Many lowrider cars and trucks are featured in Lowrider Magazine that are a bit on the wild side, with paint jobs that feature extreme graphics and bright colors, and interiors that are eye-catching but do not look very comfortable to sit in! Some owners are into taking style to the maximum with their rides and then there are some who are into keeping their lowered machines elegant, clean, subtle and simple. Someone like that would be someone like Sal Martinez, Jr. of Bell, California. Sal is only in his late 20s, but has already come to enjoy the finer things in life. One of which would have to be his classic ’71 Chevy Monte Carlo.

For Sal, the lowrider bug bit at an early age, somewhere around 14. Sal and his longtime friend Ruben Cantoran would hang out together and talk about their love for lowriding. The began building lowrider bicycles and would take them to shows with Sal’s brother-in-law Gilbert Echegary. For Sal, going to LRM car and bike shows throughout the early ’90s was a lot of fun, but it wasn’t long before Sal was ready to move up the chain.

Sal was able to come across some extra cash to get him going on getting a car when he sold his custom bike to a Japanese buyer for $1,000. After graduation and working at a job for a little while, Sal had enough funds to finally purchase his Monte Carlo. He found the car in Baldwin Park, California, where the original owner was ready to let it go for a good price. The car, at the time, had the original ugly mustard yellow color, but overall, Sal knew what he had to work with to get it up to par and he was ready for the challenge!


One of the first things that Sal did was add a 42-inch moonroof, thanks to the guys over at South Gate Sunroofs. The cracked windshield was replaced and then it was off to other luxuries like changing the OG steering column to a tilt. The entire undercarriage was eventually chromed out thanks to B-P Chrome Service in Compton, California. After the car’s body and frame were painted, pinstriping was added to the outside and underside of the car. Chrome hardlines were done up under the trunk and hood thanks to Sal’s buddy Danny Arriaga. Hernan’s Engraving in Whittier, California, added some more elegance by engraving some designs on the chrome hydraulic pumps. In addition to all other customizations, Sal made sure to replace the headlights, lenses and emblems with brand-new parts.


All of the time and effort has definitely paid off for Sal, as his custom creation is now a definite eye-catcher. Not bad for investing three years of time and 30,000 big ones. From boyhood to manhood, Sal has remained true to lowriding and it shows in this monster Monte.

1 Down ’71 Monte
Owner: Sal Martinez, Jr.
Vehicle: ’71 Chevrolet Monte Carlo
City/State: Bell, California
Club: Premier C.C.
Engine/Drivetrain: Rebuilt GM 350-c.i.d. small-block with Edelbrock intake and Holley fuel pump.
Body/Paint: George from G’s Autobody in Long Beach, California, did the bodywork by shaving the firewall and prepping the body for paint. Two-stage rosewood brown was sprayed over the Monte and Angelo Maisano of Mobile Service, also in Long Beach, finished up scheme by adding his elegant touch of pinstriping.
Interior: Joe of California Upholstery in Bell Gardens, California, did up a cool two-tone suede interior. The custom bucket seats were a part of the reupholstered job and help make up the purple and gray colors found on the inside.
Sound System: Joseph Phaler at Joe’s Shop in Bellflower, California, was the main man to do the stereo install. A Clarion DVD stereo head unit shoots the sounds through a Kenwood crossover and two Kenwood amps. The sounds end up blasting through 1-inch tweeters, four 6x9s and two 51/4-inch midrange speakers, and one 10-inch Bazooka bass tube.
Suspension: The suspension work was done by Gilbert Echegary out of his home in Downey, California. Afterwards, Homies Hydraulics in Paramount, California, added two chrome hydraulic pumps in the trunk to allow the car to have a lowered stance on command. Meanwhile, 2-ton springs are what this Monte rests on and it’s raised or lowered on 8-inch cylinders. Six 31-series Trojan batteries power the entire system.
Tires: 13-inch 5.20 Premium Sportway
Wheels: 13×7 L.A. Wire