Memories are funny things. Sometimes, the mere mention of something can trigger feelings, emotions, and even make you feel like you were just there. That's exactly what happened to me after I read Saul Vargas' email, requesting that I write the story about "Cherry '64, a pristine Impala, worthy of the bold name. You see, I had already experienced the joy of riding in this classic convertible beauty, on a cold Las Vegas October night of last year. As I was reading his email, I was transported back to this moment; feeling the night chill against my face, and hearing the strains of James' Brown "This is a Man's World," hypnotizing me with its haunting waltz-drum pattern. I sat at my desk for a few moments and visualized the bright Vegas lights that we witnessed as we passed them in what seemed to be slow motion, as we cruised down the strip with the top down inside this amazing Lowrider. After I snapped out of it, and came back from my little trip down memory lane, I picked up my phone and gave Trino Alfaro a call to set up a date and time to meet up for the interview.
Once the agreed upon date had arrived, I made my way out to Tracy, CA, to the Alfaro residence. As I pulled up to the court, it looked like the whole neighborhood had turned in for the night except for one house. With the garage open and the lights on, the Alfaro residence stood out like the light at the end of the tunnel. As I pulled into the driveway, I noticed a man wearing a work jacket and a red beanie. That man was Trino Alfaro, who was up late at night working and cleaning up some parts for his new project, a '58 Impala hardtop. Once he noticed that I had pulled up to his drive way, Trino greeted me in the best way he knows how to, with a cold beer. As we stood in the garage that was filled with trophies, car parts, and old photos of previous cars owned by Trino, he pointed out an old photo of a Grand Prix with a Playboy logo on its grill. That was the first car that Trino ever owned. "I got it off my brother for $500 in payments," explained Trino, who was only fourteen years old at the time. His brother, who had lifted the Grand Prix from the front and back, bought a Cadillac that Trino also eventually purchased from him. "I used to take it cruising down Charter Way in Stockton, CA. with my friends," he says with a mischievous grin. Apparently, Trino and his friends were all between the ages of 13 and 15 years old at the time! "My first ticket was for Unlicensed Driver, not because I didn't want one, but because I couldn't get one at age fourteen," he laughs.
Trino went on to show me the rest of the cars that he's owned throughout the years. Most of his previous cars were made up of Cadillacs, and a few '64 Impala hardtops. Once we got to "Cherry '64," he explained how he had been looking for a '64 convertible for quite some time. Getting a lead to the whereabouts of '64 convertible from Tony Parker, Trino made the trip to So Cal with a trailer, just in case he bought it. The car was located in Rosemead, CA, and was owned by Big Fern, from Eagle Bank & Tow "When I saw it, it was all rotten and needed a lot of work, but that's what I wanted, so I took it," explained Trino.
Always having built street cars, Trino wanted to take the build of his '64 convertible to another level. After three years of late nights and hard work, Trino was finally able to bust out this full show car, much to the delight of show spectators everywhere. For Trino, taking his masterpiece to show all over the West Coast helped to earn him numerous trophies at every show he attended, and even landed him a cover shoot for Lowrider Magazine. Wanting to enjoy his car, Trino would constantly cruise his award-winning car. "There is nothing more fun than driving your car to a show," says Trino proudly, adding "My kids like going riding in it."