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Lowrider - February 2018

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KANSAS
CITY FEST
(Annual) Car Show &
THE LOWRIDER
MERCED SHOW
“QUALIFY OR BUST”
Cultural Art Exhibit
LOWRIDER PIONEER JAPAN
ORIGINAL THE SOUND
SILLY BOYS, GIRLS CONNECTION
CAN PAINT TOO
SEASON II · EPISODE 9
POWER UP: LOWRIDER SERIES BLUEPRINT ENGINE
AMPED UP: POWERMASTER ALTERNATOR
WIRED UP: COMPLETE ’61-’64 IMPALA HARNESS
THE CADILLAC OF PIT MASTERS
FEB. 2018
LOWRIDER.COM
LOWRIDER.COM
O LOWRIDER.COM
V O L U M E
4 0
I S S U E
0 2
CONTENTS
FEATURES
12 On a Grander Scale
20 Ride with Pride
32 Fourever Young
42 Truck of the Month
50 The Gift
54 Good Wood Revival
68 Nothin' But a G Thang
Armando Flores' '65 Chevy Impala
Paolo Onorato's '91 Cadillac Brougham d'Elegance
Danny Guptar's '64 Chevy Impala convertible
Ricardo Garza's '48 Chevy Carryall Suburban
Scotty Gutierrez's '63 Chevy Impala convertible
Porfie Maldonado's '48 Chevy Woodie Wagon
Simon Chan's '84 Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme
DEPARTMENTS
06 Editorial
08 MotorTrend OnDemand Schedule
46 On the Scene
60 Roll Playerz
64 Tanks & Tails
72 Lowrider Original
90 Konnected
92 ShopStop
96 New Products
98 Roll Models Series
TECH
76 A BluePrint for Power & Peace
A superclean car with a half-ass motor is a recipe
for disaster. Please don't be that guy; read on as we give
you a BluePrint for success and peace of mind.
82 Amped Up With the Master of Power
Dimming the bedroom lights is cool, but it
shouldn’t happen in your car when the bass notes hit
86 Wired Up
American Autowire reinvents automotive
electrical systems
EVENTS
24 2017 Merced Super Show
36 2017 KCK Latino Arts Festival & Parade
On the cover is a Ruby Red '65 "Masterpiece"
from the Lifestyle Car Club.
Lowrider (ISSN # 0199-9362), February 2018, Vol. 40 No. 2. Copyright © 2017 by
TEN: The Enthusiast Network Magazines, LLC. All Rights Reserved. Published
monthly by TEN: The Enthusiast Network, LLC., 261 Madison Ave., 6th Floor,
New York, NY 10016. Periodicals Postage paid at New York, NY and at additional
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U.S. Possessions $35.00. Canadian orders add $12.00 per year and international
orders add $24.00 per year (for surface mail postage). Payment in advance, U.S.
funds only. For a change of address, six weeks’ notice is required. Send old as well
as new address to Lowrider magazine, P.O. Box 420235, Palm Coast, FL 321420235. No part of this book may be reproduced without written permission.
Printed in the U.S.A. This book is purchased with the understanding that the information presented is from varied sources for which there can be no warranty
or responsibility by the Publisher as to the accuracy or completeness.
POSTMASTER: Send all UAA to CFS. (See DMM 707.4.12.5);
NON-POSTAL AND MILITARY FACILITIES: send address corrections to Lowrider, P.O. Box 420235, Palm Coast, FL 32142-0235.
4
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EDITOR'SLETTER
E S T A B L I S H E D
1 9 7 7
Gracing the cover of our February issue is
an incredibly beautiful Candy Apple Red ’65
Impala fastback. Aside from its imposing size
and fluid bodylines, the depth of its translucent
paintjob offers a mirror-like reflection, and, to
be honest, a paintjob of this caliber could quite
possibly become every bodyman’s nightmare.
In short, this is the kind of paintjob that will
highlight poor bodywork while glorifying
those in the know.
To stand in front and stare at a custom
single-color candy that has been applied to
perfection is rare, especially today. For the
most part, our culture is rich with multicolored
candies, flakes, and pearls. Murals and
pinstriping have become an added bonus,
but don’t think for one minute that I’m
disappointed. This is what makes our culture
so rich. With every detail and every extra color
or stripe, it just adds to the total creative vision
of each of its unique custom painters and
owners. But I will tell you this; a single-color
candy like the one seen on our cover car pays
tribute and homage to the craftsmanship
of both painter and bodyman. It’s been said
that simplicity is the key to brilliance, and
this custom-painted ’65 is the quintessential
example of just that. Flawless, single-color
paintjobs are rare because of the fact that
they require patience, luck, and youth when
spraying. You have to be in great shape to run
around in circles over a 20-foot car with a hose
intact and a well air-pressured quality spray
gun not to fail. Most painters I know say it’s
not worth the money or the stress because it is
so easy to streak (spray gun lines) and blotch
(cloud effect) the paint within the 5, 10, 20 or so
coats it takes to complete the job’s process.
After spending most of my life immersed in
lowriding, I’m no stranger to all custom paint
schemes. In fact, I just may be obsessed with
not only the final product but also the process
and science involved in the application process.
When a good paintjob is completed, you’ve
literally taken a piece of that person or painter’s
life. You’ve pulled out all the natural reserve
of talent they have. Whereas most people look
at the resilience and depth of the paint, you
have to think about the steps it took to get it
there. There are tons of hours of man labor to
straighten the body, I think about the miles
of tape used to mask the vehicle, and then I
wonder how long the customer had to wait on
the sidelines till it was his turn to get blessed.
Though today’s paint products are more
sprayer-friendly, many painters will spray
a basecoat that is similar or close to the end
color of the candy they are shooting for, they
then follow it up with a few coats of candy.
While this is done to minimize the chances
of imperfections appearing, like streaks and
blotching, and while that methodology does
work, the sad thing is it will lack the depth and
luster compared to a candy that is sprayed for
almost two days. Back in the day I remember
being able see the clearcoat, followed by the
translucent Candy Apple and then the base.
In the ’70s candies were so deep you swear
you were staring down into the depths of a
lagoon. One of the coolest components about
all Candy Apples is that you were able to mix
colors over and over till you got the right tone
you wanted to spray over the best pearl or
metallic basecoat. No one does that anymore!
It’s almost like a lost art form or something.
Anyway, while paintjobs of this
aforementioned quality are still available, the
days of a flip-flopping pearl are too. There are a
lot of us out there who remember what a Mario
Gomez candy factory butterscotch pearl used
to look like. Those days are almost extinct. We
have to dare to think out of the can—the spray
paint can, that is.
While on the topic of depth, this dives deep
into an assortment of the articles you’ve come
to expect. We’ve got coverage of the Merced
Lowrider Show—a show that was labeled
the “Qualify or Bust” show, and the opening
activities were really intense. We’ll see who
showed up, we’ll find out who turned up, and,
in addition, we’ve got some great coverage from
the KCK Festival—a gathering best known
for its artistic display of metal excellence with
a central focus based on lowriding and the
Latino arts. It’s a community-based event that
brings artisans together. This annual show is
6
one that has captured the evolutionary spirit of
Kansas City lowriding.
Inside, we’ve also got coverage of the
Lowrider BluePrint Engines signature-series
motor and we’ll go in-depth about the available
options, so see which version best suits your
engine bay. In conjunction, there is additional
coverage on Powermaster alternators that
will teach readers a bit about the importance
of upgraded alternators for the right amps
your ride’s electric accessories will need. Also,
American Autowire has a wiring harness for
all the ’61-’64 Impala guys out there. We even
have exclusive coverage about the trip Beto
took to Japan. During the trip he was invited
to an exclusive tour of one of Pioneer’s research
and development facilities and he was able to
see firsthand how they were able to create and
test their latest series of Z and D speakers. After
seeing just how intense the Pioneer facility is,
and just how serious they take the audio game,
it may just give you a new appreciation for
their products, and hopefully you’ll find a new
earned respect for the work it takes to create
speakers of no compare.
In closing, I hope these articles give you a
new approach to the way you see things. Look
past the products, look beyond the glitz and
glam, and instead learn to understand what
it takes to make a quality product. Regardless
of whether it’s a new set of Pioneer speakers or
a BluePrint engine, once you understand the
amount of research, design, and engineering
that goes into development, it should give you a
new appreciation for not only the product, but
a better understanding as to why you literally
get what you pay for.
Respectfully,
Joe Ray
jray@enthusiastnetwork.com
IN YOUR CAR
PIONEERELECTRONICS.COM/HEARMORE
PIONEER and the Pioneer logo are registered trademarks of Pioneer Corporation. ©2017 Pioneer Electronics (USA) Inc.
LOWRIDER
L O W R I D E R . C O M
WHAT'S ON
DEMAND THIS
MONTH?
11/24/17
Auto Mundial
Motorsport Mundial
Roadkill, Episode 72
Trans Am Racing Series,
Circuit of the Americas
11/27/17
LIVE! MOTOR TREND
Awards, Los Angeles, CA
12/1/17
Auto Mundial
Motorsport Mundial
12/4/17
Engine Masters,
Episode 29
Mobil 1 The Grid
12/6/17
GP Confidential, Post Abu
Dhabi + Post Season
Modified, Episode 76
12/7/17
Put Up or Shut Up,
Episode 7
12/8/17
Auto Mundial
Motorsport Mundial
12/11/17
Ultimate Adventure Week
12/12/17
Ultimate Adventure Week
12/13/17
Head 2 Head, Episode 97
Ultimate Adventure Week
12/14/17
Roadkill Garage,
Episode 25
Ultimate Adventure Week
12/15/17
Ultimate Adventure Week
12/19/17
Dirt Every Day,
Episode 72
12/20/17
GP Confidential,
Post Season
12/21/17
Hot Rod Garage,
Episode 60
12/22/17
Auto Mundial
Motorsport Mundial
Roadkill, Episode 73
EDITORIAL
Editor Joe Ray
JRay@enthusiastnetwork.com
Managing Editor Sarah Gonzales
Feature Editor Beto Mendoza
Senior Web Content Editor Ryan Whitehouse
Web Content Editor Josh Ching
CONTRIBUTORS
Phil Gordon, John Jarasa,
Hector Leyva
ART DIRECTION & DESIGN
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LOWRIDER EVENTS
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Operations Coordinator, Auto Show Allen Chin
Warehouse Manager Rudy Serna
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TEN: THE ENTHUSIAST NETWORK, LLC
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Chief Executive Officer Scott P. Dickey
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President, Automotive Scott Bailey
EVP/GM, Sports & Entertainment Norb Garrett
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publisher as to legality, completeness and accuracy.
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STARTING SMALL BUT THINKING BIG CREATED THIS MASTERPIECE
STORY & PHOTOS BY BETO MENDOZA
12
FEBRUARY 2018 LOWRIDER
13
LOWRIDER.COM
1965 CHEVROLET
IMPALA
VEHICLE NICKNAME
City of Angels
OWNER
Armando Flores
CITY/STATE
Burbank, CA
CLUB
Lifestyle
SUSPENSION
Homies Hydraulics setup
BODY/PAINT
Shaved door handles, cowl fin,
and 44-inch moonroof with red
glass; custom mix House of Kolor
Candy Ruby Red paint by Kandy
Connections
WHEELS/TIRES
100-spoke 14x7 chrome Daytons
with Premium Sportway 5.20s
INTERIOR
Custom center console and molded
dash with Dakota Digital gauges,
interior wrapped in red leather
and velour
ENGINE
BluePrint Lowrider series 350 crate
engine with Edelbrock intake, MSD
ignition/distributor, EZ wire, FiTech
carburetor, and March Performance
serpentine kit
SOUND
Pioneer double-din head unit, two
Clarion digital amps, four Rockford
Fostgate Punch mids, and two 12-inch
Rockford Fosgate Punch subwoofers
Like most young men, Armando
Flores was obsessed with cars, but
it wasn’t until he turned 14 years
old that he zeroed in on lowriding—and it all began after he purchased his first issue of Lowrider
magazine. “I used to buy them to
look at cars from Lifestyle, New
Movement, Thee United, and few
other clubs from back in the day,”
Armando explains.
By the time he was 17, he was able
to afford a '65 Impala that he used
as a daily driver. This offered him
the opportunity to not only explore
car culture firsthand, but it gave
him a ship to navigate to the San
Fernando Valley cruise nights. “All
week, all I could think about was
cruising. Simply put, cruise nights
were the highlight of my week.”
But the cruise nights offer more
than just a social experience, to be
able to hang out and witness all the
14
custom cars cruising sparked his
interest even more and that’s when
he began drawing lowriders and using every spare moment to further
perfect his craft.
Aside from drawing, Armando
began building scale model cars and
his main purpose was to replicate
famous lowriders, such as the Las
Vegas car and Loco 64. His model
car builds were so accurate and so
detail-oriented that it gained him
FEBRUARY 2018 LOWRIDER
15
LOWRIDER.COM
global acclaim for his precision
accuracy to exquisite detail. In 1997,
he was awarded with the Car Model
of the Year award for his craftsmanship in customizing small-scale
cars. This would be the first of many
awards that Mando would receive,
and with the explosion of the model
car scene, Armando went on to
found the Masterpieces Associa-
tion—an organization that unites
the very best professional car model
builders from around the world.
After countless small-scale builds,
Mando felt it was time to try his hands
on building a life-size version of those
very same cars and went on the hunt
for a project car. He wanted another
'65 Impala but this time around it
had to be a Super Sport. His search
16
came to an end when he found the
shell of this one sitting in someone’s
backyard. “It was just the skeleton of a
car,” Mando says, “but I knew I could
bring it back to life.” He was able to
render and conceptualize the car in
its completed form and knew that if
he could visualize it, then he would be
able to build it. “I felt that my tedious
and countless hours working on
FEBRUARY 2018 LOWRIDER
small-scale cars prepared me for this
build and it would be one that would
challenge me like no other.”
In 2006 he became a member of
Lifestyle Car Club, a club that he had
admired since he was a kid. As a new
member, he wanted to prove that he
would be able to build something
worthy of flying that plaque, and
that’s exactly what he did.
During the build, he made sure
to personally remove every nut,
bolt, and screw from the vehicle. He
also learned to weld and performed
most of the bodywork with the help
of Juanito from Indio, California.
Once the body was prepped and
ready for paint, the car was taken to
Kandy Connections in Chatsworth
where a collection of painters laid
17
LOWRIDER.COM
down a custom Ruby Red candy mix
on the body. Next, he decided to design the interior by first lowering the
whole interior 2 inches. He then took
it to California Upholstery so they
could wrap the seats in red leather
and velour. Armando eventually
dropped in a BluePrint 350 Lowrider
Series engine, and once tested and
tuned the car was hauled to Las Vegas
for the SEMA Show.
In total, the build took Mando 11
years to complete and as he looks back
at the process he can’t help but feel
proud of everything he’s accomplished
and amazed by everything that he’s
learned. Yet while he’s extremely proud
of his build, it can never compare
to how proud he is about being a
supportive husband and an excellent
father; we tip our hats to a job well
done on both platforms.
18
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LOWRIDER.COM
Italians and Mexicans share
plenty of cultural similarities. Aside
from the colors on our flags, both
cultures place a huge importance on
family, sports, and soccer, and when
it comes to throwing a feast, well, it’s
easy to say we go all out and serve
about three times what’s necessary.
But the cultural similarities don’t
end there. Italians also have a passion
for lowriding. While not as vast and
expansive as what’s found in our own
heritage, they do practice the lifestyle
and they do so with pride. If you’ve
ever paid a visit to San Pedro, there’s
a small group of full-blooded Italians
who live for lowriding. In fact, they’ve
set a high standard doing so and Paolo
Onorato is a great example.
For his first car, Paolo wanted to
get an Impala but working at a market
didn’t make him enough to afford one.
“At the time all I could afford was a
four-door Cadillac,” Paolo explains.
20
FEBRUARY 2018 LOWRIDER
CAR MODEL
1991 CADILLAC BROUGHAM D’ELEGANCE
LOWRIDING ACROSS
CULTURAL BOUNDARIES
STORY & PHOTOS BY BETO MENDOZA
Blue,
lavender, and
white pearls
collaborate
on the
Caddy's body
style.
Not wanting to waste any time, he
took the Caddy to Homies Hydraulics
where they installed a two-pump setup
with a piston pump to the front and
eight batteries to power it. He slapped
a fresh set of Daytons and he was ready
to mob the San Pedro shorelines.
For years, the Cadillac remained
in this state, until he landed a
longshoreman job. With a betterpaying job, Paolo was able to stack
some cheddar and freshen up the
21
LOWRIDER.COM
22
FEBRUARY 2018 LOWRIDER
"ITALIANS ALSO
HAVE A PASSION
FOR LOWRIDING."
1991 CADILLAC
BROUGHAM D’ELEGANCE
VEHICLE NICKNAME
Moon Struck
OWNER
Paolo Onorato
CITY/STATE
San Pedro, CA
INTERIOR
Custom suede and vinyl interior in
light gray
ENGINE
Stock 5.7
BODY/PAINT
PPG white pearl paint with blue and
lavender pearl patterns
SUSPENSION
Piston pump to the front and
tailgate pump to the rear with Adex
dumps and eight batteries
WHEELS/TIRES
13x7 Daytons with Premium
Sportway 5.20s
SOUND SYSTEM
Alpine stereo and mids, JL Audio
amps, and Kicker subwoofers
Caddy. To start, he sought out
Curley’s Pinstriping and shared his
paint scheme ideas with him, and
Curley was able to deliver Paolo’s
vision. Next he visited Gordo at 562
Kustoms who built him a custom
interior and paneled off the trunk.
While Paolo may not have started
off with the Impala he had hoped for,
it did little from deterring him from
doing the best with what he had.
As the owner of one the cleanest '91
Caddies in SoCal, it’s become clearly
evident that he takes as much pride in
his ride as he does in his heritage.
23
LOWRIDER.COM
24
FEBRUARY 2018 LOWRIDER
THE PRECURSOR TO THE GRAND FINALE ALL
GOES DOWN IN CALI
STORY BY BETO MENDOZA
PHOTOS BY RITCHIE CHAVEZ & BETO MENDOZA
25
LOWRIDER.COM
Tantalizing
turquoise sixtyfive.
Tangerine MC.
26
FEBRUARY 2018 LOWRIDER
Carnales Unidos
lineup.
Prior to the annual Lowrider
Super Show in Sin City, there’s one
last kickoff in California called
the Merced Super Show. Aside
from being a great show, the same
venue also happens to be the only
LR magazine sanctioned show
in California. Aside from being a
showcase of talent and clean cars,
the event also marks the last chance
for anyone wanting to qualify for
a sweepstakes award; all this fierce
competition and camaraderie is
LOWRIDER.COM
(Top) Debut
of "Double
Trouble."
The Gilo
family Lincoln
and Thee
Entertainer.
28
FEBRUARY 2018 LOWRIDER
brought to you by Strictly Business
Promotions.
The show took place at the
Merced Fairgrounds. Hundreds of
cars poured into the inner parking
lot, while also loading up to capacity
Yosemite Hall, Half Dome Hall, and
the Hilmar Cheese Arena.
Several cars that weren’t previously
qualified for Vegas came out,
including three '57 Bel Airs located
in the Yosemite Hall building.
Among those builds was a new entry
done by Bobby Garza out of Texas.
Garza, whose '87 Cutlass is already
pre-qualified for the Lowrider of
the Year title, has now introduced
a new vehicle that he calls “Double
Trouble”—a moniker given to his
'57 Bel Air convertible because he
promises to have a twin-turbo setup
by the time the Las Vegas Super
Show comes into play. Inside the
same hall there were two other '57s
that came to qualify for the Original
of the Year; one belonged to longtime
title contender Chris Roark and
the other belonged to legendary car
builder Fuzy of Los Angeles.
Carnales Unidos who brought
out cars from their Merced, Fresno,
LOWRIDER.COM
“Where’s Brooklyn at? Where’s
Brooklyn at?” was the famous
question the Notorious B.I.G. asked
before he started his freestyle with
Tupac at Madison Square Garden,
and it was the first thing that used
to come to my mind when I thought
of Brooklyn. Prior to that, the only
things I associated with Brooklyn
were pizza, subways, and graffiti, but
now things are changing, thanks
to three West Indian brothers
who made sure to remind me that
Brooklyn should be respected and
associated with lowriding as well.
The youngest of the trio is Danny
who owns this '64 rag. When Danny
was 10 years old his older brothers
began hanging out with the fellas
from Drastic Auto Club. He joined
them at every club meeting, car show,
and cruise night and from the get-go
he knew he had to partake in the
lifestyle. “As a kid, I could remember
32
FEBRUARY 2018 LOWRIDER
CAR MODEL
1964 CHEVROLET IMPALA CONVERTIBLE
TIRED OF THE SHOP
DRAMA, THREE
BROTHERS TAKE ON THIS
PROJECT WITH HEART,
SOUL, AND YOUTUBE
STORY & PHOTOS BY BETO MENDOZA
Drastic in
New York
City.
seeing cars with hydraulics and
being amazed,” Danny explains.
When he finished schooling in 2010
he began looking for a project C10.
“At the time my brother had just
bought a '63 Impala and convinced
me to look for an Impala instead of a
C10, so I did.”
He found this '64 rag in New
Jersey. The original owner had
just died and his kids got rid of it,
so Danny bought it, juiced it, and
33
enjoyed it like that for a couple years.
He decided to fully rebuild the car
but didn’t know where to start. With
limited choices in the East Coast,
he decided to take it to a shop in
North Carolina. “The shop had
produced a couple of cars that made
it into the pages of Lowrider, so I felt
comfortable sending it there.” After
three years and very little progress
made, he decided to go down there
with his brother and retrieve the car.
LOWRIDER.COM
1964 CHEVROLET IMPALA CONVERTIBLE
VEHICLE NICKNAME
Fourever Young
OWNER
Danny Guptar
CITY/STATE
Brooklyn, NY
CLUB
Drastic Auto Club
BODY/PAINT
PPG Aqua Mineral Blue
WHEELS/TIRES
13x7 72-spoke Daytons with
Premium Sportway 5.20s
INTERIOR
Ciadella vinyl seats with hardtop
inserts in a light metallic blue
color. Dakota Digital VHX series
gauges, color bar, and the A/C
controls were moved to where
the stock radio normally is.
SOUND SYSTEM
Pioneer head unit, two JL Audio
HD amps, four 6.5-inch JL Audio
mids in custom kick panels, and a
single 10-inch JL Audio W7
34
SUSPENSION
Wrapped frame with ¾-inch
extended arms and a Ford
9-inch rearend. The setup is two
all-chrome, gravity-fed Hoppo’s
pumps, four Adex dumps, two
blocks, two slowdown valves,
and four Deka batteries.
ENGINE
V-8 327 5.4L with stock TPI off
a Corvette, March pulley system
kit/water pump/alternator/
custom-built air cleaner with
motorcycle air breathers, CFR
radiator/electric fan, Summit
Racing wires, ceramic-coated
ram horn headers, and Optima
red-top battery
FEBRUARY 2018 LOWRIDER
"YOUTUBE COMES
IN HANDY, SO
USE IT TO YOUR
ADVANTAGE AND
TAKE ON THE
WORLD BECAUSE
IT’S YOURS FOR THE
TAKING."
The time and money lost
during his first experience was
disheartening but he decided to take
his losses and keep moving. Not
wanting to go through that again,
he, along with his brother Tage,
decided to rent out a little garage,
and with the help of a car manual
and the Internet they decided to
work on the car themselves. The
two went through the whole car,
managing to fix everything from
the wiring harness, engine tuning,
and body alignment. The two didn’t
have much, if any, knowledge about
building an Impala but they were
able to learn and do a majority of
the work themselves. They did seek
out help from several shops in order
to finish the car. Big Serg Customs
did the bodywork, laid the paint,
and helped install the setup that was
built in Cali by Hoppo's. Ralph &
John’s Auto helped fine-tune the TPI
and Jorge Bonilla for the beat.
Aside from arming Brooklyn
with yet another fine lowrider, this
story also shows that anything is
possible so long as you invest the
time, heart, and patience into what
you’re doing. Of course, YouTube
comes in handy, so use it to your
advantage and take on the world
because it’s yours for the taking.
35
LOWRIDER.COM
A COLORFUL PALETTE OF METAL CANVAS ART AND
CULTURAL PAINTINGS
STORY & PHOTOS BY JOE RAY
36
FEBRUARY 2018 LOWRIDER
37
LOWRIDER.COM
A relaxed Mr.
Chevelle.
Besides the rich Midwestern
history Kansas City retains, their
creativity is always thriving. From
internationally known museums
to dynamic gallery districts and
outstanding performances, Kansas
City not only has a colorful palette,
but a delicious one as well. Known
for having the best barbecue
restaurants in the world, Kansas
City is a place where all of your
senses are visually stimulated—and
that includes lowriding.
This past summer we were
honored to attend their annual
Kansas City Latino Arts Festival,
and during the festivities we were
Artist Vania
Soto poses with
her paintings.
(Above left)
Mayor Mark
Holland.
G-bodies and
big-bodies all
around the KC
Fest.
38
able to immerse ourselves in this
festive event while experiencing
their incredible culture. The
festival, which went down this
past summer, took place between
7th and 8th Street on Minnesota
Avenue. As a parade of lowriders
made their way through the streets
you could feel the passion and
love the community has for these
vehicular canvases. From the smiles
on their faces to the awe in their
expression, each car delivered its
fair share of joy.
The festival, sponsored by
HEART ERG, KCK Chamber
LOWRIDER.COM
Every city has their primary
characteristics. When it comes to
California, well let’s say that aside
from the celebrity sightings, the
great weather, and the potential for
earthquakes, the one thing that never
fails is traffic. Sitting in traffic becomes
a daily ritual, and for one resident of
San Jacinto it wound up inspiring him
to build one badass Suburban.
One eventful day while waiting to
make a righthand turn, an unfamiliar
rumble caught his attention. It was
a sound that was somewhat foreign
to him at the time, and a distinct
pitch that could only be emitted by
an inline-six with a straight pipe. As
he looked around, he was quick to
rule out the hybrids and electric cars
surrounding him, and there idled a
'51 Suburban. “I’d never seen a car like
that before and, to be honest, at the
time I didn’t know what kind of car it
was,” Guy Garza says. He later spotted
42
'48 SUV.
the same vehicle parked at a local
supermarket and that’s when he pulled
over and began doing a walk-around.
“At the time I didn’t know what it was,
but I just knew that I had to have one,”
Guy explains. He had told a friend of
his about the vehicle and by chance
his friend ended up running into the
owner. It turned out the Suburban
belonged to a man named Charlie who
lived a couple of blocks from Guy, and
upon a formal introduction, the two
FEBRUARY 2018 LOWRIDER
CAR MODEL
1948 CHEVROLET CARRYALL SUBURBAN
WHILE FIGHTING
TRAFFIC, ONE MAN
DISCOVERS HIS
DREAM BUILD
STORY & PHOTOS BY BETO MENDOZA
hit it off and quickly became friends.
Looking to get himself a project
that drives, Guy asked Charlie if
he had any leads on a solid project
Suburban that was in running
condition. He wanted something
that he could fix up little by little and
that eventually led him to a guy named
Armando from Oxnard. After a brief
call, he went to check out the proposed
project and while it wasn’t exactly to his
liking, he wound up working out a deal
43
LOWRIDER.COM
1948 CHEVROLET
CARRYALL SUBURBAN
OWNER
Ricardo “Guy” Garza
NICKNAME
Carryall
CITY/STATE
San Jacinto, CA
CLUB
Bomb Club SoCal
ENGINE
235 with stock engine parts
BODY/PAINT
Custom mix of PPG greens
INTERIOR
101 Auto Upholstery used brown
vinyl for the seats
WHEELS/TIRES
15-inch Artilleries with Firestone tires
SUSPENSION
Mustang II frontend, four-link rear
with bags all the way around
SOUND SYSTEM
Kenwood stereo with six Kenwood mids
The GMC
model was also
known back
in the day as
the "Carryall
Suburban"
until it became
re-branded
as the "Yukon
XL."
44
and taking it back home.
Two-and-a-half years later,
the completed project is one that
required plenty of planning and
tedious work, but the end result is
a stunning piece of rolling art that
is as soothing to the eyes as it is to
the ear. One simply can’t stare at it
long enough. If you ever get caught
up in traffic with this Suburban, it’s
sure to give you an eyeful of candy
that’ll make you appreciate classic
Americana. From its imposing size
and incredible stance, the mass of
rounded edges and smooth lines
make this Suburban a treasure to see
in person—pictures don’t do it justice
at all.
LOWRIDER.COM
AN ALL-DAY AFFAIR THAT KICKED OFF IN THE YAY AREA
STORY & PHOTOS BY BETO MENDOZA
46
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TO ROADKILL GARAGE AND ROADKILL EXTRA!
START YOUR FREE TRIAL NOW! MOTORTRENDONDEMAND.COM /E21
LOWRIDER.COM
'61 Bubbletop
vs.
'61 Ragtop.
Celebrating its third year, King
of the Street is an event that is
choreographed by the San Francisco
Lowrider Council. As with past
shows, lowriders throughout the Bay
Area met at Mission Street and Silver
Avenue where a police escort received
them. From there, they toured
through Mission District, shot by the
San Francisco Bay, and then headed
over to Fort Mason Center—the
venue for their grand finale.
This is the first time that the show
took place at Fort Mason and within
hours the hall, parking lot, and all
surrounding areas were bombarded
with both cars and spectators. “We
turned away over 200 cars, so we
will be looking for a bigger location
to host next year’s show,” Roberto
Hernandez, the SF Lowrider Council
founder, says.
One of the highlights was a 2
p.m. hop that went down at the
Festival Pavilion parking lot. The
roar of 3,000 spectators filled
the area with an excitement and
energy that was unreal, and as they
egged on their favorite cars and
FEBRUARY 2018 LOWRIDER
Cadillac
'50s and '60s
eras were on
display.
ONTHESCENE
E S T A B L I S H E D
1 9 7 7
switchmen, one couldn’t help but
get caught up in all the hype.
In all the show was a tremendous
success and the cruising festivities
lasted up until 2 a.m., making this
an all-day affair that you should not
miss out on.
LOWRIDER.COM
Life is the greatest gift a mother
can give, but add to the equation
a '63 Super Sport Impala and it
takes a close second—just ask
Scotty Gutierrez, he was granted
both. Fifteen years from the date
he was born, he celebrated in style,
and that’s when his mother and
grandparents gave him the gift of a
lifetime: a '63 Impala SS.
At the time of his birthday he
was given a large, gift-wrapped
box. Once he opened it, there was
another box inside, and inside of
that was yet another smaller box.
As he went through box after box,
the last box to remain was just a bit
bigger than a box of Tic Tacs, and
50
Imperials
traditional
and original
six-three.
inside was a key to his dream car.
Yes, he got the Impala of his dreams.
When asked about his initial
reaction to the gift, with a huge smile
he exclaimed, “I was so excited! I
had always dreamed of cruising and
being a lowrider and from that day
on I was able to live my dream.”
Fast-forward yet another 15
FEBRUARY 2018 LOWRIDER
CAR MODEL
1963 CHEVROLET IMPALA CONVERTIBLE
HOW A MOTHER’S
LOVE IGNITED A
LOWRIDER’S PASSION
STORY & PHOTOS BY BETO MENDOZA
years later and Scotty found
himself married with kids living
in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Through his cousin Robert, he met
Chuck Montoya and Ray Anaya
of the Imperials Car Club. During
a random conversation, Chuck
told Scotty about a '63 convertible
in Taos. He told him going from a
hardtop to a convertible would be a
step up in the lowrider game but the
only way Scotty would be able to
afford the convertible would be by
selling the hardtop that his mother
gave him, a car he had owned
for half his life. His mother and
grandparents had since died so he
really had to think about it. “I had
51
Nothing like
palm trees in
the background
for any true
convertible
classic.
told myself that I would never sell
it but then I thought about whether
my mom would have given me
her blessing and I think she would
have.” Scotty placed his hardtop
in the newspaper and it sold in a
few hours. He then immediately
headed to Taos to pick up the
convertible. Once they got the
LOWRIDER.COM
1963
CHEVROLET IMPALA
CONVERTIBLE
OWNER
Scotty Ezekiel Gutierrez
NICKNAME
La Gloria
CITY/STATE
Colorado Springs, CO
CLUB
Imperials NM
ENGINE
Original 327
BODY/PAINT
Axalta Platinum Beige
INTERIOR
Black Cars1 interior kit
WHEELS/TIRES
14-inchers with original hubcaps
and Coker BFGoodriches
Fully optional
New Mexico
Impala
convertible.
52
convertible back home they realized
the car’s true condition and how
it would need a full restoration. “I
immediately regretted my decision
but my mother didn’t raise a quitter
so I had to see the rebuild through.”
He talked to Chuck and agreed to
let Scotty go through his Impala
junkyard and pick whatever he
needed to begin his project.
In all, it took 11 years of arduous
work before Scotty was able to finish
the vehicle. While there were plenty
of times he wanted to quit the build,
he always chose to push forward and
here today is a fully optioned car
that he knows his mother would be
proud of.
O LOWRIDER.COM
ANOTHER CLASSIC CAR SAVED FROM A DIRT NAP
STORY & PHOTOS BY BETO MENDOZA
54
FEBRUARY 2018 LOWRIDER
55
O LOWRIDER.COM
As a kid, the thought of humans
coexisting with dinosaurs was
captivating. The vulnerability that
humans must have faced was simply
mind-boggling, and it comes with
good reason. Imagine some 160
million years ago when humans
witnessed Quetzalcoatlus flying
around with a 40-foot wingspan?
Or imagine seeing a Brachiosaurus
standing at about 50 feet tall?
Definitely a frightening thought,
especially considering the fact that
if you’ve ever had a crow land near
you, it’s enough to make you sprint
for safety—and a crow measures in at
probably 1⁄5 the size of a T-Rex turd.
So now that I’ve just shown you
my nerdy side, it’s safe to say that my
infatuation with dinosaurs remains,
but this time around I’m more
interested in dinosaurs that have four
wheels—and in this case, this relic
is also made with wood. American
classics such as this one are slowly
facing extinction by the hands of
humans. They are being left outside
to rot in fields, and being sold off for
parts, but thankfully there are still
humanitarians willing to invest the
time, sweat, and tears to bring them
back to life, and that’s exactly the case
for Porfie Maldonado, the owner of
this pristine '48 Chevrolet Woodie
wagon.
“I saw the wagon sitting there
looking sad and lonely, just begging
to see the light of day,” Porfie explains,
describing his first time seeing the
vehicle. He had seen the Woodie
wagon on a Facebook post and gave
the owner a call. Looking to battle
the extinction of this incredible
wagon, he struck a deal and shot off to
Colorado with a few friends to pick it
up. Upon his arrival, he realized the
vehicle was in a lot rougher condition
than the pictures had depicted, but
he took it as a challenge, and in his
own words, said, “I knew this build
56
The '48
Chevrolet
Fleetmaster
wagon was
the last
true woodie
(structured
wood) from
Chevrolet.
was going to truly test my ability
as a builder so I went for it,” a big
statement, especially coming from a
man who happens to be the owner of
Reflective Auto Collision.
Looking to test his team’s ability
to restore cars, he set a goal to have
the wagon ready to debut at the
Albuquerque Super Show, just
nine months from his start date.
Right away, his team began to
disassemble the vehicle and that’s
when they discovered major rot.
As the pieces began to pile, he sent
out everything that needed to be
chromed to Triple Plate Chroming
while Old Car Garage received the
motor, transmission, and rearend.
For the past 35 years, Porfie has
been restoring cars but never has
he worked with wood. Looking to
expedite the repair of his Woodie
with stellar results, he walked across
the street to consult with Fine
Custom Furniture and Doors. The
FEBRUARY 2018 LOWRIDER
1948
CHEVROLET
WOODIE WAGON
VEHICLE NICKNAME
Woody
OWNER
Porfie Maldonado
CITY/STATE
Albuquerque, NM
CLUB
Oldies
SOUND SYSTEM
Stock stereo
BODY/PAINT
PPG tan paint
WHEELS/TIRES
15-inch Artilleries 185/60R15
Firestones
INTERIOR
Walnut-colored leather-stitched
seats to original patterns
ENGINE
216 rebuilt to original specs
SUSPENSION
Stock
57
O
OLOWRIDER.COM
The base list
price on this
'48 model
Chevrolet
was $2,103.
This relic
may be
worth a
hundred
times more!
58
shop specializes in custom wood
furniture so he decided to ask them
if they were willing to work on
the wagon. “We’ve done furniture
since the ’90s,” Castillo explains
(the owner), “but never a car.” They
decided to take on the project and
for the next eight months sanding,
restoring, and even replacing parts
with wood pieces they built.
The Reflective crew took on the
body and they began by sandblasting
FEBRUARY 2018 LOWRIDER
and exposing the metal. The more
they sandblasted, the worse it got.
Most of the metal needed to be
replaced, including the entire floor.
Luckily for them they had a parts car
that was sitting in the back. Once
the bodywork was done, they were
able to start test-fitting the wood.
“The wood was the most critical part
of the build as it’s mostly made out
of wood.” The doors, roof, tailgate,
and quarter-panels are all made out
of wood inside and out. Everything
had to be pre-fitted before they could
move onto paint.
Once they got the green light, the
crew laid the paint while the rest
of the parts were sent to Absolute
Powder Coating. With everything
redone and the show around the
corner they began reassembling the
car and just as planned the Woodie
was able to make its debut at the
2016 Albuquerque Super Show. As
59
There were
10,171
woodies
built from
1948-1949.
Now there's
one that
was built to
perfection.
expected, the Woodie struck gold
and got plenty of attention, even
garnishing the attention of the
mayor who came up to compliment
Porfie on the build. He eventually
placed First, and his other car (a '37
Business Coupe) got Second. The
car also went to the Las Vegas Super
Show where it won sweepstake for
Original of the Year, thus keeping
this dinosaur of a relic free from
taking a dirt nap.
O
LOWRIDER.COM
ROLLPLAYERZ
E S T A B L I S H E D
1 9 7 7
60
FEBRUARY 2018 LOWRIDER
HOW A GRANDFATHER’S GIFT
CHANGED A YOUNG MAN’S LIFE
STORY & PHOTOS BY PHIL GORDON
CAR MODEL
2002 DODGE DAKOTA
As teens, many of us receive handme-down vehicles to get to and from
school, but in the case of Justin Ward,
he was passed not only a vehicle but
also a lesson in love and creativity. As
the recipient of an '02 Dodge Dakota,
his grandfather who had originally
purchased the truck for himself,
gave the truck to Justin and almost
immediately he wanted to begin
upgrading it.
Seeing Justin’s enthusiasm
and love for customization, his
grandfather not only supported the
vision but invested into it. As a gift,
his grandfather surprised him with a
custom paintjob on the day of Justin’s
graduation. Tragically, the night
the Dakota came back home, his
grandfather suffered a heart attack
and for the next 10 years Justin kept
the truck the exact same way it was to
preserve his grandfather’s last gift.
Fast-forward to 2017, Justin finally
decided it was time to update and
rebuild the Dodge. He wanted to do
so in a manner that would honor his
late grandfather, and to start he drove
the truck to the cemetery and had a
moment with him. Shortly thereafter,
he drove directly to the shop and
61
LOWRIDER.COM
"... JUSTIN’S
ENTHUSIASM
AND LOVE FOR
CUSTOMIZATION,
HIS GRANDFATHER
NOT ONLY
SUPPORTED
THE VISION BUT
INVESTED INTO IT."
2002
DODGE DAKOTA
VEHICLE NICKNAME
A&W Root Beer
OWNER
Justin Ward
CITY/STATE
Conway, SC
CLUB
Swift
ENGINE
3.9L, cold air intake
WHEELS/TIRES
22x9 Rucci Spada forged
wheels; 265/35R22 Toyo Proxes
BODY/PAINT
Shaved door handles, tailgate,
taillights, Cervinis Sniper body kit
with hood, Tiarra grille; House of
Kolor Solar Gold basecoat, House
of Kolor Candy Tangerine, Candy
Root Beer, gold flake, all done
by A Couple Buddies Garage in
Myrtle Beach, South Carolina;
silver leafing and pinstriping
done by Chavos Pinstriping; Halo
headlights, 7-inch LED taillights,
custom-molded fiberglass bed
the process began. In all, the
project took roughly six months to
complete. Justin tells LRM, “I know
my grandfather would be proud of
this accomplishment.”
Starting with a new paintjob,
Justin had Brandon Nutter at A
Couple Buddies Garage redo the
paintjob. Enrique from Chavos
Pinstriping was flown in to lay
down the leafing and pinstripe,
and it was off to Mr. Scrape, where
the suspension was revamped with
air ride suspension and Chris Tom
reworked the interior. The last step
was the installation of the audio/
visual work and that’s when Unreal
Customs added a total of seven TV
monitors and extensive fiberglass
work all throughout the truck.
In closing, Justin wishes to
thank his supportive wife, Ashley,
for understanding his passion and
standing by him throughout the years.
He also wants to extend his gratitude
to his brothers at Swift Car Club, and
his biggest thanks goes out to his
grandfather, Jack, for the inspiration
and the love he gave throughout his
life. And while he may not be here
in physical form, Justin knows that
his grandfather is looking down
with pride and love knowing that his
influence lives on.
62
SUSPENSION
Full air-ride setup, Slam Specialties
RE6 and RE7 bags, ViAir compressor, four-link with Panhard bar kit,
baby C-Notch, seven-switch box
SOUND SYSTEM
Pioneer 7-inch flip-out head unit,
20-inch monitor in dashboard,
Memphis Audio components in
doors, Rockford Fosgate components mounted on top of the
dashboard, two 12-inch MTX
subwoofers mounted in a custom
box behind seats, two 800-watt
Audiobahn amplifiers, two 12-inch
MTX subwoofers, 800-watt Audiobahn amplifier, Kicker components,
and TV monitors in bed
INTERIOR
Orange gator skin and tan vinyl
seats, tan stitching, tan floor, orange gator floormats, tan headliner
with orange gator inserts, fiberglass
door panels with TV monitors
CAR NAME: THE LEGACY
OWNER: ALBERT DEALBA JR
PAINTER: ALBERT DEALBA JR
AT CAL BLAST
LOCATION: POMONA CA
PRIMER: KD3000 GRAY
BASE: S2-BC02 ORION SILVERMAX
/S2-PBC57 LITE TEAL PEARL
KANDY: KK09 ORGANIC GREEN
/ KK04 ORIENTAL BLUE
/ KK15 TEAL / KK05 COBALT BLUE
/ KK09 ORGANIC GREEN
CLEAR: USC01 SHOW KLEAR
House of Kolor has been on the cutting edge of custom paint since 1956. Our specialty?
Making custom paint that’s easy to use and impossible to ignore. Whether you’re
setting out to create a classic look or something no one’s ever seen before, we have the
paint to get the job done. Discover your kolor at houseofkolor.com.
LOWRIDER.COM
TANKSANDTAILS
BROUG H T TO YOU BY R E VOLUC ION
WHAT STARTED OFF AS A WEEKEND TOY
BECAME A PIECE OF ROLLING ART DESIGNED AND
CREATED TO PAY HOMAGE TO A LOVED ONE
STORY & PHOTOS BY PHIL GORDON
64
FEBRUARY 2018 LOWRIDER
MOTORCYCLE
1999 HARLEY-DAVIDSON ROAD KING
Jeremy Williams’ passion for
lowriding can be traced back to when
he was just 4 years old. “I remember
growing up with toy cars,” Jeremy
tells LRM. “If the wheels didn’t tuck, I
would customize them until they did.”
And it was that same passion that he
carried into adulthood when he first
started driving and wound up joining
65
a car club called Looney Tunes.
Once he hit adulthood and
purchased his first home, he began
looking at big-boy toys and his focus
turned to motorcycles—specifically
custom bikes. During his search he
found a bone-stock '99 Harley-Davidson Road King online and instantly
made the purchase. Accustomed to
never leaving anything stock, Jeremy
began his new transition by bringing
the bike to Motorcycle Madness in
Dunn, North Carolina.
He came right out of the box, adding a set of drop bags, chrome lower
forks, and 16-inch Carlini gangster
apes. The next step was dressing up
everything he could in chrome and
adding the custom wheels. From there,
he began going over ideas for more
custom additions to the Harley and
that’s when he met with good friend
Jerry. The two met for lunch and went
over ideas, bouncing options off each
other. The very next week Jerry and
some friends went for a ride. Tragically
someone turned in front of him and
he didn’t survive the crash.
Still ailing over the loss of his
friend, Jeremy decided that he would
design and rebuild his bike in Jerry’s
memory using the ideas that they had
previously discussed. Danny D. and
L.A. Baggers were brought in to design
the Candy Blue paint along with the
masterful airbrush, pinstripe, and leafing. The motor was then torn down
and upgraded to a 95ci. To help bring
the bike down, air ride was added to
the Harley to give it a lower stance,
followed by a custom seat that was
custom tooled and designed by The
Seat Guy.
LOWRIDER.COM
1999
HARLEY-DAVIDSON
ROAD KING
VEHICLE NICKNAME
Blue Diamond
OWNER
Jeremy Williams
CITY/STATE
Benson, NC
ENGINE
'99 Harley-Davidson twin cam,
powdercoated and diamond-cut
cylinders and heads, Arlen Ness Big
Sucker air cleaner, Samson fishtails
SUSPENSION
Progression suspension front
lowered 2 inches, Legend Air Ride in
rear, rocker cover mounting bracket,
and gauge for air ride
BODY/PAINT
Custom baggers 4-inch stretched
front fender; custom baggers
6-inch stretched rear fender;
L.A. Baggers 4-inch stretched
fiberglass bags; House of Kolor
Candy Blue with custom pinstripe,
airbrush, and leafing done by
Danny D. at L.A. Baggers
66
WHEELS/TIRES
21-inch 52-fat spoke mammoth
twisted front, 16-inch
mammoth fat spoke rear with
whitewalls
INTERIOR
Custom-built leather work/
artwork/handtooled and
braided by Victor Lopez and
Juan Gonzalez
“Blue Diamond” began as a simple
weekend toy for Jeremy, but now that
it’s done it’s become a sentimental piece
of art, which was designed and created
to honor the memory and ideas of
his very good friend, Jerry. And while
Jerry is no longer around, Jeremy
knows that he’s looking over him with
pride and saying “I told you it would
look badass!” In closing, Jeremy wishes
to thank Danny D., L.A. Baggers, Motorcycle Madness, William Strickland,
Gary Macon, Billy Wallace, The Seat
Guy, Victor Lopez, Juan Gonzalez, and
Diamond Heads.
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LOWRIDER.COM
A barnyard find is great, but even
better is the acquisition of a well-kept
classic that’s been driven, maintained,
and well taken care of. These are the
unicorns seen driving around town
by a special breed of folks who don’t
care about the latest and greatest
but instead care about preserving
what they’ve bought. Just ask Simon
Chen, the new owner of this classic
Cutlass.
At 17 his infatuation with classic
cars landed him his first fully
optioned '78 Monte Carlo. After
driving it for a year, it was totaled
in an accident. Looking to stay
in the same genre of vehicle, he
began searching for another car
68
This display
was a home
run at the
Mariners'
Safeco Field.
and that’s when he spotted a fully
optioned Cutlass Brougham parked
in a handicap stall. After giving the
vehicle a once over, he hoped for the
best and decided to leave a note on
the windshield asking if the vehicle
was for sale. Eight months later he
received a phone call from an older
lady asking if he was still interested
FEBRUARY 2018 LOWRIDER
CAR MODEL
1984 OLDSMOBILE CUTLASS SUPREME
NO EXPERIENCE.
NO RESOURCES.
NO PROBLEM.
STORY & PHOTOS BY BETO MENDOZA
in the vehicle. “I got a call from the
owner’s wife; she thought it was
funny that I had left a note,” Simon
explains. “She was in her eighties
and she could tell over the phone
that I was young and was actually
surprised that I’d be interested in an
older car.” Looking to strike a deal,
he drove down to inspect the current
state of the vehicle, and as expected
the car was still in immaculate
condition, so he purchased the car
for $2,000.
The very next year his good
friend Keo Sanh approached him
about starting a car club and in turn
a group of them created Eazy Duz
It Car Club. With no cars worthy of
69
Eazy Duz It in
Seattle.
sporting a plaque, they were short
on experience and resources but
it didn’t stop them from wanting
to build their first show car, so
they decided to start with Simon’s
Cutlass. Since the engine was in
perfect working order they didn’t
touch it.
To begin, the first order of
LOWRIDER.COM
1984 OLDSMOBILE
CUTLASS SUPREME
OWNER
Simon Chan
NICKNAME
El Negro 84
CITY/STATE
Beacon Hill, WA
CLUB
Eazy Duz It
ENGINE
Stock 307 V-8
BODY/PAINT
Axalta solid black with silver and
variegated gold leafing and twotone gray ’striping
INTERIOR
Black vinyl–wrapped pillow-top
seats
WHEELS/TIRES
13x7 72-spoke Zenith with 155/80
Travelstar tires
SOUND SYSTEM
Alpine stereo, two JL Audio amps,
two 3-inch and 6x9-inch JL Audio
mids, and a 10-inch subwoofer
SUSPENSION
A HiLow Elite 2000 pump with an
Adex dump to the front and two
HiLow Hollywood pumps and Delta
dumps to the back, all powered by
six Trojan batteries
A Cutlass with
some supreme
hydraulic
components.
importance was for Simon to install
his own sound system. A painter
by trade, Simon also laid down a
fresh coat of black paint and had
Chavo flown in from Arizona to
leaf and stripe the car. In addition,
the chrome trim was freshened up
by Show Quality Metal Finish, the
interior revamped by Central Family
Upholstery, and a three-pump setup
was installed in Sanh’s backyard.
A total of a year-and-a-half
of work was done before the
Cutlass was plaque worthy, and
70
while he understands that it’s not
a full show car, it was built as a
benchmark for their entry point
builds for the club. In addition to
gaining the necessary experience,
his Cutlass became a centerpiece
of conversation and the hub by
which friends, family, and his
fiancée could say brought them all
together on a passion project that
represents not only a lifestyle but
a culture that is intertwined with
love, respect, camaraderie, and the
passion for lowriding.
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LOWRIDER.COM
THERESA CONTRERAS—ARTIST BY TRADE, INSPIRER BY NATURE
STORY BY PHIL SCHWARTZE | PHOTOS BY BETO MENDOZA
72
FEBRUARY 2018 LOWRIDER
Lowrider has long been known
for two things: cars and girls. But did
you ever stop for a second and ask why
there aren’t more women mechanics,
fabricators, painters, and the like? It’s a
question we asked this issue’s Lowrider
Original because we look forward to
every chance we get to find ladies who
have a hand in creating these two- and
four-wheel masterpieces.
Anyone with a lowrider knows
that one element can make or break
a build: the paint. It’s the first thing
people see and it’s what draws you
in to admire the more mechanical
aspects of the car. If it’s boring,
overdone, cliché, or just plain looks
like it was done the night before with
a brush, your reputation is on the line.
There’s no room for shortcuts.
Designer and custom painter
Theresa Contreras knows this all too
well. Having worked with the likes of
Jimmy Shine, and having worked on
cars for names such as ZZ Top’s Billy
Gibbons and race car driver Tanner
Foust, it’s safe to say people entrust her
with high-dollar projects because they
know what she’s capable of.
But while her eye for detail puts
her on the same tier as the best in the
business, when she speaks about her
craft you realize she’s just a down-toearth girl who loves what she does.
We got a chance to hear how she got
into the biz, what she thinks it takes to
succeed in it, and her determination to
convince other car-loving girls to take
the plunge and forge their own path.
Tell us about the shop you work at?
Theresa Contreras: LGE-CTS
Motorsports, my parents started it in
1982 and my sister and my husband
work there also. It’s a 20,000-squarefoot shop. We do custom paintwork as
well as collision repair. For the custom
side of it, just for something like SEMA
alone, we paint 10 to 20 cars a year,
and maybe another 10 full custom
paintjobs on top of that.
How did you get into custom
painting?
TC: It’s a family business. It started
out as an autobody shop, so I’ve been
around it my whole life. I went to school
for graphic design. It was never my
intention to go straight into painting,
but eventually I ended up working
there. While I was going to school the
teacher would give us assignments to
go out and try things. I was working
there as a secretary, but people weren’t
showing up to do some of the custom
jobs, like maybe a pinstriping job, so I
took it upon myself and literally from
that point on learned how to pinstripe,
custom paint, and things like that.
So you’re pretty much self-taught?
TC: Yes, I’d taken a class at Coast
Airbrush and also a class with Paul Stoll
from PPG as well, but those are the only
two classes I’ve ever taken.
How long have you been painting?
TC: Seventeen years.
What was the first car you ever
painted?
TC: I worked on a Ford Ranger with
my dad. There was also a PT Cruiser that
was like my first full custom paintjob.
Tell us about some of the favorite
cars you’ve done?
TC: One of my recent builds was
a BMW R nineT motorcycle, which
went to SEMA last year. We did an
all-female Mustang build, so that was
an emotional build for me. It was a
matte bronze finish that was really fun
to paint. I did a candy over the entire
car, cleared it, and then did a matte clear
over the top of that. That car was really
important to me because we worked
on it with all women and we did it for
FoMoCo and I made some amazing
friends through that build. Right now
we’re working with Tanner Foust, who
is a rally cross racer and has hosted on
Top Gear. We’ve built vehicles for him
every few years. I worked with Jimmy
Shine on an '87 El Camino for Billy
Gibbons for a TV Show called Rockin
Roadsters. We also did a Maverick for
Sung Kang from Fast and the Furious
along with some high school students,
so I had a chance to work with some of
them in the paint booth and that was a
really great build to do as well.
What do you think is the most
difficult part about painting cars?
TC: Painting is all chemical based, so
once you figure that out, and know and
understand everything you’re working
with it gets easier, but at the same time if
you have a problem then it’s a lot of work to
fix it. So it’s the time and patience it takes
to go into that and make sure everything’s
perfect, otherwise it’ll cost you in the long
run. It’s definitely all time and patience.
73
"Have spray
gun, will
travel" inside
ZZ Top's Billy
Gibbons'
Camino!
What types of cars do you look
forward to working on the most?
TC: What’s cool and unique about
our shop is we don’t get the typical
vehicles all the time. There’s a lot of
custom builds that people aren’t able
to fix at other shops, so we get a lot
of lifted trucks, jeeps, hot rods, or
lowriders where a lot of people paint
them the first time, but to fix and do a
repair on those, especially with paint,
sometimes that’s not something they
can do themselves, but we’re great at
doing color matching. I’m just a car,
truck, and motorcycle girl; I love it all,
so it’s cool to see all the unique vehicles
that are out there.
Do you do airbrushing as well?
TC: Yes, I do fine art graphics, full
color, candies, pearls, anything like
that. My specialty is to work with
different colors and textures and
make those come together, so I like
flat finishes, gloss finishes, and I like to
have a little play on things like that and
see what complements something else.
I never like things exactly the same
so I try to do it slightly different than
anything else. Lowriders to me are like
the epitome of an old-school custom
paintjob. I’ve always been a fan of guys
like Larry Watson and Gene Winfield,
how they started, and the fades they
did, so I try to incorporate all those
things into jobs I do as well.
LOWRIDER.COM
Is the BMW motorcycle yours
personally?
TC: I have another business called
Real Deal with Jessi Combs, who’s
a metal fabricator and has been on
shows like Overhaulin’ and All Girls
Garage, and her and I together have
this business to try and empower more
women to get into the automotive
industry. BMW gave us the bike so
we could do an all-female motorcycle
build for them and they took it on tour
with them.
Women have such a critical eye
for detail. Why do you think
there aren’t more women in the
automotive business in general?
TC: I think it’s intimidation. At
first maybe they think they can’t do
it or maybe they’re not interested
because they haven’t been around it.
The ones who are around it tend not
to push themselves to do a little more.
What Jessi and I do, like this event
we’re doing right now called Babes
Ride Out, is an all-female motorcycle
event in Joshua Tree where we hold
workshops. I’ll be doing a workshop
on airbrushing, Jessi will be doing
one on welding, there’ll be another
on leatherwork, we have a blacksmith
one, and we’ve done metalshaping
also. We find that being there in front
of them takes the intimidation factor
away and then all of a sudden they say,
“You know, I think I could actually do
this,” and we say, “Good, we want you
to go out and try it, and if you enjoy
doing it then go out there and do it.”
I’m not sure if it’s society or if it’s in
their minds and they think they can’t,
but once they try it, they really enjoy it.
Is there a type of paintjob you’d like
to do that you haven’t done yet?
TC: I’m not sure. I have to think
about that. I think that’s what custom
painters are always after is trying
something different. I kind of want to
do a Mustang like the BMW. I enjoy
telling the story of what the car’s about.
Like, if you have a fully aluminum
body, you should showcase it in some
way. Mustangs are like raw in general,
but they’re also mean and have a sexy
thing, so putting all those things into
a paintjob is fun. Tough, raw, and sexy
all at the same time.
What do you think some of the
biggest mistakes are when people
products, they were like, “Oh, you
have to add this, and then that, and
you have to add these other things,”
but keeping it simple and having a
great product to use is important. It
needs to be customer friendly and
needs to be something that works
well and the painter understands
well, and PPG has been the product
that has worked best for me over the
years because it’s consistent.
select a painter?
TC: I think maybe not taking their
time. I try to spend time with clients
to find out what catches their eye. For
me, when I’m with someone, I’d want
them to show me every photo in a
magazine that caught their eye and
that way I can see a pattern of what
they’re looking for. Sometimes people
let their friends dictate what they want.
Someone is going to a painter because
they love their work. You have to have
that marriage of, is this relationship
going to work the way I want it to and
am I giving them enough input to be
creative enough? So it’s a fine line.
Do you think one of the biggest
problems is getting the client to
articulate what they want?
TC: Yeah, I think the biggest
problem for a client is they don’t explain
themselves enough, but the problem is
also for a painter to want to understand
them more. And it’s up to the client to
do their homework and ask themselves
why they’re going to a certain painter.
Is it their style? Their technique?
They need to make sure it’s the right
marriage for them?
What do you think it takes to
become a successful painter?
TC: Long, long hours in the paint
booth. It’s a very dedicated job. Custom
painting is definitely really long hours
sometimes. People say all the time that
I have so much patience. It’s not that I
have so much patience, it’s just that I
want to see it done correctly. You have
to understand how much work, time,
and effort you need to put into all the
details.
Are there certain products you
prefer using?
TC: Yes, I do use PPG. I use
their Vibrance collection and their
Waterborne collection because
waterbased is what we spray at the shop
regularly. Their Vibrance collection
I use for all the candies, flakes, and
pearls. Over the years I’ve worked
with many different paint companies.
When we do cars for the SEMA
Show we’ve used all different kinds
of brands and literally have used
everyone out there. What I like about
PPG is their consistency of product,
which is very important when you
have chemicals that you’re mixing
with things. When I’ve used other
74
Long hours
in the spray
booth and
PPG's Vibrance
collection makes
for a good
painter.
What would your advice be to
people looking to get into this
business?
TC: Just try it. I go to shows all the
time and show people how to pinstripe
and tell people to go to their local
automotive store where they have these
items for you and ask the people their
questions. They will help you and give
you techniques. Most of the people
at the counter paint also. How did I
start? I locked myself in a paint booth
and just tried. Trial and error. Doing
something, doing it wrong, and trying
it again. Just constantly doing it. That’s
how you learn. If you want to be good
at something, it doesn’t have to be
anything big. Just get a few parts you
can paint. Try one color, then two, and
work your way up. Don’t overwhelm
yourself trying to do a custom lowrider
paintjob the first time because that
takes years of practices. It’s dedication.
To learn more about Theresa check
out www.iamtherealdeal.com and
www.babesrideout.com.
LOWRIDER.COM
LOWRIDERGARAGE
E
S
T A
B
L
I
S
H
E
D
1
9
7
7
A SUPERCLEAN CAR WITH A HALF-ASS
MOTOR IS A RECIPE FOR DISASTER. PLEASE
DON’T BE THAT GUY; READ ON AS WE
GIVE YOU A BLUEPRINT FOR SUCCESS AND
PEACE OF MIND.
STORY & PHOTOS BY JOE RAY
[ PERFORMANCE ]
SOURCE
BluePrint Engines
(800) 483-4263
www.blueprintengines.com
76
GARAGEPERFORMANCE
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LOW
A beautiful car with a subpar motor
is much like that good-looking person
with a birdbrain. In short, they’re great
to look at but a long-term relationship
is probably out of the question. To be
honest, we probably all know someone
who owns one of these oversized
paperweights. These are the cars we
adore while having a barbecue, and
when it comes to actually taking it on a
cruise, well, you’ll most likely find them
cruising on the back of a flatbed or
posted on a side street waiting for help.
Part of the joy of building a weekend
warrior is to just do that. You want to be
able to fire it up knowing that it will take
you where you need to be, but that’s not
possible if your motor is in dire need of
a mechanical overhaul. To add to that,
many of the motors in these classic cars
are some 40-plus year old tired motors.
While retaining its stock formation may
be appealing to purists, it’s not really a
concern to lowriding, so the next best
step may be to drop in a fresh crate
78
motor that was purpose-built for your
ride. In terms of cost-effectiveness, it
may be slightly cheaper to revamp an
older powerplant, but the benefits—
think horsepower gain, peace of mind,
and performance—are second to none
when it comes to throwing in a new
motor, and this is where BluePrint
Engines comes into play.
Last year we announced the
release of a special collaboration
between BluePrint Engines and
Lowrider magazine. Our goal was
to create a reliable, heavy-breathing,
performance engine based on
the legendary GM 350 platform.
Knowing that BluePrint Engines
was started 20 years ago this came as
an assurance that we were aligning
ourselves with leaders in the market
segment, and the end result is a readily
available motor that we’re proud of.
Lowrider x BluePrint Engines
Collaboration Engine
The lineup of turnkey crate engines
from BluePrint will replace your
stock engine with more power and
better looks. They are available with
aluminum heads (producing 400 hp)
or iron heads (producing 365 hp). The
engines also vary when it comes to
fuel delivery as one comes equipped
with EFI (FI System) and the other is
carbureted. The Lowrider-licensed
series engines come with billet
engraved “Lowrider” script lettering
on the valve covers, Edelbrock intake,
and if you want a serpentine drive
belt system then March Performance
comes exclusive for your order.
Please see below for the breakdown
of each motor.
Blueprint x Lowrider magazine
engines are available in two
formats: Street or Show
GM 350 – Aluminum Heads
400 hp | 410 lb-ft | EFI Series
Lowrider Signature series valve covers
Optional March Performance
Serpentine Kit
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LOWRIDER.COM
GM 350 – Iron Heads
365 hp | 400 lb-ft | Carb
Lowrider Signature series valve covers
The Install
Installation of this motor is really
as easy as remove and replace. While
it does require the basic mechanical
prowess, the installation process is
one that can be done by yourself
or with the help of a few friends. It
drops in with ease, comes with just
about everything you’ll need, and
all you have to add is oil, antifreeze,
plugs, and wires, and just a bit of
patience. In the end, our install took
about a week in total, this project '65
already came custom painted and
we had to be careful not to chip or
scratch the paint, but considering
this was done with whatever spare
time we could scrape up, it was a
project well deserving of the time
it took.
Performance
Once the install of this engine
was complete, we simply fired it up,
double-checked all the connections
and fluids, and it’s run like a champ
ever since. From show to show, tour
to tour, we’ve put a good amount of
miles on the '65 Impala that received
that transplant, and to be honest, the
owner hasn’t driven his car this much
in decades. Throttle response is crisp,
idle holds steady, and the overall
performance value is simply incredible.
In all, the installation of this new
BluePrint engine has changed the soul
of this vehicle and it’s the one upgrade
that may not be directly visible, but an
upgrade that is felt and appreciated by
the owner of the vehicle.
In all, the addition of a fresh motor
does justice to any vehicle and it
changes the entire dynamic of your
lowrider. Far too often, we worry about
the motor last, but when it comes time
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to hit the boulevard, it becomes the
first concern. We wonder if we’ll make
it, if it’ll overheat, or if today is the
day it’ll finally give in. By installing a
new BluePrint engine, you’ll not only
increase the value of your vehicle, but
also give yourself the peace of mind
knowing that it’ll fire up and drive like
it was designed to do. That said, be
sure to take a look at each of the motor
options and see which one best suits
your taste, budget, and build.
Till next time, we’ll see you at the
next meet or show. And remember,
the only thing worse than missing
a car show is missing it because you
were found stalled alongside the
entrance of the show. While it sounds
like a humorous attempt to poke fun
at all those with ill-running engines,
the truth of the matter is we’ve seen it
happen time and time again so don’t be
“that guy”—step up your game by going
with a BluePrint engine.
LOWRIDER.COM
DIMMING THE BEDROOM LIGHTS IS COOL, BUT IT SHOULDN’T
HAPPEN IN YOUR CAR WHEN THE BASS NOTES HIT
STORY & PHOTOS BY JOE RAY & SAUL VARGAS
SOURCES
Powermaster Motorsports
(630) 849-7754
www.powermastermotorsports.com
Optima Batteries
www.optimabatteries.com
82
FEBRUARY 2018 LOWRIDER
There’s nothing difficult about
changing or upgrading your
alternator but why don’t we do
it? Maybe it’s because we’d rather
spend money on cosmetics or
visual upgrades, or maybe it’s just a
lack of information. Either way, it’s
something you need to consider.
Stock cars (older than the ’80s)
were never designed to handle
a plethora of electronic gadgets.
Back then, alternators were made
to handle a much smaller load than
is required to power today’s hefty
systems and electronic accessories.
STEP 1
A lack of power forced us to upgrade
to a Powermaster alternator in our
project Regal. (To begin the process
of installing your new alternator,
disconnect your vehicle’s battery.)
STEPS 2 & 3
The old alternator bolts were
removed from the alternator brackets
and the belt was also removed. We
then continued to unplug the wires
from the main harness.
STEP 4
Here is a side-by-side comparison of
the new-style alternator with the internal fan versus the old factory one.
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STEP 7
The plug will just clip in place, making this newer alternator plug in without an issue. The plug will also extend your
wiring harness a few inches, giving you wanted slack.
STEP 5
Each Powermaster alternator is individually tested before
being shipped out and they are accompanied with paperwork that shows the specs of the alternator as read from
their dyno.
STEP 8
The new and chrome-style Powermaster alternator was
plugged in so the voltage could be read by the car’s dash gauge.
STEP 6
Since we’re using newer technology, you will need a plug
convertor for the stock wiring harness in order to adapt to
the newer-style plug. This plug should be ordered when
you order your alternator.
From digital gauges to video screens
and power windows, each additional
amenity requires a power source
and this essentially drains your car’s
electrical grid, thus making the
perfect recipe for failure.
So how does one go about
purchasing a new alternator? Well,
for starters, you need to figure out
the load capacity you need. By letting
manufacturers know what your
intensions are (and what type of
load to expect) they can point you
in the right direction and suggest an
alternator that will fit the bill, but the
buyer must beware! It is essential to
do your homework because many
“remanufactures” will be built to
lower standards and specifications
and in the years to follow you’ll
probably have to replace it again, so
do it once and do it right.
The main purpose of an
alternator is to keep your battery
fully charged and prevent electronic
accessories from draining the
battery. Alternators need to be
able to handle all of the electrical
demand, especially at idle—where
the amperage of the alternator is
going to be lower at idle. A common
question asked is, “Will a higher
amp alternator hurt my battery or
charging system? The answer is no. A
good rule of thumb for any would-be
mechanic is that more amps are not
harmful, but more voltage is. If you
look at electrical power like water,
84
STEP 9
The feed to the battery from the alternator is bigger so
your old terminal end needs to be replaced with a 3⁄8
terminal clip.
STEP 10
Using a pry bar, we kept tension on the belt while the
alternator was bolted down.
GARAGEPERFORMANCE
STEP 11
When upgrading to a high-amperage
alternator the belt needs to be tight
to avoid slippage. This is usually the
number one reason for alternators
not charging.
disconnect the cable to see if your
alternator is charging as you can
damage the internals and voltage
regulator that controls the amperage
being put out. Instead, use a
voltmeter to test the output of your
alternator. A fully charged battery
should read 12.6 V when the engine
is off and it should read 13.2-14.8 V
when the engine is running.
In our case, it was time for an
upgrade, so we opted for a modernstyle alternator with an internal fan
and regulator. Installation for our
unit was plug-and-play and it did
a great job in keeping our Optima
Yellow Top fully charged.
In all, the upgrade took just
over 30 minutes with common
tools, and the installation was
just as easy as “remove and
replace.” Here’s a quick overview
of our install process. Should
you have any questions ask the
manufacturer or a trusted friend
who is mechanically inclined.
Old School Style
MEETS NEW SCHOOL TECHNOLOGY
STEP 12
With everything bolted back in place,
we plugged back our Optima Yellow
Top battery. We started our Buick
G-body Regal and checked the voltage. To our liking the alternator was
charging at 14.61 V at idle, keeping
our battery fully charged.
Retrofit
STEP 13
Aside from charging your car’s battery, Powermaster also has a full
line of starters to help you in that
department as well. It’s an essential
part of your powertrain, and let’s face
it, nothing can charge if you can’t get
the party started. For a full view of
the Powermaster lineup, be sure to
visit them online for their full roster
of quality parts built specifically to
handle all your power moves.
1963-64 Chevy Impala
÷ 100% American made
amperage is equivalent to the volume
of water, and voltage is equivalent
to water pressure. So in short, more
amperage is like having a larger pool
of water to draw from.
Now, if you feel that a faulty
alternator may be causing problems,
there are some safety concerns you
need to know about. If you think
your alternator isn’t charging do not
÷ 8-position tilt, dash bezel, self-canceling
turn signals, 4-wayű@RGers + more.
÷ Available in chrome, paintable steel, BPC,
polished or brushed aluminTLŰMHRGDR.
www.ididit.com
517.424.0577
LOWRIDER.COM
AMERICAN AUTOWIRE REINVENTS AUTOMOTIVE
ELECTRICAL SYSTEMS
STORY & PHOTOS BY JOE RAY
From small and humble
beginnings, Michael Manning and
Frank Michael cofounded American
Autowire in Michael’s garage back in
1983. With a passion for automotive
aftermarket, the two remain at the
helm of their empire, which now
employs 70 who find home and solace
in their 38,000-square-foot facility.
Since then, they remain true to their
passion for automotive electrical
manufacturing and currently offer
six different product lines, which
encompass wiring harnesses,
accessories, and parts to cater to your
classic, OEM/resto, lowrider, or street
and custom rod.
Today, American Autowire
86
remains at the forefront of the
industry and offers well over 9,000
original-restoration wiring harnesses,
switches, battery cables, and much
more. Among their lineup includes
a Chevrolet wiring harness for your
'61-'64 Impala, which is a must if you
plan to build a custom ride.
The electrical system of your
FEBRUARY 2018 LOWRIDER
SOURCE
LOWRIDERGARAGE
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American Autowire
(800) 482-9473
www.americanautowire.com
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PREMIUM CAR CARE
FINALLY A BRAND WORTHY OF
THE LOWRIDER NAME
vehicle is often overshadowed by
visual aesthetics but it’s important
to keep in mind that the electrical
system of your vehicle is much like
the nervous system of the human
body. In essence it connects all
the components of your vehicle
to a central brain, aka the ECU.
So when building your car you
LOWRIDERDETAILING.COM
87
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1-844-720-2700
LOWRIDER.COM
MONTHLYTECHTIP
BY AXALTA COATINGS SYSTEMS
PRODUCT PREMIER PRIMER
FILLER & SEALER BY
CROMAX
Axalta Coating Systems presents two new
and innovative products. Their new Cromax
Premier LE LE350XS Urethane Primer Filler is
a 2.1 (250 g/l) VOC-compliant, three-component urethane primer-filler designed for spot,
panel, and overall repairs. It provides excellent
fill capacity (high build) and is easy to apply
and sand, it will provide improved holdout and
feathered edge. This product comes in white,
gray, or dark gray.
To seal the deal, the next new product is
their Cromax Premier LE LE35X0S Urethane
Sealer. This is a 2.1 (250 g/l) VOC-compliant,
three-component urethane sealer designed
to provide excellent flow and leveling for
spot, panel, and overall repairs. It delivers
exceptional topcoat holdout and minimal
overspray during application. Cromax Premier
LE LE35X0S Urethane Sealer offers exceptional topcoat holdout and minimal overspray
during application. This product also comes in
white, gray, or dark gray.
For more technical advice please feel free
to contact Axalta’s product specialist Steven
Chaparro at steven.c.chaparro@axaltacs.com.
want to make sure that you have
complete and reliable access to all
these components, and American
Autowire has a definite and
trustworthy solution.
Instead of troubleshooting every
few years and replacing faulty or bad
wires, American Autowire sells a
complete kit that can alleviate you of
the worries and concerns. In terms
of a financial investment, it is bare
to minimum, and that’s exactly why
we’re huge advocates of replacing and
not repairing your wiring harness.
Think about it. The average cost per
hour for electrical repairs is roughly
$90 an hour, and even if you have a
homeboy who can help, you’ll spend
just about the same once you factor in
a few cold beers, a good meal, and the
time you wasted sitting around.
Aside from having a brand-new
wiring harness, American Autowire
kits also come with a slew of
improvements that include, but are
not limited to, the following:
1. Replacement headlight switch
with internal 30-amp circuit breaker
included. Retention collar nut,
adjustable length shaft, and custom
knob are also included.
2. Standard turn signal f lasher,
hazard f lasher mounted on fuse
panel, and horn relay mounted
on harness.
3. Fuse box designed to fit in
original location. All required
hardware supplied. New ATO
fuse panel allows for easy fuse
and circuit breaker accessibility.
Harness is laid out and formed to
allow for nearly all aftermarket
accessories, such as gauge packages,
wiper systems, heat and air
conditioning systems, and so on.
88
4. Original switch connector bodies
(exclusive to American Autowire).
5. Steering column connectors will
plug directly into most aftermarket
steering columns as well as '61-'64 GM
columns, which utilize stock GM turn
signal switches.
6. Along with wiring for your
original dome/interior lighting they
have included separate underdash
light sockets.
7. Instrument Cluster wiring is
designed with a "cluster harness
disconnect" system for easy service
and assembly. All original terminals,
connectors (exclusively from
American Autowire), and light
sockets are also supplied for original
cluster gauges. However, the best
aspect of the disconnect system
is that any gauge cluster package
can be easily and neatly wired in.
This includes Autometer, Classic
Instruments, Dakota Digital, Stewart
Warner, and VDO, just to name a
few.
8. Rear body harness assembly
is designed to plug into the main
harness in the original location.
Flexibility in harness design allows
for original or custom routing.
Exclusive! Rear body wiring includes
backup light lead wires with correct
light sockets, stop and taillight lead
wires with correct light sockets,
license plate lead wires, and fuel
tank sender wire and connection. In
addition, a complete, preassembled
trunklid harness is also included at
no extra charge!
9. New floor dimmer switch is
provided. Wire length and connection
accommodate original floor-mount
dimmer switch.
10. Exclusive! GM bulkhead
connectors for the engine and front
GARAGERESTORATION
"AMONG THEIR LINEUP
INCLUDES A CHEVROLET
WIRING HARNESS FOR YOUR
'61-'64 IMPALA, WHICH IS A
MUST IF YOU PLAN TO BUILD A
CUSTOM RIDE."
light wiring are included and ready
for easy installation. Original or
custom routing of the new harness is
no problem.
11. Engine wiring includes
connectors for original point type
as well as HEI distributors. Power
and tach connectors supplied for
GM HEI distributors. Alternator
connectors are supplied for GM
"SI" series internally regulated
alternators. GM "CS" series alternator
adapter is available separately.
12. Front lighting includes extralong leads for special routing when
custom underhood appearance is
desired. All headlight, park light,
and directional light connectors
and terminals are provided, as
well as a switched trigger wire
for electric fan relay (usually
recommended with A/C).
13. In each kit, you will find that
with their inclusion all the originalstyle light sockets, connectors,
terminals, and so on, packed into
every aspect of this harness make it
the most complete system of its type
in the industry.
The American Autowire Classic
Update Series wiring systems will
power up your '61, '62, '63, and '64
Impala classic ride. Modifying your
classic with modern amenities is
beyond the capabilities of OE wiring.
American Autowire Classic Update
Series wiring harnesses let you keep
the classic looks and enjoy power
accessories, like air conditioning,
windows, and fuel injection. Kits
are year/make/model-specific for a
professional fit and are offered in over
25 different applications. Modifying
and upgrading your classic has never
been easier!
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LOWRIDER.COM
ANOTHER LEGENDARY LOWRIDER IS BORN
STORY & PHOTOS BY BETO MENDOZA
90
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OWNER
Andrew Isaiah Ramirez
CITY/STATE
Rosemead, CA
VEHICLE NICKNAME
Andrew’s Whip
BODY/PAINT
House of Kolor Organic Green with
Aztec Gold, silver flake, and custommix basecoat
WHEELS/TIRES
Original with whitewall painted on
Gilbert Ramirez grew up in and
around lowriding his whole life, but
the influence and informal education
he received wasn’t from sitting on
the sidelines. Rather, he was highly
influenced by being involved in the
scene, and when your father is Big
Fern, aka Big Money Fern, you already
know that the lessons he was taught
are priceless. After finding out he was
soon to become a father, he knew right
then and there that he wanted his child
to be born into the lowriding lifestyle.
“As soon as we found out my girlfriend
was pregnant I decided to give him a
stroller for his first birthday,” Gilbert
says. In fact, the plans were already
sketched out in his head and he wanted the stroller to mimic the design
cues found on his very own '62.
One day while setting up a booth
with his father at the Pomona Swap
Meet, Gilbert took a casual stroll to
see if any strollers were available,
and that’s when he ran across one
for $250. It was all original and in
decent condition, so he picked it up
and held onto it for a few months
before bringing it to local SoCal artist
Phillip Rincon. Once there, Rincon
91
took it apart, performed all necessary bodywork, and then laid down a
coat of candy paint from House of
Kolor. While waiting for the paint
to cure, the suspension, handlebar,
and other miscellaneous items were
sent to chrome while Frank Torres painted the whitewalls on the
wheels. In all, a total of $1,900 was
spent to complete the project but
that’s a small price to pay to have
your son being pushed around in
custom stroller that is sure to break
necks and add to the family collection of already notable lowriders.
LOWRIDER.COM
FOUNDER
Nozomi Matsumoto
SHOP
Pioneer Electronics
CITY/STATE
Tendo, Japan
LOWRIDER HEADS TO JAPAN FOR THE ULTIMATE SOUND CONNECTION
STORY & PHOTOS BY BETO MENDOZA
92
FEBRUARY 2018 LOWRIDER
LOWRIDERSHOPSTOP
B R O U G H T
Music is an essential part of life
and a universal form of communication. In fact, a world void of
music would be dreary, and I just
couldn’t imagine cruising without
oldies on. In reality, music serves as
the soundtrack of our lives and as
these melodies become bound to
memories, it’s not something you
take notice of until time passes.
Think about it, the memories and
moments attached to Stevie B’s “Party
Your Body” will take most back to
their adolescence, while a track from
The Stylistics would probably remind
you of your uncles—then again that’s
all dependent upon your age.
But what would music be without
quality sound reproduction? A finely
tuned system consists of mids, highs,
and bass notes, and collectively they
create a harmonic experience that
can take you out of this world. Don’t
believe me, try listening to Charles
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Think. Live. Be
connected.
T O
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Bradley’s soulful cover of Black
Sabbath’s “Changes” on a well-tuned
system and you’ll be sold.
On that note, when we received an
invitation to tour Pioneer’s research
facility in Tendo, Japan, we were
more than eager. The invitation was
to see firsthand how Pioneer hand
makes their premium speakers, so after a 12-hour flight, followed by a bus
ride, we were greeted by Pioneer staff
and directed to their conference room
LOWRIDER.COM
where they briefed us on the history of
Pioneer and its humble beginnings.
Founded in 1937 by Nozomu
Matsumoto, Pioneer started off in his
radio shop. Matsumoto wanted to
develop his own speaker line, so he
built them by hand using higher quality materials that would set him apart
from the rest. Their company history
was informative and impressive and
the one thing that resonated with me
was the fact that Pioneer has and still
remains true to the art of sound.
With the information still fresh
in my head, they led us to the manu-
facturing floor to see the assembly
of the speakers. To my surprise, I
witnessed them hand building each
of the high-end speakers. You’ve
heard the term “handmade” used
in marketing campaigns and on
slogans, but to see it actually done
is quite the sight. From there, they
brought us into a secret testing
room where speakers are exposed
to a variety of elements. From
extreme heat to chilling cold temps
and random humidity, the speakers
are put through a battery of tests to
ensure their performance.
94
We also got a tour of their soundproof rooms, and one in particular
stood out. The one room I mentioned was made entirely of smooth
concrete and inside was nothing
more than a microphone in the
middle of the room and a speaker in
the corner. Other rooms were fitted
with variety of soundproofing foam
blocks while others were fitted top to
bottom with wood. All of the rooms
served for different testing purposes.
In all, the experience was
phenomenal; we were extremely
honored to have been given a chance
to listen to Pioneer’s latest release, a
line of speakers called the D-series
and Z-Series. At the time of the visit,
we were unable to photograph them
but we did get a chance to listen to
them and the sound reproduction
of these speakers was nothing short
of incredible. The speakers gave you
a sense of connection. The sharp
highs coupled with the precise mids
and accompanying lows made it
feel as if you were sitting there live.
It’s been said that seeing is believing, but to hear these speakers is to
know that they deserve to sit in a
league of their own.
That said, we can’t wait for the
release of their Z-Series line. For the
more budget conscious, they are releasing the more affordable D-Series
speakers, so stay tuned for more
information and give them a listen.
O LOWRIDERMAGAZINE.COM
NEWPRODUCTS
E S T A B L I S H E D
1 9 7 7
THE LATEST AND GREATEST PARTS
FOR YOUR CURRENT OR FUTURE BUILD
1
3
Keeping current on all the latest
products and updates for your
lowrider is a task in itself, so every
month we’re compiling the latest
releases, and this month we’ve got
some exciting new products that
can help enhance the look of your
ride, all the while keeping you that
much cooler—both in the looks
and the comfort department.
2
MAKE
1Truespoke
MODEL
Wire wheels
MAKE
2Vintage
Air
URL
www.truespoke.net
MODEL
Gen IV SureFit
OVERVIEW
The wire wheel is a staple item when
it comes to classic cars. When they
y
were first introduced they delivered
a luxurious appearance that denoted
luxury
y and they
y become a symbol
y
of success, and till today
y it remains
an ever-present force in the world of
lowriding. That said, these new wire
wheels are sure to please the purist to
the lowrider.
Using
g only
y the finest materials and
hand assembled in California, Truespoke
is offering
g a more modern approach to
the classic look of the OG Skylark wheel.
This time around, they’ve brought it
back with 10 additional spokes, taking
g
it from 40 to 50 spokes. Each of these
wheels can be built in standard or
reverse styles with sizes ranging from
13x7 to 18x8. Made in America with the
industry-leading
y
g warranty,
y each of their
wheels feature a triple chrome process,
which starts with copper, followed by
nickel plating,
g and then chrome plating.
g
Pricing
g for these incredibly
y sleek wheels
start from $2,300 per set of four with
Skylark knockoffs, lug nuts, washers,
valve stems, and spacers.
URL
www.vintageair.com
MAKE
3JEGS
MODEL
Kill switch
URL
www.jegs.com
OVERVIEW
Vintage Air, the leading manufacturer of complete
performance air conditioning systems for classics, hot rods,
and street rods, has announced the release of its updated Gen
IV SureFit air conditioning system for the '57 Chevy. This new
system is available as both a complete kit and evaporator kit
and features several new upgrades, including a redesigned
evaporator mounting bracket kit for easier installation.
As part of Vintage Air’s continuous improvement with
engineering goals, the new '57 Chevy SureFit kit now
incorporates several features in response to customer
feedback. Upgrades include a new condenser bracket and
lines, a variable speed blower fan controlled through the
OEM levers, and redesigned mounting brackets to mount the
evaporator assembly higher behind the dash, which makes
the system less visible and increases footroom. Refrigerant
and heater lines also now route through the passenger side
fresh air inlet for a cleaner firewall and less visible hose
routing in the engine compartment.
The upgraded '57 Chevy Gen IV SureFit air conditioning
system will be available as a complete kit with molded center
vent (PN 965701) and optional four-vent (PN 965702) that
offers the builder flexibility in louver placement. For those
installations that do not require the underhood components,
evaporator kits are also available with molded center vent (PN
565701) and four-vent (PN 565702) models.
96
OVERVIEW
A kill switch is a must
when you’re dealing
with race cars or
classics and this new
unit by JEGS is a must.
With copper mounting
studs for supreme
conductivity, indexing
pins help prevent
switch rotation and
are ideal for not only
your lowrider but your
weekend racer, RV,
or any custom build
that needs a quick kill
switch. This necessary
addition packs the most
punch for the least
amount of investment,
and at just a tad bit
over a $100, it’s a must.
Protect your ride and
get ready to kill the
current with a simple
flip of the switch.
LOWRIDER.COM
GO DIGITAL
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ON ALL ORDERS PLACED ONLINE
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LRM
HYDRAULICS • AIR BAGS • SUSPENSION
digital.lowridermagonline.com
(909) 923-5553 • HOPPOSONLINE.COM
L O W R I D E R . C O M
97
FOR ADVERTISING INFORMATION PLEASE CALL (949) 705-3169
Wire Wheels
& Hydraulics
LOWRIDER.COM
ROLLMODELS
S P E C I A L
V I D E O
S E R I E S
FOOD AND LOWRIDING COME TOGETHER
STORY & PHOTOS BY JOE RAY
GO TO
WWW.LOWRIDER.COM
By now you should be well aware that
Roll Models was designed to showcase
the hidden talents that drive and create the
lifestyle we love. It’s a never-ending journey
that explores passions. Our next featured
guest is a culinary artist who uses food as a
universal language to bring people together.
Growing up, this avid lowrider turned
celebrity chef and food orchestrator
remembers attending his first Lowrider
show back in 1993. At the time, he was in
second grade and the experience was so
memorable that he held onto his ticket
as a cherished memento. As the years
passed, he began to explore the different
platforms of lowriding and that’s when
he decided that a '51 Chevy was the
ticket. By the time he reached age 17 he
had saved up a good amount of money,
sold off most of his belongings, and soon
thereafter purchased his first project car.
But the vehicle was more than a mode
of transportation; it became a vessel of
creative expression and a life-saving module
that kept him from venturing into a dark
and unruly path. With so much time and
money vested in revamping the vehicle, the
owner was the first to admit that it kept him
away from gangs and drugs.
With what time he had left, he was
either working or in school, but every
weekend he would hit the grill. A new
fascination soon developed, and he was
determined to make the ultimate carne
asada. Years were spent mastering his
barbecue skills and as he served friends
and family and even his teachers at Trade
Tech, his confidence grew and before he
knew it he was serving drones of people
right in front of his house. As mouths
98
were fed, the streets started talking and
soon folks began spreading the news on
social media. Pictures became rampant,
reviews started pouring in, and it came
to a point where top foodies and food
blogs became interested.
Fast-forward to present day and he’s
on speed dial with some of the most
influential events and parties in Los
Angeles. He’s catered for Jay Leno, been
featured on Bravo Channel, and he’s got
much to say about food, lowriding, and
Los Angeles, so catch the full details on
YouTube as this man continues to share
not only his culture, but his passion for all
things food- and lowrider-related in our
next episode of Roll Models, sponsored
by Quaker State and Shell Lubricants. It’s
an appetite-building episode that is sure to
fulfill, so don’t miss out!
More than paint.
Partnership.
At Axalta Coating Systems, our job is helping you do your job.
With technology that gets it done the way you want it done.
Training that helps your people get the most out of our products
and tools. And ongoing support whenever and wherever you need it.
Take advantage of a partnership with Axalta.
axalta.us/partnership
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