As a young man, Ramiro Leon (known to most as “Shino”) admired the lowrider cars and trucks when they cruised around in his hometown of San Luis, Arizona. Of course his influence was also rooted from older brothers, Puma and Arturo, both of whom had lowrider cars of their own.
Living in a border town, Shino had connections both in the U.S. and in Mexico to help him customize his own rides when the time came. His first ride was a 1966 Chevy Impala that had actually been given to him by Arturo. Shino worked on the car for a couple years and then later sold it to save money for a brand-new car. Shino wanted something that would have the lowrider style to it, but also the reliability of a new vehicle. He knew he would want a car that he would own for a long, long time.
When the funds were sufficient, a 20-year-old Shino walked on down to the dealership and bought himself a brand-new 1985 Buick Regal straight off the lot. Being young and buying a first vehicle was an incredible feeling of accomplishment, Shino recalls.
As most lowriding men and women know, a stock car just can’t stay stock for long … the lowrider bug bites you and the customizing soon follows! Shino admits to starting off slow with minor modifications over the years, but around 2011 he decided to finally take his ride to the next level. Over the next two-and-a-half years, the Regal was transformed into “El Rey Azteca,” the name given to the car by Shino meaning “The Aztec King.” With custom tribal patterns in the paint and culturally inspired Aztec murals in and around the vehicle, the ride became a real head-turner on the streets and at car shows.
Shino thanks his lovely wife, Maribel, his father Cuco, his two brothers, and gives a special thanks to his fellow members of Mi Vida Car Club (Rene Cota, Ramon Castillo, Iram Ibarra, Mister Lefty of Main Street Tattoo, and Gil Ruiz). Shino has been the one and only owner of this vehicle and he says he will probably never sell it!
Vehicle Year/Make/Model: 1985 Buick Regal
Vehicle Nickname: El Rey Azteca
Owner: Ramiro “Shino” Leon
City/State: Yuma, Arizona
Club: Mi Vida Car Club
Engine: ’85 GM V-8 rebuilt by Roberto Yeomans of San Luis Rio Colorado, Sonora, Mexico
Body/Paint: Chofy’s Airbrush in San Luis Rio Colorado painted a candy red finish over the Regal’s body and added numerous detailed airbrushed murals depicting ancient Aztec culture
Suspension: Gill’s Shop in Somerton, Arizona, helped Shino with the custom hydraulic install. Two pumps, powered by six 31-series deep cycle batteries with six switches. To help alleviate any stress to the frame, Gill’s wrapped the chassis with added reinforcement.
Wheels / Tires: 13×7 L.A. Wire Wheels / Coker wide whitewall tires
Interior: El Mocho in San Luis Rio Colorado did up a diamond-tuck style in a red-and-tan color scheme.
Sound System: Ramon Castillo, installed a Hiphonic head unit with Pioneer tweeters and two 12-inch Planet Audio woofers. Two TV screens, an amplifier, and an equalizer round out this entertainment system.