Many of us wander through life with no direction. We wake up day after day, living life as it comes. But for the chosen few, they wake up with a sense of passion, pride, and direction that’s undefeatable.
Thus is the case for Mike Cajio.
In junior high, he came across his first lowrider and from there on in he knew that one day soon he’d partake in the festivities. Wanting to be a player, and not just a spectator, he soon saved up for his first lowrider-a 1965 Impala that he lifted himself. Soon thereafter, his love for the technical aspect of hydraulic systems wound up landing him a job running one of the first hydraulics shops in Stockton, California-that was back in 1978. In what became a tradition, he recalls marking the wall after completing each setup, and at last count (which was some 20 years ago) he remembers stopping that tradition after his 300th install.
Since then his passion for custom builds resulted in him wanting to build something new. Just over four years ago, Mr. Cajo felt the urge to build something new so he began searching on Craigslist for a new project truck-specifically a 1947-1952 Chevrolet 3100. Eventually he found a 1952 that was in good condition. Needless to say he shot down to Los Angeles where the truck was located, sealed the deal, and drove it back home in a six-hour trip that was powered by plenty of coffee and the truck’s freshly rebuilt 235 engine.
With the car back home, he already knew what he needed to do. So while he was busy accumulating parts, Mike, along with his friend Greg Lopez, began working on it every Monday and Tuesday (his days off) for the next 15 months. Everything except the paint and upholstery was done in the garage, and it was a personal build in which he takes great pride. Parts were removed, cleaned up, and sent out to Imperial Plating to get chrome plated. In the engine bay, he upgraded to a dual carb setup, headers, and then opted to add an A/C to it. Tail Draggin’ Kustoms laid the paint on the stepside. Mike “Blindman” Perez did everything in the interior but the woodgrain that was done by Sammy De Leon, while Mike himself installed the Fan Rooster setup.
In all, the build is pretty spectacular. The color combo and stance of the truck make it picture perfect, while the retro-style setup in the bed offers a raw, yet unadulterated look that offers a period-correct vibe. And while Mike is still planning on doing a few more things to the truck, all I can say is that I’d be more than happy to own such an iconic piece of American history. And even though the bomb is void of traditional wire wheels, the stock hubcaps and overall stance makes it a truck to be easily appreciated by anyone who loves lowriding or the classic restoration of vintage Americana.
1952 Chevrolet 3100
Bomb Scare ’52
235 motor with dual carb, Vintage Air A/C, and a ’70s three-speed transmission
2013 Fiat Mocha Latte color on the body and with a darkened tone of the same paint on the fenders
Fatman Fab crossmember with tubular A-arms, Z-notched frame, Mustang II frontend, rack-and-pinion steering, disc brakes, and a custom four-linked ’70s Camaro rearend. Fan Rooster Pesco with two N.O.S. Adel’s and three batteries
Butterfly steering wheel and Mohair bench seat
AM/FM radio with auxiliary for iPod
Artilleries and Coker tires
His wife, Sylvia, Greg Lopez, and Ill Phil