Andres Gonzalez’ Clean and Cool 1949 Chevy 3100
With its matte gray paint, black accents and glowing red LED head- and taillights, this crystal clean 1949 Chevy 3100 can certainly strike the “Blue Steel” pose—and it does so much better than Derek Zoolander, in our opinion. The showpiece is the pride and joy of Andres Gonzalez from Henderson, Tennessee.
“Building has always been a passion, and when I had an opportunity to build a ’49, I took it,” he says.
Building vehicles is more than a passion for Andres; he’s lucky enough to do it every day. He owns and operates Blue Steel Customs LLC, a shop that turns out some stunning one-of-a-kind motorcycles (check out @bluesteelcustoms) and custom trucks, along with a range of truck, hot rod and motorcycle parts.
So as soon as Andres got his hands on his blank 1949 Chevy 3100 canvas, he and his BSC team went to work.
The most unique feature of this truck, says Andres, is the engine. “It’s a 2004 Chevy LS1 6.0 turbo,” he says, “with intercooler and custom piping by BSC.”
The Horsepower Factory crew, also out of Henderson, lent their expertise for the engine upgrades. They used a BP Automotive wiring harness and PCM flash to swap out the engine along with APR connecting rods and studs, stock pistons, a new crank and an LS2 cam. They chose a Chevy LS1 intake manifold, a Siemens Deka 50-pound fuel injector and a Classic Parts of America ignition.
BSC did the custom exhaust system using a 3 ½-inch-diameter piping and a Precision Turbo 38mm wastegate to manage the gas flow out the back end. Other engine mods include a Turbosmart adjustable controller for boost and an S-Max Universal baffled aluminum oil catch can.
The 1949’s transmission comes stock from a 2004 Chevy Express Van with a custom-made driveshaft from Wiles Welding and Machine Shop. The BSC team also added a G-Plus transmission cooler and an 18-inch front grille to keep things cool. They used 8- and 9-inch Ford rear drive axles with a 3.89 ratio with lockers and a billet 1350 yoke.
And for stopping power, Andres chose Wilwood brakes for the front with a Wilwood Proportioning Valve, and Jegs disc brakes in the rear, along with a Jegs universal master cylinder with a 1 1/8-inch bore.
Framing this truck is a chassis donated from a 1984 Chevy S10. Andres and his crew, who did all the frame modifications, boxed it in, smoothed it out and powdercoated it black. For suspension, they installed an Accuair total suspension lift with 2,500-pound bags and QA1 shocks in front, and 2,600-pound bags with Billet Specialties shocks in the rear. There’s also a gloss black tilt steering box from Summit Racing.
For wheels and tires, Andres went with Fuel Off Road’s Mavericks, 20×10 front, 20×12 rear, wrapped in Michelin Pilot Super Sport tires, 295/35R20 in front and 345/30R20 in the rear.
On the outside, the BSC team covered the 3100 in a flat BMW Frozen Matte Grey 2018. They added a grille and bumpers from a Classic Parts of America 1949 Chevy truck and painted them black. To give the truck a truly personalized touch, Andres’ crew installed LED taillights made by BSC along with Oracle Halo headlights.
Inside the cab, passengers (and driver) ride on Odyssey SUV seats upholstered in gray leather by BSC. “Installing the seats was the easiest part of the build,” says Andres with a laugh.
The crew also hooked up Dakota Digital HDX Series gauges, a Flash Power Vintage Triumph steering wheel, and a Soundstream Technologies stereo for onboard entertainment. Other unique features include a BSC-fabricated aluminum beadroll door panels and Innovate Motorsports turbo gauges to keep track of all that underhood power.
It took him four years to build, but Andres is happy with the results. He also has some wisdom for readers out there: “Think ahead on everything you are going to do,” Andres says. “And have plenty of patience.”
As this rolling 1949 Chevy 3100 masterpiece shows, it’s worth it.