These days, some people may find it hard to believe that a pickup like Fred Perez's-a beautifully restored piece of true Americana-used to be nothing more than an old workhorse, a farm truck if you will. That's something that can be interpreted in different ways, but mainly it might suggest that they cannot believe something as nice as this would have ever set tire tread on a dirty old farm, let alone be forced to hard labor on one. On the other hand, there are folk who have a difficult time accepting the fact that anyone would even consider taking the time to turn a beat-up farm implement into a thing of such rolling beauty. But as you and I already know, those ain't no car folk, otherwise, about the only things they'd be wondering is where Fred found all those rare accessories he's proudly displaying on his '54 Chevy!
Being a man of Chevrolet heritage, Fred considers the accessory collecting one of the most vital aspects of vintage automobilia. His first truck project was going to wear a bevy of 'em, which is in stark contrast to its Spartan attire it had become quite accustomed to after spending over 40 years on a Colorado farm. But before dressing the ol' country boy in its new city slicker duds, he and two other generations of Perez-his father Chon and son Freddy-got the truck in fit shape.
With the exception of a nice alteration of stance and sound (lowering and split exhaust), the '54 is pretty much all stock from the ground up-though you probably wouldn't have seen too many on the showroom floor equipped with a set of 15-inch accessory artillery wheels. But that's where personal style and taste enters the picture, drawing a line between restoration and interpretation...the latter of which ultimately reflects the individuality of the owner (Deluxe Panel stainless trim package and two-tone paint for example).
Along with the help of his family, the truck wouldn't have come together as such without the involvement of others, like 89-year-old Leonard Lehman (engine); Dan and Brent at Crown Metal Products (sheetmetal work); Marty Varela at Ken's Classic Muffler; Emilio Rubio (paint); and Darrell's Upholstery. But as for all the trinkets, gadgets, and fancy add-ons, the credit goes solely to Fred for spending countless hours-and probably more money-tracking down, restoring, and incorporating them all on this Chevy.