Year/Make 1948 Chevrolet Suburban
Owner: Jerry Rivers
It’s a great day for a car show! This is one of those rare Saturday cruise shows when the temperature, a light breeze, and no rain make it a picture perfect day. A few hundred vehicles, antique and street rods, fill the parking spots gather around the old city square.
The display overflow extends onto connecting side streets. Vehicle owners have gathered to enjoy a common interest, a love of special interest and restored cars and trucks.
As the day continues spectators are outnumbering the vehicle owners 3 to 1 as they stroll among the special cars of all early ages and marquis. However, it is obvious that one vehicle is attracting more than the usual passing interest. A constant flow of onlookers are staring at a large blue car or is it a truck. We wait for a place to get a better view of this “large people hauler”. It’s a beautifully rebuilt 1948 Chevrolet Suburban! The color, workmanship and engine bring most people to a stop as they are walking by this display.
The owner is Jerry Rivers of Independence, Missouri. The interest from the crowds prevent our questions but Jerry agrees to allow us a later interview for pictures and questions.
In a week we are at his small antique Chevrolet parts store with all his attention. The more we looked and discovered the truck’s special features, the more it was important to place this vehicle as our monthly truck of the month section.
Jerry bought this Suburban 13 years ago from the original owner in North Missouri. A friend was hunting and noticed the tired body in a back field along a fence row. Rusted out floors, broken glass, and a totaled engine was the package. Jerry saw the great potential plus he had always wanted an old Suburban. He is a retired body man, so to him the challenge was not so threatening. He began the rebuilding after a total disassembly. His parts business requires much time but he allowed himself one night each week for Suburban duties. Thus, thirteen years for restoration! It’s unveiling was June 2010.
He wanted an original appearing 60 year old vehicle but added many special accessories plus additions to make it freeway friendly. Jerry has no concerns about driving a long distance. It’s built as a driver but, of course, it gets extra care as one would with a collector vehicle purchased from a new car dealer.
Jerry provided us two pages of extras he carefully added during the 13 year rebuilding. These are items you may not notice as you view the final product. We list them here as he did for us.
- Guide back-up Lamp and Shift Box Switch
- 15″ Wheels
- Wheel Trim Rings
- Bumper Guards
- AM-FM Radio
- Oil Bath Air Cleaner
- Right Hand Rear View Mirror
- Right Arm Rest
- Glare Proof Inside Rear View Mirror
- AC Oil Filter
- Rear Turn Signals
- Guide Traffic Viewer (prism)
- Fulton Outside Sun Visor
- Right Hand Inside Sun visor
- Guide Turn Signal Switch on Steering Column
New Old Stock Parts
- Left Front Fender
- Both Inner Fenders
- Front Lower Grill Baffle
- Core Support
- Hood Emblem
- Complete Hood with Center Strip
- Upper and Lower Hood latch
- Rear Splash Apron
- Front Splash Apron
- Upper Gate Hinges
- Right and Left Latches
- Inside and Outside Door Handles
- Steering Wheel
- Shift Box
- Misc. Mechanical and Suspension parts
- 1954 “261” Engine
- HEI Electronic Ignition
- All 12 Volt Electronics
- 3.55 Differential (replaces original 4.11)
- Radial Tires
- Tinted Windows
- Custom Rear Lower Tailgate
- Bucket Seats
- YF Carter Lean Burn Carb
- Heavy Duty 10 3/4″ Clutch and Pressure Plate
- Electric Wiper Motor
- Rear Dome Light
- Seat Belts
- Air Conditioning and Heater Combo
- Special Paint Color Combo in Centari Acrylic Enamel
- Jim Carter Classic Truck Parts
- Bowtie Bits Truck Parts
- Tom Myers Truck Parts
We should note three very special extras that make the Suburban even more of a real show stopper.
The Tailgate opens to the side and operates as if GM did it. (This is a Jerry Rivers Creation). No leaning over in the rear just to reach the body.
Its Power Plant is a pure 261 six cylinder from 1954. They were originally in school buses and 2 tons only. It was a drop-in and moves the Suburban easily to 70 mph. (Of course the high speed 3.55 ring and pinion helps too) Many don’t know this 261 engine even existed. It really steps out in today’s traffic!
Cold Air Conditioning? Certainly. The custom made system is for the 1947-53 Chevy truck with a 261 engine. No cutting on the body. Note the concealed two control levers in what was once slots for the original factory radio speaker. Yes, it keeps the large body Suburban comfortable during Missouri days of high humidity and temperatures.
Jerry has had the Suburban completed and at car shows for only three months. Two trophies and so much public interest! It attracts so many he calls it his “Magnet”. His last show required a 400 mile drive. Did he have any mechanical problems? Of course not! He made it to be a new 60 year old Suburban.
|Here He Comes!||Custom Tailgate||Accessory Back-Up Light||Jerry’s Grand Daughters|
|Factory Dash||Smooth Headliner||Accessory Taillamp||Prism|
|261 Engine||Power Plant||A/C Items||Bucket Seats with New Covering|
|Pickup Dome Light||New Carpeting||Interior||There He Goes!|