LRM: Share with us your first lowrider experience.
Danny: My first lowrider experience was in the summer of 1982 in Livingston, California, the town I grew up in. My car was a ’63 Impala that was primer brown. I saved money from working summer jobs and would work on my ’63 at home with my brother’s help. I lifted the front of the car and ran four batteries to one pump and had 520s with original hubcaps. I used to cruise the main street in the next city, which was Merced, California, with my friends and then-girlfriend Alice, who I’ve now been married to for 25 years.
LRM: Was there anyone in your family who was into lowriding before you?
Danny: All my brothers were into cars, but my brother Santos was into lowriding and he exposed me to it when I was in junior high in 1978. My older brothers, Luis and David, were into hot-rods.
LRM: What type of car did he have?
Danny: Santos had a ’64 Impala that was Root Beer Brown with blue pearl. He had Cragar rims with triple pipes on the side. He also had an eight-track stereo. It didn’t have hydraulics, but it had a three speed on the floor.
LRM: What lowriding experiences stand out in your mind?
Danny: I remember when he [Santos] would pick me up after school, which I thought was really cool because he was six years older than me. Once he knew that I could drive he would tell me to get ready to go out and we would go out on the weekends. He would let me drive him and his friends from party to party. Sometimes we wouldn’t get home until 5 or 6 in the morning.
LRM: That must have been fun cruising with him, plus he got to have a designated driver. What did you get for your first car?
Danny: My first car was a ’63 Impala that my dad bought for me. I was a senior in high school. It didn’t have a motor or transmission when I first got it. Before the year was over though I was driving it to school, and it was still stock.
LRM: Any interesting or crazy stories while building any of your cars?
Danny: One time I had a pretty serious accident when I was replacing the exhaust on my ’63. I lived out in the country, so it was all dirt. I didn’t have a cement pad or anything stable to work on. I jacked the car up to shake the exhaust loose and the car fell on my head. Thankfully the car pushed my head into the dirt and I was next to our dog pen. I was kicking the pen to get help and my brother Santos heard the dog barking and came running out and saw me under the car. He was so scared that he lifted the car up by himself and my dad pulled me out. The seam of the car landed right at the front of my ear and cut it. The doctor thought I had damaged my hearing, but it didn’t. I just have a scar from the stitches, but it’s barely noticeable.
LRM: It sounds like you were really lucky. The man upstairs was certainly looking out for you. Is there anyone else besides him you’d like to thank?
Danny: I’d like to thank my wife, Alice, who puts up with me working on the truck all the time as well as other people’s cars in our backyard. Without her support my truck would not be where it is today. I will always be a lowrider until I die, just like my brother Santos who passed away three years ago. May God bless him for looking after me.
The JunkOwner: Danny GarciaVehicle: ’53 Chevy pickupCity/State: Winton, CaliforniaClub: Skanless Car Club
Engine/Drivetrain: A ’85 Chevy 350-cid motor and Turbo 350 transmission replaced the stock units. The rear end is from a ’73 Chevy Nova.
Body/Paint: The owner handled the bodywork and Jose and J at Kar Kustoms in Atwater, California, sprayed the two-tone Oriental Blue and White paint.
Interior: The interior received custom-covered door panels and a custom split seat, both covered in gray OEM material. Gray carpet covers the floor; Castillo’s Upholstery in Modesto, California, did all the work.
Sound System: A Panasonic head unit resides in the dash and is complemented by Zappco mids and tweets. A Kicker L7 subwoofer provides the bottom end. The entire audio system was installed by the owner.
Setup: The suspension features a ’73 Monte Carlo front clip. Showtime Hydraulics pumps and dumps were used along with 8- and 12-inch cylinders in the front and back respectively. Hard-lines connect the pumps and cylinders. All the chroming and polishing was done by Ramon at Specialized Metal Finishing in Atwater, California.
Tires: Dayton Radials
Wheels: 13×7 L.A. Wire wheels
LRM: So Sal, tell us about your first lowrider experience?
Sal: My first lowrider experience was back in 1988 when my cousin Danny, who owned a lowrider, took me for my first cruise. It was Graffiti Night, a celebration of the motion picture American Graffiti, which happens annually in Modesto, California. When I saw all of the lowriders get more attention than any other car I knew at that point what I wanted. The attention just blew my mind. I mean the girls, they LOVED the lowriders!
LRM: Well, to be honest, that’s probably why many guys get into lowriding. Was there anyone else in your family who was into lowriding?
Sal: My cousin Danny was pretty much the only person who owned a lowrider in my family. He started lowriding back in 1985 and I can remember begging him to take me out for a cruise on the boulevard. He owned a ‘80 Buick Regal in Midnight Blue with the wrinkle-style interior, full upholstery, black phantom top, 13×7 McLean rims on 520s (I remember that he always had blowouts on those), and he also had a pounding system, which he preferred over hydros at the time.
LRM: What was your first car? Was it a lowrider?
Sal: Back in 1991, when the mini-truck scene was poppin’, I had a ’88 single-cab Chevy S-10. It took me all summer long to fix it up so I could show it off in my sophomore year of high school. The truck was painted pearl white and had two 10-inch Cerwin-Vega subwoofers in the back seat that bumped. The interior was stock and it had 13-inch whitewall McLeans. People thought it was odd because the 15×10 deep dish wheels with low profile tires were the style at the time. I went to Lowrider Hydraulics to have them install the lifts, and trust me, the girls were loving it! After high school I’ve owned various types of other lowriders.
LRM: Have there been any unforeseen hardships during the building of any of your cars?
Sal: Fortunately, I’ve been very blessed and haven’t experienced any hardships. My wife is very supportive and I surround myself with people who share the love of lowriding as much as I do. Lowriding is a big part of my life and it will never stop!
The Body BagOwner: Sal UrrutaVehicle: ’63 Chevy Impala convertibleCity/State: Ceres, CaliforniaClub: Skanless Car Club
Engine/Drivetrain: The Chevy 283-cid motor has 350 heads and a chrome alternator. The chrome dressup kit includes valve covers, an air cleaner, and a chrome breather cover. Headers lead into a stock dual exhaust.
Body/Paint: Paint and bodywork were performed at Kreative Concepts in Modesto, California. The car was painted a PPG Black. Moreno’s Chrome Plating in Fresno, California, polished all the stainless steel moldings.
Interior: The C.A.R.S. 1 interior kit is black vinyl with cloth inserts. Prime Time Upholstery in Central California managed the upholstery work.
Sound System: An Alpine head unit located underneath the stock head unit control the zeros and ones. A Kenwood 600-watt amp powers Rockford Fosgate speakers. The owner performed the audio work with help from fellow club members.
Setup: “Body Bag” rides on an air-ride system, which was installed by the owner and fellow club member “Big Al.” Slam bags, extended A-arms, a Viair 450C dual-pack tank and compressor system complete the suspension.
Tires: 155/80-13 Cornell tires
Wheels: OG Wire wheels 13×7 black rim and hub with chrome spokes.