1948 Chevy Fleetmaster Gasser is a Slick Retro Race Car
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.
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.
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.
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.