The 1952 Chevy Fleetline Deluxe has always been one of the most sought after models for the Chevy Bomb enthusiasts. The availability of reproduction parts as well as NOS parts has made it easier to restore one back to factory-like condition. Some Chevy Bomb enthusiasts will restore these Fleetlines back to factory specifications, while some build them with custom paint and wire wheels. Corona California’s Gilbert Penilla chose the latter for his first Chevy Bomb.
Gilbert’s brother-in-law got him interested in Lowriding by taking him to car shows and cruise nights. Eventually, after riding shotgun for a while, Gilbert felt it was time to build his own ride. He didn’t have to go far; he bought the ’52 from his brother-in-law and formulated a restoration plan. He knew that he wanted to keep certain classic techniques as a part of the restoration process, but he also wanted to modernize the car in his own way as well. The Black Cherry color is a prime example; while subtle, it is still rich and eye-catching-just like the rest of this clean Bomb.
After five years of construction, Gilbert added the final item to his Fleetline. It was the plaque of his car club, Latin Life; the finishing touch to a labor of love. Since completion, Gilbert has been a regular winner at car shows throughout the Southern California area.
He would like to thank his wife, family, and Bob and Art Reyes for all of their help and support. Great job on the build, Gilbert!
“Black Cherry Chevy”
Owner: Gilbert Penilla
Vehicle: 1952 Chevy Fleetline Deluxe
Club: Latin Life
City/State: Corona, CA
Paint: Robles Auto Body in Riverside, California, sprayed the Black Cherry paint on the ’52. Mike Lamberson of Draggin Lines in Riverside, California, added his artistic touch to the bodylines.
Engine: 1954 Chevy 235ci built by Bob Reyes, shortened drive shaft and Chevy S10 transmission. Hot Rod Shop header and straight pipe exhaust. HCI ignition system.
Chrome: All chrome plating by Sylvester of Pomona California.
Interior: Nunez Auto Interiors installed the tweed interior in contrasting colors.
ICE: Kenwood head unit, Sony amplifier and Sony speakers throughout the interior.
Suspension: Gibby and Art Reyes from Gibby’s Garage installed a custom air bag setup in the Fleetline. 1985 Regal rear end was also installed in the Chevy.
Wheels: Dayton 13-inch 88-spoke wheels.
Tires: Cornell 155/80R13
Brands: Kenwood, Sony, HCI, Dayton, Cornell.