Danny Trejo has called the seaside city of Santa Barbara, California, home for his entire life. Over the years, he has watched the area grow into one of California’s most sought after relaxation destinations. The city he claims also claims him, as Danny has gone on to have a family of his own, work for the city and become one of the most recognizable lowriders in the area. The custom, two-toned, blue ’52 Chevy Suburban he drives is one-of-a-kind, and it’s not uncommon for numerous people to wave hello to him as he cruises it in the city’s downtown district.
Danny recalls being only 12 years old back in 1980; a time he spent watching his older brother, Augie, work on his ride and hang out with friends. Augie, one of the founding members of Nite Life Car Club, would cruise out on Milpas Street and Danny would often tag along. Danny was definitely inspired and motivated to join the culture, not only by his brother’s achievements, but also by the sight of other nice rides cruising on the area’s streets. He vowed that one day he would own one of these incredible machines, too. As soon as he was of legal driving age, Danny bought the family’s ’64 Impala wagon and began giving it custom touches. A few years later, Danny moved on to a ’74 Chevy Glasshouse. Thanks to his hard work on the ride, he was ready to officially join Nite Life as a full-fledged member. By the age of 23, Danny had moved up in the ranks to become Club President, the title he currently holds and has held for about 24 years now!
This latest project has also been a “labor of love” for the lifetime lowrider. Danny bought the Suburban in Oxnard, California, from a man named Armando Vega for a mere $5,000. After three years of construction and about $50,000 invested, Danny turned the old ride into a custom lowrider that looks as clean as the day the Chevy rolled off the assembly line back in the early ’50s. Thanks to all the hard work, Danny affectionately calls his classic ride, “A Labor of Love.”
Danny sends his thanks to his brother, Augie, for initially showing him the lowriding way of life. He also thanks Meno Calderon, Jr. for doing all the great mechanical work, and thanks all of the past and present Nite Life members for their support and patience. A special thanks goes to his wife and kids for supporting him in life and for helping him with the build. Now that the ride is complete, Danny and his family enjoy riding in it on a daily basis.
Owner: Danny Trejo
Vehicle: 1952 Chevrolet Suburban
City/State: Santa Barbara, California
Club: Nite Life
Engine: ’57 Chevy 235-cid with manual three-speed transmission. The engine builder was Richard Martinez, Sr., of Santa Barbara.
Body/Paint: Mike Perez of Fermie’s Auto Body in Santa Barbara took care of the prep work before laying down a two-stage clear coat two-toned paintjob, which features dark blue over light blue. Ghost murals of the car club plaque appear on the rear corners of the exterior body and under the hood above the grill. All chrome plating provided by Bumper Connection in Santa Fe Springs, CA.
Interior: Fred’s Upholstery, in Santa Barbara, handled the interior needs using gray velour for the seats and door panels. A dark blue carpet covers the flooring. Dakota Digital gauges replaced the old school analog gauges.
Sound System: The 2 Mikes in Santa Barbara installed a JVC head unit and a Sanyo 800-watt amplifier. Four 4×10-inch mid-range speakers and three 10-inch woofers pump out the sounds of oldies music.
Setup: Nick Guzman, of Nick & Son in Oxnard, CA, installed a custom hidden airbag setup that allows the front and back of the Suburban raise and lower at the hit of a switch. The frontend was swapped out with a Mustang II suspension, including rack-and-pinion. The rearend was swapped out with a ’78 Nova rear suspension.
Tires: 195/70/14 wide whitewalls (from The Whitewall Candy Store)
Wheels: OG crossbar hubcaps