1949 Chevy Fleetline With Timeless Design

Custom Looks & Modern LS Performance

By Brian Brennan   –   Photography By John Jackson

There can be no denying that the postwar Chevrolet designers got it right with several of their designs. The Bel Air two-door hardtop, introduced in the ’50s, is a favorite with hot rodders everywhere. We believe the second-generation Fleetline, made from 1949-52, is a very close second, with many believing this is the “chosen one.” The Fleetline is both a highly collectable car as well as an ideal starting point for a hot rod project.

- Advertisement -

02 the Fleetline painted in a PPG black at Hot Rods by Dean

The second-generation Chevy Fleetline is a full size fastback sedan that comes in either a two- or a four-door configuration. What sets the Fleetline apart is its distinctive sloping rear roofline (1 inch shorter than a full size sedan) and sheet metal design.

03 The Fleetline sits on a Heidts Mustang II Independent Front Suspension

- Advertisement -

Read More: Tri-Five of the Year: Lange’s 1956 Chevy 210

What you are now going to look upon is the ’49 Chevy Fleetline belonging to Arizona’s Dave Wallace and built under the attentive watch of Dean Livermore of Hot Rods by Dean in Phoenix. Our mildly customized ’49 Chevy Fleetline does feature a pancaked hood (removing approximately 2 inches out of the nose) and the rear fenders are now welded on (having been originally bolted on). There are also new Hot Rods by Dean fabricated rear mini-tubs added to accommodate the oversized wheel and tire combo.

06 Velocity Schott wheels and Falken tires wrap the body of the Chevy Fleetline

Emblems front and rear are removed while the brightwork along the side has been removed except for this single beltline spear that runs from the headlights rearward to three-quarters of the way through the doors. There is a new floor pan, and while that works with the mini-tubs it was done primarily to address the subject of rust. The grille retains much of its stock appearance but has undergone a diet with the removal of the turn signals, bumperettes, and the license plate bracketry. The rear bumper has also undergone a weight loss with its cleanup with the removal of the license plate bracketry. All the sheetmetal and bodywork was handled at Hot Rods by Dean, with the Fleetline eventually painted in a PPG black at Hot Rods by Dean.

- Advertisement -

07 The grille retains much of its stock appearance but has undergone a diet with the removal of the turn signals

The ’49 Chevy Fleetline rests on a highly stock frame that now accepts a Heidts Mustang II Independent Front Suspension with 2-inch drop spindles, a 1-3/4-inch front Panhard bar, and power rack-and-pinion steering. At the corners are Ridetech ShockWave air ride suspension, Wilwood 12-inch rotors with four-piston Dynalite calipers, Velocity Schott wheels, and Falken tires. The wheel and tire combination measures out at 17×7 and 18×10 with 225/45R17 and 275/40R18 rubber.

08 The rear bumper has also undergone a weight loss with its cleanup with the removal of the license plate bracketry

Read More: How Do You Diagnose a Charging System Problem

The big block Chevy is attached to a TREMEC 5 speed manual transmission and through the Chevy flywheel, McLeod disc, and pressure plate; the power is delivered rearward. The rear suspension is based on a Currie 9 inch rear end with limited slip 3.50 gears and 31-spline axles. It also utilizes a pair of leaf springs from Dunbar Spring, a sway bar, and an Inland Empire Driveline driveshaft.

13 This 1949 Chevy Fleetline has the heart of a modern day hot rod

We mentioned performance early on. The use of a Chevrolet Performance 502 crate engine V8 provides plenty of umph. A Chevy aluminum intake is employed and then topped with a four barrel Holley carburetor dressed in a ’55 Cadillac air cleaner. The aluminum radiator features a pair of 16-inch electric SPAL fans. From here the cooling combo is mounted to a Hot Rods by Dean core support that maintains the desired operating temp of the all-aluminum V8 engine. An aluminum Chevy big block water pump is used along with a traditional V-belt configuration. Next up is a Vintage Air AC condenser along with a Powermaster starter and Optima battery rounding out a few of the engine accessories. An HEI MSD ignition and wires are used; exiting the fired gasses is a set of 1-7/8-inch primary tube Sanderson headers. The custom exhaust was fabricated at Hot Rods by Dean and the expended gasses run through the custom stainless steel exhaust tubes that divide the load between a pair of 50-series Flowmaster mufflers.

14 The use of a Chevrolet Performance 502 crate engine V8 provides plenty of umph

Inside the all-black leather interior is based on modified front and rear bench seats with Bell Auto Upholstery handling the stitchwork. From here the headliner, door and kick panels, and trunk are also the handiwork of Bell Auto Upholstery. The stock ’49 Chevy Fleetline dash is equipped with Classic Instruments gauges, Vintage Air AC, an ididit steering column with a Billet Specialties steering wheel, and an upgraded factory radio. One can also see the Lokar pedal package (gas, brake, and clutch) ready for use. Bringing all the electrical needs together is an American Autowire system stationed by Hot Rods by Dean.

18 all black leather interior is based on modified front and rear bench seats

Read More: 1935 Chevy Coupe Chassis Prep

There can be no denying this ’49 Chevy Fleetline has the looks of a well-done custom, but it also has the heart of a modern day hot rod. It would be hard to imagine any hot rodder without an ear-to-ear grin when driving this Fleetline down the highway. MR

- Advertisement -

Related Articles

Search Our Site

More Modern Rodding

2024 Barrett-Jackson Cup Top Five Finalist Revealed – 1960 Buick Invicta

From the Cal Auto Creations Comes Muti-Award Winning X60...

Modering Rodding News: GUNIWHEEL, X-60 Buick Invicta, Giveaway at Triple Crown of Rodding

  GUNIWHEEL Supports Operative Talent GUNIWHEEL is proud to announce its...

2024 Barrett-Jackson Cup Top Five Finalist Revealed – 1968 Ford Mustang

From the Shop of East Bay Muscle Cars Comes...

David’s Dream 1938 Ford Coupe Build

David Burgard’s Good-Looking Hot Rod Ford Coupe By Dale Moreau ...

2024 Barrett-Jackson Cup First Look At Competitors

Country’s Best-Looking Hot Rods, Trucks, and More Compete For...

How To Fix Quarter Panel Rust

Patch Panel Install For Rust Repair on Your Vintage...
More Modern Rodding

2023 Triple Crown of Rodding Presented by PPG

It’s Where You Can See it All … Literally. By...

Rodding Around – Industry News

Shadow Rods Model T Named Goodguys’ Street Rod of...

Parting Shot: Lady Luck II The Iconic T-Bucket

The Legendary Lavender Pearl 1923 Ford Model T By Brian...

Classy Oldsmobile 442 Looks, With Modern LS Power

LS Swapped Rally Red 1970 Oldsmobile 442 Built By...

GM A-Body Coilover Conversion Guide

Aldan American Offers Bolt-On Coilover Kits For GM A-Bodies By...

Old Anvil Speed Shop Built Scudellari’s 1929 Ford Roadster

Building a Traditional AV8 By Ryan Manson   -   Photography By...