1938 Chevrolet Master Deluxe

Owner: Hannes Meyer

Builders Name: Danie van der Merwe

Photos by: Mirandi Olivier Photography

Hannes Meyer has always had a love of cars. When he was a child, he used to love drawing them and making modifications to the cars he drew. Anything American, V8 and Classic has always struck a chord in his heart. His biggest dream was to own a vintage vehicle and modify it according to his own ideas. The same way in which he depicted it in the drawings he had produced when he was younger.  This particular car is one of his dream cars however, his ultimate would be a 1963/64 Chevy Corvette. This build started as an empty shell that Hannes purchased from a friend who is based in Uitenhage. At that time the friend was a collector who made the decision to sell everything. The deal was to buy all 12 vehicles and all the parts. Hannes could not let the opportunity go and a deal was struck. 

The original plan was to build a car that he could drive “like it had been stolen”. It had to be fast and have plenty of horsepower. The plan was to have it look like a standard 1938 Chevrolet 4 door sedan but with a high-powered engine, power steering, modern gearbox etc. He took the body to his old friend Danie van der Merwe. The body was in good condition with no rust and therefore the bodywork only took 2 months to complete. There was nothing fancy done to the body as Hannes wanted it to look as original as possible. The only parts that were imported were door locks and boot hinges. 

When it came to the colour of the car, Hannes wanted to follow through with the overall original and vintage look. In order to achieve this, he chose Fiat 500 Cappuccino. The paint type is PPG. The paint job was expertly applied by Danie van der Merwe who works from his garage at home. Impressive! The car has the original chassis and a Jaguar front and rear suspension that was not originally on the car. He loves the Jag suspension and has installed this on all of his Hotrods as according to him, it provides the smoothest ride. The differential is from a Jaguar XJ6 and yes, you guessed it, the brakes are also Jag. All of these parts were sourced from Jag and Daimler Spares in Johannesburg.

He has a passion for collecting most things car related and this includes engines. He still has another six V8 engines in storage! I guess you never know when you might need a spare. This is the reason he cannot remember where this particular engine came from. It is a standard 350 Chevy box with a 350 turbo. It throws out approximately 160kw and is one of the best V8 engines Hannes has ever had in a Hotrod. The gearbox was sourced via Gumtree. The engine was rebuilt by Neil Flanigan. The exhaust is a 67mm stainless steel and was supplied by Powerflow Exhausts in PE. 

The interior was created by Marius from Hightec. The seats are Honda from Merbida. The steering is from a Toyota Cressida and the gauge clusters are Dolphin. 

One of the most important decisions to make when building a car is wheel choice. This can make or break the overall look. Hannes went for smoothies with white wall tyres. This just adds another aspect to the vintage look of the vehicle. Hannes has always wanted to put smoothies onto one of his cars but the funds were never available. Once the build was completed and some time had passed, one of his friends told him about a vehicle that was for sale. He decided to buy the vehicle because it came with the smoothie wheels he had been looking for. He had them widened, powder coated and painted the same Cappuccino colour as the car. The car runs on 205x60x15 rubber at the front and 225x60x15 on the rear. 

The windows on the car are all original. The headlights are aftermarket Golf LED lights with Wolseley fog lights. He needed decent lights as this vehicle gets driven on a daily basis. Music to our ears! The taillights are from a 1950 Pontiac. To add to the overall vintage feel of the vehicle, Hannes had the bumpers and the grille chromed.

We asked him which part/parts of this car stood out to him the most. He answered “Definitely the smoothie rims with the white wall tyres and the fitted towbar with a matching 1936 Mullins trailer. The Mullins trailer blends perfectly with the car as they are both the same colour”. 

The full build took just under a year to complete. There was a time limit as it had to be complete in time for his daughter’s wedding. They managed to have it ready 2 weeks prior to this. The cherry on top with regards to this car build is that all expectations were met.  His next build will be a 1939 Ford 4 door sedan. We cannot wait to see the end result. 

Hannes would like to say a huge thank you to Danie van der Merwe for all of the hard work and dedication he put into this build. 

Companies who supplied parts/services:

  • City Paint & Tool
  • Powerflow Exhausts
  • Speedyquip
  • Motown
  • RS Performance