The story behind Pam and Lonnie Laster's 1938 Chevy Master deluxe is one to which many street rodders can relate. When the Lasters bought the sedan 30 years ago, it was basically nothing more than an ugly, pink, worn-out old car. dubbed Pinky by Lonnie's family, it wasn't long before the Chevy was strewn about the Lasters' garage, with Lonnie in full-blown resto mode. the result was a stock, brown, six-cylinder-powered, whitewall-wearing Master deluxe that served the Laster family for 25 years.

In the meantime, the Lasters purchased an early Corvette and a '32 roadster to add to their stable, which soon replaced the Chevy as the main Laster street rod. With the decline in use of their beloved sedan and the kids grown up, Lonnie and Pam decided the time was right to update the Chevy. and so, the mint-condition resto was handed over to Barry's speed shop in Corona, California, for a complete and contemporary overhaul.

As with updating any stock car, the first item on the bill for the speed shop crew was to upgrade the stock suspension. the stock frame under the Chevy was in great shape so it was decided to box the 'rails to add a little strength before a dynaRide independent rearend from Barry's speed shop and a Kugel Komponents IFs was installed. Wilwood disc brakes were also installed at all four corners, inboard mounted at the rear, as well as Qa1 performance shocks, all tucked up behind a set of toyo-wrapped Billet specialties Rail 17-and 18-inch wheels. an electrically boosted master cylinder provides contemporary performance to further enhance the safety and drivability of the sedan. a power rack-and-pinion unit mates to an ididit tilt column to handle the steering duties, completing the suspension upgrades.

Replacing the six-banger Chevy motor is a 350ci smallblock Chevy Ls1 engine. While the internals were left as general Motors intended, a MagnaCharger blower was added up top to give the Mouse motor more beans. a gM 4L60e gives the Chevy plenty of legs for cruising those long highway miles. a set of Bassett headers guides the exhaust gasses out through a completely stainless exhaust system. Finned valve covers and the relocation of the coil packs to inside the kick panels help achieve a more vintage vibe to the contemporary powerplant.

To match the now exotic underpinnings, the exterior of the car had to undergo the same treatment. no stone was left unturned as the stock body received modifications from stem to stern. While a few dozen modifications were thrown at the stock body, all were done in a tasteful fashion so as not to distract the eye from the original body design. From the trimmed driprails to the modified body reveal, to the custom cowl work to the deletion of all exterior handles, every modification was done to complement gM's primary intention. once the metal guys had their fill of the Chevy, which included the team at Marcel's Custom Metal shaping, the sedan was rolled into speed shop's in-house paint booth where the custom house of Kolor hue was applied.

While the team at Marcel's was busy building the hood, the speed shop team also tapped their talents to fabricate the custom dash inside the Chevy. once completed, the car was brought to san Bernardino where gabe Lopez and his crew at gabe's Custom Interiors constructed a custom rear seat before wrapping the entire interior in two-tone leather and square-weave carpet. A custom dash insert was filled with a cluster of Classic Instruments gauges and a Pioneer stereo was also installed, finishing off the interior appointments, as well as the Chevy in general.

From a worn-out old car to a restored stocker to a contemporary street rod, the story of the Lasters' '38 Chevy Master deluxe is one that could apply to almost any street rod. as times change, so do the needs and requirements of our vehicles, and the street rodding hobby can continue to flourish and evolve for another hundred years with modernday technology and the talent and ingenuity of skilled crews such as that of Barry's speed shop.

F A C T S & F I G U R E S
Lonnie and Pam Laster
San Clemente, California
1938 Chevrolet Master Deluxe
CHASSIS
Frame / Manufacturer Chevrolet
Modifications boxed
Chassis plumbing stainless steel
Rearend / Ratio Barry’s Speed Shop (Corona, CA) DynaRide IRS / 3.50:1
Rear suspension QA1 (Lakeville, MN) coilovers
Rear brakes Wilwood (Camarillo, CA) disc
Front suspension Kugel Komponents (La Habra, CA) IFS w/ QA1 coilovers
Front brakes Wilwood disc
Master cylinder ABS w/ electric booster
Steering box r&p
Front wheel make, size Billet Specialties (La Grange, IL) Rail, 17x7”
Rear wheel make, size Billet Specialties Rail, 18x9”
Front tire make, size Toyo, 205/40R17
Rear tire make, size Toyo, 255/50R18
Gas tank stainless
ENGINE
Make GM LS1
Displacement 350ci
Machining / Assembly GM Performance Parts
Radiator Mattson’s Radiator (Stanton, CA)
Valve covers finned aluminum
Manifold / Induction MagnaCharger (Ventura, CA) blower
Ignition / Wires GM / Barry’s Speed Shop
Headers Bassett (Anaheim, CA) stainless
Exhaust / Mufflers stainless
Other engine facts moved coils inside behind kick panels
TRANSMISSION
Make GM 4L60E
BODY
Body style / Material Deluxe sedan / steel
Body manufacturer Chevrolet
Body mods trimmed driprail, filled double reveal to become one, brass trim, eliminated cowl, welded lower cowl panel to fender, new grille shell, smooth running boards, shaved door & trunk handles, shortened taillight housings, one-piece door glass
Grille custom
Hood aluminum by Marcel’s Custom Metal Shaping (Corona, CA)
Bodywork Speed Shop Custom Paint (Corona, CA)
Paint type / Color House of Kolor / custom mix
Painter Speed Shop Custom Paint
Headlights / Taillights Headwinds (Monrovia, CA) / modified stock
Outside mirror custom by Barry’s Speed Shop
Other body items chrome by Buena Park Chrome (Buena Park, CA)
INTERIOR
Dashboard custom by Marcel's
Insert / Gauges custom by Ryan Rivers, Barry's Speed Shop / Classic Instruments (Boyne City, MI)
Air conditioning Vintage Air (San Antonio, TX)
Wiring Barry's Speed Shop
Steering wheel Billet Specialties
Steering column ididit (Tecumseh, MI)
Seats Ford T-bird front buckets, rear bench custom by Gabe's Custom Interiors (San Bernardino, CA)
Upholsterer Gabe's Custom Interiors
Material / Color leather / brown two-tone
Carpet square-weave
Seatbelts three-point
Steering column Flaming River billet
Interior mirror Billet Specialties
Seats custom-made buckets
Material / Color leather / red
Carpet red leather
Other interior items red leather door panels; custom-made center console, shifter ring & boot