Back in 1992, Hugo Bastida lived on a busy block of Lemon Street in Orange, California, and was only a few houses away from a neighbor who owned this old ’54 Chevy bomb truck. The truck definitely needed some tender loving care and Hugo was more than willing to provide it. As soon as a “for sale” sign went up in the side window for $850, Hugo quickly saved his pennies for the purchase and it was from there that the truck was about to be re-born and acquire the new name of “La Ranita” (“little frog”).
The truck was in dire need of new paint and as soon as some more cash was saved up, Hugo elected to go with a pearl white color paint job. Hugo was somewhat satisfied with the outcome, but it just wasn’t eye-catching enough to the level that he desired. Hugo made the decision to go all of the way with this ride and had the new intention of making it one of the best lowriding bomb trucks on the circuit. Hugo got down to business, totally removing the body from the chassis to do a total frame-off restoration and customization. Within three years and nearly $60,000 invested, La Ranita was ready for show-stopping and award-taking status.
Most of the eye-popping work done to this truck was done through Hugo’s own business known as Hugo’s Custom Shop in Santa Ana, California. It was there that the trokita received an engine makeover, custom hydraulic suspension, and exterior bodywork and paint preparation. Just about everything under the hood and among the undercarriage was chrome plated by Vidal’s Polishing & Chrome in Riverside, California. For those parts where Hugo felt it was necessary, an upgrade to gold was handled by Juan over at La Habra Gold Plating in La Habra, California. The front bumper and the custom 13×7 100-spoke rims even received an elegant touch of engraving by Jaime’s Engraving.
Hugo’s very happy with where his Chevy’s at now. He has no plans to do any more customizations to it since he feels that it’s just about untouchable as is. La Ranita has already taken home a plethora of trophies from countless car shows. He does say that La Ranita wouldn’t be where it’s at now if it weren’t for the people who helped him with the build-up. He sends big thanks to his family, his brothers, Armando, Snoop, Javier, Jerry, Adam and the crew at Hugo’s Custom Shop. Watch out for this truck to be making some appearances at Lowrider Magazine Tour shows this year. Hugo says that he’s ready to take the sweepstakes!
La RanitaOwner: Hugo BastidaVehicle: ’54 Chevrolet truckCity/State: Santa Ana, CaliforniaClub: Uniques C.C.
Engine/Drivetrain: Original stock ’54 Chevy with the original “three on the three” transmission. Hugo’s Custom Shop in Santa Ana handled the engine and transmission rebuild.
Body/Paint: Hugo and Javier (of Hugo’s Custom Shop) shaved the firewall as well as many areas around the undercarriage before doing the final bodywork and prepping the trokita for paint. Javier Torrez of My Auto Body in Santa Ana took care of the paint, spraying House of Kolor lime green over gold pearl. Mike Lamberson of Mike’s Pinstriping in Riverside, California, did the final touches, adding some elegant striping and leafing in different shades of green. Sal of Sal’s Airbrushing in Riverside got down on the artistic side with a detailed airbrushed mural on the firewall in the engine bay. The mural depicts a classic gangster scene complete with Al Pacino (as “Scarface”), scantily-clad gun-wielding ladies and a Uniques-owned high-roller casino.
Interior: The seats were done in an original style but were color-matched to the exterior. Jesse of A.J.’s in Garden Grove, California, had the seats wrapped in lime green vinyl and had music note symbols molded into the door panels. The original dash was cleaned up and painted to match the exterior and finally a new headliner was put into place for the final inside touch.
Sound System: Tommy of Big Papa’s in Santa Ana had the honor of doing up a clean sound system consisting of an Alpine head unit, two-channel Infinity amplifier, and two 5.5-inch and two 6×9-inch midrange speakers.
Setup: Hugo and his brother Nasario tackled the custom hydraulic installation on this old truck, dropping in a whammy pump with chrome hard-lines, four dumps and four solenoids, all hooked up to four dash-mounted switches powered by four batteries. The pump and batteries are nestled under the bed of the truck, attached to the frame.
Tires: P155/80-R13 Cooper whitewalls
Wheels: 13×7 Kristal wires