Chevrolet is an iconic American brand, and has been an integral part of Lowriding since day one. Harley Davidson is another American iconic brand, which in recent years has become quite popular within the Lowrider culture. It is not uncommon to find both of these brands represented side by side at both major and regional car shows. A number of car clubs also have chapters dedicated to the two-wheeled customs. In fact, many owners build their Harleys to match their four wheel rides. This is especially prevalent in the Bomb community, as there are a number of enthusiasts that not only own a Bomb, but also own a Harley, which has been accessorized and outfitted just like their Bomb.
Moreno Valley, California resident, Frank Ochoa, fits the description of one of these "double barrel" enthusiasts, as he owns both a Bomb and a Harley Davidson Motorcycle. Frank bought his 2002 Harley Davidson Road King right off of the dealer lot at Laidlaw's in Baldwin Park, California. He went right to work on personalizing the Harley to his taste. Frank added just about every chrome accent piece that Laidlaw's offered, as well as other chrome parts from motorcycle parts manufacturer Kuryakyn. From there, Frank added Carlini brand "Ape Hanger" handlebars, mated to 2-inch Carlini handlebar risers. Headwinds headlight ring and LED lights light up the road for Frank on those nighttime rides. He also added Lindby Custom crash bars to the Harley, to not only protect the motorcycle in the event of a crash, but to dress it up as well.
Frank left the Harley Davidson power plant alone, but added a Kuryakyn Air Cleaner Set-up, and finished it off with a dual exhaust set-up from Sampson, which features fishtail exhaust tips. The rolling stock on the Road King has also been upgraded by Frank. A Drag Specialties 21-inch eight-spoke front wheel and a 16-inch 40-spoke rear wheels were added and paired up with Avon Venom tires. Fineline Cycles in Baldwin Park, California installed the rear air bag set up to keep Frank comfortable, and to also make the Harley lay low when parked.
After a couple of long road trips, Frank decided to freshen up the stock paint. Mike Toupin from Bob's Auto Body in Whittier, California re-sprayed the stock Luxury Rich Red PPG on all the of the body panels. Frank then had Dennis Jones of Jones Lettering in Whittier, California stripe the Road King in Gold leaf. Magana's Upholstery in Moreno Valley, California refurbished the seat in Tan material, while Joe from Joe's Polishing in Whittier, California re-chromed some pieces on the motorcycle, to complete the refresh of the Road King.
Even though Frank has spent quite a bit of time and money on the Harley, it's no "trailer queen." Frank rides the motorcycle quite often, and has even ridden it to the legendary biker meeting ground of Sturgis, South Dakota. That's a 3-day trip from Southern California, which adds up to 2400 miles. Frank has also ridden it up to Washington State, via the California Coast and Pacific Coast Highway. The motorcycle had served Frank well, and it was time for him to start another project.
Growing up in Pico Rivera, California, Frank was introduced to Lowriding by his older brother Tony, and some of his close friends. Although he was interested in Lowriding, it wasn't until about 7 years ago that he decided to dive in headfirst, and look for his first Bomb.
Frank was on EBAY looking at cars, when he saw a 1953 Chevy Bel Air hard top. The car was in Oregon, but that did not deter Frank from reaching out and talking to the seller. After the phone call, Frank felt so good that he hit the "Buy It Now" button. The seller happened to be in town a few days later, and met Frank at his home to complete the paperwork for the transaction. A couple of weeks later, a truck pulled up and off- loaded his purchase.
Just like the Harley, Frank immediately went to work, sourcing parts and freshening up the Bel Air. Once again, he had Bob's Auto Body in Whittier, California work their magic and spray the '53 with the original Sun Gold Yellow and India Ivory White color scheme on the exterior. The firewall and the inner fenders were also repainted.
The engine was in need of a rebuild, so Frank had his friend, German "Pelon" Medrano, rebuild the stock 235 cubic inch Chevy motor, and also had him porcelain-coat the headers and intake. Boston Transmissions in Pico Rivera, California rebuilt the automatic power glide transmission, to ensure smooth shifting. Joe Epstein, from Epstein's Mufflers in Montebello, California added dual straight pipe exhaust to finish out the mechanical updates.
The Bel Air also needed to have the right stance when it was parked, so Frank contacted Eric Toyoshiba from Advanced Design Fabrication in Whittier, California, to add front and rear air bags. The original 1953 Chevy hub caps were sourced and installed on the powder coated India Ivory stock rims, which are paired with Coker 560 series tires.
The interior was in great condition, so Frank updated the in-car entertainment to house more modern components. Andy and his crew from Meno's Stereo in Moreno Valley, California added a variety of Alpine components. An Alpine head unit and CD changer are now in the dash, and an Alpine amplifier and speaker combo is installed throughout the car's interior.
We all know that when building a car, one of the biggest parts of the process is to hunt for those rare accessories and NOS parts. Frank scoured the Internet and car swap meets to find the correct accessories for the '53. He came up on a cache of NOS parts, including a Hood Bird, Gas Cap, Vanity Mirror, and the super rare one-piece window vent shades!
Once the car was roadworthy and show ready, Frank joined Southern California's Bomb Club, and started to attend shows throughout the area. He has done well with the car and took first in his class at Old Memories CC Olvera Street car show. The Bel Air did very well at the annual Route 66 three-day car show, where out of 1600 vehicles, it was awarded one of 45 plaques that were given out.
Frank would like to thank his wife, Teri, and his son, Gabriel, for their love, support, and understanding. He would also like to thank Pelon, Compa Mike, Lomo, Johnny, Rocky, and all of his Bomb Club brothers for their advice and support. We would like to thank Frank for allowing us to feature his two, and four-wheeled customs, in the pages of Lowrider Magazine.