This one-of-a-kind 1933 Chevrolet Master Special sedan may very well be the perfect combination of influences from three very different car scenes. The owner, Mattias Saikkonen, grew up with a father who, despite living in Sweden, always had an affinity for American hot rods. However, Mattias himself got his start in the car hobby with the tuner scene and a Jetta Mk1 he customized in every way he knew how, but he always held a special interest for rat rods. Using the influences from his youth he managed to craft this one of a kind ride that may very well be a bridge between the differing car cultures we've come to know in recent years.
This particular Chevrolet has lived its life entirely on Swedish ground, first being acquired by the original owner, Johannes Lundgren, in Stockholm when it was new. The car was driven up until his death in 1959 and sat in a farm building for nearly half a century in the possession of the original owner's family until Mattias found it and managed to get his hands on the car. That was in 2013, and after the purchase he first focused on getting it through inspection before stripping it and customizing the frame as well as channeling the body to make the car sit as low as possible. In place of the original stovebolt, six-cylinder engine, a 350ci small block Chevy was set between the front frame rails and attached to a Turbo 350 automatic transmission to push this radical custom down the road. The rear axle was replaced with a repurposed unit from a Monte Carlo while the front axle was swapped for a unit from a 1941 Chevy, with custom air ride suspension using Accuair to manage ride height both front and rear. Perhaps the most interesting pieces on the car are the 18-inch BBS RS rims that would typically find on a German car. Inside is a mix of original equipment and custom metal work with bomber seats made out of aluminum with copper accents, and a bare-aluminum air tank with copper hard line sitting below the rear window.
After daily driving the car for about a year with the small-block Chevy out front under the open air, Mattias decided that he wanted more—and by more we mean adding an engine with an additional 4 cylinders. While the V8 was plenty cool, it just wasn't the style that Mattias ultimately wanted for the car, so he sourced a BMW M70 V12 to give it even more of that European flair he had eluded to with the wheels. Before going in the car, the engine was cleaned up by replacing the factory exhaust manifolds with a set that he made at home and removing all the factory accessories other than the alternator. Additionally, the bulky intake manifold was swapped for separate throttle bodies from a couple of E36 M3 engines and velocity stacks were added, resulting in an engine that looks right at home in this old hot rod. Backing up this beautiful engine is a five-speed ZF gearbox from another E36 M3 that has been adapted to work with the M70 engine using a plate from PMC Motorsport.
Mattias has certainly made this car his own and has put in countless hours of work do to so, sometimes doing things four or five times to get it exactly how he wanted it to be. We definitely think it paid off big time with a truly unique car that is sure to attract admirers from nearly every niche of our automotive hobby. The combination of an uncut 1933 Chevrolet sedan body in its original condition, the complete lack of the hood and fenders, and a distinctly European flair truly set this car apart from so many builds we've seen in the past.
We'd also like to thank Adam Hegestrand for providing us with the images and this awesome video about Mattias and his build.