A simple street ride is all that Louie Carrillo of Riverside, CA., wanted for his latest creation; a ’69 Chevy Impala hard top. He wanted a ’69 specifically, as that was the year he was born in, and the Internet aided him in his search. “I found the ’69 in Arizona on Craigslist and I bought it off of the original owner.” Since a convertible proved too difficult to find, he settled instead on a hardtop, albeit one in great shape. The car was in such great running condition that Louie was able to drive it from Arizona to his California home. There, it would be transformed into the beauty you see here.
This isn’t Louie’s first Lowrider or even the first time that we featured one of his cars in the magazine as Louie is a well-known custom car painter; a title he began cultivating at when he was just thirteen years old. “My older brother used to do custom paint and I would help him prep the cars when I was only twelve,” he explains. “This was back in the in the early ’80’s. I started when I was thirteen and by age twenty, I became a pretty popular guy for paint, thanks to the flake paintjobs that I was doing to the mini-trucks in the late ’80’s.” His big break came in 1995, when Louie met the Toma brothers, who asked him to paint their ’50 Plymouth. The car won back-to-back Bomb of the year titles, and propelled Louie to the top of the Lowrider painting class, boosting his reputation among builders. “The phone calls started coming in and I was given the opportunity to paint many cars,” he says proudly. He’s certainly put his skills to work within the scene. Some of the cars that Louie has painted include “Ultimate Obsession,” “Every Hater’s Dream,” “Yo Soy Mexicano,” “Bloody Mary,” “Wild Cherry,” “The Blue Print,” and his 1961 Impala, named “Silver Bullet” that was featured in the June 2003 issue of Lowrider Magazine.
Back to the topic at hand, of course a guy with a rep for being one of the scene’s most detailed painters couldn’t leave well enough alone on what was supposed to be a simple build. “The first thing I did when I got the ’69 was to take it to Top Notch to get a little work done,” Louie says. “My intentions were to do a nice paintjob, add a multicolor top, throw some wheels on it, and it would be good to go.” Of course the build didn’t stop there. “We added a sunroof and before I knew it, we were taking the car off of the frame,” Louie says with a laugh. “My intentions were to make it a street ride, not a trailer queen, but I took it to the Toma brothers and because of them, I ended up going all out on it.” Louie is still not done with the car and he promises several new additions at this year’s Lowrider Magazine’s Super Show in Las Vegas. “I would like to thank the Toma brothers from Top Notch Customs, who are two of the best car builders in the industry. Also thanks to my good friend George Victoria for all his support transporting my car from one place to another.”
Owner: Louie Carrillo
Vehicle: 1969 Chevrolet Impala
City/State: Riverside, CA
Engine: Top Notch, out of Riverside, CA., installed the 350 with a 350 turbo transmission, Magnaflow headers, Flowmaster exhaust, Edelbrock intake, Walter Prosper air cleaner, Spectre air filter, CFR engine dress up kit, Taylor Wires, AC Delco ignition, Optima battery and a CFR cooling system.
Body/Paint: All keyholes and the firewall were shaved. The dash, hood and trunk were molded, and the skirt was molded to the car. Once the car was ready, Louie Carrillo, of Top Notch, sprayed the Lime Green Candy Sherwin Williams paint that had Sparkle EFX flake on it as well.
Interior: Joe, at California Upholstery, in Bell Gardens, CA., installed the Lexus front and rear seats. Custom door handles and billet inserts were also added.
Sound System: The Toma brothers, from Top Notch, installed the Pioneer touch screen in the custom center council and HiFonics amps, Infinity mids and Kicker subwoofers.
Setup: Top Notch installed the two custom billet pumps with six Optima batteries. Apolonio, at AB Polishing, in Montclair, CA., handled all the chrome.
Tires: Firestone 155/80R13.
Wheels: 13×7-inch Galaxy Wire Wheels.