After the paint job was completed, Willie and his friends agreed that it would be a shame to only paint the undercarriage. “I knew this car had to be a full frame off restoration and I knew the right person for the job. So it was off to the New Years Day Cruise at Hollywood Park to find the right man for the job, Mike Lopez,” Willie recalls. After sharing his plans and a few beers with Mike, Willie got the green light. “I called him the very next morning and off it went to New Life Restoration in Fullerton, CA., where Mike and Indio had the frame off and the chassis completely disassembled and ready to be sent out for powder coating in just two hours time.” After Mike received all the powder-coated materials, chrome, and polished stainless, New Life Restoration got busy and reassembled the whole car perfectly in about three months. The car was then taken to Bow Tie Connection for a new interior wrap, and they chose the original colors, Yellow and Black. Last but not least, the car had to go visit a long time high school friend of Willie’s, Ray Gonzalez of Laid Out Customs in Santa Fe Springs CA., who added the air ride suspension and threw on the O.G. Tru Spokes to give it that old school twist that Willie was looking for.
The entire build took right around four months, and the car lives up to Willie’s expectations after so many years of incomplete cars. “I knew my reputation as a painter was on the line since people had high expectations of me,” he says. Willie wishes to thank Mike Lopez for treating his car as it was his own, Javier Escareno for putting in long hours on the block work, and Ray Gonzalez for the air-ride suspension. He also sends his gratitude to Lee Mulholland, who fired up the crate 350, Jerry’s Transmission in Norwalk, as the 700 R shifts like a dream, Mark Luna for handling the glass work, and John Kennedy from Bowtie, who wrapped a beautiful interior. Last but not least, he credits his wife, Veronica, for picking the ‘56 and he sends his love to his two children, Willie and Hailey Olea. We’ll be looking for that ’62 next, Willie!
Year/Model: 1956 Chevy Bel Air
City/State: Norwalk, CA
Engine: Crate 350 Engine
Paint: Willie Olea laid a Nexa PPG Auto Color, high clarity clear coat over a Green and Yellow combination at Hi Tech Collision in Norwalk, CA.
Interior: John Kennedy of Bowtie Connection expertly wrapped the interior in a luxurious O.G. Yellow and Black.
Suspension/Setup: Mike Lopez gave the car a suspension suitable for Ray Gonzalez of Laid Out Customs in Santa Fe Springs, CA., to install an air-ride system.
Tire/Wheel: OG Tru Spokes, 5.20’s.