Lowriders are among the most detail-oriented vehicles in the field of aftermarket customization. They involve a tremendous amount of detail, and restoring one not only requires a good amount of feria, but also contacts and good family support. Seriously, if your immediate family has no patience and can’t seem to let you go, then you’re in for major trouble and soon divorce.
Jorge Padilla, the president of Oldies C.C.’s East Bay chapter knows best and the support of his family is the quintessential example of a true lowriding family. They say that the family that rides together stays together, and this is definitely the case with Jorge. His ’54 Chevy Bel Air is beautiful in all aspects, but what really impresses us is the fact that he drives the vehicle. We all love to see lowriders at the show, but seeing one on the streets says lots about the owner and his willingness to share the beauty with others.
“I plan on putting 10,000 miles on it by next year,” says Jorge, of Richmond, California. “It runs and drives like a dream, and I’ve already been to L.A. in it twice.” With plans on driving the vehicle for a few more years, he already has future plans on building up a ‘57 Chevy convertible, and once he does, we’re positive that we’ll see it cruising the city streets.
As the third owner of this cherry Bel Air, Jorge purchased the vehicle back in ’91 for $8,500 and just recently finished it. It’s powered by a straight-six and glides into gear with a Powerglide automatic. The vehicle’s got almost every option available for that particular year, and as the chapter president, Jorge’s leading by example and helping pave the way for future generations of lowriders.
Owner: Jorge Padilla
Vehicle: ’54 Chevrolet Bel Air
City/State: Richmond, California
Club: Oldies C.C.-East Bay
Engine/Drivetrain: The OG ’54 Chevy 235-c.i.d. straight-six is mated to a Powerglide automatic transmission for smooth acceleration.
Body/Paint: Bodywork on the vehicle was performed by Andy Linan, Mark Huckaby and Carl Hernandez of Andy’s Autobody in Richmond. Once prepped, the vehicle was laced by Andy in PPG-Deltron Romany Red and white. All of the chrome was dipped and laced by Walker’s Chrome in Vacaville, California, while powdercoating was handled by Poly Engineering in Richmond. Exterior extras include fender skirts, rocker moldings, gravel shields, rear wraps, hood and trunk lights, locking gas cap, washer unit, left- and right-hand spotlights, green-tinted glass, exhaust deflector, reverse lights and fender guides.
Interior: The interior was revamped to its new original red and motif by Jaime Partida at Jaime’s Upholstery. Based in Pittsburg, California, the upholstery shop is responsible for doing some of the area’s most outstanding custom vehicles. Interior extras include OG compass, courtesy lights, push-button radio, transmission light indicator, clock, serv-a-tray, floor mats and glove box light.
Sound System: Stock
Suspension: Marco Lopez from Marc’s Auto was in charge of all chassis work. To offer a more ground-hugging stance, he lowered the vehicle 2.5 inches utilizing lowering blocks.
Tires: 6.70×15 Firestone with 4-inch whitewalls