El Calle­jero

A LOWRIDER THAT’S NOT AFRAID OF THE EL­E­MENTS

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

Hugo Reyna's '73 Chevy Caprice Clas­sic

When Hugo Reyna set out to build a lowrider he wanted some­thing more than just pretty. He wanted a lowrider with show and go and a clas­sic that wasn’t al­ler­gic to the el­e­ments, un­like so many of the trailer queens he’d seen in the past. As an avid lowrider who had hum­ble be­gin­nings at just 18 years old, he could never un­der­stand why any­one would build a trailer queen, so he chose to build a street sol­dier, which was ap­pro­pri­ately named “El Calle­jero,” which loosely trans­lated means “wan­der­ing in the streets.”

Grow­ing up in South­side Chicago, life for Hugo was rel­a­tively sim­ple. He grew up like any other kid on the block but his life changed when he laid eyes on a '63 Im­pala cruis­ing around Mar­quette Park. Mes­mer­ized by the look, sound, and ac­tion of the Im­pala he was hooked, and by the time he reached 18 he got his first '63

Im­pala, a car he en­joyed for three years un­til he had to sell it off when news came that he was about to be a fa­ther.

While en­joy­ing the fruits of fa­ther­hood, his love for lowriding con­tin­ued to grow. He still had dreams of get­ting back into it so once he was fi­nan­cially sound, he pur­chased a car that he would keep so he scooped up a '73 Chevy Caprice Clas­sic from his friend

Big O.

Noth­ing more than a rolling shell, the Caprice Clas­sic was in dire need of a restora­tion, so his first step was to add a 350 V-8 crate mo­tor. As the car came to­gether, he had the front sus­pen­sion chromed, in­stalled a '95 Im­pala SS rearend, fol­lowed by disc brakes, and side skirts. Al­though his past cars had hy­draulics, Hugo wanted to try some­thing dif­fer­ent, so a full air-ride setup was in­stalled us­ing Slam Spe­cial­ties bags and ViAir com­pres­sors. Paint mas­ter Josh

Culver (Culver Cus­toms) ap­plied the cus­tom paintjob while all trim was sent out to Per­fec­tion Plat­ing for a new lease on life. Fin­ish­ing touches came by way of Castaneda En­grav­ing, who ac­cented the car in all the right places.

True to his word, Hugo kept his prom­ise to keep El Calle­jero a street sol­dier—and that’s ex­actly what it is. No stranger to the city, his car is a wel­comed guest on the streets, and in what is con­sid­ered an un­writ­ten rule of lowriding he keeps his foot planted on the gas and brings it out when­ever he can. He sums it up best when he says, “I have never un­der­stood how some­one can put all this ef­fort and hard work into a car to just let it sit in the garage or on a trailer.” Hugo adds, “I want to spend ev­ery mo­ment I can be­hind the wheel and en­joy what I’ve built.”

In clos­ing, Hugo wishes to thank Jose V, Big O, Beto, Robert, Ser­gio, Chris O, and his amaz­ing kids, Clau­dia and Adrian. In all, they have sac­ri­ficed their time to help him cre­ate his dream and has reached a pin­na­cle of suc­cess that truly makes him com­plete.

One-of-akind roofline with skirts were a match for lux­ury Cadil­lacs and Lin­colns.

At 18½ feet long and 80 inches wide, these full-body Caprices will al­ways own the streets.

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