We begin the New Year with a different style of lowrider that’s featured on our cover; that being a ’62 Impala station wagon. Yes, an Impala that seats nine people comfortably. In a country currently obsessed with huge SUVs, we’d do well to take notes from this blast from the past. We as lowriders have always appreciated this American classic, which symbolized family vacations, visits to the drive-in movie theaters, picnics and fishing trips.

Sometime after World War II, when our servicemen returned to the states to start families, buy homes away from the suburbs, and focus on finding the American Dream, automakers were prompted to produce station wagons. These American institutions held quite a percentage of the auto market from the ’50s-up until the ’80s, when their popularity declined because of the introduction of minivans and the birth of SUVs. Today, these styles of classic vehicles are automatically lowered, shaved, and chopped to look cool and remind us that this American-styled icon deserves reverence.

Some of you remember those days; when a family would hop in one and take a road trip to see the Grand Canyon, Yosemite, the ocean coast or visit relatives who lived far away. Of course things are different now. We have SUVs with eight TVs in them, and iPads, smart phones, and video games, so most of you younger families probably won’t be taking any Griswold family National Lampoon’s-style adventures to take in the sights of cross-country travel. That’s a shame, too. It defeats the purpose of trying to reenact this family tradition with today’s kids because they don’t even look up from these electronics to enjoy life like we did when we took in the views of green trees, mountains, or uncharted territories in God’s country. These were different times I guess; but as we discuss family traditions and wagons, this custom-painted and lowered wagon exemplifies family in the biggest of ways.

This ’62 classic Impala station wagon is a tribute and donation of love built for our “Friend” Jae Bueno, who was diagnosed with cancer and has since passed away. He always greeted people with his signature, “Hey, Friend” greeting, and naturally, some of these friends stepped up to make this tribute project happen. In fact, the real beauty in this vehicle is that it shows just how much extended family he has to join his wife, Stephanie, and his kids in carrying on his legacy. Charity is the voluntary giving of help for those in need, and for this project, that means Jae’s beloved family. In reality, when someone up there in the sky is looking down and watching, the ones who really benefit from charity are those who contributed from the goodness of their own hearts. Yes, God and Jae both watched as the list of shop owners, builders, and friends grew as the project came to fruition. These dedicated individuals devoted time, parts, and labor to create a tribute due to the respect, gratitude, and admiration they felt towards a friend who captured our true culture and way of life through his camera. As said I before these station wagons may have held nine passengers, but if Jae could have had it his way, he would have crammed and fit in everyone on the list who gave to this tribute build; and Joey, from the Techniques Car Club, would be his shotgun rider. Rest in Peace Jae Bueno, you now own the only wagon big enough to fit the thousands of friends in your new extended family. God bless and thanks to those who have and always will give or donate to anyone in need and when their time comes; hopefully, there is a line of lowrider Samaritans there waiting to give back to you. Builds like this one showcase that as lowriders, we are truly a family, and that’s why it feels so good to be a part of the culture.

The Lowrider Tour stop landed in New Mexico’s lowrider haven, Espanola, for a car show filled with a festival-like atmosphere. As always, Espanola claims to be the lowrider capitol of the world, and when you do pay a visit to that part of the country and walk around to check out the cars and the hometown crowd, you get that feeling that you are definitely amongst history when you are there. It’s sort of a similar feeling to going to church, albeit a church of lowriding culture, and it really is a trip all lowriders should take. If you haven’t yet, you should go and visit, because lowriding in Espanola, New Mexico, is truly a Godsend!

Check out the center car featured in this January issue, and you will see some old history repeat itself, as the Groupe car club is once again represented by an incredible ’76 Glass House Caprice. Representing the glorious days of the old-school, this impeccable Glass House roams the streets, much like it did when Caballo from Groupe used to roll around Boyle Heights in his ’76.

Tiempo car club is featured in our “Car Club” feature for this special issue as it commemorates the fact that they have represented Las Vegas lowriding for the past three decades. Congratulations to this dedicated bunch, as they prove time and again that the casinos aren’t the only thing from that town with glamour and glitz.

One last thing: For all of you out there who are lucky enough to get your car out of the body shop perfectly painted, check out our detailing department in the Lowrider Garage, as the Meguiars Car Care Team came out to color-sand and buff out a bad-in-black ’68 Impala Super Sport. We all know that these body styles are starting to take over the movement lately as they are appearing in record numbers at various cars shows and on the streets. This tech article helps you understand the techniques that are used to make your paintjob look flawless under the lights or sun. From wet sanding through to the final glaze, black is beautiful; especially when it’s rubbed out right with the right people and products behind the buffer. Remember? “It all comes out in the rub out!”


Joe Ray