Model: “Raquel Raquel”
Having grown up in Barrio Sherman at 25th and K Streets, Armando Torres can’t help but to fondly reminisce about his childhood days when he was surrounded by all the beautiful Lowrider cars that would roll past his neighborhood on a daily basis. He was about eight years old at the time and may have not totally understood what he was seeing, but he definitely knew he loved watching these custom creations cruise by. When he got to be into his teens, he learned that these classic caravans that appeared on Sundays were actually heading out from Golden Hill Park over to the famous Chicano Park and Highland Avenue areas. The Chevy Impalas were the rides that really stood out to Armando and he vowed to one day own one of those magnificent machines.
By the time he was 18 years old, his dreams finally came true as he purchased his first Lowrider; a 1962 Impala. As time passed, Armando went on to own many more Impalas, but it was the hard-to-find 1959 year Chevy that he really had his sights on. The ’59 was one of those rides that everyone seemed to drool over, but very few ever had the grand opportunity to own. One day, just a few years ago, Armando went over to a friend’s house and found out that he had a reliable tip on a ’59 that was for sale out in Colorado for $500! Armando acted quickly and followed up on the lead. It turned out to be legit and this ride was ready to be purchased and picked up. Armando did everything possible to get that ride home and his persistence paid off.
From there, the ’59 received a total make-over, from the inside-out, top to bottom. Starting with the frame, everything was rebuilt, replaced, and/or reinforced, followed by a nice chrome plating or custom painting finish. Underneath the Impala is a super clean chrome undercarriage with painted wheel wells and frame. Chrome plating was provided by fellow Klique member, Peter Tapia, over at Anaheim Chrome and Plating in Anaheim, California.
Armando sends big thanks to all his “Kliquers,” especially Fausto, Danny, Oscar Segura, and Armando, Jr. who lives out in Mississippi. Special thanks for help and support also goes to Armando’s wife and six kids, and his brother, Cesar. It appears that Armando definitely had a good team behind him in the building of this ’59, known as “La Nalgona,” and it’s no wonder that this ride has already pulled multiple first and second place awards at various car shows!
Owner: Armando Torres
Vehicle: 1959 Chevrolet Impala
City/State: San Diego, CA
Club: Klique Car Club, San Diego Chapter
Engine: Armando and his father, Pedro Torres, were the engine builders, dropping in this Chevy V8 powerplant.
Body/Paint: Elias, of Elias Body Shop in San Diego, spearheaded the body and paint necessities. The top sides of the body including the trunk and fins received a white with green pearl finish and the rest of the body was painted a unique cyber green. From the inside out, top to bottom, what wasn’t plated was painted.
Interior: “Cars” over at El Kalin in Tijuana, Mexico managed the interior, redoing the seats in their original fashion with green leather and cloth inserts.
Sound System: Nick, at Nick’s Audio in Chula Vista, California, installed a pair of Alpine tweeter and mid-range speakers and one 12-inch Kicker woofer.
Setup: Fausto, of Fausto’s Shop in San Diego, installed two hydraulic pumps, four dumps and eight deep-cycle batteries. Four switches control the ride’s altitude.
Tires: 5.20 Premium Sportway whitewall
Wheels:13×7 100-spoke Dayton