When this vintage vehicle arrived at the studio everyone kind of milled around, looking at the detail and how clean it was. We all know how some things can look good from afar, but are far from good on close inspection. Like the cleaner that it’s named after, “Simple Green” cleaned up rather nicely. Considering what it looked like when Louie Negrete of Anaheim, California, brought it home 10 years ago, this truck stands as what could be labeled a miracle.

Louie grew up in a lowriding family, with his dad and uncles all owning cars during his childhood. Louie’s introduction to lowriding started off like many by building model cars and then moving up to lowrider bikes. Nothing will teach you discipline more than putting together a model that’s in a thousand pieces.

Louie’s dad recalls the day the truck came home looking like something that should have went to the junkyard and not the backyard for a lowrider project. The floors and bed were pretty much non-existent and the truck really was in a bad way. Sometimes projects like this seem so daunting that you dread starting it, so the truck sat for seven years. As Louie tells it, “I got the truck in 1997 and, wow, what a mess. It sat for seven years and I finally got tired of looking at it, so I got with some of the homies and I took it down to the bare frame.”

With a project of this scope, it’s always nice to have some friends to help you out and keep you focused, along with some encouragement when you feel like quitting. “Chuy and I pulled the motor and sent it out while I was working on the frame at home,” Louie relates. “I called Tino at B&A Towing and he picked up the body and dropped it off with Tony and Johnny of Fine Cars.” Wanting to get everything that was chrome plated back to its original gleam, Louie then made a few trips to “my chromer,” Apolonio at A&B Polishing and Chrome.

Projects like this don’t happen without the help of key players and, in this case, it would be Louie’s mom and dad, his brother Joe, Caesar, and, last but not least, his girl, Stacie, for letting him off the hook for all of those long nights in the garage. In the end, Simple Green winds up being yet another example of what can be accomplished with a little vision and a lot of hard work.

Simple Green
Owner: Louie Negrete
Vehicle: ’52 Chevrolet pickup
City/State: Anaheim, California
Club: Southern Royalty C.C.

Engine/Drivetrain: The stock motor was outfitted with chrome accessories like the intake, exhaust manifold and oil filter. The split manifold goes to a dual 11/2-inch exhaust. The work was performed by the owner and Chuy at Barrera Motors in Anaheim.

Body/Paint: Tony and Johnny at Fine Cars in Santa Ana, California, smoothed out the body and applied DuPont two-stage pearl. The bed received a green Plexiglas bottom. Mike Lamberson of Ontario, California, did the pinstriping. The chrome and polishing was done at A&B Polishing and Chrome in Montclair, California.

Interior: The interior consists of mohair material in the original pattern and was installed by Mike Perez in Norwalk, California. The faux wood dash was done by Vic and the interior is loaded with accessories, including a personal fan, cigarette ashtray, pipe holder, hat holder and jacket holder, just to name a few.

Sound System: A Pioneer head unit sends its signal to a 500-watt Pioneer amp that gets a set of 51/4s and four 6×9 speakers behind the seat making music. Caesar of Just Audio in Anaheim installed the system.

Suspension: The stock suspension was modified with the addition of 31/2-inch lowering blocks and the removal of a leaf spring to get it to a proper stance.

Tires: P155/80-R13 Cooper Trendsetter radials

Wheels: 13×7 Crystal wires with anodized green spokes and chrome rims