The ’30s? The ’40s? How about the fabulous ’50s? Well, for the time being, let’s talk about the ’40s. Things were really cooking back then what with the end of World War II, the birth of bebop music and the invention of television. But since this is a car magazine, let’s talk about this beautiful ’48 Chevrolet Fleetline owned by Arturo “Scrapy” Sandoval of Fillmore, California. Like many of us, Arturo has always been a car fanatic, having already owned an ’81 Chevy El Camino and a ’64 Chevy Impala, so he went back to the “roots” of where lowriders came from.
Back in the ’40s, there was no such thing as chrome pumps, deep-cycle batteries or 13-inch wire wheels. Guys did what they could to their rides, like changing the paint, maybe swapping out the wheel covers and trying to lower the car by cutting springs in the front as well as removing one or two leaf springs in the rear. Some went to the extreme of removing the coils all together and using 2×4 pieces of wood as “cushion” from the road. Well, we aren’t in the ’40s and Arturo has acquired the knowledge and resources to build a superb ride without missing a beat. But first we asked how he came across the vintage vehicle. “I found it at the Pomona Swapmeet while checking out the scene,” reports Arturo. “I met this guy who was selling it because he couldn’t finish the project. He told me the price and I told him that I had the cash. He didn’t believe me until I pulled out the cash and handed it to him.”
Of course, once the pink slip was in hand, it was time for Arturo to finish it off. Take for example the suspension on “Greengo.” Arturo had Kevin at PBC Motorsports in Woodland Hills, California, install a Firestone air bag system. Four air bladders take the place of the time-worn springs. The air goes through 1/2-inch lines to the bags from a pair of 3-gallon tanks stowed away in the trunk. Four Firestone air compressors feed the air to the tanks, while a switchbox with 10 switches resides up front in the cabin. Arturo wanted to stiffen the suspension just a bit so he fabricated a custom sway bar for better handling.
The performance aspect of the bomb features a rebuilt OG 216-c.i.d. engine with chrome-plated goods done by Jesse at San Fernando Plating in San Fernando, California. The engine builder, Cesar Sandoval of S&S Auto Repair in Fillmore, California, also added touches like the striped sparkplug wires, and rewired the electrical system from 6 to 12 volts. There’s also a pair of Optima Yellow Top batteries, one for the air bag system and the other for the car itself. The other performance aspect is the straight-pipe exhaust system that produces a low drone when cruising the calles.
The exemplary body and paint work by Nico Almaraz of Nico’s Custom Paint Shop (also in Fillmore) is evident from bumper to bumper. The two-tone finish is done in a Sikkens European green pearl with dark green fenders to contrast with the sweet body lines, while Juanito’s Murals in Santa Paula, California, did up the mini mural beneath the exterior sun visor. The OG upholstery done in mohair was stitched by David Munoz of David’s Upholstery in Fillmore. Accessories inside along the refinished dash include the cigarette box and tobacco pipe holder, flashlight bracket and traffic light prism.
Any chance that he can get, Arturo gets together with his younger brother Beto and his wife, Leslie, and children for local outings in Ventura County, be it picnics, car shows or just cruising around town. So what’s next for Arturo? He wants to move his efforts into the future, only this time it’ll be something newer, like a ’64 Impala restoration. Hey, we can’t wait for that one, Arturo.
|Owner:||Arturo “Scrapy” Sandoval|
|Vehicle:||’48 Chevrolet Fleetline|
|Setup:||Firestone air bag system with four air bags, four air compressors, 1/2-inch lines, two 3-gallon air reservoirs, single air pressure gauge, 10 switches|
|Wheels:||15-inch steel wheels with crossbar covers|