After owning and building Harleys, Ron Medina decided he wanted to change things up a bit. Ron was into classic memorabilia, but was not sure how to express his passion on four wheels. So he went to just about every local classic vehicle swap meet and car show he could attend to find his dream project. He ended up at the Pomona Swap Meet and after burning through 50 aisles in the morning; Ron spotted it – a ’63 Chevy Suburban in need of some TLC. At that time Ron was not searching for a Suburban; in fact he was looking for a car project, but his heart rate jumped when thinking about building a Suburban.
The ’63 had a Chevy 350 with a 700-R4 trans and when the key was turned it started right up. A deal was made with the owner and Ron trailered it home to inspect the rest of the chassis. Once home, Ron drove it around the block a few times to make sure everything was in working order. The original plan was to toss a set of rally wheels on it, paint it with gray primer, and drive it. Well, plans took a curve when he meet Bob, a local painter who wanted something to showcase his work.
Bob is the owner of Bob’s Auto Body of Whittier, California, and according to Ron he spent countless hours prepping the Suburban to get it perfect. After debating the color choice for several weeks Ron went with House of Kolor Tangelo Orange and Pearl White from a Cadillac Escalade. When he finally told his friends what colors he picked for the Suburban he got a lot of disappointed looks, but Ron had a picture of the end result in his head and pressed on. Bob finished painting and Ron said, “Bob exceeded my expectations 10 times over. The paintjob was awesome.”
Ron had a moment to reflect on the paint and realized that the rest of the truck had to match the quality of Bob’s work. So he started with dressing up the motor with a polished Edelbrock intake and carb. New belts, hoses, and the fluids were changed with the help of Boston Transmission of Whittier. They also installed a shift kit in the transmission and geared the 12-bolt to 3.73.
At that same time Ron was looking in the junkyard for seats and interior parts when he found a 2003 Chevy Tahoe that had exterior damage only. He took some measurements and it looked like the front and rear seats would fit with the help of custom-made seat brackets. After fitting the seats he installed new carpet and headliner to match the new Tahoe seats.
Ron always liked the look of a slammed Suburban and called up Eric at Advanced Design Fabrications in Sante Fe Springs, California, to help get his ’63 on the ground. Eric started by installing CPP disc brakes in the front and C-notch in the rear. Firestone airbags were then adapted to the truck and a set of 15-inch Astro Supremes were bolted on to complete the look Ron was after. Ron would like to thank his car club, Tribe, for all the help with the ’63 and to his family for putting up with everything that comes with building a custom vehicle. CT
1963 Chevrolet Suburban
Modifications: 6-inch C-notch w/boxing
Rearend / Ratio: GM 12-bolt / 3.73
Rear suspension: trailing arms CPP
Rear brakes: CPP disc
Front suspension: CPP tubular arms
Front brakes: CPP disc
Steering box: CPP
Front wheels: Astro Supremes 7x15
Rear wheels: Astro Supremes 7x15
Front tires: Mastercraft 205/75R15
Rear tires: Mastercraft 205/75R15
Gas tank: custom ADF
Manifold / Induction:
Edelbrock Performer / Edelbrock 650
Exhaust / Mufflers:
2½-inch / Flowmaster 40 series
Fenders front / rear: stock
Bodywork and paint by: Bob’s Auto Body of Whittier, CA
Paint type / Color: House of Kolor Tango w/Escalade White
Headlights / Taillights: stock
Outside mirrors: stock
’59 Chevy Impala
’72 Chevy Van
’03 Chevy Tahoe
Material / Color:
cloth / gray