In Lov­ing Mem­ory

Juan De Las Rosa's '41 Pon­tiac Tor­pedo

Low Rider - - CONTENTS -

Raised and groomed around the car scene, Juan De La Rosa was the son to Guadalupe Is­las, a me­chanic who was fond of in­volv­ing his son in builds. As time passed, Guadalupe be­gan look­ing for a fa­ther-son project they could work on to­gether, so they took a drive out to Soledad, Cal­i­for­nia, to check out a '41 Pon­tiac Tor­pedo, a car that be­longed to Juan’s god­fa­ther.

Upon their ar­rival they asked Alex Munoz if he had any in­ten­tions of keep­ing or restor­ing it. With the mo­tor seized and com­pletely torn apart luck was on their side, so as Munoz gazed at the parts he agreed to part with it. Happy that the deal was done, the bomb was towed back home but the project was put on hold. Trag­i­cally, Juan’s fa­ther died some­time af­ter and the Pon­tiac

A FA­THER’S DRIVE AND IN­FLU­ENCE HELPED CRE­ATE THIS MAS­TER­PIECE STORY & PHO­TOS BY RICHIE CHAVEZ

sat up un­til his son could find the mo­ti­va­tion to start on it.

As a memo­riam to his late fa­ther, Juan fi­nally mus­tered up the en­ergy to com­mence the project. He re­mem­bered his fa­ther telling him that the car was some­what of a rar­ity and a model that was spe­cific to that year only. Know­ing that gave him even more pride in the ve­hi­cle but lit­tle did he know how hard it would be to find parts for a sin­gle-year model. Piece by piece he col­lected ev­ery­thing he needed; his com­padre Ju­nior Vasquez was by his side for the six-year process.

To get it run­ning, they first in­stalled a 5.7 Chevy en­gine with a 350 turbo trans­mis­sion and '63 Im­pala rear dif­fer­en­tial. This was done to make the car more re­li­able and fun to drive and in ad­di­tion

they added a full stereo and air ride to give it a ground-hug­ging stance. Manuel Martinez then had the task of mak­ing sure the body­work was straight. Af­ter hundreds of hours of la­bo­ri­ous body­work it was fi­nally ready to be splashed with a blend of char­coal gray mixed with Lexus sil­ver metal­lic. Painter Por­firio Martinez then buffed and pol­ished the ride to ab­so­lute per­fec­tion.

Adding some ac­cents to the fi­nal project came by way of pin­strip­ing by Eddie Padilla while Hec­tor Is­las did the chrome ac­cents. Inside, Garcia’s Auto Up­hol­stery cov­ered the in­te­rior in gray cloth while the Pon­tiac’s 15x6 ar­tillery wheels were made by Wheel Vin­tiques and wrapped in Coker White­wall Ra­dial tires.

In the end, the ve­hi­cle was fi­nally named “Querido Viejo” and was built in lov­ing mem­ory of his fa­ther. With all the help­ing hands in­volved, Juan would like to thank his wife, Chris­tine, and daugh­ters, Alexis and Je­n­e­sis, for their pa­tience and un­der­stand­ing on what is now the lat­est mem­ber of their fam­ily and one that rep­re­sents the man who showed him the way.

The style of a '41 Tor­pedo also fea­tured front and rear fend­ers blended into the body, and all door hinges were fully con­cealed.

En­closed run­ning board fea­tures for the '41 year of Pon­tiac.

CAR MODEL 1941 TOR­PEDO BY PON­TIAC

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