My Favorite Ride: Three doors, too cool, the only one Merced owner’s seen

The car: 1952 Chevrolet sedan delivery

The owner: Alfred Lujan Garcia, Merced

1. What are the key features of your vehicle? It’s a three-door, not a two-door or a four-door.

2. What did you have to do to get it in its present state? Everything – it was only a shell of a sedan delivery. Thanks to my brother Coykie, who put it together. He knows almost everything in putting any car together. He owns a sharp, classic 1949 Chevy.

3. What else do you want to do to it? To finish the upholstery. The bucket seats are done but not the headliner. And another good paint job.

4. How did you acquire your vehicle? At the time, in 1971, I had a 1946 Chevy pickup truck. I needed a few parts, so I went to Manuel’s Auto Wrecking in Merced. Once there I saw my 1952 three-door sedan delivery. It was only a shell of a car. I saw a complete car. Manuel was my friend so he let me take the car for $10, towing included.

5. Why did you pick that particular vehicle and what do you find appealing about it? Back in the 1950s, this type of vehicle was used in delivering doughnuts, etc. This car is a considered a commercial truck van. The front part of this truck looks more like that of a 1952 Chevy car.

6. What started your love affair with cars? I grew up during the 1950s and 1960s, when cars were made to last. And you knew a Chevy from a Ford, when cars and trucks had their own style. I have always loved Chevy cars, between 1949 through 1952, also the 1957 Chevy.

7. What advice would you give others about starting such a project? You are going to need a lot of money and a lot of patience, and attend a lot of classic car swap meets.

8. Do you have any other collector vehicles or project cars? Yes and no. I thought of something neat so I spoke to my nephew, Bert Cuen, who owns a Volkswagen repair shop. He gave me a rusted 1952 Chevy truck bed. With the help of my brother Coykie, we made a trailer to haul around with my sedan delivery. I believe it will be one of a kind when you see it around town.

9. What’s your favorite memory about this ride? First, that this car is all mine and paid for. Now that I am older I have not seen any other like it. Second, that when our son and nephew were little, taking them to school and hearing his little friends say ‘your dad’s car is cool.’ Also my wife and I traveling to and from San Diego. And also how old and young persons alike would stop me, just to look and talk about my car. This still happens even today.