Having been converted from a pile of rust in Modesto, into a certified show-stopper in Las Vegas, this garage-built ’51 Chevy out of San Jose, CA took Lowrider builds to a whole new plateau. “I never thought that it would go to this level,” says Henry Palacios, owner of “SJ Trokita.” Henry and a few close friends spent countless nights in the garage assembling this one-of-a-kind Chevy. The crew finished the truck just in time to take it to the LRMsanctioned show in Pueblo, Colorado, where they were able to qualify for the Las Vegas Super Show. “The trip to Colorado, and the atmosphere there was awesome,” expressed Henry, as he told me about the 29-hour road trip east. “It was a real blessing to have been able to go to Colorado and make it back,” says Henry.
As a youngster, Henry Palacios always wanted a Lowrider, but never got his hands on one until his loving wife, Yolanda Vargas, bought him a ’65 Impala. After a year of work, Henry had converted the old ’65 into a clean street cruiser and later decided to sell the ’65. Henry began his search for a new challenge to build. One day, Henry mentioned to his good friend Jimmy Gustamantes, Jr. that he wanted “a Bomb truck with the three windows in the back.” Luckily, his friend had a lead for him. “Jimmy knew that there was one in Modesto for $2500,” says Henry thankfully. After taking a trip out to Modesto to go look at the truck, Henry saw that just about the only thing the truck had to offer was the skirts, but he still ended up buying the rough project truck for his wife Yolanda anyway. With her Dad being an original member of Chicano Pride Car Club, and with 3 of her 5 brothers also being involved in the Lowrider scene, it’s safe to say that Yolanda was brought up in a family of Lowriders.
Once in possession of the truck, Henry started working on it while attending Viejitos car club meetings. Liking what he saw at the meetings, he ended up joining Viejitos Car Club. “The club does a lot of family oriented stuff,” explained Henry.
As work began on the truck, his supportive wife Yolanda had a lot of input on the build. “A lot of the ideas on there are from her,” says Henry with a smile. “I just wanted a molded firewall, and she’s the one that wanted to have it engraved,” he laughs. From the color of the truck, to the engraving and the murals, Yolanda added a lot of creative insight. “As we started competing, she got more into it,” explained Henry. Yolanda, who helps to set up the truck at the shows, even named the truck. “We make a power team,” says Henry proudly.
Balancing the act of working six days out of the week as a service manager at an automotive shop and spending a lot of his free time in the garage building the truck proved to be quite the challenge for Henry. That doesn’t even reflect on the financial difficulties involved with the build, a struggle that most Lowriders out there can definitely relate to. It’s hard to build a car like this when you’ve got a mortgage and a family,” says Henry.
Henry would like to thank his wife for being very supportive in this unique project. He also wishes to send his regards to the Vargas brothers, Jimmy, John, Danny Torrez, Coast One, and Amador for all the support that was lent and the late nights they spent helping him achieve his perfect build.
Henry & Yolanda Palacios
Viejitos CC San Jose
1951 Chevrolet Pick-up
San Jose, CA
Two-tone gold and silver PPG paintjob with murals and subtle graphics.
Stock 235/6 Cylinder with a custom air cleaner and 3-speed on the column.
Tan suede and vinyl seats with molded and painted door panels to match the exterior of the vehicle.
Five engraved aluminum pumps, Adel dumps and custom slow down valves on a motorized hydraulic rack powered by four Optima yellow top batteries.
14×7 gold center OG wire Wheels
Premium Sportway 5.20’s