In our March ’06 issue, we showed you how Eddie and Michael Tovar, owners of Tovar’s Restoration, bagged the front of Michael’s daily driven ’49 Chevy two-door sedan the low-buck “old school” way by modifying the stock suspension. It was simple, straightforward and took about one full day. (Note: The process is the same for ’49 through ’54 Chevrolets.)
This month, we’ll show you how the brothers bagged the rear of the bomb on a budget, without removing the body. The materials cost about $200, and it took several days to complete the work. It’s not so simple requiring the frame to be “step notched,” but it’s still very straightforward and doable for any savvy car builder.
To be certain, Michael got the correct airbags, as well as the compressors, tank, fittings, lines, valves, etc. He conferred with “Ponch” at The Bag Man (in Anaheim, California). Then he obtained all of the components from the air ride experts at Mac’s Springs (in Highland, California), including Firestone double convoluted airbags for the front and sleeve bags for the rear.
Next month, we’ll be following Ponch as he plumbs and wires everything to complete the sweet air ride. We’ll also cover the custom exhaust system built by Leonard, Jr. at Lou’s Mufflers & Radiators (in Hawaiian Gardens, California) to work with the adjustable rear suspension.
For now, follow the photos as Michael and Eddie show us how to convert the stock rear suspension of the ’49 into a cool air ride that will literally let it lay frame. (Note: To allow the tires to tuck when the rear is dropped all of the way, Michael put on a set of 5.60-15 Firestone Vintage tires with OG wide whitewalls from Coker Tire in Fresno, California.)