In the April 2006 issue, Eddie and Michael Tovar (owners of Tovar's Restorations) showed us the process of "step notching" and bagging the rear of Michael's '49 Chevrolet two-door sedan daily driver the old school way, on a budget of $200. Bagging the front was covered in the March 2006 issue. (Note: You can bag '49 through '54 Chevrolets in the same way.)
For this final installment, Michael first put his baby in the capable hands of "Ponch" at The Bag Man (in Anaheim, California), who has bagged countless bombas through the years, to do the plumbing and wiring of the air-ride. Then, Leonard Jr. at Lou's Mufflers (in Hawaiian Gardens, California), specialists in custom exhausts for classic cars, built a system that would clear when the rear of the car was dropped all of the way down.
Because Michael and Eddie had done all of the cutting and metalwork on the car themselves, and installed the Firestone airbags, Ponch's work was far less expansive, thus keeping the project within a budget. And, with the help of the experts at Mac's Springs (in Highland, California), we saved money on the bags and air-ride components-and got exactly what we needed.
So, follow the photos as we show you the final steps to convert the stock '49 into a cool cruiser with an air-ride that will literally lay frame. (Note: To allow the tires to tuck when the car is dropped all of the way, Michael put on a set of 5.60-15 Firestone Vintage tires with OG wide whitewalls from Coker Tire's West Coast location in Fresno, California.)