As soon as 11 year-old Surprise resident Venicio Caballero had earned enough money from lawn mowing and other tasks, he asked his dad Hugo, a locally stationed U.S. Air Force Airman if he could locate and purchase a classic truck in dire need of a mechanical restoration.
Venicio has a passion for American classic cars and trucks, as his dad well knows.
After an extensive online search, Hugo and Venicio eventually set their sights on a 1967 Chevrolet C-10 short bed fleetside pickup, which had seen better days, if not decades.
Arriving from Clearlake Oaks, California, in June, the long-neglected vehicle was in immediate need of attention under the hood, throughout the interior and bumper-to-bumper.
A truck owner himself, Hugo turned to his experts at Sun Devil Auto, who not only helped him source the year- and model-specific suspension and engine cooling parts, but performed all installations and servicing at no cost.
“We quickly noticed the passion that Venicio had and understood how important this father-son project was going to be, so helping them in every possible way was an easy decision for us,” said Mike Arana, who manages the Sun Devil store at 16820 N. Civic Center Drive. “It’s essential that we support young enthusiasts who share our passion for restoring vehicles to their original beauty.”
As a father, it made me so happy to see my boy so excited and engaged,” said Hugo Caballero, a California native whose military career has included stateside and overseas assignments.
“Not only did the folks at Sun Devil Auto spend days with us to get the C-10 in improved working order, they helped Venicio gain valuable knowledge and experience. Special thanks to our mechanic, Edgar Mendez, who took the time to explain everything he had repaired and installed. We are so grateful because they genuinely care about customers, which is not easy to find these days.”
For Venicio, plans call for his new prized possession to be displayed at the Oasis Classic Car Show in Westgate on Oct. 24.
He’ll have plenty of support, not only from his proud parents, but from friends, like veteran-owned A & R Designs LLC from Surprise, which are printing customized T-shirts and making signs informing car show guests about the story behind this unique father-son restoration.
“It’s really cool that my friends are going to do this,” Venicio said. “The best part has been the time my dad and I have spent learning about working on trucks.”
Sun Devil Auto serves metro Phoenix through a network of 14 locations. For information, visit sundevilauto.com.