The world-famous city of New Orleans is one of our nation’s most unique melting pots of food, culture, and music. For two weeks during February, this historic destination is taken over by the infamous Mardi Gras celebration that typically involves a masquerade ball, dancing, and your everyday alcohol-fueled debauchery. It was during one of these nights that Shante Franklin would be forever changed.
In one specific instance, Shante found himself cheering with the crowd as floats passed by during the nightly parade down the French Quarter. In the distance, an image slowly began to take shape. An image that a young Shante had never seen before. In the far distance of the procession was a 1968 Impala that would be the star of the show. “I was mesmerized by the way the car was moving every which way,” Shante says. And after bombarding the Impala’s owner with questions, the owner eventually handed him a LOWRIDER magazine and said, “All you need to know is in here kid.”
Shante’s lowrider journey would take time to materialize. His first car was a 1964 Impala that eventually became a casualty to Hurricane Katrina. “It ended up under 8-10 feet of water and was ruined,” Shante says. He would go through several cars before landing the one you see today. “From a glasshouse to a box Caprice, when I started, the lowrider scene in New Orleans was practically nonexistent.” So drawing inspiration from some of Lowrider’s OGs, such as Twin from Individuals and Gangster from Majestics, he was off to put the Big Easy on the map.
This 1964 would be covered in a Paris Green and a variety of House of Kolor candies along with pinstriping and silver leafing. Ray of Homies Car Club lent a hand and installed the complete chrome undercarriage with Ultimate Hydraulics, installing the custom chrome two-pump setup featuring four switches and eight batteries. “We don’t have the avenues that Los Angeles has,” Shante says. “So we have to cruise every day here. It isn’t just about Sundays for us.” So with Cruise Life Car Club growing by the week and local clubs such as Swift, Down South Rollers, and Homies, along with the rest of the clubs out in New Orleans, you can count on them to push and expand the Lowrider culture down south.
1964 Chevy Impala
New Orleans, LA
350 Chevy small-block with Edelbrock intake and carb leading into a Flowmaster exhaust
Moss and Meadow Green vinyl/cloth installed by 610 Sound Shop
All paint done in House of Kolor candies with diamond crystal pearls and flakes
Custom two-pump setups with four switches and eight batteries
13-inch wire wheels mounted onto 155-80/13 whitewall radials