We took a little trip down south for this month’s truck feature, and by “south” we mean the wonderful SoCal city of San Diego, home of the famous Chicano Park. This historic area was the perfect backdrop in which to link up with our Brother’s Truck of the Month feature; a classy 1953 Chevrolet Truck dubbed “El Dorado De Villa.” The truck, a masterpiece belonging to Jose Luis Artega, is a tribute to the Mexican revolutionary leader who advocated for the poor and pushed for agrarian reform. Though he was a killer, a bandit, and a revolutionary leader; he is still revered as many remember him as a folk hero.
Jose credits his love affair with Lowriders with a look in our April 1983 issue; an issue he pulled out from his stacks that showed his 1930’s truck proudly adorning the pages. “I’ve always been into the Lowrider scene and now that I’m older, I’m glad to have been able to do this one more time, but at a different level from my younger days,” says the owner of this immaculate ’53.
This build was more intricate then the one in his early ’80’s feature thanks in part to the fact that the frame received a modernization. The old stock frame was upgraded with a Camaro front clip that was grafted in, allowing the truck to stop with modern-style disc brakes. The frame also received the drivetrain from a 1974 Impala. The 350 engine was also upgraded, as it was outfitted with a Holley aluminum intake and carb combination. In addition, a factory style HEI distributor was used while Flowmaster mufflers were added to help the truck breathe. A 400 transmission and Camaro differential capped off the power upgrades and the truck ran great on the highway, thanks to the air-bagged suspension which allows the truck to ride comfortably like a modern vehicle.
When it came time for paint, Jose had his truck’s bodywork and paint done by Alberto Zalazar, a painter from San Diego who worked his magic with a House of Kolor Aztec Gold that was accented with chrome and murals of Pancho Villa. The gold color truck received a tan custom interior that was done by Ruben Olguin, also of San Diego. Ruben stayed away from the classic biscuit tuck in favor of a more streamlined interior to accent the Dolphin gauges and the chrome trim that runs throughout the cab. Jose also added some wood trimming and floors that gave the truck a touch of elegance.
It’s safe to say that Jose couldn’t have put his truck together without the help of his family and close friends. Pressed for time, Jose was able to fulfill his dream of building one more ride to be featured in LRM, and only time will tell if he adds more to his amazing custom truck that we deemed worth of featuring for this month’s Brothers Truck of the Month feature.
Name: El Dorado De Villa
Model: 1953 Chevrolet, 3100 pick up
Owner: Jose Luis Artega
City/State: San Diego, CA
Car Club: Oldies, Car Club
Suspension: Camaro front clip with airbags and featured ViAir compressors and 5 & 3-gallon air tanks.
Engine: 1974 Chevrolet 350 engine, 4 BBL Holley carburetor and aluminum intake, Hedman headers.
Paint: House of Kolor Candy Aztec Gold.
Wheels: 14×7 Wire Wheels
Tires: Premium Sports 4-ply 5.20’s