Hot rods are divisive things; either you love them, or you hate them. There really isn’t much of a lukewarm, middle-ground camp of people in that regard, saying to themselves, “Eh, I could take it or leave it.”
Suffice it to say that this 1949 Chevrolet “Cabstar” street rod, appearing at Mecum in Houston later in April, is perhaps the first car we’ve come across that stands a chance to make lovers out of haters. It’s just that fantastic. The cabin is off of a 1949 Chevy pickup, and it flaunts a turbocharged 261 cubic-inch (4.3-liter) engine, coupled to a 4-speed transmission. The front grille is custom, as are the headlights, and it’s shod in gloss black with red pin-striping. Shiny, delightful Chevrolet hubcaps complete the jaw-dropping look.
Perhaps the reason we feel that this particular custom street rod could win over the haters is because of the sense of tact with which it was built. The black paint and lack of gaudy flame decals demonstrate a certain sense of confident maturity that’s often missing from similar builds. You’ll likely not find a chrome skull shifter knob in the cabin, either.
For a car which occupies the “juvenile at heart” end on the spectrum of custom builds, this 1949 Chevrolet “Cabstar” is a refreshing mix of grown-up.