The novel of life is a unique story for all of us, and when one chapter ends, another begins. After Michael Parra of Chino, CA went through a difficult divorce, his life took a more positive turn when he started working on cars. “I got involved in helping my compadre, Melvin Arredondo, restore his car to keep myself occupied,” says Michael. During the restoration process, Melvin convinced Michael to find himself a project vehicle that he could restore as well. “We talked about how one day we would low ride together and show our prides off.” After looking around for a while, Michael finally ended up purchasing the 1952 GMC pickup from one of his co-workers in 1999. “It was a fixer upper that had been sitting in his yard for years.”
Michael spent the first two years of his ownership hunting down and buying parts at the Pomona antique swap meet. His hunt proved to be fruitful and once all the parts were found, the build began. A ’79 El Camino front end was added to the Stepside, along with a 383 crate motor, 700 R4 transmission, I-Rock rear end, power windows and disc brakes.
With the build underway, a new chapter in Michael’s life had begun in more ways than one. A few years into the build, Michael remarried, and shortly thereafter, his mother became ill and moved in with newlywed couple. With two strong women in his life, encouragement for the build was easy to find. “My wife and mother both pushed me to finish the build and I promised my mother that she would be the first to go on a ride with me when it was done,” says the builder. Unfortunately the mother and son never got that chance. “I was too busy working and driving my mom back and forth to dialysis that I didn’t think that I would have the time or energy to finish it,” Michael explains. “When the time came for me to paint it, my mother passed away on February 18th 2009.” Since it was a dream for Michael to complete the truck’s build, he decided to name it “Un Sueno.” He drives the dream proudly in honor of his late mother, who influenced him to realize his Lowrider dreams by finishing the truck and helping him to discover that restoring cars is something that he truly loves to do.
Owner: Michael Parra
Vehicle: 1952 GMC 1500
City/State: Chino, CA
Engine: Star Performance Products 383 crate, 700 R4 transmission, Huggers headers, Glass Packs, Holley 700 carburetor, Duralast battery, Nostalgia valve covers and air cleaner
Body/Paint: Ron’s Color Works in Upland, CA added the pin stripes.
Interior: Robert Gonzalez of Fontana stitched together the interior. Sound System: Michael installed the 7″ fold out Pioneer deck.
Setup: Michael installed airbags, 1979 front-end clip suspension, ABS disk brakes, I-Rock rear end
Tires: BFGoodrich P215/65r15
Wheels: 15″ Artillery