Before the pro-touring movement was popular, there were street rods. Street rods are similar to hot rods and more so pro-tourers because they have undergone some type of modernization to either the engine, transmission, and/or interior. However a street rod, unlike a pro-touring build, isn’t built specifically to push cornering limits or create massive horsepower numbers. Instead, a street rod is usually a 1948 or earlier manufacture that is built to be enjoyed, not just shown. Many street rods might contain a modern power plant, and upgraded suspension similar to a pro-tourer, but that’s because these street rods are actually seeing time on the blacktop and are being built to provide a great ride and feature plenty of creature comforts. While a pro-tourer or a hot rod might be trailored to an event, a street rod will actually drive to and from the event!
Because of this, the greatest perk of owning a street rod isn’t just in creating a unique vehicle, but rather the enjoyment that comes from actually experiencing a historic ride on the street. This 1948 Chevrolet Fleetline Aerosedan is a perfect example. It features a proven reliable Chevy power plant, an all steel body, and an upgraded suspension to make it a very reliable cruiser.
The all steel body has been shot in a gorgeous shade of purple and features vintage pin stripping and small touches throughout that really set it apart. At the front of the body you’ll notice how the builders opted to paint the front bumper and grille in the purple paint. Above the grille on either side are two large headlights within the wide front fenders. On the beginning of the hood, just above the Chevrolet badging that is imprinted in the grille, is the first red, silver, and purple pin striping that we will see incorporated throughout the entire body. The front fenders flare out well beyond the front tires giving it an incredible look. The entire body has been smoothed, and de-badged beside the Chevrolet emblem in the grille. As you make your way to the doors you’ll notice how the builders also opted to shave the door handles and install door poppers. Just beyond the door, a small spider web with a black widow in the webbing has been painted in the top of the door. At the back of the car you’ll find more pin stripping and see how the builders chose to remove the rear bumper from the car, the builders also recessed the rear tail lights and antenna. Painted just above the dual exhausts that exit out the left side of the rear of the street rod, is the word “Gangster”.
When the Fleetline was available to the general public it would leave the factory with an inline 6-cylinder engine. The build team knew that if they were going to build a top-of-the-line street rod they had to do away with the 6-cylinder and instead opted for a near bulletproof Chevy 350 small block. The radiator shroud, air filter, and valve covers have been decorated with a classic looking flame design that has been etched into the steel. Bolted to the engine is a mechanical fuel pump, single 4-barrel carburetor and a mini starter. In front of the durable power plant is an aluminum radiator that is responsible for keeping the engine cool. Spent gasses travel out shorty style headers through dual exhausts that have been equipped with Magnaflow mufflers.
Put this street rod on a lift and you’ll see the factory frame still intact, but loaded with upgrades to provide a great ride. Up front the build team went with a Mustang II front suspension with adjustable coil over shocks. For the rear suspension they decided to use a leaf spring setup that included lowering blocks. Bolted to the durable 350ci V8 is a Turbohydramatic 350 3-speed automatic transmission that has been equipped with an aftermarket remote transmission cooler for those long rides to car shows. The power leaves the transmission and travels down the driveshaft to a GM 10-bolt rear axle. Ensuring that the street rod can come to a stop is power disc brakes in the front and power drum brakes in the rear. In front of the brakes are 18” Boyd Coddington rims that have been wrapped in Kumho tires on the front and Sumitomo rubber on the rear.
Again, the essence of a street rod is that the build is performed with the idea that the vehicle will actually see plenty of street time, which sounds like it would be a bad thing, however, it’s the complete opposite. You see, the fact that these street rods might actually see the street, mean the ones we have come through our showroom usually have the nicest interiors and makes the most of the niceties that are available, and this ’48 is no different. Pop open the doors and you will reveal a completely custom interior that will make any long haul go by in a flash. The interior is made up of a white leather like vinyl that features a black fabric design inserts on both the front bucket seats and the rear bench seats. In front of the driver is a tilt steering wheel and four small VDO gauges that read voltage, water temperature, fuel, and oil pressure. To the right of those small gauges is a larger 120 mph speedometer that shows 726 miles have been driven since the restoration. Between the two bucket seats is a slide-away console that reveals the controls to an air suspension setup that has since been removed. Beyond the console are two aluminum cup holders, the Vintage Air air conditioning controls, the AM/FM/CD player and the extra-long shifter for the 3-speed automatic that has a small green skull at the top of the shifter. In front of the passenger is the RPM gauge and a small locking glove box.
This 1948 Chevrolet Fleetline Aerosedan may have had very humble beginnings, but today sits as a street rod that is capable of competing on the Hot Rod Power Tour or simply going to your local car show. Not to mention the fact that it is priced well below what it would cost to build a custom ride like this. If you are looking for a street rod that is wildly unique and blends a mixture of show and go then don’t miss your chance to add this incredible street rod to your collection.