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Some Assembly Required - Part 3

By: motoraustin 6/27/2016 8:00:00 AM

This article is Part 3 of a three part series titled "Some Assembly Required". It chronicles the steps I went through to go from no car to custom car.

In this article I will briefly touch on the most important parts of the build, such as:

  • Front End
  • Rear End
  • Engine
  • Paint
  • Electrical
  • Glass
  • Tires

I will also list some of the businesses and challenges in the summary.

Front End

The original 1950 Chevrolet front suspension was replaced with a more modern design based on Ford's Mustang II. There are kits available that include all the components needed.

1950 Chevy Styline Custom

The benefits of this new front end are many. It is lighter. It has rack and pinion steering which requires less effort to steer the car. It also makes the steering feel more responsive.

1950 Chevy Styline Custom

The kit also gives you modern front disc brakes to improve stopping power.

Rear End

The photo below shows some of the extensive work done on the rear end.

Since the car will have air bags, the frame had to be notched and reinforced with steel tubing. With air bags deflated, the rear axle ends up in the trunk.

1950 Chevy Styline Custom Rear

Also note the Ford 9 inch rear end. The Ford 9 inch is appreciated by many customizers for its durability.


I knew I wanted a small block Chevy V8 to power the car. I figured I'd buy a crate engine, but something better came along.

1950 Chevy Styline Custom

When it was time to aquire the engine there happened to be a 1968 Impala in the shop. The owner of the Impala was getting a new engine, replacing the existing 327 cubic inch V8. The 327 was in great condition, so a deal was made and it became the powerplant for the 50 Chevy.


The original 6 volt system was converted to 12 volt. Chevrolet used a 6 volt system until 1955 when it changed to a 12 volt.

1950 Chevy Styline Custom Electrical

Notice also the door handles have been removed and the remaining holes were filled. In addition, the gas tank filler door on the left rear fender was removed and filled in. This further accentuates the smooth lines of the car.


The paint was done in-house by Murpho's.

1950 Chevy Styline Custom

The paint used on the roof is a shade of purple pearl. The fine pearl in the paint causes it to change shades depending on the lighting.

I chose purple pearl because I had a Harley-Davidson motorcycle that had a beautiful Concord Purple Pearl factory paint job.

1950 Chevy Styline Custom flat black

The body gets the flat black treatment. Flat black, or any flat paint, does a wonderful job of reflecting light and accentuates the curves of the car.

Final Assembly

All the major work is done. At this point it was a matter of connecting all the parts.

1950 Chevy Styline Custom


It is finished. For now.

1950 Chevy Styline Custom

From humble, but classic, grocery getter...

1950 Chevy Styline Custom

To beautiful custom. What a transformation!

Photo Shoot

1950 Chevy Styline Custom

After completing the car Murpho's used a professional photographer to do a photo shoot.

Other Businesses

Not every shop can do everything. This section lists some of the businesses utilized for parts of the project.

Speedy Align on Oltorf did the alignment. Murpho's sends all their cars to them.

The front windshield and side windows had to be cut to work with the chopped roof. Cutting 50 year-old glass, without breaking it, is a rare skill. Murpho's used Bernie's Custom Glass to do this work. He is based out of California, but he came to Austin to do several projects for Murpho's.

The wheels were powder coated.

The tires are BF Goodrich 3 inch whitewall 640-15, purchased from Coker Tire.

The exhaust system was done by Muffin Mufflers.


This build did not come without challenges!

About half way through the build my job was outsourced! Thankfully, I had an option to join the new company and I took it. However, I stopped the build for about six months until I felt my job was stable.

And of course, the next challenge was money. The build was about twice as much as I anticipated. From what I hear, that's about right.

For the second half of the build, I created a spreadsheet of all the parts, work, and labor required to finish the project. Although this was an estimate, it gave me a better idea of the actual cost of the rest of the build.

Final Thoughts

I believe I included enough information in these three articles to give you a good idea of the process I went through to:

  • Decide on a car.
  • Find a builder.
  • Plan the build.
  • Build a custom.

If you have any questions about this build feel free to contact me.

Also, if you decide to build a custom, I'd like to hear about it!


If you missed the beginning of this series you can find it here.

Some Assembly Required - Part 1

Some Assembly Required - Part 2


Looking for a custom car shop in Austin?

Custom Car Shops in Austin


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