In today’s world where the hustle and bustle can consume a person’s time from the pleasures of life, it can be hard to tear away from it and stay sane. Just ask Chuck Parra of La Mirada, California. As the owner of Classic Touch Detailing in nearby Whittier, he’s seen his share of fancy cars. What with two car detailing shops though, it’s hard to pry the man away from his work. “I haven’t had a three-day weekend in more than 20 years,” admits Chuck, who’s a member of Fantasy Life Car Club. “I can’t remember when I gave myself a break.”
Being around the lowriding culture since the ’70s, Chuck recalls the heyday of his younger days as a Chicano growing up in Southern California. “My best memories growing up in the early ’70s were cruising around in the city of Artesia and the Whittier area,” he recalls. Back then, there was real cruising with the likes of Chevys, Buicks and Pontiacs rolling deep on the boulevard. This was a time when hair was big and tires were small, eight-track tapes clicked through tracks, color bars were aglow and fuzzy interiors reigned. There were no “trailer queens,” no trophy-mongers, no turntable monstrosities, just good old cruising into the wee hours of the morn.
Fast-forward 30 years to the present day when Chuck picked up the Chevy from his best friend. “He got the car from his grandfather when he was 16 years old and didn’t really get to do anything with it,” Chuck tells us, “so I offered to buy it from him for $2,500.”
It took some five years to get the ’51 Chevy Deluxe to the state that it’s in now. The car was in decent shape but still needed some TLC from all who participated in the buildup. With all of the business that Chuck’s done over the years, it was hard to pick just who would work on the “bowtie.” But once he figured out who was to do what, it was only a matter of time before the ride would be fit to display on those rare occasions when this busy business owner can actually attend a local car show with his pride and joy.
Chuck’s WayOwner: Chuck Parra
Vehicle: ’51 Chevrolet Deluxe hardtop
City/State: La Mirada, California
Club: Fantasy Life C.C.
Engine/Drivetrain: The ride chugs along with a ’55 235-c.i.d. powerplant rebuilt by Fred’s Automotive in Whittier, California, and sporting a dual exhaust system and dressed up to match the rest of the car. The tranny link to the inline six-cylinder works as good as it did back in the ’50s.
Body/Paint: The voluptuous body on the car was the result of getting the bodywork done at Frank’s Automotive Restoration in Vernon, California, where the body was restored back to its original state. What isn’t “original” is the custom paint applied by Frank Ybarra. Frank used Murano Pearl over a white base for the top and went with House of Kolor candy orange with Sunset Pearl for the rest of the car. The triple-chrome plated goodies on the ride were done up at Bumper’s Choice in Los Angeles, California. The “Choice” guys also polished all of the stainless steel.
Interior: Sticking to an upbeat color scheme, Chuck had Ramon Garcia of Ramon’s Auto Upholstery in Whittier, California, tidy up the inside with white tuck and roll vinyl done in the traditional design.
Sound System: Ruben Caldera at Pete’s Auto Body in Whittier got the nod to do the Sony sound system with Kenwood amplifiers and a combo of Sony, Pioneer and Kicker speakers.
Setup: A car like this has to ride on hydros so Chuck went down to Dungi’s Custom of Long Beach, California, where old school master Dungi dropped in a two-pump hookup with two dumps, four switches and four solenoids wired to four batteries. Steel-braided hoses are plumbed between the pumps and the rest of the system.
Tires: Original Dayton radials
Wheels: OG 13×7 Dayton