As with many other car enthusiasts, Mando has always enjoyed working on cars. As a young man he used to build model cars and that fascination parlayed into his teens, but this time around he was building real cars. Mando’s first ride was a 1954 Chevy Bel Air. That beloved car became his first cruiser, but soon after throwing some miles on it he traded it for a 1968 Impala and this is when his love for lowriding began. Fast forward to 1997 and Mando purchased a 1951 Chevy truck. He says, that at that time, it looked nothing like it does now.
When Mando married his wife Becky, he decided to put lowriding aside to concentrate on his family life. Although he was done getting his hands dirty, he continued to attend car shows and events, and when his son Daniel was young, he used to take him to all the shows. Tragically at the age of 15, his son passed away and after Daniel’s services, they found a collage of trucks and lowrider cars along with a box of LOWRIDER Magazines in his closet.
Mando and Becky had no idea how much their son loved lowriding, but apparently growing up with lowriders and all the time spent with Mando at car shows had made an impact on him. It was at that point that Becky motivated Mando to work on the truck to make it look like a lowrider truck for their son, just as he would have appreciated it.
Mando decided to sell his precious Fleetline to be able to put money into the truck. Mando says that Daniel was his inspiration to begin and finish the build. Although he states, “I know I have more things to do to it; I feel that it is looking good. My son would be happy with the truck the way it’s looking.” They would like to dedicate the truck to the memory of their son Daniel Mike Munoz. Mando would also like to say a special thank you to Rocky and Sue Placencia.
Vehicle Year/Make/Model: 1951 Chevrolet 3100 Truck
Owner: Mando Munoz
City/State: Pico Rivera, California
Engine: Stock ’54 Chevy 235 engine, straight-pipe exhaust, and four-speed transmission with an open drive rearend
Body/Paint: Bodywork and paint by Eddie’s Body Shop in Los Angeles and pinstriping by Danny A. from Pasadena, California. Chrome plating by El Monte Chrome Plating Company.
Interior: Extreme Upholstery from El Sereno, California
Suspension: Airbag suspension with two compressors, stock frame, Mustang II front clip, and back four-link springs installed by Ponch from Bagman in Anaheim, California
Wheels/Tires: 15-inch crossbar wheels with 195/75/15 American Classic Tires