Suenos, the Spanish word for dreams, best describes forty-seven year-old Rich Montanez’ journey into the Lowrider culture. Living that dream has become a lifelong obsession, something that does not come easy to a child who grew up in Scottsbluff, Nebraska, which is not exactly a haven of Lowrider activity. He spent his childhood days after school at the magazine stands in town and grew to love the rides and culture he found in the pages of Lowrider Magazine. His dream was to one day own a vehicle worthy of those illustrious pages he thirsted after as a child. This dream became a reality when his aunt decided to sell her 1966 Chevrolet Impala to Rich.
The Chevy was in pretty good shape; however it was certainly a blank canvas in terms of style. Rich brought the Impala to his good friend, Harry “Hair Dogg” Gardner. Based on his knowledge of engines, he ripped out the stock motor, dropped in as much chrome as possible and readied it for the road. With the engine modernized, Rich moved onto other aspects of the build.
The next step was altering the suspension to give the Chevy a nice aggressive stance. Rich enlisted Eric Aguallo, who added a complete airbag setup to the heavy Chevy. Once the Impala’s stance was completed, Rich turned to Robert Vigil from Extreme Auto Body Works in Greeley, Colorado. A unique blend of House of Kolor paint was laid throughout the body of the Chevy to give it a radical exterior look. To complete the cabin, Rich had Doug Winters at Doug’s Upholstery in Scottsbluff, Nebraska add custom swivel seats with leather wrapping the seats and panels.
“I want to thank all my family, Hair Dogg Gardner, my friend Mark Carrizales for being my co-pilot, Frank Ramos and Majesty C.C. for all their support,” Rich proudly tells us. The Chevy is always up for a drive and is a regular at car shows in Colorado, Nebraska and Wyoming. The very best reward to Rich is to grace the pages of the only publication that he feels will carry on his legacy. His accomplishments have been rewarded and his dream will always live with Suenos.
Owner: Rich Montanez
Vehicle: ’66 Chevrolet Impala
City/State: Scottsbluff, Nebraska
Club: Majesty C.C.
Engine: Harry “Hair Dogg” Gardner rebuilt the 283-c.i.d. in the comfort of Rich’s house. Denver Plating was used for most of the chrome plating and Arizona Plating was used for the rest.
Body/Paint: Robert Vigil of Extreme Auto Body Works in Greeley, Colorado completed the bodywork. The firewall was shaved in the engine compartment, the top was cut open for a permanent sunroof, the antenna was frenched and the metal work was completed. Robert got down to business by spraying House of Kolor Sunrise Violet, Royal Velvet, Blue Glass, Carbon Black, Royal Russet and Gold Rush with a silver basecoat.
Interior: The interior was wrapped with leather and Doug Winters, at Doug’s Upholstery, in Scottsbluff, Nebraska, installed swivel seats.
Suspension: Eric Aguallo from Scottsbluff, Nebraska added a complete airbag setup using two Viair compressors and a 1-gallon chrome air tank. A 10-switch panel wired to the cabin handles all the moves.
Tires: P155/80R13 Premium Sportway 520 rubber.
Wheels: 13-inch Player Wire Wheels.