Take a good, long look at Alex Mercado’s explosive ’53 Chevy DeLuxe pickup, “Greenade,” one of the deadliest rides on the lowrider show circuit. Alex first released the deadly bomb truck two years ago at the 2001 Lowrider Magazine Anniversary Tour car show held at the Cow Palace in San Francisco, California, where it forced the competition to run for cover. Greenade wasn’t always this clean, however, as it took Alex four long years to meticulously piece together the green machine. It all started as a dream for Alex when he purchased a stripped-down ’53 Chevy truck for a mere $150.
Being a member of Classic Memories C.C. and having built a number of big-time bombs, Alex knew that he could rely on his friends to lend a hand in the construction of Greenade, making it a true lowrider community effort between “Pollo,” “Cappi” of G’s Auto Body in Compton, California, and Wayne Dickey, the owner of “Wayne’s World” ’66 Chevy Impala. The SoCal A-team got to work on the fine body modifications by chopping the roof 3 inches and molding on a sunvisor. They also cut out a custom sunroof.
The list of body mods on Greenade goes on and on, like Alex’s custom-molded suicide doors that were cut shorter on the bottom. The center of tailgate was cut out, the antennas were Frenched, and a custom one-piece windshield was installed. Lots of molding and shaving was also done to the floorboards, firewall, gas neck, hood, vents, windshield wipers and bed rails. A grenade was molded in by the passenger side door with the inscription “In Emergency Break Glass.” The list of mods goes on and on, with all of the body alterations having one thing in common… perfection!
Greenade soon entered the hands of none other than three-time retired Bomb Truck of the Year champion Gerardo Yanez. Gerardo came into the picture to lend a helping hand in the truck’s setup; all components were custom just like the truck. First things first, Alex and Gerardo pulled the body off of the frame in order to box and C-notch the frame. They then molded it flush. With the frame pretty much done all that was left was to cut out the holes where the two would later install the cylinders. The two chrome pumps with polished blocks, four dumps and four solenoids were put in place and fitted with custom hard-line tubing. Meanwhile, 8-inch cylinders were installed in the front of the truck to go with its custom 4-inch drop front axle, while the rear was fitted with a set of 10-inch cylinders that were placed on 4-inch lowering blocks. The whole setup wouldn’t work without the juice of the four Optima batteries or the mobility afforded by five switches.
As for the painting aspect of the project, Alex placed the explosive cargo back onto a flatbed and had it transported to G’s Auto Body. Once all of the prepping was done, G’s paint experts Pollo and Cappi filled up their handy spray guns with House of Kolor candy green and a chingo of flake, literally engulfing the bomb truck from head to toe. They then passed the painting torch to David Bazua, who laid out most of the fine lines on the truck, as well as fender fades and a mural on the visor. Rick Valdez then got underneath the bomb truck making sure that the truck’s BDU (battle dress uniform) was tailored thoroughly and Victor Lopez took his airbrush gun to the sides of the hood and muraled beautiful sexy woman throughout, making Greenade even more powerful.
The volatile truck then returned home, where Alex and his fellow club members got busy piecing it back together, using all-new custom parts that were dipped in show-quality chrome and/or engraved. Ricardo of Ashley’s Plating in Vernon, California, handled Alex’s custom parts with the utmost care, while some of the freshly dipped pieces were allocated to expert engraver David Renteria of Artistic Impressions in Simi Valley, California. David got to work engraving the front and rear bumpers, spotlight, dual carburetor stacks and five LA Wire wheels. David also had an itch to etch the windows and depict a major combat zone that included barbed wire, helicopters, warplanes, tanks and grenades throughout all five cab windows. It didn’t stop there, as other truck pieces were sent off to “EZ” Garcia of Precision Engraving in Long Beach, California. EZ it had it all down, too, as he precisely engraved the valve cover and knock-offs, blowing everyone’s mind.
Alex could now put back together the straight-6 Chevy 235-c.i.d. engine that Alex’s father, Efrain, had rebuilt. The 235 was custom fitted with an Offenhauser dual carburetor intake manifold that let it breath in a little easier, as well as dual engraved Weber carburetors that let the engine drink up the fuel with ease. Alex’s engine bay also includes a Wayne finned aluminum valve cover that was placed on top of the valve tray, custom-made Fenton header that extended out to a straight pipe exhaust. The Chevy 6-cylinder was bolted to a four-speed manual transmission with the shifter located on the truck’s floor and decorated with a grenade. Last but definitely not least was the engine compartment’s custom neon setup.
Alex took the ’53 pickup to his friend “Dooby” at Dooby’s Automotive in San Fernando, California, where Dooby got down on the upholstery, using nothing but the finest materials. Dooby took leather, tweed, neon and embossed patterns to create one of the most radical interiors that we’ve seen. The dash was custom molded and shaved, along with other various interior pieces. An LA Wire steering wheel was placed into the truck along with VDO custom gauges and a killer sound system controlled by an Alpine head unit with a 7-inch flip-out TV screen.
As for the finishing touches, custom-made 14×7 LA Wire wheels and 5.20 Premium Sportways with 2-inch whitewalls were acquired through Conrad at Wheel Network in South Gate, California, and then mounted up. Alex’s ride was the outcome of four years of hard work and many late nights that quickly turned into many next mornings at various shops, homes and garages. Greenade was made possible with the help of his fellow Old Memories members, along with the special contributions of his father and mother, Richie, Louie, Wayne Dickey, Rick Valdez, David Bazua, David Renteria, Gerardo, Pollo, Cappi, Dooby, Conrad and LA Wire Wheels. Without you, Alex says that it wouldn’t have been possible to make his volatile vision a reality.
|Vehicle:||’53 Chevrolet Chevy Deluxe pickup|
|City/State:||Monterey Park, California|
|Engine:||Chevy 235-c.i.d. with dual Weber carburetors|
|Setup:||Two chrome pumps with polished blocks, four dumps, 8-inch (front) and 10-inch (rear) cylinders, hard-line tubing, four Optima batteries, four solenoids, five switches|
|Tires:||5.20 Premium Sportway|
|Wheels:||Five custom engraved 14×7 LA Wire|