Victor Melgoza of Anaheim, California, has been into lowriding for as far back as he can remember. “My memory of lowriding begins when I was a young boy,” he says. “Every Sunday after church, my family and I would go to my Grandpa’s house in Fullerton, California. On the drive, we would always pass by Lemon Park. I would see all of the lowrider cars out in the parking lot, and I was just mesmerized by their appearance.”
Admittedly “drawn to the cars and their craftsmanship,” a seed was planted in young Victor that would eventually grow into a full-blown obsession. “After we passed the Park,” continues Victor, “we would drive under a bridge. The walls of the tunnels were covered with murals of bombs and other lowriders, and those murals still exist today. I was interested in the pictures and drawn to the cars. I was fascinated by the lowrider lifestyle.”
And so teenage Victor began on a path that would lead to a career in automotive paint. After painting cars for 10 years-and owning a number of lowriders that include a ’42 Chevy Fleetline, ’64 and ’65 Chevy Impalas, and a ’72 Buick Riviera-Victor is now a field technician for Auto Color Specialists, a PPG Platinum distributor. “I love the work, the industry and my job,” Victor admits.
This ’48 Fleetline called “Back In Black” is the latest in a long line of lowriders for Victor. Victor found the car up in Oregon, but had to put the project on hold due to family commitments. Once those priorities were squared away, Victor gave himself the green light to go ahead with the black Bowtie bomb build.
“I feel that my obsession and passion for lowriding has got me to where I am today,” sums up Victor. “It has motivated me to work hard. I has pushed me to get the things that I want in life. It has kept me focused and kept me out of trouble. I hope to pass this art and culture down to my son Jacob and daughters Olivia, Oriana and Oasis, so that it will motivate and inspire them like it has me. I hope that the tradition of lowriding will carry on.”
Back In Black
Owner: Victor Melgoza
Vehicle: ’48 Chevrolet Fleetline
City/State: Anaheim, California
Club: No affiliation
Engine/Drivetrain: Victor installed a 235-c.i.d. engine lifted from a ’62 Chevy Nova, and equipped it with dual Offenhauser carbs and Fenton headers. A 12-inch glass-pack exhaust system was acquired from Anchor Mufflers in Anaheim.
Body/Paint: Victor teamed up with Benito at Ben’s Auto Body in Anaheim and Willy at Golden Touch Auto Body in Stanton, California, for the bodywork. The owner then primered and blocked the car by hand before painting it with PPG black, which was color sanded to perfection. Orange County Plating and Bumper Choice in Santa Fe Springs, California, did the chrome work.
Interior: Victor’s uncle Gabriel Rivas of G&R Upholstery in Garden Grove, California, tended to the interior. As the owner of Vic’s Simulated Woodgraining, Victor did the woodgrain himself. All of the accessories were acquired through Victor’s friends Carlos Ledesma and Jacob Dominguez.
Sound System: With help from Martin Diaz of Custom Auto Sound in Anaheim, Victor installed a NOS Pioneer AM/FM/eight-track player, under-dash CD player, GS 6000 amplifier, two 8-inch woofers, two Pioneer 6x9s and two Pioneer 6-inch speakers.
Setup: Working with Eddie and Michael Tovar of Hawaiian Gardens, California, and Vince from Red’s Hydraulics, Victor installed an OG hydro setup consisting of two Pesco pumps, two Bendix equalizers, two Adel dumps and two custom reservoir tanks, all purchased at Envious Touch in Whittier, California. The setup also has two D&H “fatty’ cylinders and two Parker slow-down valves, purchased at Hoppo’s Hydraulics in Ontario, California, as well as two stainless steel pressure gauges, six solenoids, Tweeco quick release, three Napa group 31 batteries and 11/42-inch stainless steel hard-lines.
Tires: 5.60-15 FidelityWheels: 15-inch standard Supreme (after upgrading to five lugs)