Julio Estrada may not have had much growing up, but that never stopped him from dreaming big. Inspired by his father who collected classic cars, Julio wanted a stable of his own. Even though a lack of financial stability plagued him, he dreamt big and never let it hold him back.

After immigrating to the United State from Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua, Julio and his family found themselves in the Mexican town’s sister city of El Paso, Texas. A few short years later, they moved to Denver, where he set his sights on a new venture. With nothing more than an idea and a business license, he started what would become known as J&M Custom Cabinet Shop, which blossomed into a successful entrepreneurial venture that has since given him the financial stability he was looking for. After years of building his business, he was finally living the American Dream and with some loose change he was finally able to start building that collection he’d once dreamt of.

It all started with one project car, then a second, and by the time he landed his fourth it was game over. This was the project that would be a keeper and it came by way of a 1951 Chevy 1300—a truck his father had always wanted, and one that would hold a special place in Julio’s heart.

Two years later, and $30,000 lighter, the custom five-window he calls “Cholita” is a two-tone truck featuring a cool lime green and charcoal gray color scheme that flows inside and out. Accented with silver leafing and chrome by Collins Chrome shop, the truck’s most noticeable feature is the unique farm-style bed lined with wood paneling etched with Julio’s car club, Viejitos Denver. The truck sleds along by way of 15-inch Firestone 520s with whitewalls. To date one of Julio’s most memorable moments was the first time he cruised Cholita to celebrate his parent’s 50th wedding anniversary. Not only did he pick them up in the truck, but he cruised them over to the church where they gave thanks for their everlasting love. In all, it’s a custom cruiser that celebrates a tradition that will never go out of style for a family with a classic love affair for vintage rides built with family pride.

1951 Chevrolet 1300 Pickup

Nickname
51 Chola

Owner
Julio C. Estrada

City/State
Denver, CO

Car Club
Viejitos

Engine
Original 216 rebuilt and powdercoated

Body/Paint
Two-tone lime green and charcoal gray with silver leafing and pinstripe accents

Interior
Two-tone charcoal gray and lime green vinyl with painted dashboard

Wheels/Tires
5/60-15 Firestone whitewalls tires with chrome cross bar hubcaps