Summit Racing Equipment and American Resto Mods Team Up for Rutledge Wood’s 1949 Chevy Step Van Project

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Summit Racing Equipment and several top parts manufacturers have teamed up with American Resto Mods of Buford, Georgia to build a 1949 Chevy step van for Top Gear on History co-host Rutledge Wood.

Summit Racing is the ultimate candy store for guys like me—they have virtually every part you will ever need, and if you need help, you can talk to actual people who know their stuff and get things like a hot rod step van.

“I am absolutely thrilled to be working with Summit Racing on this project,” Rutledge explained. “Summit Racing is the ultimate candy store for guys like me—they have virtually every part you will ever need, and if you need help, you can talk to actual people who know their stuff and get things like a hot rod step van. That’s a big deal in my book.”

“We’re excited to be a part of this project,” said Jeff Winters, Summit Racing Chief Marketing Officer. “Rutledge Wood is a true motorsports enthusiast who has owned over 55 cars and trucks, including the 1968 Dodge Charger that was Kyle Petty’s high school ride. If anybody can make a Chevy step van cool, it’s Rutledge.”

That Chevy van is something Wood has wanted since his college days.

“I used to pass a van just like this one all the time when I was at the University of Georgia,” He recalled. “The day I went to inquire about it, it was gone. So when I found this one, I knew I had to have it.”

Mike Karbowski and the team at American Resto Mods began working on the Chevy in late 2012. The goal was to build something cool with big horsepower, but also make it reliable and comfortable for long distance drives like the Power Tour.

“We replaced the stock frame with one from a 1999 Chevy 2500 HD pickup,” said Karbowski. “We modified the frame to fit the van’s wheelbase and C-notched it in back to accommodate a rear axle flip kit. We did a lot of nipping and tucking to get the van body to fit over the frame, but everything fits and we have modern suspension and brakes as a bonus.”

Summit Racing Equipment partnered with top-name manufacturers to outfit the Chevy with parts including:

  • Chevrolet Performance 525 HP LS3 crate engine and engine controller kit
  • Performance Automatic Street Smart 4L80E transmission kit
  • Summit Racing headers
  • Be Cool Power Cooling Module
  • ididit steering column and Touch-n-Go keyless ignition system

• Energy Suspension Hyperflex bushing kit, sway bar bushings, and motor/transmission mounts

  • Vintage Air climate control system
  • American Autowire wiring harness
  • Yokohama Parada Spec-X tires
  • EBC brake rotors and Power Stop brake pads

Other components include a full Magnaflow exhaust system and one-off 20 and 22 inch wheels from Asanti Wheels.

OnAllCylinders, Summit Racing’s blog, will be posting build updates and video on project. Enthusiasts can also track the build on American Resto Mod’s web site.

OnAllCylinders: http://www.onallcylinders.com/
American Resto Mods: http://www.americanrestomods.com/1949-chevrolet-step-van/
Summit Racing Equipment
http://www.SummitRacing.com
1-800-230-3030

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Alan Rebescher
Summit Racing Equipment
330-630-0270 7406
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