Fernando Solis was born and raised in the north side of Visalia, California. Since it’s mostly a Latino neighborhood, it was normal to see lowriders creeping and riding low all over the streets and ‘hoods. Some of them were juiced, had custom paintjobs, and loud sound systems, while others were primer coated and just happy to be on wire wheels. Fernando’s cousin was a huge influence to him becoming a lowrider. He had a clean ’63 Impala rag that was juiced with a custom-candy paintjob. In high school, Fernando got his first project car-a ’63 Impala-that he purchased for a grand. Unfortunately, he had to sell it while he was in the middle of building it, and later replaced his project with an ’81 Cutlass, which was custom painted, juiced, and rode on 72-spoke chrome Daytons. Later on, he purchased a ’68 SS convertible on eBay from Kentucky, but when he got the car home it was full of rust and unrepairable.

The search continued until he found a different ’68 convertible, located in San Diego. Although he was still worried about the new purchase since his last one was rusted and beyond repair, he decided to go take a closer look at the car and made the drive out to San Diego to check it out. The ’68 had a clean Green Candy paintjob with 18-inch custom-painted spoke rims and Vogue tires. After negotiating the price, Fernando purchased the car and hit up his friend who owned a flatbed tow truck. Fernando got lucky because his friend was towing a car to the Pomona Swap Meet. After they dropped off the car, they drove south and picked up the ’68 Impala rag to take back home. The first thing that Fernando did with his car when he got home was to hook it up with a banging sound system. The car was handed to Gavino from Santos Auto Stereo in Visalia, California, where he set up the JVC head unit system, a set of Rockford Fosgate amps to power the 6 1/2-inch tweeters, 4 1/2-inch Fosgate mids, and 10-inch Audiobahn woofers.

After the sound system was in perfect blasting condition, it was time to juice the car. Gavino once again took on the extensive task of wrapping, molding, and reinforcing the frame and the A-arms. The setup includes a custom-painted ShowTime Whammy pump, Delta dumps, Delta blocks, four Trojan batteries, and is lifted with 6-inch cylinders in the front and 8s in the rear that ride on 3-ton springs all around. Ten switches are neatly located underneath the head unit to control the car’s hydraulic movement.

The car was dropped off at Joe’s Auto Works in Tulare, California, to get a fresh paintjob worthy of the convertible. After looking at different colors on the DuPont color chart, Fernando decided to go with plum. So Joe straightened out the body and got it ready for paint. After the car was painted, it was handed over to Chava from Visalia who accented the car with striping lines that had matching tones, then Alberto Herrera was hit up to airbrush the name “Plum Loco” on the hydraulic tank. After the car was striped and airbrushed, it was clearcoated to a smooth glass finish.

Building a lowrider brought Fernando’s family closer together because they travel together to attend various car shows, picnics, and barbecues. Even though it’s outlawed to cruise the streets and boulevards of Visalia, he still manages to enjoy his time with his family, who backs him up 100 percent on his lowridering lifestyle.

Plum Loco

Owner: Fernando Solis

Vehicle: ’68 Chevy Impala Convertible

City/State: Visalia, California

Club: Brown Society Car Club

Engine/Drivetrain: Stock

Body/Paint: The car had a custom green paintjob when it was purchased but it was replaced by DuPont plum paint.

Interior: Stock

Sound System: The ’68 rag can be heard from a few blocks away. The sound system consists of a JVC head unit, Audiobahn amps, Fosgate mids and tweeters, and a set of 10-inch Audiobahn woofers.

Suspension: The stock frame was reinforced all the way around, including the lower and upper A-arms. The setup includes a ShowTime Whammy pump, Delta dumps and blocks, and four Trojan batteries with 3-ton springs all around. The car’s movement is controlled by 10 switches.

Tires: Remington 155P80/R13

Wheels: Galaxy 13-inch wires