A proper sancha knows how to keep it player. They understand the terms of engagement and live by a set of different rules. But every once in a while they start acting up and before you know it they want more. C’mon now fellas you know what I’m talking about.

Now imagine having a sancha who doesn’t want to sit on the sidelines and shine when called upon? But let’s make it worse. Imagine having a sancha who doesn’t want you to herself. Imagine one who wants to live in your home, and in the presence of your wife?

OK so by now most of you are saying, “No mames!” Now that we’ve piqued your interest and gotten your attention, there is one man who has been successful in doing just that. His name is Manuel Fuentes—and yes his sancha lives in his pad. But make no mistake; Manuel makes no attempt at hiding the love affair that began in the ’80s. It started off as a rusty affair but since then Manuel has spent a small fortune on cosmetic surgery and bolt-ons and she’s since evolved into a sultry women with curves to die for—and get this, Manuel’s wife actually likes her. In fact, his wife was well aware of the ongoing love/hate relationship and says, “[Manuel] spends more time and money on her than he does on me, which is why I call her ‘Sancha’.”

But before you get any wise ideas that’ll get you hospitalized, we do have to clarify that Manuel’s “Sancha” is actually a 1952 Stepside truck. Yeah … sorry to burst your bubble of high hopes.

The affair between Manuel and his 1952 began in the early ’80s when his compadre Billy found the truck in La Puente, California. She was in real rough condition but he saw potential, so he struck a deal and gave the owner his own truck in return for the 1952 and $800. When he got the 1952 back home he used the additional money to purchase a 1947 that was to be used as a parts truck from which he would use the bumper, grille guards, window frames, bed, and other miscellaneous parts.

With the help of Billy Soto, the truck was reassembled, cleaned up, and that’s when it was painted a midnight blue. Manuel enjoyed it for a few years until one eventful day he walked out from work to find that it had been rear-ended. The whole back of the truck had to be replaced, and while doing so he decided to repaint it blue and white. Happy to be back on the street, the truck was used as a daily driver for over a decade until he decided to do a complete frame-off restoration in 2000.

Unfortunately Billy was no longer around so his search for new shops to work with went awry. As with most of us who customize cars, he was having trouble finding a dependable shop, and after falling victim to false promises and tall tales, he met Oscar Ortiz. Within three years of their meeting, they were able to bring this masterpiece back to life and the end result is this incredible restoration being showcased today. It’s an incredible piece of Americana that takes you back in time and it’s already claimed its fair share of awards. And while the awards make for great paperweights, Manuel understands that they’re simply mementos of time, but takes even greater pride in knowing that he is able to hit Whittier Boulevard with the same renewed pride he did some 30 years ago.

1952 Chevrolet Thriftmaster

Nickname
Sancha ’52

Owner
Manuel Fuentes

City/State
Pico Rivera, CA

Club
Groupe E.L.A.

Engine
Original 235 six-cylinder

Body/Paint
Custom-blended light gray in lacquer

Suspension
Airbag setup

Interior
Original in light gray

Sound
Stock

Wheels/Tires
16-inch Artillerys with Firestone whitewall tires