This 1979 Schwinn was Built from the Ground Up

Inspired by local lowriders.

Attending your local car show can serve one of two main purposes. One, it’s a great place to enjoy the camaraderie of likeminded individuals, and second, it’s a great place to gauge the competition and draw inspiration.

So when Zek Koehler found himself at a local event, it served the latter. After being surrounded by a sea of custom lowrider bikes, he vowed to one day ride amongst them. With enough money gathered up, he started his journey by purchasing a stock 1979 Schwinn frame, and that was all he needed to get his foot in the door.

Zek knew early on that he had to go “all in” to become one of the top contenders. So with a game plan in place, he started his homework and created what you see here. While longtime friend, Simon, was busy designing a custom frame, Zek and Mando “KK” were dropping off the one-of-a-kind handmade parts to Krazy Kutting in Yuma, Arizona. There, Mando and crew would add a unique touch of three-toned engraving to all the metalwork, which included chrome, gold, and powdercoating. With the frame now in the hands of Victor, he would go on to apply a complicated layout of multiple color combinations of Raspberry Red, Silver, and Gold Kandy colors. With Mike adding his signature pinstripe lines, the legendary Alberto Herrera would tie it all together by adding murals depicting skulls and crosses. With additional chroming completed at Speedy’s Metal Finishing and custom 20-inch spider-web-like wheels in place, it was time for Dago of Garage Customs to create an old-school tuck and roll seat featuring three different colors, as well as accenting mirrors.

After nearly a four-year build time, the bike is now complete and rocks steady with some of the best in the game. It’s a detailed bike that serves as an outlet for Zek’s creative vision and in the end it’s a project that he can proudly say he built from the ground up.

1979 Schwinn

Owner

Zek Koehler

City/State

Calimesa, CA

Upholstery

Garage Customs created the old-school tuck ‘n’ roll seat

Body/Paint

Alberto Herrera, Victor, and Mike Lamberson contributed to this multi-level layout

Wheels/Tires

Custom 20-inch powdercoated spider-webbed wheels

Shout Outs

A special thanks to my dad and to my crew, Mando, Jaime, Albert, Dago, and Manny’s Bike Shop. I couldn’t have done it without you all.