“One day in May 1955, I was walking home from school with my friends. As we got closer to my house I noticed a new truck parked in our driveway. It was a ’55 Chevy pickup. My friends noticed it too. We all thought, ‘what a beautiful truck!’ I went into the house and asked my dad, ‘Whose truck is that?’ He took me out to look it. I was so excited because it belonged to him. Then he took me for a ride. I was so proud. I remember it like it was yesterday.”
That was the day 9-year-old Adolph Garcia became a truck enthusiast. He’s owned a few cool trucks and cars in the years that followed, but his dad’s ’55 has always been his favorite. Today, Adolph Garcia relives the pride of that first ride every time he drives this deep red ’55 Chevy 3200 longbed. Of course there are few differences between the custom classic truck you see here and the brand-new tan version parked in the Garcia’s driveway in 1955.
Adolph has been making small changes to his ’55 for as long he’s owned it, but the rebuild started in 2008, when he told his wife Elsie that he wanted to paint the truck. He continued that conversation with Dana Manier at the 401K Club Hot Rod Shop in Anaheim, California, and that September the ’55 went into the shop to be painted. It came out of the shop with a few more improvements.
Before any paint was sprayed, Chris Ashworth at The 401K Club prepped the body until it was as straight as ever. At that point, Osmar Mata took it in the booth for the Jaguar Regency Red finish, a classic Jag color. Polished oak was used to rebuild the bed floor, adding contrast to the dark paint with stainless steel rails laid between the boards. An anti-glare windshield and tinted windows replaced the stock glass. The headlights are stock and taillights were brightened with LEDs.
The truck rides on the stock frame. The rearend was replaced with a Camaro unit with leaf spring suspension. The frontend was rebuilt using a Mustang II-style independent suspension from Total Cost Involved. The brakes were upgraded to discs from Classic Performance Products, with 12-inch discs in front and 13s in the rear.
Keeping consistent with the classic but upgraded appearance of the truck meant finding the right wheel and tire combination that rolled right between stock and showy. Adolph made a good choice with a set of 18-inch rear and 17-inch front Budnik wheels. The Fontana five-spokes are from the X Series. The tires are Toyo Proxes ST II high-performance sport truck radials.
The engine compartment was cleaned up far beyond factory condition, starting with the Regency Red firewall and low-gloss black inner fenders. This sanitary setting houses a 2008 350ci Ram Jet PFI crate engine from GM Performance Parts (now renamed Chevrolet Performance). The 401K Club built the 700-R4 transmission backing up the small-block.