If you grew up in Phoenix—and love cars—then you’re probably all too familiar with Central Avenue. It’s this legendary street that plays host to some of the finest cars in the city, and it’s the one spot to see and be seen. In short, this thoroughfare becomes the “scene” when it comes to cruising in Arizona and it fills with spectators as they eagerly await the festivities.
Consider it if you will, the Hollywood Boulevard of Arizona, except it’s an active cruising zone that spreads across an 8-mile stretch. As each year passes, Central continues to influence and motivate future lowriders and thus is the case with Jimmy Arbizu. At the age of 13, Jimmy would be the first to tell you that he was mesmerized by the scene as cars were lined up bumper to bumper. “When I first visited Central Avenue I was hooked,” says the now avid lowrider. He further adds, “I remember watching the cars and it became my goal, as well as my dream, to get in on the action.”
Fast forward to present day and Jimmy has been fortunate enough to have already owned several lowriders, but ask him which one holds a special place in his heart and he’ll point to his 1951 Chevy 3100. The truck, which was built alongside his father, will continue to stand apart from the rest and it’s come a long way since being purchased for a mere $2,500.
To begin, the entire vehicle was dismantled and the project began by rebuilding the original, numbers-matching straight six. Once the motor was rebuilt, the casing was treated to a fresh coat of paint followed by a host of chrome and billet accessories. From there it was mated to a four-speed Saginaw transmission that transfers the power to a Cutlass rearend. Once all the powertrain components were bolted back up to the frame, DaVinci Customs went in to install a custom two-pump DaVinci hydraulic setup complete with custom hard lines, along with reverse rear cylinder mounts.
Once complete, the mechanically sound vehicle was then treated to a full body makeover, which was assigned to Big Daddy’s Body and Paint. The crew started by removing cosmetic blemishes and impurities and once prepped, it was doused with House of Kolor Pagan Gold Kandy. With the build in full swing, Victor Garcia of El Lechero Upholstery would take on the job of reviving the original interior with two-tone Caramel Brown Vinyl and Sandstone Tan velour and with only a few details left to complete, the original Dayton Wire Wheels were detailed and massaged onto a set of Hercules 155-80-13 rubbers.
Having been a member of Intruders Car Club since 1976 you can bet Jimmy has accumulated quite a few stories to tell, but it’s the memories that were created while building Tata’s truck that will forever stay with him. During the process, he has created very memorable experiences and no build would be complete without thanking those closest to him. That said, Jimmy would like to thank Harpo and Cookie Arbizu for their continued support as well as Leonard “DaVinci” Ruelas, along with all his fellow car clubs members that still cruise with him to this day.
Vehicle: 1951 Chevy 3100
Owner: Jimmy and Cookie Arbizu
Vehicle Nickname: “Tatas Gold”
City/State: Avondale, Arizona
Engine: ’54 Chevy 235ci straight six
Body/Paint: Big Daddy’s Body and Paint, Phoenix, Arizona, House of Kolors Pagan Gold
Interior: El Lechero Upholstery, original stitch
Suspension: DaVinci Customs, dual pump hydraulics/Cutlass rearend mod
Sound System: DaVinci Sounds, Pioneer head unit, amps, speakers, and 10-inch sub
Wheels/Tires: Dayton 13-inch wire wheels and 155/70/13 tires