Catching the lowrider bug is as easy as taking your first ride on one. Just ask Gustavo Careaga of Mesa, Arizona, who felt this experience at a very young age, since his older brother had a ’63 Impala lowrider. “I used to see my brother work on his ride all the time at my parents’ house, but it was when I was cruising with him and listing to the tunes that I got hooked.” Since then, Gustavo has had several lowriders; including a ’63 Impala and a ’69 Impala, “Sexy 9,” which was featured in Lowrider magazine. Now, he has this Glasshouse added to his lowrider resume.
Gustavo came across the Glasshouse thanks to a friend from his car club, Groupe. “It looked like the previous owner had lost interest in it; so we worked out a deal. Once I had it, it took me about a year before I was able to do work to it,” Gustavo explains. When he started to work on it, he wanted to make sure that the car would be drivable. “I had a full show car before with a chrome undercarriage and I used to baby it—I knew I didn’t want to do that to this one.”
Gustavo set a goal for debuting his car based at the upcoming Mesa Super Show; a Lowrider magazine Sanctioned show in Mesa, Arizona. Unfortunately for Gustavo, he had a broken ankle and he couldn’t do much. “There was only a week left for the show and there was still a lot of work to be done to the car.” He decided to reach out to his cousin, Francisco “Pancho Impalas” Barrios, in Hermosillo, Mexico, to see if he would be able to lend him a hand in meeting the deadline. “He got on the next available bus and made his way over here to help finish the car. He got here just in time to help finish the car and I really don’t think that I would have been able to finish it without his help,” Gustavo says sincerely.
Gustavo would like to thank Chavo, Richard Vega, and his cousin, Pancho Impalas, for coming to the rescue. He also would like to send a special thank you to his lovely wife, Debbie, who puts up with his lifestyle of constantly working on cars.
Owner: Gustavo Careaga
Vehicle: 1976 Chevrolet Caprice
City/State: Mesa, AZ
Engine: Rebuilt 350, Edelbrock intake and carburetor.
Body/Paint: Luis of Miranda’s Customs in Phoenix, AZ, handled the bodywork and laid the custom rose pink with flake paint. Chavo of Chavo’s Pinstriping in Phoenix, AZ, threw down the multicolor patterns, pinstripes, and the Day of the Dead mural. Triple J Pintura in AZ added the final clearcoat.
Interior: Miranda’s Customs added the custom bucket seats, center console and dash and Richard Vega of Vega’s Kustomz in Chandler, AZ, color matched the seat to the paint.
Setup: Gustavo Careaga decided to install the two-pump setup with four batteries himself.
Tires: 5.20s OG Premium Sportway
Wheels: 14×7-inch cross-laced Zenith