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Custom 1951 Chevy Truck - Low Chicano

Grown Up And Still Playing With Trucks

Kevin Aguilar
Nov 1, 2006
Photographers: Kevin Aguilar
Photo 2/5   |   1951 Chevrolet Truck passenger Side View
Kids are mischievous, and Victor Alonso was no different when he was growing up. Come summertime in his youth, Victor would hang out with the other kids in his Santa Ana, California, neighborhood. When they had nothing to do, they would find some kind of trouble to get into. It's not that they were bad kids, but youngsters have a curiosity that usually lands them in a mess.
Of course, Victor's mother was upset with her son and wanted to make sure that he would stay disciplined enough to lead a good life for himself. She took some action and sent him to a local auto-body shop to work. His mom talked to the owner of the shop and told them to make him work and only pay him enough so he can keep his clothes clean. He was 13 years old and working his butt off as a bodyman.
He was young and learning skills of the trade. As the years went by, Victor got better with practice and worked his way up to being a painter. When he saw other opportunities, he moved on to other shops to receive a more desirable pay. Then, it was off to working at a wreck-yard, and the boss would let Victor scam some parts here and there that he would sell on his own. He saw the potential in this and started up his own yard, named Chevy Truck, with his partner Tom. The two of them bought a run-down yard, cleaned it up, and restocked the place with a grip of parts. With the success of that wreck-yard, they started another called American Auto Wrecking that deals with all domestic vehicles. Back in the day, the trend of Chevy Impalas and the lowrider versions of them were at a maximum. Victor came to own several nice lowriders that were complete with hydraulics and were the real deal. When he started working more, he searched for a truck that could be a daily driver and be used to haul things.
While he was looking around, he ran into this '51 Chevy that had a busted rearend. The owner didn't have the money to fix it, and it was Victor's for a mere 450 bucks. Slowly, when he got the time, he would work on it. Being the owner of wreck-yard, it was very easy for Victor to get replacements parts. The 10-bolt Camaro rearend was placed in, and trailing arms from a '66 Chevy truck were attached to the rear frame. Then, up front, a '78 Camaro front frame clip was salvaged and put to use. Since the suspension was being worked on, Victor simply added some Firestone airbags to get the truck low like his other cars.
The styling part was done, and the truck needed some go power from under the hood. The 385-cid engine was derived from a wrecked '87 Corvette. It was rebuilt at Santa Ana Speed in Santa Ana. While there, it also received a Victor JR intake manifold, an Edelbrock 750-cfm carburetor, and a Mallory ignition. The engine was dropped in and attached to a 400-turbo transmission with a B&M Shift Improver Kit and torque converter.
He may have worked hard as a kid, but Victor learned some valuable skills and kept his life straight. That led him to running a business and having the ability to own cool vehicles. Now he owns this mechanically safe truck that needs just a few touch-ups to be one clean and driveable classic truck.



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