There is something special about Robert Garcia and his original restored ’49 Chevrolet DeLuxe from San Antonio, Texas. Once we encountered Robert and his gracious family at the photo location, it wasn’t too long before we determined that he thinks a lot differently than most lowrider enthusiasts. The first thing that you notice about an “original” car like Robert’s is its height, of which there’s a huge difference when compared to a slammed lowrider. Robert did some extensive automotive research after he bought the vehicle for $9,800 and, after deciding that original restored was the way to go, spent another $5,000 for the restoration work over the next four years.
As much as Robert likes to own, cruise and show cars, it’s a given that he cares passionately for the Chevy’s quality level. For instance, Robert brought the suspension and complete undercarriage to working order and straightened the body to near perfection. He then layered the classic body with PPG black paint. The original wheels were wrapped with four-ply BFGoodrich Silvertown wide whitewalls and capped with Bowtie baby moons.
Robert respects his good buddy Alvino Espinosa’s eye for detail, and so had him masterfully craft the velour interior. Alvino rewarded Robert’s trust with a flawless interior redo, which is important because even the smallest shortcoming will stand out like a sore thumb when everything else around it is near perfection. Believe us, inside and out, “Just A Dream” is one clean machine.
Putting the ’49 puzzle together was the easy part. It’s finding the parts that’s the toughest job. For four years, Robert spent time rummaging through weed-strewn junkyards, strolling through swapmeets, studying restoration catalogs and talking to collectors from all over the country in an effort to secure key components for his ’49. Some fun stuff can be found in the trunk.
It’s cool to look like you’re back in 1949, but why live in the year? Of course, finding a battery and ignition wiring from back then for an inline 6-cylinder 216-c.i.d. engine was impossible, so they would need to be brand new. Robert bought a 12-volt Interstate battery and new ignition wires, boots and plugs so that (with help from Auto Body of New Braunfels in nearby New Braunfels, Texas) the old DeLuxe could be a lot more reliable on cruises and at the shows… everybody likes to hear an old powerplant fire up, right?
We must say that Robert did an excellent job of bolting together his prized ’49. And we can’t forget about Robert’s employer, Parts Net, who hooked him up with chrome plating on the exterior and interior moldings and trim, which to date have helped him capture seven awards in seven events for Best Original. Robert’s attitude is quite the opposite of the hardcore customizer, in that he champions to show us how classic cars restored to their original state can be joyfully admired more than 50 years later.
|Just a Dream|
|Vehicle:||’49 Chevrolet Deluxe|
|City/State:||San Antonio, Texas|
|Engine:||Original 216-c.i.d. straight 6-cylinder|
|Tires:||7.10-15 BFGoodrich Silvertown wide whitewall|
|Wheels:||Original with Chevy hubcaps|