As you readers know, we travel high and low in search of some of the top trucks in the country and they go from mild to wild and this one is just wild. We normally don’t feature Lowrider type trucks in STREET TRUCKS but you can’t get any more street than this classic 1950 Chevrolet 3100 aptly named, “Top This.” It takes some pride, hours of hard work and some huevos to name your ride “Top This”. Editor’s note (Huevos is slang in Spanish for well…. just look it up) you get the idea.
George Reyes of Santa Maria California is the proud owner and the builder of this very clean ride. George has been building custom cars and trucks since the tender age of 16 when he bought a 64 Impala for $900. We don’t know what year that was but $900 ‘64 Impalas are nonexistent in today’s world. George told us he purchased this fine 1950 3100 back in 1994 at an impound yard that was a lien sale for $400. Wow, we need to start hanging out with George, this guy seems to find all the deals.
After George got the old Chevy home he started to tear it down and work on some ideas of what the classic Chevy would look like when finished. You know how life goes, family, kids, work, and the “honey-do” list grows and grows. He tells us that once the little classic was parked in the garage it sat untouched for 20 years. Yes sir you heard that right, 20 years. So what made George reach back into time and start the restoration? His daughter of course!
Yes folks it seems that kids grow up in twenty years and now that little kid that was trippin around the garage is now a grown teenager and has a driver’s license. We guess she got tired of trippin over the vintage metal and said it’s time to start turning wrenches. So George blew the dust off and the build was on. George is self employed as a home improvement dude. Which means he can fix or repair anything and this Chevy truck is a perfect example of his skills. When we were interviewing George we asked, who painted the truck? His response? I did. We asked who did the interior? He said, I did. Ok, who designed the elaborate paint scheme? He proudly said, I did. Ok smarty pants who did all the custom woodwork and paint in the bed? Yeah, you guessed it, he did and to top it all off he did all of the work in his garage at home.
When your dealing with custom exotic paint with metalflake and varied colors, it’s a little hard to capture the depth of this color scheme, we tried our best to capture the beauty of this paint but you would really have to see it in person to appreciate the hours of prep and the final result.
So let’s talk about that paint. George chose House Kolor as the brand and here is his list. Candy Brandywine as the main color with Candy Root Beer and Candy Tangerine as the accent colors bordered with Candy Licorice Black and some generous scoops of metal flake thrown in. Makes you want to eat it. We asked George about the design of the paint and what was his inspiration? George said some of it was to keep with the Old School late sixties and early seventies Lowrider style. We asked if he had a pattern or template and he said no, I just started laying it out the way old school dudes would do it. You just make it up as you go and what you think looks cool. We agree!
We had to check out the bed on this bad boy and George tells the same story. He designed it did all the custom woodwork and installation then striped it out and painted the graphics directly on the wood. Being from California George like every other kid did his fair share of skateboarding and some of those boards were made from some choice Maple wood for its durability and flexibility. So yeah, Maple was the choice and it looks sweet.
Motor and Drivetrain
With all of this custom design and custom paint we checked out the tried and true 235 inline six cylinder engine and asked why? George said everyone is dumping the original engines in these truck builds and installing LS motors and elaborate suspensions. This motor is 69 years old and with a mild overhaul of rings, valve job, new plugs and wires and a carb kit this truck runs like new. Same for the 3-speed Saginaw tranny and the original torque tube system that connects the transmission to the rear-end. The purpose of a Torque Tube was to hold the rear-end in place during acceleration and braking to prevent axle wrap. Definitely couldn’t use an LS motor with that set-up!
That does just fine for George as he usually cruises low and slow around town and on occasion when he decides to hit the wild California freeways with this trokita he cruises at a whopping 50 mph. Why 50mph you might ask? Because that is the top speed for this engine, tranny, rear-end set-up. We asked about the angry drivers who honk and give him the one-finger salute. He said no they honk and wave and give a thumbs up. Awesome!
We are going to sound like a broken record when we say this. But wait, let’s stop the story for a minute. For you younger readers out there who may not understand the “broken record “ reference. A record was a black oval disc that played music on a record player that us old folks use to listen to before 8 track, cassette tapes or CD’s and now those things are gone too, very sad. Anyway the broken record would repeat itself…why? Because it was broken or scratched. We had a Black Sabbath record that skipped, because we use to play it backwards..nevermind that’s a different story.
Whew! Ok, back to the truck story, so we asked George who did the interior? Wait for it. Yup, he did with the help of Pedro Covarrubias who has since retired and is enjoying the good life.
George bought black automotive carpet and matching black velour material and gave it to Pedro who started laying it out. He kept with the Old School pleated look and it fits the style of the truck perfectly. George then busted out the paint gun on the dash, steering wheel and interior of the cab with the same awesome paint job with graphics on the back of the cab to match the exterior. Very cool.
You can’t have a classic ride without a sound system to listen to those old school jams. George finally told us about something he didn’t do on the truck and that was the stereo and speakers. We couldn’t believe it, finally something George didn’t do himself.
But when you have a nephew who owns a custom audio shop, you naturally go with the family hookups! Atlas Custom Sound in Santa Maria California is owned my George’s nephew Armando Rolon, otherwise known as “Mando.” Mando had one of his audio experts, Jose Reyes do the install and fine tuned the system for maximum quality. Jose started with a Pioneer head unit, coupled to a pair of Infinity 6X9, 31/2-inch tweeters and a 8-inch JL Audio subwoofer boosting that power through a PowerBass amp. When we asked George how does it sound? He replied, I’m blowing out the Kinks! We said, oh what’s wrong with it? George smiled and said nothing wrong, the band, The Kinks, you know… La la la Lola. Good one George!
So there you have it folks, a complete homestyle garage build that looks and drives like a shop built truck. If you happen to cruise Highway 101 near Santa Maria California and come up on a little 1950 Chevy 3100 cruising at a whopping 50 mph, don’t flip him off for being slow. Honk and wave and give George the thumbs up for his hard work and passion for custom everything! Oh, yeah you might tell him to stay in the far right hand lane for us guys in the lifted trucks that go really fast!