The light at the end of the tunnel can only be seen through years of persistence. Realizing one’s dreams is something that takes time, sacrifice, and a lot of soul searching, especially within the Lowrider world. This perseverance is what bonds us all together; when we look at an amazing Lowrider, we don’t just see the car, we see the struggle it took to produce it. At a time when most people would have just given up, 30-year old Adan Ramirez kept fighting for everything he felt he deserved. Born and raised in Guanajuato, Mexico, he began working as an 11-year old at an auto shop. This was a commitment he made every day after school, and it slowly became a part of his future. Although he initially started the job to help his family earn extra money, he eventually fell in love with building cars. Every year, Adan would learn more and more about the intricacies of car building.
On his 18th birthday, Adan decided that if he wanted to provide as much income as possible for his family, he would have to move to the United States. After making the two-week walk to the border, he instantly knew he had made the right decision, and settled on making Colorado Springs, Colorado his home. With little knowledge of the English language, Adan watched American movies to help him learn. One of the more influential movies at this time was Boyz ‘N The Hood, which features an impeccable ’63 Chevy Impala as its automotive centerpiece. Adan loved the car, and began doing everything he could to attain the same vehicle. Buying and selling four different cars which finally equipped him with enough funds to purchase a beat-up ’63 Chevrolet Impala convertible, that he found sitting in a field in North Dakota.
At that point, his knowledge in automotive repair was put to the test. The stock V8 was blown and beaten, so he replaced it with a 305 from a ’79 Chevy Malibu. In order to avoid higher costs, Adan would regularly travel back and forth to Mexico for parts and chrome plating. When it came time to add some suspension, he thought about the pressure and stress a hydraulic system would put on his pride and joy, and decided to implement a cleanly built air suspension setup. Friends around him began to notice how immaculate his work was and started asking him to help them with their own vehicles. That motivation led Adan and his friend Marvin, to open up an automotive customization shop in Colorado Springs, which they named “Xquizite.”
His very first painting project happened when he brought the ’63 Chevy into the new shop and completed a full frame-off coating, consisting of Sherwin Williams Aztec Brown and Bronze. He added some custom murals depicting his Mexican heritage, along with an image of his wife, Alita, on the trunk. Custom pinstripe work was laid down by Jesus “Freddy” Legarda in Colorado Springs. When it came time to adjust the cabin to Adan’s liking, he enlisted the help of Danny Wahlen, who handled the duties under the company he works for, MCC Inc. The convertible’s top was replaced, and every piece of the interior material was removed and replaced with brown and tan leather.
“I am proud to say that a lot of hard work and patience got me to where I am today,” Adan says, adding, “building cars and working hard means a lot more to me than it might to others.” His parents showed him that by obtaining a successful life means a lot of hard work and dedication, and this lesson was not lost on Adan. He has overcome every obstacle in front of him, and sits poised as a proud family man and successful business owner. Adan wishes to thank his mom and dad, his brothers Beto and Cali for helping him build the Impala, and his friends Chema, Marvin, Anthony, Dan, Jesus, Cory, Gavino, Todd, Dave and Kenny for their support. What started out as a dream has finally become a reality, and he plans on passing on his love of customizing vehicles to his children, Lalani, Mulan, Gabriel Miguel and Adan Tomas.
Owner: Adan Ramirez
Vehicle: ’63 Chevrolet Impala convertible
City/State: Colorado Springs, Colorado
Club: Xquizete C.C.
Engine/Drivetrain: The stock V8 283 was removed and substituted with a V8 305-c.i.d. motor, swapped from a ’79 Chevy Malibu. The 2-speed Powerglide 305 transmission was rebuilt. Adan built the motor and El Gordo Chrome Plating in Guanajuato, Mexico added the chrome plating.
Body/Paint: The body was stripped and smoothed out at Adan’s shop in Colorado Springs. Sherwin Williams Aztec Brown and Bronze basecoat was laid down, and murals are featured in the engine bay, undercarriage and trunk. Jesus “Freddy” Legarda from Colorado Springs added the pinstripe.
Interior: Danny Wahlen from MCC Inc., who tragically passed away recently, removed the stock seats and panels, and replaced them with brown and tan leather. “El Poblano” in Mexico added a custom wood steering wheel.
Sound System: Adan gets the credit for the sound system, using the stock head unit from 1963, JL Audio components are also placed throughout the cabin to support the output.
Setup: A full air suspension setup was installed by Adan. Firestone airbags were mounted on all four corners using two Viair 480 compressors. A solid chrome seven gallon air tank was built into the trunk to store enough air for the basic moves. Eight SMC valves make sure the air flows through the half-inch airline.
Wheels: 13×7 center gold OG wires in the front with 14×7 center gold standard OG wires in the rear.
Tires: P155/80-R13 Cornell 1000 radials in the front and P175/70-R14 Cornell 1000 radials in the rear