ArrayJose Garcia was born in the arid border city of Mexicali, Mexico. The hot desert province is home to a diverse group of people, and is also the home to a burgeoning lowrider culture, of which Jose’s family and friends are a part of. Jose was exposed to it at a very early age, witnessing firsthand the building and cruising of these awesome custom machines. Jose can remember many holidays filled with vacationing or returning lowriders that would come to the area to visit family and friends. Jose remembers seeing them hitting switches as they drove through the neighborhood streets. Only in Mexicali, were these lowriders scraping the concrete, but they were scraping the dirt, because the neighborhood Jose lived in did not yet have paved roads. He wasn’t alone in his infatuation, many neighborhood kids would be excited to see a lowrider cruising down the street. It is in these fond childhood memories that Jose remembers the first time he rode in one, and the fateful day when he fell in love with the sport, ultimately promising himself that one day he would have enough money to build himself an award-winning lowrider car.
ArrayAt the age of 11, he started working full time in the fields, and when he turned 14, he purchased a ’66 Buick La Sabre that he lowered by filling the trunk with concrete blocks. After a few years, he decided to move to California, ultimately ending up in the city of Visalia, where he worked as a tractor operator in the fields that harvested cotton, corn, and walnuts. During his time in Cali he would take his wife and kids to different lowrider events where they would check out all the custom cars. His time in the mecca of the lowrider culture was short-lived however. After just a few years, Jose moved his family to Massachusetts where he started his new career as a plastic factory manager. Jose was able to provide more for his family, thanks to the new business opportunity, but he sorely missed the California weather, and most importantly, the custom car culture which was just not on the same level in Massachusetts. Something had to give, and one day on his daily commute to work, it finally did.
ArrayJose saw an abandoned ’79 Oldsmobile Cutlass rotting away on the side of a gas station. He noticed the car’s stationary position never changed, and one day he decided to stop by and ask the station owner if he was interested in possibly selling the car. The owner balked at Jose’s initial request and refused to sell it. Jose remained persistent, and after many repeated offers to buy the car, the owner finally gave in and sold Jose the car for $800.
ArrayThough there was clearly much work to be done, Jose was very excited to be back in touch with the car culture he desperately missed. After paying for the car, it was towed to his house where his friends Matias and Abram inspected the car fully. Unfortunately, they discovered that the engine was seized and could not be fixed, so the car was then taken to a local repair shop to receive a stock engine rebuild. With a successful rebuild, the car was up and running perfectly. One day during one of his weekly hour and a half drives to Providence, Rhode Island for tortillas and Mexican groceries, he saw a custom lowrider sitting in front of the Mexican grocery store. He asked the owner of the store whose car it was, and found out the lowrider belonged to Ivan Sanchez from Chicanos Car Club. Hoping to find a kindred spirit who could help him with his rebuild, he tracked Ivan down. After asking a few questions and telling him about his car, Ivan decided to help Jose with the hydraulic setup. The two scheduled a weekend around their work schedules and completed the setup in no time. After the hydraulic setup was completed, Jose drove the car to Flores Exotic paint in New York city to coat it with a beautiful candy red color. The classic was finally completed-or so he thought.
ArrayJose then decided it was time to move his family back to Visalia. Now that he was back in So Cal, he decided he wanted to put more work into the Cutlass. Jose went all out, chroming and painting the undercarriage, and completely reupholstering it. But he didn’t stop there. He commissioned Alberto Herrera to paint custom murals of beautiful women inside the car to give the Cutlass a sexy edge. The custom beauty is a true showstopper and receives awards at any show. Jose has finally realized the dream he envisioned as a child in Mexicali, but even more importantly, he gets to share that dream with his two children Chema and Freddy, as well as his wife Gladys. Jose would like to extend a special thanks to his friends Abram and Matias for always helping out with the car, and for helping him to achieve his dream of finally owning a custom award-winning lowrider.
Owner: Jose Garcias
Vehicle: ’79 Oldsmobile Caprice
City/State: Visalia, California
Club: Delegation Car club, Central Cal Chapter
ArrayEngine: Rebuilt ’65 Chevy Engine with custom paint and chrome accessories including pulleys, alternator, valve covers and a water pump with a custom polished manifold
ArrayBody/Paint: Candy red and clear coat by Javier and Polo at Flores Exotic Paints, New York City; murals by Alberto Herrera, Visalia, CA
ArrayInterior: Old school pillow top with tan moe hair and maroon piping by Jose Jimenez from Jimenez Upholstery in Visalia, CA
ArraySound System: Custom in-dash touch screen Alpine head unit, Kenwood amps, 6x9s and woofers.
ArraySuspension: Setup by Ivan, Benny and Jose; two pump set up includes 8-inch cylinders in the front, 10-inch in the rear, 2 ton springs all around, 4 batteries, 4 switches
ArrayTires: P155/80 R13
ArrayWheels: 13-inch center gold wire wheels