Cool Flo California - Hector Lucio and his 1955 VW Bus
Posted on March 23 2016
The first Cool Flo Barndoor Bus rolling in the USA and Mexico
We are constantly surprised by the messages we get from VW fans who choose to rock the Cool Flo script on their prized vehicles. One of the latest buses to feature our logo along its side belongs to Hector Lucio from California. We recently got in touch to welcome ‘Hex’ to the global Cool Flo family and find out a little more about him and his stunning ’55 Volkswagen.
Where do you live in Cali?
I live in San Diego. It’s the southern most city in California and neighbours with Tijuana in Mexico. I have grown-up in this region with the great privilege of enjoying the food, music and the VW scene from both these two beautiful cities. Although divided by one wall they are united by so many other ways.
What’s the VW scene like in California?
The VW scene here is a way of life and a lot of people can be your friends. But once you know they own or like VWs they become instant brothers and sisters… a big happy family. And a family that comes together in times of need for a sick kid or a club member going through hard times. We pull together and won’t miss a chance to join a car show and share our passion with others.
How long have you been into VWs?
I've been into VWs since I was 12 years old. Although at that time I couldn't drive or afford one! I could only afford Hot Wheels VWs (1/64 scale) but have never stopped collecting them. I finally got my first VW, a Ghia, at the age of 18. And ever since I've always have has at least one VW in my driveway. As I've grown older I’ve been saving money, and buying and selling cars and parts so that I’ve been able to upgrade my rides. From a 1970 Ghia I was driving in 1992 and a 1973 Super Beetle in 1993 to 2 or 3 crew cabs, Lowlight Ghias… and now to "Cool Flo" level.
I recently had a restored museum condition 1967 21 window walk thru and now I have a 1963 23 window deluxe bus (now ‘Cool Flo’ed) and of course my baby, the 55 Cool Flo Barndoor Panel. That one's a keeper!How did you first hear about Cool Flo?
I heard about Cool Flo back in 2012 from my good friend Jesus Antonio from Tijuana. He was a member of a the bad ass VW club ‘Mexican Volks’ and told me about how Cool Flo brothers roll in the UK with their lowered panels and the cool logos. He was so excited telling me about the movie-like picture and music on the Cool Flo video. So I had to check it out.
I have watched the same old Cool Flo video (above) so many times. Whenever I have friends over, I swear I will buy a six pack or two, talk about cars and projects and would have your video playing on my big screen TV. What a feeling! Cold beer, buses rolling on the streets of UK and that funky music... Epic!
I knew it would happen, sooner or later, that simply watching the videos wasn't going to be enough. I had to have my own Barndoor Bus! I could only dream about it also being a Cool Flo bus but luckily I me was sharing my thoughts about Cool Flo on Facebook when Cool Flo’s Scott Carter invites me to join the family!
A couple of weeks later some full size Cool Flo decals arrived in California to put on my VW. It’s exciting to know I have the very first Cool Flo Barndoor Bus rolling in the USA and Mexico!
What’s your favourite VW of all time?
That's a hard question. They're all beautiful. The car is an extension of the person who owns it… as part of you, part of your body and your mind at different stages in one’s life. I’ve always been a Ghia guy. Lowlight is my thing. But now I am super happy with my 55 panel so that’s my favourite VW now. I've grown out of Bugs, to Ghias and now as an adult Buses are my cup of tea.
Can you tell us a little about your 55?
I found it about 4 years ago. I was searching for a Barndoor after looking at the Cool Flo buses on the Internet for a while. I knew I had to have a bus like that. I found pictures online of a Barndoor that two other people had bought before me and sold on. The price was fair so I bought it. I guess they couldn't handle the restoration work needed. Or just lost interest. Either way I’m glad they couldn’t tackle the project as it gave me a chance to do so.
Is it an original US bus?
Yes. It came with US specification headlights, without the ribbed headlight lenses.
How much work has gone into getting your 55 into such a high standard?
The lower 10" of metal around the body has been completely replaced. I’ve put new floors in the driver area as well as the cargo area. All the door handles have been re-chromed, including the engine deck lid. And there’s all new body rubber and seals from Wolfsburg West and a very nice set of super high quality reproduction door and kick panels from Clara in Washington USA.
Are you in a VW club?
There are about 6 VW clubs in the region. I know most of the people in the clubs and have been invited to join by some of them but it’s hard to decide which one. All of the people are super nice guys. They’re all are very committed and respectful to one another. It’s like a kid having to choose between your mom and your dad, where do you go?
I currently support and join ‘San Diego Air Cooled’ as much as I can. They are a really good crowd. Due to my work at AT&T and family, it’s sometimes hard to be as involved and as serious as they are. But they’re my brothers and sisters regardless of the car I drive.
Do you have any further plans for your 55?
Yes, work on the tranny as I need a tall 4th gear for better driving. I’m also considering safari windows. It’s already got a stereo sound system with 6 speakers, but and amp and sub woofer will be installed next month. Finally to lower it and have a nice set of Porsche Fuchs… but it will be rolling stock height for a while.
Can you tell us a little about your old school BMX collection?
When I was a teenager I was into BMX now I'm getting back into it with the guidance of my friend Maico Alvarado. He’s an expert in bikes and has GT's while I have Redline and Haro.
How do you like to chill out?
I like to cruise with my friends in our VWs and listen to my favourite music, Soda stereo (Argentina), Sublime (Long Beach Cali), Mana (Mexico) and The Smiths (UK).
What’s your favourite item of clothing from Cool Flo and why?
I like the hoodies and high quality fabrics. People can tell a cool piece of clothing and recognise a high quality item when they see it. I like the fact that Cool Flo is unique unlike the regular expensive brand names that everybody is wearing. I think VW people, skaters and surfers like to be different. That's why we drive unique cars, not Toyotas or Fords. Why try to fit in when you were born to stand out?