The Chevrolet Fleetline has long been a highly sought after collectible, and with only 65,433 produced, the 1946 version is among one of the rarest. With long flowing body lines and its huge presence, it may have been normal back then but by today’s standards it flaunts a huge presence that makes you rethink what the term “big body” means.
When it comes to the car world, the definition of “normal” is extremely subjective. What may be the norm for some might be unusual for others, and for Michael Archuleta Jr. lowriding is just that, “normal.” Thanks in part to his father, Michael Sr., who had him lowriding since the age of 9, lowriding is what he knows. It’s what he grew up on. From lowrider bikes to helping his dad build his own 1954 Chevy, Michael undoubtedly has a deep connection to the scene, and the recent completion of his 1946 Fleetline is proof.
Always wanting a 1946 Fleetline, he found one, courtesy of his longtime friend, Dave. The car would get a complete rebuild, starting with a two-tone paintjob where the top was covered in a root beer brown with microflake, with the rest of the canvas covered in a sandy beige finish. In need of a new powerplant, a 1954 235 engine was completely rebuilt, given some upgrades, and completed with the traditional straight pipes, synonymous to this era. To complete the look, a RideTech air-ride suspension would bring the vehicle as close to the ground as possible, yet still something was missing. It still needed that “Viejitos” twist, so he went on a mission to source as many period-correct accessories as possible. Among his finds were an all-original Mohair interior and a woodgrain dashboard. One look at the interior and you’ll be able to spot some other hard-to-find parts and accessories.
So be normal, or be abnormal, the choice is yours, but in the end do what represents you and you’ll find the millions of others who’ll agree.
1946 Chevrolet Fleetline
Michael Archuleta Jr.
1954 235 with straight pipes
Original Mohair with woodgrain dashboard
Two-tone root beer brown top with sandy beige body
RideTech airbag suspension
5/60-15 Coker wide whitewalls with cross bar hubcaps