Rob Villarreral, of Dallas, is the proprietor of Robs Chop Shop, an old-style barber shop. He is also a proud member of the Rumblers Car Club. Rob bought this '59 Ford truck from his friend, Robert Romero, who had it stored in his backyard for years before Rob finally talked him into selling it.
After tinkering with it here and there, Rob decided in February 2007 that getting the truck to the LoneStar Round Up show in Austin, Texas, in six weeks was the goal. Rob got to work and the truck was completely stripped and blasted from the inside and underneath only, not on the outside. Rob wanted to leave the character of the original patina alone, as this was what had attracted him to the truck in the first place. So Mark Cadena, from Classic Garage in Dallas, installed the '69 Camaro front clip to bring the truck down to earth and make it ride nice. Out back the rearend was flipped to the top of the leaf springs with 2-inch blocks. Mark also notched the frame.
Then, flake master Mark sprayed the interior and firewall of the truck in a Platinum Pearl followed by covering the dash and steering wheel in abalone pearl with light turquoise fogging on the doors and steering column- la the late '50s Kustom period. Then Emilio and Son Upholstery, of Dallas, did its magic on the original seat, headliner, and carpet in a pearl white and turquoise tuck 'n' roll.
With two weeks to go, the fresh chassis with the newly painted 302 Ford small-block was rolled over to the muffler shop to have pipes installed. Then it went back to Classic Garage to begin assembly. Rob ran for parts and Mark and Chris Figueroa put the puzzle of a truck all back together.
With one week left, the doors, bed, wiring, interior, and front sheetmetal were all installed. Rob was scheduled to be in Austin for the Round Up on Thursday to set up as a vendor in the show. Thursday morning came and some final details still weren't done on the truck and it had yet to be test-driven. There was still the matter of frontend alignment, brakes being bled, tires balanced, and fine-tuning. After the initial fire-up, they barely got the truck to H&H Automotive, after it died a dozen times on the way there. H&H adjusted the carb, set the timing, and got the truck purring. It was off to see Carlos at the Brake Stop, who did what he could, but the front brakes would not bleed. By this time it was 6 p.m. on Thursday and Rob needed to be in Austin.
They threw in the towel and Rob decided to just take his '49 Ford Shoebox instead. Then Mark's phone rang at 7 a.m. the next morning with Rob refusing to give up the fight. Rob made a few calls and had his space at the show taken care of by another friend while Mark and Rob rallied and thrashed a few more hours to get the truck to the Round Up. By 8 p.m. Mark had the brakes adjusted and bled, the lights working, and the truck dialed in and off he and his truck went on their three-hour test run all the way to Austin. All went well and Rob pulled onto South Congress Avenue in Austin by 1 a.m., just in time for the party to start! Rob thanks both Mark and Chris for all their hard work.