An heirloom is something antique that has been passed down through generations of family members. While most people consider a piece of jewelry an heirloom, some consider vehicles to be heirlooms. It is not uncommon for a vehicle to be passed down through generations of families.

Rudy Barbosa purchased this 1951 Chevy from a friend for his son Richie a few years ago, and Richie built the truck with the “rockabilly look” in mind. He shaved all of the chrome, door handles and emblems from the body. He then had George Cuellar from One Way Kustomz, in Norwalk, California, spray a Satin Green paintjob and flake the roof. Richie cruised and showed the truck for a while but decided that he wanted to move onto a new project.

Rather than sell the truck to fund his next project, Richie gave the truck back to his father, Rudy, to keep the ’51 in the family. The truck had sentimental value and Richie felt it should stay with the Barbosa family.

Rudy, a long time Lowrider and Bomb guy, had a different vision for the classic Chevy. Once again, George Cuellar from One Way Kustomz in Norwalk, California was tapped to bring back the classic look to the truck. Rudy sourced all of the chrome pieces, door handles, and emblems to restore the body back to its original look before George Cuellar sprayed the truck forest green. D.A. Garcia, from DA Designs added subtle pinstriping to the truck to complete the exterior customization.

The engine was left untouched since it had been rebuilt and restored when Richie first built the truck, so Rudy concentrated on the suspension of the Chevy. Like a true Lowrider, Rudy wanted the truck to sit as low to the pavement as possible. He had Ponch “The Bag Man” install one of his custom air bag set ups and add a TCI Mustang II front clip and C- frame. Rudy then had his friend Joe Epstein from Epstein’s Mufflers in Montebello add a rear C – notch to the truck so the truck laid low in the front and the back. Rudy also added rack & pinion steering and disc brakes to complete the upgrade to the rolling stock. Mike Perez from Norwalk California took care of the upholstery for Rudy. He added a cut pile carpet kit, 47 pinstripe materials to the bench seat and mohair to the door panels to complete the interior of the truck.

With the truck completed and staying in the Barbosa family, the next thing to do was to cruise it! Rudy and his friends are regulars at car shows, cruise nights, and the world famous Whittier Boulevard, so the classic Chevy had its work cut out for it! Rudy would like to thank his son, Richie for giving him the truck, Joe Epstein, George Cuellar, Mike Perez, Ponch aka “Bag Man”, D.A. Garcia, and Junior Perez for their help with the rebuild of the truck.

We spotted it one Sunday on Whittier Boulevard as it cruised by Montebello Park, just inches from the ground. It had heads turning and fingers pointing from one end of the park to the other! This rolling family heirloom definitely has a great story as well as a great look!

Tech Specs

“Chile Verde”

Owner: Rudy Barbosa

Vehicle: 1951 Chevy Pick Up Truck

City/State: Alhambra, California

Paint: George Cuellar from One Way Kustomz, in Norwalk, California, performed the body & paintwork. D.A. Garcia from D.A. Designs, in Whittier, California, sprayed the truck in a forest green and then pinstriped.

Engine: Restored & Rebuilt 1951 Chevy 216ci, Offenhauser Dual Carbs and Intakes, V-Belt Pulley System, AC Delco R-45 Spark Plugs, Interstate Battery, 3 speed Saginaw Transmission, Fenton Headers, Glass Pack Exhaust.

Chrome: Yolanda’s Plating, Los Angeles, California

Interior: Mike Perez from Norwalk, California, covered the seat in 47 Pinstripe Material, added a cut pile carpet kit and covered the door panels in Mohair.

Suspension: Ponch the Bag Man from Anaheim, California, installed one of his infamous air bag setup along with a TCI Mustang II front clip & C–Frame. Joe Epstein from Epstein’s Muffler, in Montebello, California, added the rear C notch to bring the Chevy down to the ground. Rudy added rack & pinion steering and disc brakes to complete the chassis work.

Wheels: 15-inch Chevrolet with Cross Bar Hub Caps.

Tires: Cornell 205/75R15.

Accessories: Cadillac Day & Night Rear View Mirror, Trip & Fog Lights.

Brands: Offenhauser, AC Delco, TCI, Interstate, Cornell.