching, and you have one totally neat giveaway truck that sure kept us wishing we could have been the lucky ones to grab the keys and take it home. We're sure Sally Salisbury is wearing the biggest grin in town as she drives the living daylights out of her new hauler. Dig it!

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Facts & Figures
Right Coast Association / Sally Salisbury
Syracuse, New York
1949 Chevrolet 3100
FRAME: Fatman Fabrications, Charlotte, NC
REAREND / RATIO: ’69 Ford 9” / 3.50:1
REAR SUSPENSION: Fatman 4-link, Carrera coilovers
REAR BRAKES: Ford 10” drum
FRONT BRAKES: Master Power 11” disc
STEERING BOX: manual rack-and-pinion
FRONT WHEELS: Radir Tri-rib, 15x7
REAR WHEELS: Radir Tri-rib, 15x8
FRONT TIRES: Diamond Back Classic, 215/75R15
REAR TIRES: Diamond Back Classic, 255/75R15
GAS TANK: stock
ENGINE: Chevrolet 350 courtesy Dobles GM Parts Depot,Manchester, NH
HEADS: stock
MANIFOLD / INDUCTION: Edelbrock Performer / Holley Avenger 600
HEADERS: Sanderson
EXHAUST / MUFFLERS: 2 1/2”, powdercoated by Powdertech / Flowmaster
TRANSMISSION: GM 700-R4 courtesy RMP Powertrain Solutions, Northboro, MA
SHIFTER: Flaming River
STYLE: 3100 pickup
MODIFICATIONS: exterior mods by Chop-Shop Customs, Woburn, MA; custom firewall and floors by Tucci Engineering, Marcy, NY
FENDERS FRONT / REAR: LMC Truck Parts / Pro’s Pick
HOOD: stock, filled seam
GRILLE: LMC Truck Parts
BED: Pro’s Pick, including electric solid tonneau cover and oak floor with polished stainless steel strips
PAINT TYPE / COLOR: DuPont Hot Hues / Raisin’ Cain & Champagne Fizz
HEADLIGHTS / TAILLIGHTS: Hagen / Billet Specialties
BUMPERS: LMC Truck Parts, rolled rear pan
GAUGES: Haneline Products
Wiring: American Autowire
STEERING COLUMN: Flaming River polished stainless tilt
SEAT: Fly Boyz Street Rod Design, Horseheads, NY
UPHOLSTERY BY: Fly Boyz Street Rod Design
Material / Color: Naugahyde / ivory
CARPET: tan square-weave

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