There are all kinds of introductions to our culture that hook up and coming enthusiasts on riding slow and low. For Ruben Arreguin, the mini-truck craze of the early ’90’s served as his motivation to become a Lowrider. “I built myself an all custom mini with hydraulics, diamond tuck interior, and even a love seat in the back,” Ruben recalls about his early days. Since then, Ruben has had multiple Lowriders, including a few Monte Carlos and Caprices. The project we are focusing on here is Ruben’s latest creation; a 1959 El Camino that is years in the making.
“I found my ’59 El Camino many years ago, as I would pass by it many times on my daily work route,” explains Ruben. “The El Camino was just sitting on side of the street and my co-worker and I would always say, ‘That’s my dream car.’ One day it had a ‘for sale’ sign on it, so I took down the number.” Ruben called the owner about purchasing the project car, made the deal, and took the car home. “I got it running, but only took it for one spin because I always had plans of restoring it. I wasn’t planning on going as far as I did; I just wanted a cruiser.” The work on the El Camino was put on hold for two years since he was working on a few other project cars. One day, Ruben decided to commit his whole time to finishing up the El Camino and he knew that the only way to do that was by getting rid of his other projects. “I also started taking up as many side jobs as I could to be able to build it the way I wanted it,” he explains. The El Camino floated around from shop to shop until Ruben brought it home to do work on it. His first task was to paint and pattern it; a task he took on himself. “I had painted cars before but only as a hobby, never professionally,” he says. Even more remarkable, his past experience was with pearl and metallic paint, not candy. “I started watching YouTube videos and Googling how to use different painting techniques. I practiced on my kids’ Lowrider bicycles until I felt comfortable enough to try it on my own car.”
Ruben performed most of the work on his car out of his garage and his kids were his assistants. “There is no greater feeling than driving a finished car for the first time and mine came when I drove the El Camino to Lowrider Magazine’s Las Vegas Super Show,” says the proud key holder. “I would like to give a special thanks to my wife for the support,” Ruben says sincerely. “I worked really hard to get my car out and I couldn’t have done it without her help and the help of my kids.” Ruben would also like to thank Klique car club, Pete Tapia, and all his children.
Owner: Ruben Arreguin
Vehicle: 1959 Chevrolet El Camino
City/State: Las Vegas, NV
Engine: Ruben rebuilt the 350 engine himself, featuring a Hush Power Flowmaster exhaust, Edelbrock carburetor, Edelbrock intake, aluminum radiator and Optima redtop battery.
Body/Paint: Alsa Paint was used. Gary Jenson of Las Vegas, NV., striped it, while Nick Lee also of Las Vegas, NV., did the murals.
Interior: Jose “Chimichanga” Huerta of Upholstery 2000 of Las Vegas, NV., stitched the interior.
Sound System: Two 10-inch Rockford Fosgate subwoofers, Pioneer mids, Rockford Fosgate amps and Kenwood stereo.
Chrome: Peter Tapia, of Anaheim Plating, handled all the chrome. Jaime Castanedas, of Los Angeles, and Bobby Flores, of Kuttn Edge, in Las Vegas, NV., were both called upon to do the engraving.
Setup: Black Magic in Las Vegas, NV.
Wheels: 72-spoke Daytons.