If you’ve ever had the privilege of building a lowrider, then you know one of biggest parts of that experience involves the countless hours and road trips to hunt down parts for your car that typically lead to meeting new people, creating relationships, and opening doors to future life experiences. In 1995 while serving in Air Force, Tony “Beaver” Vargas ran across a 1951 Chevy pickup, but with only a bare cab, frame, and engine, Beaver knew he had quite the road to travel before this classic beauty was ready to hit the boulevard.

“I had a vision of what I wanted to cruise,” says Beaver, “and so I was off to find everything myself and in doing so one of the first people I met was Johnny Medina who would eventually give my truck its name.” “I had heard people talk about this build and its owner all over the Southwest and online,” says Johnny. “So every time it came up in conversation I said that’s ‘El Famoso’ Beaver’s truck.”

As you can tell, for Beaver it wasn’t necessarily about the build itself, but more about the ongoing journey his truck continues to take him on. This truck wasn’t built to be a trailer queen and thus can be seen rolling down the open highway all the way from Phoenix, Arizona, and down the coast of California from car show to car show where El Famoso continues to build new relationships.

“So many have been a part of this build,” says Beaver. “A special thanks is in order to Joe Mendola whose advice and knowledge still continues to impact me to this day. I would also like to say thank you to all my familia, especially my daughter Destiny who has been my co-pilot for over 20 years.”

Tech Specs

Nickname: El Famoso

Owner: Tony “Beaver” Vargas

City: Phoenix, AZ

Vehicle: 1951 Chevy 3100

Engine: 1954 235ci Chevy inline-six

Upholstery: Two-tone green cross-hatched tuck ‘n’ roll with white vinyl inserts

Body/Paint: Andy Saurez sprayed the two-tone Mist Green and Star Mist White combination

Suspension: Lowered stock

Wheels / Tires: Period-correct painted artillery steel wheels / 15-inch wide-whitewall Firestone replicas