Every kid has a dream and young Tony Salazar’s was to hang a Lowrider Magazine picture of his lowrider on the wall in his room next to all of the other big-time lowriders. Sadly, however, Tony will not be able to realize his dream, although his memory lives on with his family and loving brother Angelo, who finished his brother “Tony’s Dream.”
As the story goes, Angelo believes that Tony is high above watching out for the Monte because of two incidents that could have destroyed the lovely low-low. One mishap Angelo had while driving the car to a local car show involved one of the front wheels falling off and becoming lodged under the front fender. He thought for sure that either the rim, wheel, paint or chrome were going to have to be repaired, but as luck would have it, everything was pretty much untouched and undamaged. But the biggest emergency was when Tony was at the 2001 Super Show in Las Vegas, Nevada.
“I was competing for the Lowrider of the Year with my ’68 Chevy Impala, “Nightmares” (the November ’02 LRM cover car) and got word that Robert Morales’ building (Robert’s Tires and Wheels in Denver, Colorado) caught fire,” says Angelo. That fire was a close one because the Monte Carlo was there getting customized, but once again, the vehicle came away unscathed; only having to be cleaned and buffed. It’s a testament to Tony that he was seeing to it that absolutely nothing bad would happen to his brother’s dream ride.
On the outside, the car was painted a eye-catching candy color by Sonny Valdez (Sonny’s Customs, Denver). A candy tangerine paint mixture was used over a gold base with orange and red graphic patterns. The pinstriping is a traditional trademark of high-quality cars and the handcrafted job was given to Steve Pederson at Action Graphics (Denver). Still on the outside there’s good metal cleanliness in the bumper, fender side trim and lower rocker panels. It was all chromed by one shop, Alert Plating (Denver). When its rubber to the ground, Remington whitewall tires hit the bricks around 13×7 Masterpiece engraved chrome and gold rims. And behind those shiny spokes are new old stock original GM disc brakes with chrome-plated calipers. With Tony making sure that things were getting taken care of on the outside, the engine, interior and trunk work had to be just as good.
Lifting the hood of the Monte shows off a big V-8 motor worth hanging over the fireplace. The highly detailed engine built by Angelo’s father in law Ventura Reyes (Reyes Automotive, Denver) rumbles to life with a 4-bbl. Edelbrock carburetor, manifold and Autolite sparkplugs with high-temperature wires. Other goodies include chrome pulleys, water pump and mini starter, in addition to chrome flex hoses and custom chrome metal wheelwells taken from a ’68 Chevy Chevelle and modified to fit the Monte.
The mix of original interior styling and high-end audio equipment was a good call and installed by more professional vendors. Eduardo at E&D Upholstery (Denver) fit in place two-tone tan leather and made room for two 7-inch Alpine video screens in the sun visors and two more are clearly visible in the headrests. Installing a Sony PlayStation 2 system was another smart move. The steering wheel is Lecarra woodgrain and the shifter and gauges are pretty much stock. The stereo features a Panasonic AM/FM radio/CD player, two Rockford Fosgate Punch 500 amplifiers, Audio Control crossovers, four Alpine tweeters, two JL Audio subwoofers, two 6×9 Alpine midrange speakers and two 12-inch woofers, all connected by James Black at Fino’s (Denver).
The trunk isn’t for carrying a spare tire anymore. These days it’s the place for a high-quality two-pump Luxor hydraulics setup and cool interior surroundings. It’s simple styling that works so well. One point not mentioned earlier was that of professional body man Manuel at Supreme Autobody (Denver), who expertly banged out all of the dents and dings around the Monte and even molded the firewall to a smooth surface.
Angelo relates that unlike his “Nightmares” ’68 Impala in which everything went wrong, it seemed like Tony made sure that everything went just right with his traditional vision. And while everyone knows that Tony is keeping things in order, Angelo would be thanking a lot of people, like his mother, Bonnie, his sister Jerica and her family, his wife, Lydia, and son Angelo. Tony would be proud today because now every kid who loves lowriders can hang this one on their wall.
|Vehicle:||’71 Chevrolet Monte Carlo|
|Club:||Big Time C.C.|
|Engine:||350-c.i.d. V-8 with 4-bbl. Edelbrock carburetor|
|Setup:||Two Luxor pumps, two chrome dumps, 8-inch cylinders, 2-ton springs, six 12-volt Interstate batteries, eight switches.|
|Tires:||5.20 Remington whitewall|