Environment plays a huge part in the person that we become and lifestyle influences within the Lowrider culture are no different. No matter where we cruise, our fellow riders are always pushing their builds – and themselves – to be the best they can possibly be. Passing things down through family only makes a Lowrider’s heart stronger, just ask Tony Laguna, Sr., a native of Agua Pieta, Mexico. When the Lowrider bug pushed him to cruise the streets of Mexico, it also pushed him to seek opportunities here in the USA, where he created his American dream in Phoenix, Arizona with his wife, Loly.
Phoenix only strengthened his passion for Lowriding as he built a ’73 Caprice with hydraulics and began cruising with his new family. He also purchased a ’62 Impala as a second car which was the grocery getter back then. This ’62 had sentimental value for Tony, as it was a deuce that he recalls riding in as a six year old while his parents ran errands. As the car aged, so did Tony’s son, Tony, Jr., and the elder Tony was having problems parting with the car, which was now a backyard fixture. Unbeknownst to him, he must have been keeping it around for a reason, as at age 13, Tony, Jr. began to show an interest in the parked ’62. The car became a father-son obsession for the duo, as the love and passion for car building had transcended from father to son. By the time Tony Jr. graduated from high school, the car was ready to cruise the streets of Phoenix. Though the journey was long, it was very worth the effort as it allowed Tony Sr. and Jr. to work hand-in-hand on a labor of love they both enjoyed.
Along the way, the duo had family and good friends assist on the ’62 build, including Tony’s uncle, Lalo Mendoza, who rebuilt the engine and ensured it was reliable on the road. Tony misses his uncle who has since passed away, but when he turns the key, it is a subtle reminder of the love and work he put in his nephew’s ride. Tony’s father, owner of Alonso’s Upholstery in Phoenix, did a great job with the interior restoration. Tony and his Dad also installed the Pioneer audio system. Tony’s friend, Marino Valenzuela, sprayed on the ocean blue paint, with Chavo and Marcos Reyes adding the roof patterns. Tony and his good friend, BJ, installed the hydraulics. When it came time to give the ’62 her stripes, the master, Ron Hernandez, laid on some nice lines to complement the body lines. For additional style, Pete’s Plating gave the chrome the shine it needed to become a true “Funk Machine.”
Over the past two years, Tony, his good friend, Charlie, and Charlie’s brother organized and started Central Car Club. Though the club is small, their focus is geared on acquiring quality members, not quantity. That said, like all good things, it will take time for the club to grow and the future looks bright.
For Tony Jr., this build represents more than Boulevard bragging rights. He recalls walking the Phoenix and Mesa Car Shows as a kid with his Mom and Dad and realizes that he has now come full circle. Sometimes we do what we do because it satisfies an eternal comfort within us; it’s like eating comfort food for your heart. With the help of his family and close friends, Tony has brought this comfort in the form of a ’62 Impala to his own newly started family. Tony wants to thank God first and foremost, as well as his Mom and Dad, and, as a new family man, his beautiful wife, Monica, and his lovely baby daughter, Ariana, as they have all supported his love for Lowriding.