Among today’s Lowrider enthusiasts, the love of all things classic remains the one common thread that binds us all together. Although most Lowriders respect and even revere all makes and models regardless of year, there is a select breed among us that only collects and restores cars made during the period between the early 1930’s and mid-1950’s. These are the “Bomb” enthusiasts, and they are a lifestyle within a lifestyle inside our culture. Jimmy Gustamantes Jr. is one of these rare collectors, and his passion for Bombs has certainly come to life with this exquisite 1936 Packard 120 Right Hand Drive.
As is the case with most Bomb builders, Jimmy’s apple didn’t fall far from his father’s tree. Having grown up under the Bomb-loving influence of his Godfather, John, and his father, Jimmy Gustamantes, Sr., he quickly realized that he was destined to follow in their footsteps. Born and raised in the city of San Jose, CA, Jimmy Jr. got his first taste of the culture when he began cruising Lowrider car shows with his ’69 Schwinn, a bike that had been given to him by his Godfather. Once Jimmy became a teenager, his dad bought him a ’53 Chevy Pick-Up Truck, hoping the boy would treat it as a project truck that would keep him busy while he still attended school. He did just that, and after Jimmy graduated, he concentrated on rebuilding and restoring his truck with a promise to himself that he would soon turn it into a solid cruiser. Jimmy’s work did not go unnoticed, and it brought him an open invitation to join the Dukes Car Club, an invitation which he gladly accepted. He then purchased a ’51 Chevy Suburban Carryall, which he fully restored and promptly sold after only driving the car for a few years. Frustrated by the lack of Bomb Car Clubs in his area, it was time for Jimmy to figure out his next step; it was time for him to strike out on his own.
Jimmy left Dukes and started his own chapter of Viejitos Car Club, hoping to help spread his affinity for Bombs and Bomb Culture. As the acting President of the chapter, he figured that he would have more creative control and influence on the scene itself, something that still drives him to this day, as he maintains his position as Club President. After he sold his Suburban, Jimmy began a new search for a unique car that he could make his own. He purchased a ’36 Packard that had definitely seen better days, as it was in desperate need of some TLC. After an exhaustive search for parts on the Internet, he stumbled across a UK website that was running an ad for a ’36 Right Hand Drive Packard in drivable condition. Initially, Jimmy assumed that the car was also located in the UK, until he looked closer and noticed the area code on the seller’s number. He recognized it as being from a place that was only a two-hour drive from his home! If that wasn’t already enticing enough for him to look into, he also realized that he knew some people that lived in that same area that could help him eliminate the legwork. He called on his friend to go out and check on the car, and after his friend saw it, he phoned Jimmy and told him that it would be worth his time to make the drive out to inspect it for himself. After the car passed his inspection and subsequent test drive, he purchased it from the owner and drove it back home. The ’36 was in such good condition that Jimmy did not have much work to do to restore this beauty back into its assembly-line greatness. The only two major problem areas on the Packard that he needed to address were the fact that the paint needed a couple of good waxes, and the chrome parts needed to be re-dipped in order to get a fresh, shiny makeover. Jimmy took all the shabby chrome parts off the ’36 and shipped them off to his chrome specialist. He then gave the car a few thorough wax-jobs to bring out the shine in the once-dingy exterior of this forgotten gem. Once the chrome was re-assembled, there was no denying the Packard’s unique beauty; Jimmy had himself a hell of a Bomb!
Jimmy now enjoys driving from the right side all over the show circuits with his other family, the Viejitos Car Club, which he thanks for always being supportive of him and for their assistance in helping him out with his project. Bomb guys are never satisfied, and Jimmy is ready to begin work on his ’53 Chevy Pick-Up that will undoubtedly be hitting the streets and show circuits near you very soon..
Owner: Jimmy Gustamantes, Jr.
Vehicle: 1936 Packard 120 Right Hand Drive
City/State: San Jose, California
Car Club: Viejitos Car Club San Jose, CA Chapter
Paint: Two tone Factory paint
Engine: Stock Flathead 8
Setup: Lowered 4 inches
Wheels: Original 16-inch Artillery wheels
Tires: BF Goodrich 525-16