1941 Chevy Coupe

John Vaca



1941 Chevy Coupe

“I once owned a 1941 Chevy Coupe in the mid-’60s. I enjoyed driving that car almost every day until one foggy night it lost a battle with a granite light pole. My 1959 Corvette became my daily drive until I entered the military. Upon my return from the service, I parked the Corvette and purchased a 1971 El Camino, but I still wanted to have another ’41 Chevy Coupe to enjoy. I finally purchased my 1941 Chevy Coupe (40 years later) in late 2003 from a Chevrolet restorer in Long Beach, Calif. He was reluctant to sell me the car because he knew I was going to build a custom street rod. The car was a partial body shell and frame, a six-cylinder still attached and missing front fenders and hood. The restorer finally agreed to sell me the car, and then we towed it to Eddie Martinez’s Custom Upholstery and Body Shop in Paramount, Calif. The build started in early 2004 and stopped in late 2006 when I moved to Payson.  

Finishing the project would not have been possible without the help of my very good friend, Nick Nickels in Lake Havasu City. The car sat unfinished for more than two years until Nick convinced me to go forward. Nick oversaw my project for the entire six months. The car went to Lake Havasu where several skilled craftsmen completed the build. The assembly and fabrication by Ron Bruins, paint touch-up and detailing by Frank’s Custom Paint & Auto Body, interior by Howard’s Fabricators and the center windshield stainless trim manufactured from stainless steel material, polished and installed by Colin at Kimmin’s Custom Fabrication and Nick helped to complete by car this March. Thank you all for helping achieve my goal, which is to drive, share and enjoy my car!

The car is a frame-off resto-mode with a viable drive train and suspension. It has a 350/350 engine /trans, Mustang II front, Ford 9-inch rear, 4-wheel disc brakes and many modern features. The paint color is from 2003 Chrysler called “Intense Blue” and the interior is “British Tan.”

I have not yet decided on the style of wheels I like best for my street rod.


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