Article and Photos by:
Bryan Fross
Model: Jenny P.

   In the shows covered on this website there seems to be a revival of older cars, even in a the traditionally truck based show scene. Classics, Hot Rods, Street Rods, Rat Rods, Kustoms, and more are starting to appear in big numbers. Mike Perez owns this 1954 Chevrolet Bel-Air two-door sedan and his car's style is popular here and apparently, it's popular overseas as well. Mike found the 1954 Bel-Air on someone's front yard in San Bernardino, California back in January 2001. After asking three times to purchase the beat up Bel-Air his attempts each time were answered with a resounding "no". The owner finally gave in, and sold the Bel-Air to mike for $1700.00. After the major work that Mike has put in to his "Kitten Katcher" he was recently offered twenty-five thousand dollars from a Japanese auto export company and he told them "No Thanks". Mike says he brought her back from the dead and she's not going anywhere. She's in the Perez family for good!

   Mike chose to leave the car "old school" and cut a section off of the stock coil springs in the front to lower it. In the rear he used 4-inch lowering blocks. Mike is proud of his "old school" ways and he definitely stuck to that. His car features an adjustable suspension but not the kind that is used on the custom vehicles of today. He has installed air shocks for minor adjustability and he says "bags are for groceries". The wheels are 1954  five-lug wheels with 50's style crossbar hubcaps wrapped in Denman 3-inch white wall tires.

   The smooth body of Mike's car wasn't always in the best of shape after just sitting in a front yard for an undetermined amount of time. Mike got his friends Nathan Moreno and Jeremy "Chuy" Larson to help him do the body work to fix nearly 50 years of wear and tear. The largest part of the car body was sprayed with PPG flat-black and the roof was sprayed with 2006 Lexus Matador Red by Lee of the Gonners Car Club. The car was then pinstriped by Nathan "Mad Striper" Moreno.

   Keeping with the style of the Chevy that Mike wanted to build, the interior had to have the old school style and a few comforts from today. The seats were wrapped with traditional white tuck & roll vinyl. The dash and some other interior parts were painted to match the roof of the car. As for some items in his car from the present, the Pioneer head unit supplies the music. Two Rockford Fosgate amplifiers send the sound to the 5.25-inch speakers up front and 6x9-inch speakers in the rear. The bass comes from two Rockford Fosgate 10-inch subwoofers.

    Mike would like to thank everyone that helped him build his car, his car club Gonners So. Central Los Angeles, and his wife Jenny who is a model /go-go dancer and posed with his car for this shoot.

Simple, clean, and obviously not leaving the Perez family anytime soon.