Amadeo Angelo’s Stunning 1940 Suburban built by Roseville Rod & Custom
What do you build when your last vintage car project was crowned the Goodguys 2019 Hot Rod of the Year? If you’re Amadeo Angelo, you put an equal amount of energy and subtle detail into an incredible truck.
Actually, Amadeo’s stunning 1940 Suburban got started at Roseville Rod & Custom even before his Hot Rod of the Year-winning ’36 Ford coupe was completed. And as Amadeo tells it, his desire to build a classic SUV has even deeper roots.
“Chevrolet Suburbans have been my preferred family vehicles throughout my adult life,” says Amadeo, which makes sense considering his Montana ranching background. “My personal attachment to the brand led me to envision a very early model and the equipment, technology, and level of detail I would want in one built especially for me. My father’s Suburban experience combined with my own.”
A three-year search produced a dented, rusty example in Colorado, a former DOT vehicle. The build began in late 2016 when Roseville’s Ben York ordered a Roadster Shop chassis outfitted with a four-link rear suspension, 9-inch rearend, and 14-inch Baer brakes. It got rolling on one-off 18×8- and 18×9.5-inch EVOD wheels that evoke the look of steel utility wheels, complete with vintage-style center caps. The LT376/535 crate engine also got a vintage-style makeover with custom EVOD valve covers, a one-off designed intake by Roseville Rod & Custom topped with Autotrend carb-style throttle bodies, and a quartet of classic-looking air cleaners. It’s all finished in OEM-style finishes and backed by a Lokar-shifted 4L75E transmission.
You could say the 1940 Suburban body is altered with radical subtlety. It retains a stock shape, but with incredible refinement that includes a 1-inch pancaked roof, custom hood, raised floor, and an amazing degree of nipping, tucking, and massaging to deliver the incredibly straight, precision-gapped result you see. The PPG Ghost Grey finish reinforces the understated quality.
There’s more rustic elegance inside, where finely finished African Zebrawood lines the floor and the roof, augmented by custom-built side panels and countless well-considered details. Restored gauges by Classic Instruments fill the shapely dash, with Restomod A/C controls and vents mounted in a Deco-style enclosure underneath. The custom seats are covered in Relicate leather, while the Ididit column is topped with a beautiful custom steering wheel.
Completed early this year, the 1940 Suburban was a contender for the coveted Slonaker Award at the 2022 Grand National Roadster Show before becoming a Scott’s Hotrods Truck of the Year Early Goodguys Top 12 finalist at the Spring Lone Star Nationals. It also earned Roseville Rod & Custom a Chevrolet Performance GM Iron Builder of the Year finalist nod at the Del Mar Nationals, proving how much attention you can command using exquisite restraint.
Photos by John Jackson