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Ric Maestas

Posted on Apr 30, 2021

“The Handsome One”

Rolling right into the month of May, is our Article Feature Ric Maestas and his 1958 GMC, El Guapo. Ric and his wife of 12 years, Mariam, live in Benson, Arizona with their son, Brandon (Bam). Ric is currently an active duty service member of the Air Force and has served the last 25 years. He specializes in Tactical Fighter Aircraft Maintenance and International Fighter Pilot Training. Although his service in the Air Force has meant moving somewhat regularly, Ric has plans of retiring in the next few years and he and his family will make Benson, AZ their permanent residence.

Not only is Ric a seasoned Airman, but he is also a business owner. While building a 1948 Chevy (pictured below) with his late father, Ric’s love for the build was sparked. His dad saw his talent for building the trucks and the creative process. Ric’s first solo build was a ’57 truck that was in the building process when his father became terminally ill.

After his father’s passing, the ’48 Chevy stayed in the family and is now shared amongst Ric and his 2 brothers. Ric decided to sell the ’57 with the intention of taking a break from the building scene. But his wife Mariam also saw his talent and potential. She was able to convince him to reinvest the profits made from the ’57 in himself. Home Grown Rides was brought to life. This will be Ric’s full-time venture after he retires from the Air Force. His take on his future job? “Job turned to a passion, but passion pays the bills.” That passion and pride transcends down in all aspects of his life and stands out in all of his builds .

Each build has a backstory and El Guapo is no exception. Ric typically only does customer builds and keeps multiple patina trucks on hand for what he likes to call “canvases” for future builds. When he found this particular truck in New Mexico, he instantly fell in love with it. Unfortunately for him…. So did one of his customers. The truck was gone and Ric spent the next 2 years attempting to get the truck back and was finally able to trade for a 1958 Chevy Cameo. Ric started his build with the crew at GSI to get the perfect chassis setup together. El Guapo is laying on one of GSI’s 55-59 Front and Rear Back Half Suspension Kits, which removes the front section of stock chassis, and replaces it with a full front clip rather than a bolt-in cross member.

With its unique brown-green patina, this 1958 GMC truly lives up to its name, “El Guapo”. “El Guapo” is Spanish for “the handsome one”. If you are familiar with the 1986 comedy, Three Amigos, the name might resonate with you on a different level like it does for owner, Ric. El Guapo was the villainous bandit who, despite his name, was NOT the handsome one. With the “imperfections” of the patina style paint job, Ric felt the name was the perfect fit for his GMC.

El Guapo has been featured in CK Magazine, and brought home a multitude of awards and recognitions, including Top 10 at LST, Philbuilt Designs Choice at LST, GSI Top 20 PTTS 2021 and will next be featured in Street Trucks magazine.

Ric’s favorite aspect of the entire process is the truck community as a whole. This is what he says truly inspires him to keep doing what he does. This is the most important thing to him. He works extremely hard to weave family, passion, military and friendships in the truck community. He says the trucks are a “Common thread that greases the tracks” for building relationships and friendships that feel more like family. It is a great group of people who can go long periods of time without seeing one another and still come back together and never miss a beat. He said that was made clear at the first Pro Touring Truck Shootout West. Even in the midst of COVID, everyone came together and were a part of an amazing event.

Ric plans to attend as many upcoming shows as possible! If you get the chance, stop and see him and El Guapo. He loves getting to see the appreciation so many fellow people can come together and share for the work and vision that goes in to every build.

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