Since 1936, the Chevy Suburban has been a staple of working class Americana. With no civilian vehicles in production from 1943 to 1945 due to World War II, Chevy would eventually reintroduce the Suburban with restyled bodylines, redesigned grille, and an engine that now offered a hefty 100 horsepower. Restoring an iconic American classic is exactly what Albert Grijalva of Tucson, Arizona, had in mind when he decided to trade a 1961 Chevy convertible to fellow Old Memories Car Club member “Oso” from their high desert chapter for a 1949 Chevy Suburban.
This restoration began with a trip to Chevy Classic in Tucson, Arizona, where majority of the work would be completed. Charles Smith and crew would rebuild the original 216 motor and three-speed open drive transmission adding Fenton headers along with dual exhaust. With an allocated custom C-notched 1950 Chevy frame, it was time to install a RideTech airbag suspension. The interior was adorned with refurbished trim along with authentic 1949 Chevy seats featuring original stitching and patterns.
Maintaining an original theme, the exterior would then be layered with a two-toned period-correct lacquer Sandstone Beige color combination. With Royal Plating bringing luster back to the original metalwork found throughout the vehicle, it was time to add those vintage accessories essential for any Old Memories build. This lengthy list would include a Fulton visor, GM compass, deluxe side trim, and picket fence grille guards just to name a few. Once the 16-inch Coker Classics were mounted onto hand painted artillery rims it was finally time to take a cruise down memory lane.
Vehicle: 1949 Chevy Suburban
Vehicle Nickname: A-Bomb
Owner: Albert Grijalva
Car Club: Old Memories C.C. So. AZ
City: Tucson, AZ
Engine: original 216 motor with a three-speed open drive transmission along with Fenton headers and dual exhaust by Carlos Smith of Chevy Classics
Upholstery: original 1949 stitching and patterns
Body/Paint: period correct two-toned lacquer Sandstone Beige color combination
Suspension: custom notched 1950 Chevrolet frame w/ RideTech airbag suspension by C-Smith of Chevy Classics in Tucson, Arizona
Wheels/Tires: painted artillery rims / 16-inch Coker Classics