Growing up in Daly City, CA., gave young Javier Medina his first introduction to the amazing culture of Lowriding. It was in these formative years that he saw the sport first hand, as his older cousins from Los Angeles, Mexico, and the Bay Area were heavily into riding slow and low. He can still recall the day he couldn’t turn back, a day that happened when he was just twelve years old. The preteen boy and his family made a trip to Anaheim, CA., to visit some relatives, and the trip would be life changing for this budding enthusiast. One of Javier’s older cousins, who was in his late 20s at the time, let the 12-year-old hit the switches in his Regal and Javier has been hooked ever since.
Since his craving started well before the legal driving age in California, the young Javier got his feet wet the same way most young riders do; he began building Lowrider bikes. Soon after his first build, he joined the San Francisco-based car club Nuestro Estilo, and he began studying the other club members’ rides. Javier took his next step at age 18, when he picked up a 1987 Buick Regal for $3,500. “I got the car from one of the guys from the club. The car already had old Fenner-Stone black pumps and Roadsters,” says Javier with a smile. Still envisioning hitting the switches of his own, Javier took his car to Del Toro out in Los Baños, CA., to have it reinforced. “I just wanted to hop it back then,” admits Javier. The art of hitting switches does require some learning, and one of the best memories that Javier has had with the Regal was when he first understood how to hit the switch. “I used to blow all kinds of things,” laughs Javier, “but once I got the rhythm, it was like riding a bike, you never forget.” Spending a significant part of his Lowriding career being extremely “switch-happy,” Javier recently began slowing down on swinging his car.
Five years ago, after only three days of having his car out of the interior shop, Javier was cut off by another car and disaster struck. Given the combination of the weight in the trunk from the hydraulic set up and the 13-inch wire wheels, Javier was unable to stop in time and he wrecked his prized ’87 Regal. Never one to give up, he resurrected his dream machine a few years later after rebuilding it. In a way, it gave him a chance to improve on a design that he already loved, so Javier found himself surprisingly motivated during the rebuild. Still infatuated with the previous look of his car, he decided to go with the Candy Tangerine paintjob again, but this time, he added patterns and stripping. Eventually, Javier would like to revamp the stock engine compartment of his car, but for now, the young Lowrider appreciates its daily driver status. “What I really like about the car is that I can just turn the key and go cruising,” Javier explains.
A fan of his G-Body, Javier’s tastes are diverse and he currently has a ’50 Fleetline that he is planning to restore. “I want to go the ‘Old School’ route,” says Javier. “I like many different kinds of cars like hot rods, lifted trucks, and just basically anything with wheels,” explains Javier. “What I really like about Lowriders is the fact that they have soul. No other cars are like these,” beams Javier with pride.
When Javier first got into the Lowrider scene, his parents thought he was “just going through a phase,” but after spending more than half of his life riding slow and low, it’s safe to say that they were wrong. His obsession is one that will last a lifetime. Javier would like to thank Nuestro Estilo Car Club, Del Toro Kustoms, and Lalo at Custom Mikes for helping him to make this Buick a force to be reckoned with.
Tech Specs “Suav Air”
Owner: Javier Medina
Vehicle: 1987 Buick Regal
City/State: South San Francisco, CA
Club: Nuestro Estilo
Body/Paint: After shaving the door handles, Javier took his car to Custom Mikes out in San Leandro, CA. There, Lalo of Customs Mikes sprayed the Regal with a Candy Tangerine and added some patterns and pin stripe work.
Interior: Wanting to have an interior that would flow with the rest of the car, Javier took his ride to Fast Fready, who stitched up the tan and orange vinyl in the basement of Cortland, in San Francisco.
Sound System: Fellow Nuestro Estilo C.C. members Mike and Carlos hooked up the Pioneer head unit to the Rockford Amp which pushes a pair of 10-inch Kickers.
Setup: Javier took his G-body to get lifted at Del Toro Kustoms out in Los Baños, CA. Del Toro’s wrapped the frame and installed a two-pump set up with two Delta pumps and Adex dumps. Javier controls the bounce of the car with four switches.
Tires: Firestones 155/80R13.
Wheels: 13-inch Sinisters.