1948 Chevy Fleetmaster Gasser is a Slick Retro Race Car

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1948 Chevy Fleetmaster Gasser

Antique Chevy coupe looks street-friendly while sporting the classic gasser stance and an original LT1.

While scrolling through the recent items posted for sale in the forum classifieds section, we came across a 1948 Chevrolet Fleetmaster that is the most unique car we have seen on this site. This 71-year-old Club Coupe has been modified for drag strip dominance in the ways of the old school racers, with a straight front axle setup, a classic small block Chevy V8 and a classic paint scheme. Really, this 1948 Chevy looks like it could have been built to these specifications back in the early days of the National Hot Rod Association and that is what makes it so cool.

The Gasser

This 1948 Chevrolet Fleetmaster features the “gasser” look and it has been posted for sale by “partsman“. This look was introduced by the drag racing community in the 1950s, featuring a straight front axle leading to a lifted front end, which played home to a built V8 engine that ran on gasoline rather than nitromethane or alcohol. While the big V8 engine makes sense, not everyone understands the unusual front end stance of a gasser, so here is a quick explanation.

1948 Chevy Gasser

Gassers were kind of a predecessor to pro stock, with stock-appearing bodies of two-door coupes from the 1930s, 1940s and 1950s transformed into the quickest drag cars. The majority of these cars ran built V8 engines that conformed to the rules of the given class, but more importantly, the teams wanted to cut weight as much as possible. This often included stripped-out interiors and lightweight, fiberglass body panels, but the vast majority of gassers like the Chevy shown here, have straight front axle assemblies.

The components of the straight front axle setup weighed less than independent front suspension bits, but the lifted front end height helped with weight distribution on the hard launch. In other words, the awkward ride height led to a lower curb weight and better grip on launch.

1948 Chevy Fleetmaster

This gasser is a 1948 Chevy Fleetmaster Club Coupe. It features the familiar straight front axle setup, a set of era-correct Cragar chrome wheels and a 1970 LT1 V8. This 350-cubic inch engine has been bored 40 over for some extra displacement, and while there are no other details, we would wager that this is a well-built motor.

1948 Chevy Gasser Inside

The power from the classic LT1 is sent to a Currie 9-inch rear differential by means of a Tremec 5-speed manual transmission, so not only does it look the part of a classic race car, but it also provides classic gear-banging fun.

Finally, while this 1948 Chevy has the gasser stance, it does not have a stripped out interior. In fact, this Fleetmaster appears to have a full interior layout, with some extra gauges, a roll cage and racing harnesses. We don’t know what it runs in the quarter mile, but it appears to have the safety items needed to run well into the 10s.

1948 Chevy Gasser

"Before I was old enough to walk, my dad was taking me to various types of racing events, from local drag racing to the Daytona 500," says Patrick Rall, a lifetime automotive expert, diehard Dodge fan, and respected auto journalist for over 10 years. "He owned a repair shop and had a variety of performance cars when I was young, but by the time I was 16, he was ready to build me my first drag car – a 1983 Dodge Mirada that ran low 12s. I spent 10 years traveling around the country, racing with my dad by my side. While we live in different areas of the country, my dad still drag races at 80 years old in the car that he built when I was 16 while I race other vehicles, including my 2017 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat and my 1972 Dodge Demon 340.

"Although I went to college for accounting, my time in my dad’s shop growing up allowed me the knowledge to spend time working as a mechanic before getting my accounting degree, at which point I worked in the office of a dealership group. While I was working in the accounting world, I continued racing and taking pictures of cars at the track. Over time, I began showing off those pictures online and that led to my writing.

"Ten years ago, I left the accounting world to become a full-time automotive writer and I am living proof that if you love what you do, you will never “work” a day in your life," adds Rall, who has clocked in time as an auto mechanic, longtime drag racer and now automotive journalist who contributes to nearly a dozen popular auto websites dedicated to fellow enthusiasts.

"I love covering the automotive industry and everything involved with the job. I was fortunate to turn my love of the automotive world into a hobby that led to an exciting career, with my past of working as a mechanic and as an accountant in the automotive world provides me with a unique perspective of the industry.

"My experience drag racing for more than 20 years coupled with a newfound interest in road racing over the past decade allows me to push performance cars to their limit, while my role as a horse stable manager gives me vast experience towing and hauling with all of the newest trucks on the market today.

"Being based on Detroit," says Rall, "I never miss the North American International Auto Show, the Woodward Dream Cruise and Roadkill Nights, along with spending plenty of time raising hell on Detroit's Woodward Avenue with the best muscle car crowd in the world.

Rall can be contacted at [email protected]

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