The origins of a true car fanatic often begin early in life. Our roots grow from a variety of influences; whether it’s a movie, music video, or a toy car that serves as that initial inspiration, it’s those initial influences that form our own personal definition of the ultimate ride. From that day forward, countless hours are spent daydreaming and thumbing through catalogs and magazines in the hopes of one day building that dream car for ourselves. Stan Thomas is one such Lowrider. As soon as he started getting into cars, he knew that someday he would eventually own his dream car; it was just take some time.
A smiling Stan remembers fondly about those “good ‘ol days.” “It’s always been a dream of mine to Lowride,” he says. “But as a kid growing up in Pomona, I never really had the cash.” Determined to do what he could to put something together, he purchased a ’78 coupe, but he didn’t have the financial resources to build it up into something he could be proud of. His journey continued. “I went off to the Air Force right after high school. During that time, I always followed Lowriders and Lowrider Magazine,” he says. “Eventually, I got into construction and started to make enough money to put something together. I got a ’64 hard top by making a trade for some construction work. It sat in the garage for about 2-3 years because I still didn’t have enough funds to put it together,” laments Stan. “I ended up selling that ’64 hard top, and a couple years later got a call about another one in Ontario for sale. I fell in love with it and felt this was my opportunity to make up for the other ’64 I sold. I bought it, and drove it to my shop to immediately get to work on it.”
The build proved to be anything but an easy redemption for Stan’s early regret, and after a lot of blood, sweat, tears, and money, his ’64 hard top was nice; but didn’t fully scratch his childhood itch. It was everything he wanted…almost. “I had a ball in that car. It was like a dream come true. But there was still one thing missing; it wasn’t a ragtop! That was the only thing better that someone could say they had, that I didn’t have,” explains Stan. While he was discouraged at his lack of top-dropping action, it served as the motivation he needed to push forward. “I ended up selling that car and immediately taking the money and going and buying a “project” ‘63 convertible,” he says.
Stan was in for a bit of shock after cashing in his clean ride for a flatbed and a dream. “I bought it sight unseen. [Max] says he’ll never forget the look on my face when I saw it on the flatbed. When I saw it my jaw just dropped. I thought ‘I just paid almost ten grand for this? Are you serious?” Stan leaned on his good friend Max to salvage what seemed to be a more problematic investment than he initially thought. “I said ‘Max, I’m going to put my faith in you. Don’t let me down.’ He immediately got to work on the car.” The one positive on his side was that since he had put all the bells and whistles on his previous ’64, Stan knew exactly what he wanted on the Trey, thus the build direction was very focused. “I had a plan ready to go,” Stan says with a smile.
All the time spent dreaming and waiting came together when it was time to put the ’63 on the garage build rack. “A lot of things I learned from the ’78 transferred over to my ’64, and a lot of things from my ’64 transferred over to my ’63,” Stan explains. “One of the biggest differences is that I chose an LS-2 over a crate motor. I went from $2K to like $13K for the engine and trans; I stepped my game up.” But this time, no expense would be spared and the results speak for themselves. “I take a lot of pride in what I do. I incorporated my family into this car, and into the murals. I’m a big time Raider and Laker fan, and I keep it true to the local scene I was raised in. I was able to incorporate every piece of my life into this car; that’s why [building it] meant so much to me.” Stan’s sense of pride amplifies his voice. “I was always told as a kid, ‘when you want to do something, you do it right. And when you do it right the people will respect it.’ I built a car that my family and I are proud of. Now everyone from the homies, to old ladies to teenagers in my neighborhood know who I am.” We know who you are too, Stan. You are a true Lowrider.
“Red Carpet Treatment II”
Owner: Stan “S” Thomas
Vehicle: 1963 Chevrolet Impala Convertible
City/State: Fontana, CA
Car Club: Ultimate Riders
Engine: 2005 Corvette LS2 with 700R transmission, and Flowmasters, built by V-max/Tee at Ultimate Hydraulics.
Paint: GM Super Red by Nino of Nino’s Body Shop in San Bernardino, CA. Erin, of Artistic Air, painted life-inspired airbrushing and Ramon Mata added the pinstripe work.
Suspension: V-max/Tee from Ultimate Hydraulics built a four-pump setup with three-square dumps and ten batteries. It includes eight-inch cylinders up front and 14-inch cylinders in the rear. A fully wrapped frame includes modeled A-arms and trailing arms by V-max from Ultimate Hydraulics.
Stereo: Alpine head unit with iPhone hookup and twin Bazooka tubes.
Wheels/Tires: 14-inch Zenith, 175/75R/14.