Do you remember what you got for your fifteenth birthday? I do, I got a new BMX bike. Of course, I was hoping for a 1962 Impala instead. You might be wondering why anyone would want a car at fifteen when they would not be able to drive it legally until they turned sixteen. Well, let me explain; my plan was to fix up the car for the whole year before I was going to turn sixteen and then on the day I got my license, I was going to bust out my "new" car and be the envy of all my friends. Unfortunately for me it did not work out the way I had planned, but it did for Noe Hipolito, Jr., or "Junior," as his friends and family know him. When Junior turned fifteen, he was given the 1948 Chevy Fleetmaster you see in the accompanying photos by his dad Noah "Gumby" Hipolito. Junior was like many born into Lowriding, so the '48 was the ideal gift for someone who is just about driving age.
Junior's Lowriding pedigree is strong as his father, Noah, has been Lowriding and wrenching cars since the 1960's. Noah has already had cars featured in Lowrider Magazine, so he certainly knows his way around classic Chevys. Noah taught Junior early on how to work on cars and how to build a clean and classy Chevrolet, lessons which have clearly paid off. Alongside his encouraging father, Noah worked on the car and the duo completed it within a year's time. At 16 years old, Junior was behind the wheel of the '48 with his first plaque in the window. That is quite a feat for a young man, but not surprising considering his lineage.
After owning the Fleetmaster fifteen-plus years, it is still a head turner and show winner. Junior is now president of his own club, Redemption Car Club, and is out every weekend with his club attending cruise nights and car shows. Junior credits his dad, Noah, with his start in Lowriding and would like to thank him for the help with the build. He also wants to send that thanks to his uncle, Hector Hipolito, who also lent a helping hand to the project. Junior would also like to thank his wife, Terri, his children, and his club brothers for their love and support. We here at Lowrider would like to thank Junior for his contribution to Lowriding as a second generation Lowrider. Nice work!
Owner: Noe Hipolito, Jr.
Vehicle: 1948 Chevy Fleetmaster
Club: Redemption Car Club
City/State: Norwalk, California
Paint: Noah Hipolito, of L.Duran Auto Body & Paint, in Azusa, CA., prepped the ‘48s body for paint. He then sprayed the Dupont single stage two-tone Gunmetal and Dove Grey on the body. Danny D, in Baldwin Park, CA., added his fine lines to the classic Chevy body.
Interior: Tony, from Roman’s Upholstery, in La Puente, CA., used a combination of light and dark grey materials throughout the interior of the Chevy. Noah Hipolito took care of the woodgrain restoration in the cab and made sure the dash and window frames looked as good as they did back in 1948. Junior installed the audio system in the Fleetmaster. He started with a Kenwood head unit, which pushed the tunes out of JL Audio & Rockford Fosgate speakers. Rockford Fosgate amplifiers power the system.
Engine: Junior rebuilt a 1958 Chevy 283ci engine at his dad’s shop, L.Duran Auto Body & Paint, in Azusa, California. He fabricated custom engine & transmission mounts. Junior converted the factory three-speed transmission to automatic. He also added plenty of dress up items to the engine and finished it off with a straight pipe exhaust system. Universal Chrome Plating took care of all of the chrome plating on the car.
Suspension: Junior just wanted to be able to raise and drop the front and rear of the car. He had Felipe from Old Memories car club custom-fabricate a two-switch air bag setup for the Fleetmaster. The frame was restored to factory fresh and left unaltered.
Wheels: Factory Chevrolet 15-inch wheels with Original Chevy 15-inch hubcaps.
Tires: Coker 15-inch with 2-1/4 white walls.
Accessories: Fulton Visor, AAA Compass, Flashlight, Trico Fan, Front & Rear Wraparounds, Cigar Ashtray and Cigarette Holder.