Truck of the Month

HOW NOT GET­TING WHAT YOU ORIG­I­NALLY WANTED RE­SULTS IN GET­TING SOME­THING BET­TER

Low Rider - - CONTENTS - STORY & PHO­TOS BY PHIL GOR­DON

Danny Diaz's '53 Chevy 3100 Five-Win­dow

Some­times not get­ting what you want is a won­der­ful stroke of luck. While some take it as a missed op­por­tu­nity, oth­ers choose to per­ceive the set­back as a de­tour for some­thing greater. For Danny Diaz of Mi­ra­mar, Florida, his per­fectly built '53 Chevy falls right into that sce­nario.

Born and raised in neigh­bor­ing city Hialeah, Danny was first in­tro­duced to cus­tom ve­hi­cles at 10 years old. “My fa­ther was into mus­cle cars when I was just a boy,” Danny tells LR. “I helped him change wa­ter pumps and do brake re­pairs on cars.” As that knowl­edge and ex­pe­ri­ence grew, Danny took his first foray into cus­tomiz­ing cars when he bought an RX-7, which he soon passed down to his brother.

Af­ter play­ing with the RX-7 and a Honda Ac­cord, he en­joyed the time spent with each but deep down in­side he knew that the im­port life­style wasn’t for him. As a parts co­or­di­na­tor for an air­borne main­te­nance com­pany he trav­eled down the same road every day to work. The monotony of the same drive every day wasn’t without en­joy­ment, as he would see a woman in a clas­sic Chevy truck. “I would see people honk and give a thumbs up to the owner.” Danny adds. “I loved the at­ten­tion and the pos­i­tiv­ity that they showed her.” So Danny re­al­ized his fu­ture wasn’t in the im­port scene.

Danny’s luck proved to be chal­leng­ing as he searched for a solid clas­sic truck to pur­chase. He found a '48 Chevy four hours away and ar­rived there with a truck and trailer to take it home, but it was sold right be­fore he got there. De­jected but still de­ter­mined, he kept search­ing and

even­tu­ally found a '53 Chevy 3100 truck in North Carolina. Al­though the truck was be­ing used as a farm truck and def­i­nitely needed TLC, Danny pur­chased the clas­sic and brought it home. His first step was bring­ing it to a body shop to re­pair all the rust and im­per­fec­tions. But again, Danny’s luck wasn’t good. The truck sat at the body shop for a year and parts went miss­ing, so Danny re­moved the truck and brought it back home.

The truck then sat in his back­yard for four more years be­fore Danny got his mo­ti­va­tion back. By this time the body needed even more work and more at­ten­tion. He emp­tied his garage, bring­ing the Chevy in­side and his old­school friend Yaril Quin­tana got busy adding the four-link, drop spin­dles, and weld­ing in the brack­ets for the air ride. Yaril brought the clas­sic to the ground with a full Ac­cuAir e-Level sys­tem and then turned his at­ten­tion to the needed body­work. The en­tire cab bot­tom was re­moved and re­placed with new sheet­metal.

The '53 dash­board was com­pletely rot­ten so Danny found a '51 Chevy DeLuxe dash and added it to the clas­sic. The seats were mod­i­fied to sit lower in­side and the run­ning boards were molded to hug the front fend­ers. The next step was a com­plete color change by switch­ing the stock blue to an Omni Com­mando Green to stand out. Hialeah Plat­ing was used to chrome every pos­si­ble sec­tion that could be chromed. The last step was adding a cus­tom bed, so Danny en­listed Manny Martinez from Tropical Glitz. A solid oak bed was built and stained and bed tilts and gas struts were in­stalled to ma­neu­ver with the Ac­cuAir sys­tem.

Danny’s luck may not have started out promis­ing but look­ing back he’s very for­tu­nate that he was able to pass on that first truck and got the one he re­ally wanted.

He wishes to thank his beau­ti­ful wife, Yosi, and their three chil­dren, Lily, Ja­cob, and Noah, for all their sup­port and love through the build. Special thanks goes to his good friend Yaril at Yaril Cus­toms as well as friends John Wempe and Eddie. With help from Ac­cuAir, Kicker, March Per­for­mance Pul­leys, Pres­tige, Lokar, Mar-K Qual­ity Parts, Coker Tire, Tanks Inc., and CPP Clas­sic, Danny’s “Suerte” turned out pretty good.

Com­mando Green fivewin­dow with ex­tended run­ning boards that touch the ground in Florida.

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