Miss Mary JaneOwner: Ben GarciaVehicle: ’72 chevrolet impalaCity/Sate: houston, texas
Engine/Drivetrain: the stock 350-c.i.d. Engine was taken apart to get it in working order, then it was accented with custom chromeplated pieces at the latin ustoms C.c. Shop.
Body/Paint: the impala was taken to the leal Brothers in corpus christi, texas, where the body was taken off of the frame to paint the “belly.” The car was laid out with a silver flake base then coated with candy green graphics. Ben flew in “curly” from california to pinstripe his impala as well as a few other cars in the club. John “wicked” Saenz laid down some life-like murals of Ben’s favorite porn star, Sky lopez.
Interior: the bench seats were taken out of the car and replaced with two chevy cavalier bucket seats and a custom center console. Pedro Fraire from Pasadena, texas, covered the seats in custom twotone tweed green.
Sound System: when the car was almost done, it needed to get hooked up with some tunes, so the guys at the latin Kustoms shop added a Pioneer head unit with a few audiobahn amps and 12-inch subwoofers.
Setup: the guys at the latin Kustoms Shop added some gold-plated roadster pumps and then set up some custom-bent tubing. The setup also includes 8-inch cylinders in the front and 10-inch in the rear, as well as two dumps, six solenoids, four continental batteries and four switches.
Tires: 5.20 Premium Sportway
Wheels: 14×6 custom powdercoated to match the car
I magine a ’72 chevy impala sitting in a carport for 11 years with dust, rust and spider webs. Well, this is what Ben Garcia of houston, texas, saw for a couple of years every time he would drive up to this old man’s house and ask if he was interested in selling the car. Ben must have stopped at least 10 times over a two-year period to try to get the old man to sell the car to him, but the answer was always no. The old man didn’t want to sell the car due to its sentimental value.
Ben has always been into ’70s-style “big-bodies,” and was anxious to work on a car since he had just sold his “glasshouse” to one of his homies. And soon enough, one of his friends told him that he had just got this old man to sell him a car for $1,200, so there goes Ben, dropping everything and heading to meet his friends like the extinction of tacos was about to happen, to go check out the car.
While driving through the neighborhood, Ben realized as he hit the last corner that the car his homie was talking about was the same car that he had been trying to purchase for the past two years. After Ben paid the old man, he had to drag it half a block just to get the wheels loose since they were locked up with rust. The old man told Ben, “i know you kids are going to fix it up, so can you bring it around so that I can see it after it’s done?” A grinning Ben said no problem, you will see the car again.
Ben then took the car home and had his friend Pedro Fraire get it running and apply a custom green paint job that they mixed themselves. The ’72 impala was getting a lot of attention from people, but then they started to get too many comments about the bodywork, so Ben decided to go all out with the car. The big-body was shipped to the leal Brothers in corpus christi, texas, where it remained for the next four months.
During that time, the body was taken off of the frame. The bodywork was extensive, but it all got smoothed out and they went the extra step and molded the firewall, hood and trunk. The body was then painted with a silver flake basecoat and patterned out with different shades of candy greens. Before the car was clearcoated, it was handed to John “wicked” Saenz, who laid some life-likeMurals of Ben’s favorite porn star, Sky lopez.
After the leal brothers were done with the car, it was taken to the latin Kustoms Shop in houston-a shop that’s paid for by all of the latin Kustoms car club members and where they do all of their work on their cars. Ben’s ’72 was put together by the car club, including a little extra help under the hood from Ben’s friend Mickey. All of the parts that needed to get chrome plated were taken to the chrome Doctor in lake charles, louisiana, while the gold plating was sent to a-1 Plating in houston. The trunk was fully molded to house the hydraulics setup and sound system that was built at the latin Kustoms Shop.
After the car was put back together, Ben took the car straight to the old man’s house so that he could check it out. As soon as he came outside, the old man stared at it and began to cry, and even made Ben shed a few tears when he started to talk about how the car was driven everyday by his late wife to and from work since it was purchased brand new in ’72. The car was sold to Ben with 52K original miles since it had been parked for a while.
The ’72 has been taken to countless shows, including lrm shows in houston, San Antonio and Dallas, texas, as well as tampa, Florida, and has even competed with the big dogs in las Vegas where it took home Best Graphics. Ben would like to thank his wife for supporting him, and if you think that she didn’t get something Out of “Miss Mary Jane,” wait until she finishes her ’63 impala hardtop named “Drama Queen.”