Is there such a thing as a perfect birthday gift? For a car guy like Joe Sanchez, receiving a1948 Chevy Fleetmaster from his loving wife, Carla, for his birthday was just that. Carla and Joe spotted the car while looking at different cars at The Garage in Irvine, California, in the fall of 2008. Out of all of the cars they saw that day, Carla was certain that Joe would love to add this classic Chevy to his collection. She went with her instincts and purchased the car, unbeknownst to Joe, and gave it to him as a surprise birthday gift. Just as she thought, he loved the Bomb and was ready to add his own touches to the vintage Chevy.

Joe asked his friend, Big Al Acosta, to help him restore and customize the Fleetmaster, to make sure it had the right look for the boulevard. Big Al went to The Garage to pick up the Chevy, and while he was waiting there, he struck up a conversation with Joe Pipas from Southern California’s Bomb Club. Pipas and Big Al had a mutual admiration for the Bomb, and Pipas offered to help Big Al with the Chevy. They exchanged numbers and made plans to meet up so that they could get the Fleetmaster ready for the street.

Big Al then took the car to Pipas’ house, where they began the transformation of achieving the new look. There were a few minor mechanical problems that Pipas took care of, and once those were knocked out, he installed the accessories. Big Al and Pipas would spend the next several weekends searching for parts and accessories at the Pomona Swap Meet.

The engine and drive train in the Fleetmaster consist of the stock 216/ 6 cylinder with a header and 3 speed on the column. The 2 door is painted Midnight Blue, which accents the plaid tan interior. Both the interior and paint were in excellent condition, so they were left alone during the build. A Pioneer CD player was installed in the glove box, in order to help keep the dash looking like it did back in 1948. Laid Out Kustoms in El Monte, CA installed the Remote Air Ride System, and the Bomb rolls on 15″ wheels with Beauty Rings and Dog Dishes.

Pipas and Big Al found all the accessories they needed during their multiple trips to the Pomona Swap Meet. They added Fleetline Strips, Fog Lights, Eye Lids, a Police Siren, Chrome Vent Shades, a View Finder and Pull Down Front and Rear Wrap Arounds, giving the Fleetmaster a classy, yet custom edge.

While working on the car, Big Al got to meet some good people from The Bomb Club. Though there were still a few minor things that could be added to this beautiful Fleetmaster, Pipas decided it was time to bring her out. He suggested to Joe and his wife, Carla, that they show the car at the 2009 Together Car Club Show at the Pico Rivera Sports Arena. This was the first time the Fleetmaster was shown and it got a lot of attention at the show. Though it did not place, Big Al (who represented Joe and Carla at the show) was approached by several car clubs, who asked if he would be interested in joining their club. As of today, this beautiful 1948 Fleetmaster is riding solo.

Carla and Joe would like to thank Mr. Joe Pipas, of the Bomb Club, for everything he did to help make this stock ’48 Fleetmaster a true gangster classic. They would also like to thank Adrian Nieto of Big House Clothing, and would like to extend an extra special thanks to Big Al for representing them at the car club functions and shows.

Owner: Joe & Carla Sanchez
Vehicle: 1948 Chevy Fleetmaster
City/State: City of Industry, CA

Engine/Drivetrain: Stock 216/6 Cylinder with headers and 3 speed on the column
Body/Paint: 2 Door/Midnight Blue
Interior: Plaid Tan
Sound System: Pioneer w/CD player
Suspension Set Up: Remote Air Ride system
Tires/Wheels: 15″ Wheels with Beauty Rings and Dog Dishes
Rare Accessories: Fleet Line Strips, Fog Lights, Eye Lids, Police Siren, Chrome Vent Shades, View Finder, Air Bagged all around, Pull Down, Front & Rear Wrap Arounds