This ride is truly a “Family Affair,” which becomes clear after one hears the story of how the Chavez familia of Fresno, California, came up with that name for their ’59 Chevy Nomad station wagon. As a young boy, Richie Chavez dreamed of one day being featured in the pages of Lowrider Magazine. His passion for the lifestyle began at the age of 13 when he joined True Desire Bike Club.
It was then that Richie met the man who handed him his first wrench, Anthony Alaniz. Anthony taught all of the bike club members how to build bikes, gradually promoting them to building cars. Richie’s first car was a ’73 Chevy Nova, which he still proudly owns today. The Nova was lowered on 14-inch TrueSpoke wheels, and although it wasn’t the typical lowrider, Richie’s creativity configured the car to make it become his vision of a lowrider.
Richie told us how he came across this custom wagon after selling his ’66 Chevy Caprice lowrider in order to provide a home for his wife and kids. Four years later, Richie and his sons purchased some raffle tickets from his hometown church and his youngest son Abraham won the grand prize-a car. The family decided to sell the car that they had won so that they could purchase a ’53 Chevy Bel Air that they had spotted. Unfortunately, the car was not as it seemed in pictures, so Richie and his wife decided to pass on the ride.
On the way home, Richie remembered that his friend Mando Rendon had a ’59 wagon that had caught his attention since he was in high school. Richie called Mando and asked if he still had the wagon and if he would still be willing to sell it. Once Mando said yes, Richie told him to wash the wagon because he was on his way to pick it up. That’s when the ’59 Nomad wagon known as Family Affair began to come to life.
Richie knew that he was going to build a driver so he started by rebuilding the engine. The engine was painted candy Oriental Blue to match the original sky blue tones that Richie planned to spray on the classic wagon. For paint, the wagon didn’t stray far as the Mando who sold the car also owned a body shop and prepared the wagon for paint. The car was covered with Valspar Light Quasar Blue, and then two-toned in true ’50’s style when the roof and wings received a touch of pearl white. The wings and roof were customized with graphics and murals of the city of Fresno, and the roof received some custom designs created by Carlos at Coast One in San Jose, California. The paint job was accented with pinstriping by Ron Talley at Talley’s Custom Graphics in Fresno.
With the paint and all of the hard to find accessories dialed in, it was time for the wagon to get some new upholstery. That was taken care of by Jesus and Juan Hernandez at Hernandez Upholstery in Fresno. The duo’s work highlighted key tricks in the interior, including covering the two ShowTime Hydraulics pumps installed by Anthony Alaniz.
Hernandez Upholstery also covered the speaker box that houses the JL Audio woofers installed by Art Medina at Sanger-Mans Car Audio in Lemoore, California. The custom box and panels also received a touch of light blue velour that’s found throughout the interior of the vehicle. Once they were done with this, all that was left to do was throw on a set of OG wire wheels to allow the wagon to cruise Kings Canyon Boulevard in true lowrider style.
Richie’s passion for the lowrider lifestyle has definitely paid off and, thanks to Family Affair, his teenage dream has become a reality. Richie couldn’t have done it without the support of his friends and family. Richie thanks Supreme Auto Detailing, Sangre Latina C.C., and especially his wife, Sylvia, who has the same passion for the lowriding lifestyle that he does. Last but not least, he thanks his sons Abraham and Isaiah. In fact, Abraham is the future owner of the wagon as he was the one who filled out the winning raffle ticket. Good luck, Richie, and keep your family involved. That will ensure the meaning of your car’s name for some time.
Owner: Richie and Sylvia Chavez
Vehicle: ’59 Chevrolet Nomad Wagon
City/State: Fresno, California
Engine: A rebuilt 350-c.i.d. V-8 with a candy block was equipped with an Edelbrock carbureter and aluminum intake, and mated to a 350 Turbo tranny.
Body/Paint: The body was covered with Valspar Light Quasar Blue paint, and the roof and wings received pearl white paint. The wings and roof were customized with graphics and murals of the city of Fresno, and the roof received some custom designs created by Carlos at Coast One in San Jose, California. The paint was accented with pinstriping by Ron Talley at Talley’s Custom Graphics in Fresno.
Interior: Jesus and Juan Hernandez at Hernandez Upholstery in Fresno went through the interior compartment of the vintage wagon.
Sound System: A flip-out DVD player and six Pioneer 6x9s are powered by an Interfire amplifier, while an Arc Audio amplifier is used for the two JL Audio subwoofers. The system was installed by Art Medina at Sanger-Mans Car Audio in Lemoore, California.
Setup: Two ShowTime Hydraulics pumps, 8-inch (front) and 12-inch (rear) cylinders, six 31-series batteries and eight switches was installed by Anthony Alaniz.
Tires: P155/80-R13 Hankook
Wheels: 100-spoke OG wires were powdercoated to match the wagon’s body