In 1947, when the bones of Greg Hodgen’s Chevrolet Sedan Delivery rolled off the line, the people who built it would not have imagined the car it is today. The former commercial hauler has been transformed into an updated custom cruiser. The Rolling Thunder Cruisers Show and shine was the maiden voyage for the bright yellow classic.
The process has taken 13 years, Hodgen says, though he admits that since he also builds cars for a living it wasn’t always steady work. The other reason it has taken so long to complete was the state the car was in when he found it in a wrecking yard in Bowden, Alberta.
“It was just pounded all to hell, he didn’t stop good and he didn’t back up good.”
The result is a car which is comprehensively different from the one he picked up. There are new fiberglass fenders because metal originals are in short supply as well as a new back door, the car rides on an S10 frame with a 350 V8 and has modern suspension and brakes. The car has all of the modern conveniences you could want, Hodgen says, and to get small, hard to find parts he had to buy several other cars.
“My heart and soul when into this car.”
Taking the old car and thoroughly modernizing it was another reason by the project took over a decade. Hodgen had to build custom parts and engineer unique solutions to make everything in the car work together, and he says the solutions were not always easy to come by, admitting that he would have to leave the car sit until he had an eureka moment when contemplating how to get it to work.
His own perfectionism was another reason for the long process, something which was apparent as he hid the few incomplete parts of the car. He points to the firewall as an example of this. He custom-made one because e thought all of the aftermarket alternatives were inferior to what was in the car originally.
“They’re big ugly squared off things, I don’t like that, not to mention you lose passenger compartment space.”
Now that it’s finally done, Hodgen plans on doing the only natural thing and drive it regularly. After the time and effort made into putting the cart together, he does not plan on starting a new project, but instead finally enjoying the one he’s worked on for over a decade.
“Some of my friends have been telling me, for Pete’s sake, you’ve been making everyone else’s dreams come true, get this thing out there and get some exposure ande have fun with it, so that’s what I’m doing.” ~Greg Hodgen
Greg operates his business out of his shop on Main Street, Wroxton.
You can call him at (306)742-2003.