TRUST THE PROCESS

SLOW AND STEADY AL­WAYS WINS THE RACE

Low Rider - - ON THE SCENE - STORY & PHO­TOS BY BETO MEN­DOZA

Like most of us, Mario got his in­for­mal in­tro­duc­tion to the world of lowriding by way of Lowrider mag­a­zine and mu­sic videos. In his youth, he’d flip through pages of the mag­a­zine and dream about how he’d build one, but as he got older this mind-set changed. “I loved [lowrid­ers] since a young age but I never thought it was pos­si­ble to achieve back then, and it seemed all that much harder once I had a family,” Mario ex­plains.

Look­ing back he re­mem­bers those thoughts run­ning through his head, but it came with good rea­son. He was mar­ried to his high school sweet­heart and with two daugh­ters his family was his first pri­or­ity. But his mind-set soon changed when he ran into a family friend who had just pur­chased a '62 Im­pala with money he had saved up. “My friend, Jonathan, was young, but he saved up all his money to pur­chase the '62. Af­ter re­al­iz­ing that it made my dream seem at­tain­able,” Mario says.

With a new­found thought process, Mario be­gan an online search, and af­ter months of due dili­gence, he lo­cated a '64 Im­pala Super Sport that was for sale. With ab­so­lutely no hes­i­ta­tion he made ar­range­ments with the seller, hooked up a trailer, and took an eight-hour drive up north to Sali­nas, Cal­i­for­nia. Af­ter a quick vis­ual in­spec­tion, the car was com­plete but in need of a com­plete makeover, so the owner agreed to part with the car for $5,500. With the deal done, they loaded it up and took the trek

back home where his wife sur­prised them with a cel­e­bra­tory wel­come that in­cluded beers and Po­zole.

The very next day they dropped the en­gine and trans­mis­sion and got to work. Wil­lie D. took care of the me­chan­i­cal over­haul, parts were sent out for en­grav­ing and chrome, and ul­ti­mately his story picks up where so many left off. Af­ter four months of sit­ting at a body shop, noth­ing on the car had been touched and he was forced to pick up his car. Luck­ily for him, he was able to link up with Vmax.

Frus­trated, but not de­terred, Mario dropped off the rag to Vmax’s shop where they took care of the body­work and paint, and in the process, they even got the mo­tor and trans di­aled in, along with a new in­te­rior and a paintjob that shim­mers as if it had been dipped in oil.

When the first over­haul was com­pleted the car was taken to its first show in Ana­heim, Cal­i­for­nia, where it placed Best in Class 60’s, and from there he be­came super hyped say­ing, “My goal was to take it to the bad­dest show in the cir­cuit: The Las Ve­gas Super Show.”

Know­ing that it would be close to im­pos­si­ble to place, he de­cided to have more work done, and af­ter some care­ful plan­ning he had Mike Lam­ber­son add ’strip­ing, while

Sal Elias air­brushed an im­age of his wife, their two daugh­ters, and im­agery of his wife’s '57 Bel Air and his '58—both which are cur­rently in the works. Mauri­cio San­doval then re­vamped the in­te­rior in a two-tone mo­tif while Crown Pol­ish­ing did ad­di­tional chroming, and Jaime Cas­taneda was called back in to en­grave ad­di­tional pieces.

With the car’s res­ur­rec­tion com­plete, it was time to bap­tize the car. Since this would be the first “plaqued” car for their club, Mario de­cided it was best to hit the car show cir­cuit. In the midst of plan­ning, he also de­cided to anoint his car “Wino’s ’64.” His next stop was the Fresno Show where they took Sec­ond for Best of Show Tra­di­tional be­fore head­ing to Las Ve­gas where he landed a Third Place po­si­tion.

For 1964, Chevro­let pro­duced roughly 185,325 Im­pala Super Sport models. Around 185,000 are lowrid­ers to­day!

Six-four facts: The '64 Im­pala came in two fla­vors, the base and the Super Sport. The base model came in six body styles, the convertible, sedan, hard­top sport sedan, hard­top sport coupe, and two sta­tion wag­ons. The Super Sport was ei­ther a convertible or hard­top sport coupe.

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