Having always been a fan of Lowriders, Donald Zavala of Lodi, CA wanted to build a different model Lowrider car; something other than an Impala or a Monte Carlo. As a senior in high school in 1981, Donald purchased a ’77 Pontiac Grand Prix and got down to business. Thanks to his having attended many car shows in the San Jose, CA area, he got some great ideas for building this Grand Prix into a bonafide showstopper.
Once he was finished with high school, Donald began his quest to build the perfect Lowrider. He took his stock car that was two-tone Orange with a white top, and had his friend Ricky Valenzuela hook it up with a hydraulic setup. This setup allowed him to lower the car, so Donald installed scrape plates to the bottom of his frame. He spent those early build days just riding in his car, attending a few car shows and picnics. For Donald, there was just nothing like the joy of cruising the Grand Prix down the Boulevard. He made a lot of friends, and in ’83, he joined New Life Car Club, where he got deeper into the Lowrider movement. By 1985, he decided to tear the car down and go all out rebuilding it.
Donald had always dreamed of competing with the big boys in the Lowrider Super Show in the LA Sports Arena. After four years of construction, the car finally made it to the Super Show. Although in his own mind he had some details on the car that still needed to be added, he decided to take the car to the Super Show anyway, just to get some feedback from his peers. The car was a huge hit at the show, easily living up to its nickname as “The Entertainer,” as it entertained the crowd and had many car builders taking notes. They liked the fact that it wasn’t the standard Impala or Monte Carlo, and they loved its multicolor paint job which was accented with graphics, patters and airbrush. The frame was painted, and the mixture of chrome and gold in the undercarriage was different from the chrome-only undercarriages that were on display at the show. The car also had murals on the gas tank and inside the door jams; that was unheard off back in those days. The Entertainer was such a hit that it took home first place in the full custom class, surprising and delighting Donald to no end.
One of his most memorable moments with the car came on his birthday in 1990, when El Larry called him and told him that he wanted to shoot the car for the centerfold of LRM. Competing with the top Lowriders from the nation for years, he was finally dethroned by “Loco ’64,” but not before giving Jorge Torres a run for his money and taking home many sweepstakes trophies, cash, and bragging rights. The car was retired a few years later, because Donald did not want to cut up his car and try to compete with Lowriders that were being built differently than the classic, stock style builds. His love for that traditional Lowrider style has made The Entertainer one of the top Lowriders in the sport’s history. Donald would like to extend his thanks to his wife and kids, and he sends a special thanks to El Larry, Angelo Zavala, Eddie Gaona, Raul Venezuela, and Steve Hernandez for helping and being supportive. We are proud to announce that this year’s Lowrider 2010 HOF Masterpiece Award goes to Donald Zavala, and his ’77 Pontiac Grand Prix “The Entertainer.”