I was 16 years old and looking to buy my first car. The truck was parked in a empty lot with a for sale sign. We drove passed it the first time as I was looking for a truck that was a bit older, like a 1948 5 window. When I returned, the truck was gone. We drove around the neighborhood hoping we would find the truck. We found the truck and chatted with the owner. He was selling the truck since his wife could no longer get in it. He added a step for her but the decision was made to sell his baby.
I was able to strike a deal with the owner and he let me make payments on the truck over the summer break. As soon as I got the truck I started to work on it. With the help of my dad, we lowered the truck as low as it could go. I replaced the stop hub caps with baby moons and trim rings. Removed the towing mirrors and steel towing bumper. The truck was a great thing for me. I had 2 great parents that supported me with school and my hobby. Having my truck kept me out of trouble and focused on school and work. I needed to get a scholorship if I wanted to go to school and a job if I wanted to fix up the 66. I cruised it to high school like that for year or so. Everyone was happy since I could pack the bed with friends and we went to lunch. Around the same time I joined the oldest and most repected car club at that time, Tiempo Car Club. I didn't want to join a club with a bunch of kids like me. i wanted to learn from the guys who not only had some of the best rides but the most respect. The process of customization began. We blocked and primered the body, filled a few holes, rebuilt the motor and replaced the exhaust. I cruised it with 3 different colors of primer and new wires wheels for a short time. By then I installed the Reds Hydraulics 2 pumps 10 switched set up.
The Show Years:
Summer of 1994, I just graduated high school and had one last summer in Vegas before I was off to art school in Phoenix. Miko was giving the 66 its new paint job. We mixed custom teal and white with green prisim pearl. I added chrome under the hood, wired up the hydros and Sam and Zeke worked on the new interior. The Lowrider Super Show in LA was fast approaching and I wanted to make sure I represented with the club before I left. My dad and I drove the truck to LA on Saturday morning. We busted a fuel line in Barstow but ended up making it to LA later that evening. Sam was still installing the interior panels in the parking lot before the show. We showed on Sunday and drove home that night. By Monday I was on my way to Phoenix and the truck sat under the carport for a few months.
Between 1995 and 2001, I showed the truck at many shows on the west coast. It has under gone many phases. I updated the Crowns for a custom set of LA Wires. I went to the factory and they made a one off set for me powder coated to match the truck with diamond cut laces and bullet knock offs. I installed a new exhaust, Sam updated the interior and we redesigned the hydro set up. In that time I won many 1st place, Best Truck and Best in Show trophies. I always took pride in the best of trophies since my truck was never trailered. I would drive my truck from Vegas to Arizona, win Best Truck, pack up the display in the truck bed and drive home. I think the judges cut me a bit of a break since mine was always driven. We would drive the truck back and forth from Vegas to Phoenix on weekends and also cruise South Central from Southern to Baseline. The lowriding scene in Phoenix was cool and kick back. Car clubs showed love and respect as I was the only one flying my plaque in Arizona.
After many years on the show scene and dozens of 1st place trophies, I decide the day I took a 2nd, I would retire the truck from the car show scene. After three years of 1st I took a 2nd at the Las Vegas Super Show. It was around the same time I left the club, I stepped down as president. It took a bit of the car show scene pressure as I no longer felt the need to update the truck.
After the show:
I drove it even more. Work, rain, snow or the Vegas 105 degree heat, no problem. No AC as I took that out years ago. Roll the windows down and cruise. One day I was crusin down Flamingo Road and I noticed a bunch of hot rods and kustoms rolling into the Gold Coast parking garage. I pulled in and headed up the ramp. They flagged me in, I found a parking spot. This turned me on to the rockabilly kustom car scene. It was all love from that day. No car show fees, they didn't worry about my scratches or wire wheels. Car clubs and crews showed love and respect. It opened me to a world or car shows with no mirrors, displays and no one worring about winning. it was a nice change of pace as I just wanted to roll and hang out. They passed out beers, cruised the parking lot and it was all good.
I loved having not to worry about the little details. In that time, I busted a few hoses in the bed, shot fluid all over the bed love seats. Blew the rear end and busted parts. I had plans to one day rebuild the truck I collect parts here and there. I still hit up lowrider and hot rod shows. Around this time I bought my 48 Buick. The truck took a back seat as I cruised the Buick often. Having both rides made it more fun. I would drive the truck and pops would drive the Buick. The Buick has original paint and interior. It's no show car, so cruisin both of them to a show that didn't really care and just enjoyed having people was cool.
We are working on a few projects including my wife Nikki's kustom. So, I had a bright idea. Jose was getting his ride painted with Zack. I chopped it up with Zack about touching up the paint. Well, that idea, that concept, that action unraveled the plans. Little by little the truck came apart. Motor, interior, hydros all came out. That lead to paint this, chrome that, fix it.
The New Team
As we disassembled, bagged and tagged and cleaned the parts the ideas keep coming. Since we are now past the point of no return, every nut and bolt, rubber and plastic, wire and hose are being replaced. Its been 21 years since we started the custom work in the first phase of the build and hopefully we will get another 20 years out of this build.
We are working with friends, referrals and talented people to rebuild the truck back to its former glory. Every metal part including the frame has been or will be sand blasted. Christian Sosa smoothed and filled the fire wall along with the bed stake holes. Ron at Black Magic Hydraulics and his crew removed the old setup and put in a new custom 4 link suspension. We had some parts sand blasted at Snail Motorsports and Jose used his connect to blast the cab and bed.
In 1994, the summer before I went off to art school, we finished the first phase of the truck. My dad and I drove the truck to the Lowrider Super Show in LA. That night we were still finishing the interior in the parking lot. The show was on Sunday and by Monday I was driving to Phoenix to start my first day of art school.
With the rebuild, I reached out to many of those involved in the first build. Miko the painter, James cut out the truck for hydros, Ray wired the switches, Sam and Zeke did the interior and Pops Shop mounted the tires. They will all be part of the rebuild and collaborate with all the current people involved in the project.
I've been fortunate to still have the personal relationship with those who helped me out as a kid.
The beginning of disassembly
The plan was just to remove the chrome and get it ready for some flake and pinstriping. That lead to removing the front clip, pulling the motor, then piece by piece it started to come completly apart. The hydraulics, interior, bed plush, windows and all wiring were removed. The full restoration was started and continues after 2 years.