The family that wrenches together, stays together. Just ask Don Rasmussen, owner of this pristine '47 Chevy pickup, as his wife, son, daughter, and friends all had a part in what he says is "my dream truck." With each member of the family having certain responsibilities, it's no wonder everyone has an ear-to-ear smile on their faces when Don pulls up with the big-block rumbling and the radio cranked up loud. Smiles weren't always the cause and effect relationship with this truck, however.
Back in late 2007, Don's wife Stephanie lost an uncle, Curt Thomas, who had started working on the Chevy before losing his battle to cancer. After purchasing the pickup from Curt's family, Don wanted to start working on the truck, but his father was fighting his own battle with cancer. With encouragement from his dad to build the truck the right way, Don set off to create a rolling hot rod that would pay tribute to his late father and to Curt Thomas. What happened next proves that perseverance and patience pays off.
With his son Steve and family friends Jerry and Ron Wagner behind the wheel of several pickups full of parts, the truck was delivered in pieces from Arizona to Customs by Lopez, in Compton, California. There, Ricardo Lopez and his team began patching the rust spots, shaving the door handles, emblems, and tubbing the rear fenders. The floor pan was replaced inside the cab, and the dash was shaved smooth to accept Dakota Digital gauges and A/C vents from an HHR. Satisfied with the body, Custom by Lopez painted the truck with Tri-Star Green.
Customs by Lopez, in Compton, California, handled the leather interior and smoothing/paint
Back at Don's house, he and Ron Wagner began getting the chassis dialed in. They plumbed the disc brake lines, fuel lines for the big-block, and began assembling the engine components. Don's son Steve helped with the wiring, while Jennifer, Don's daughter, was taking photos of the work and putting together a scrapbook. She had much to chronicle, as the interior was made to look like a proper hot rod. Tan leather by Customs by Lopez now covers the Trailblazer seats, Aerostar center console, and custom door panels, while black billet accessories from Billet Specialies really set off the green and tan tones. A full Rockford Fosgate audio system does its best to crank tunes over the rowdy 502ci powerplant.
Talking with Don, the first person he wanted to thank was his wife of 30 years, Stephanie. A man is defined by the people he loves, and he was also eager to thank Steve, Jennifer, and his friends Ron and Jerry Wagner. Cruising with a big smile on his face, Don is proud to have a rolling work of automotive art that means so much to him and to his family.
Inside the Build
Year Make Model: 1947 Chevy
Owner and City/State: Don Rasmussen • Alta Loma, California
Type: GM Performance Parts ZZ502
Heads: Aluminum oval-port 110 cc
Cam: .527 intake/.544 exhaust
Induction: Custom air intake
Exhaust: Sanderson long-tube headers, custom mufflers
Cooling: Aluminum radiator, electric fan
Fuel System: Rock Valley 19-gallon tank, electric pump
Ignition: MSD electronic
Output: 502 hp and 567 lb-ft
Built By: Don Rasmussen
Transmission: TCI 700-R4
Rearend: Currie 9-inch, 3.0 gears
Front suspension: Mustang II, 2-inch drop spindles, QA1 coilovers
Rear suspension: Drop leaf springs
Brakes: Front and rear disc
Wheels & Tires:
Wheels: Boyd Coddington 17x8 front, 18x11.5 rear
Tires: Nitto 555 245/45R17 and 305/45R18 555R Drag Radials