The successful conclusion of a street rod project always comes down to how well it's targeted for its intended purpose. Greg Shubin intends to build a car with the cool look of the '50s with contemporary comfort, convenience, and road manners. We'd say he's well on his way to his goal with this '52 Buick, a series 40 Special. Previously owned by Shubin's late friend, Dave Stevens, the creator of the Rocketeer comic book character and subject of a Disney movie who passed away in 2008, Shubin has fond memories of cruising with Stevens in the Buick and is sure his pal would appreciate the modern touches that are being added.

From the outset, Shubin knew what he wanted the Buick to be, the question was how to achieve it. Clipping the frame and adding a small-block were options, but after discussing what was involved with Rudy Renka from Rudy's Garage in Costa Mesa, California, the decision was made to go with a new rolling chassis from Art Morrison Enterprises. With the ability to build a frame for anything from an Anglia to a Zephyr they knew the car would be on a solid foundation.

The first step in filling out the Morrison spec sheet is to set the car at final ride height. This can be done by any number of methods, including setting the car on, and positioning jackstands, the wheels and tires that will be used, even plywood cutouts of the tires will work. In any case, the importance of this can't be overemphasized, as the car's rake has to be taken into consideration to get the suspension geometry right. If the chassis is level and all the measurements are taken, then big 'n' little tires are added later, which result in the car having a 3-degree nose down rake, 5 degrees of caster in the front becomes 2 degrees. Although provisions for adjustments are provided in the front and rear suspension, to have an acceptable range of adjustment, the rake of the chassis has to be accounted for.

It wasn't long before a crate showed up at Rudy's Garage with a new chassis equipped with Morrison's own independent front suspension, rack-and-pinion steering, antiroll bar, and air springs. Mounts for a new LS1 engine and 4L65E transmission were in place, in the rear is a new Strange 9-inch axle housing on four-bars and air springs with disc brakes all around. About the only chassis fabrication required was locating and welding on the supplied body mounts.

While there's still plenty to do, Shubin's Buick is well on its way. We'll keep an eye on this project and show you what it takes to make a Special special.

SOURCE
Art Morrison Enterprises
5301 8th Street E.
Fife
WA  98424
800-929-7188
www.artmorrison.com
Rudy's Garage
515 Hamilton St.
Costa Mesa
CA  92627
949-646-8310