Man Renovates ’53 Chevy Found on Side of Road

August 7th, 2015 by

It’s many car enthusiasts’ dream to restore an old Chevy truck, and Stanton, California resident Jack Acosta has had the pleasure of working on his restoration project for the last 20 years. After finding a beat up 1953 Chevrolet 3100 pickup on the side of the road, Acosta has made fixing the beater a hobby.

Even if you do happen to come across a 1953 3100 at a Lexington Chevrolet dealership, yours won’t look anything like the 57-year-old’s. Let’s find out why…


The story started in 1995, when Acosta found a beat up pick-up on the side of a Laguna Canyon road. Having grown up admiring his grandfather’s collection of classic Chevy trucks, he immediately knew he had to have the hidden treasure. The truck didn’t feature a ‘for sale’ sign, but Acosta still attached a note with his phone number and an offer to buy the truck for $1,000.

The owner wasn’t so keen on selling the truck, and she had absolutely no interest in Acosta’s offer. However, the then 37-year-old received a call back about a month later, with the owner accepting the offer. Acosta’s budget had dropped a bit over those 30 days, and despite having to lower his offer to $800, the original owner accepted. The new car owner soon learned why he got such a good deal.

“It had survived the big Laguna fire that happened in 1993. So there were dents on every side, the paint was stripped, all rusty. It was a load of work. My wife was not pleased when I brought it home,” he explained to Johan Moreno of The Orange County Register.


Over the past twenty years, Acosta has slowly added to his truck. He painted the truck burgundy and champagne, and he personalized the vehicle by adding (as Moreno described) “gangster whitewall” wheels, 22-inch bellflower tips, “cat eyes” headlight covers and, to top it all off, a screaming eagle on the hood. He also upgraded some of the technology, replacing the leaf springs with airbags. As the writer explains, this helps lower the suspension system, allowing the driver to lift the car up or down.

He’s also included a Chevy 235 “straight-six” engine, capable of producing 108 horsepower.

Despite all the work he’s done, Acosta isn’t finished with his project, as he will still occasionally scan eBay for add-ons.

“That’s the thing about restoring a car, you’re never really done working on it,” he says.


Restoring an old vehicle might set you back a bit financially, but it’s a project that can last for decades! Plus, you can receive some instant gratification if you take the vehicle down to any local car shows, where you’re sure to get plenty of attention. If you’d rather opt for the typical route and just purchase a non-beater car, visit Dan Cummins Chevrolet. You might even luck out and find a 1953 3100.

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