In 1969, Chevy introduced a redesigned Impala with a window sticker of $3,000, which got you a nicely optioned package. Till today the 1969 Impala remains a highly popular platform, and the story of how this 1969 was brought back to life is quite interesting.
Fast-forward to the early ’90s and Felix Montoya’s dad, Felix Sr., was hard at work as a locksmith. He was at a customer’s house rekeying some locks when off to the back he spotted a neglected Impala. When he inquired about the car, the customer stated it was for sale, so Felix Sr. went home and grabbed his son to go check it out. The car had been parked for about 15 years and had become a makeshift chicken coop, but they saw the potential. It was love at first sight and Felix Jr. jumped at the chance to bring the car home for $175—even though he was still too young to drive the car.
Since he worked for his father, Felix Jr. saved every bit of spare change he made and started the build in a rather unorthodox way; the first thing he redid was the interior. Once complete, the next step was to throw in a sound system. It was at that point he would sit in the car acting as if he was already cruising. With a little bit more money saved, he rebuilt the engine and by the time it was ready he had his license, so he slapped on an old set of Rockets and cruised it, original paint and all. Felix would also be the first to admit that the car was ugly, but to be 16 and cruising the local streets meant freedom. He started working two jobs so he could do more to the car and that’s when he painted it and bought his first set of 14×7 100-spoke Daytons from Orlie Cocca. It was his daily driver for a few years.
He then met his wife, Rebecca, and started a family. As a result, the car remained in storage for 13 years until he decided to finally pull it out. That same day they were involved in an accident, so the couple decided it was time to redo the car. With their son almost ready to graduate they planned to finish off the car and give it to him as a graduation present.
In 2014, the car was completely taken apart. The drivetrain was pulled to get rebuilt and the frame was cleaned and painted. The bumpers were sent to Electro Plating in El Paso, Texas, where Ken Cardwell was the man entrusted to get the body straight and shiny. While Cardwell was hard at work, Felix Jr. and all of the family, neighbors included, helped work on the car to get it ready for Albuquerque’s biggest show. Victor’s Upholstery stitched up and installed an all-new white interior.
The car made its debut at the 2015 Lowrider Super Show, and after the 2017 Albuquerque Lowrider Super Show, Felix Jr. took the car to Straight Street Automotive to install a Black Magic hydraulic setup. By the time 2018 had rolled around, Felix Jr. held good to his promise and presented the completely done lowrider to his son Lorenzo who was the first in the family to graduate high school.
1969 Chevrolet Impala
Rio Rancho, NM
350 with Edelbrock carburetor, intake, valve covers, and air filter cover; Champion radiator; HEI distributor; Accel wires; Hedman headers; Magnaflow exhaust
Martin Senour Fiji blue pearl
Two Black Magic pumps, four dumps, Accumax solenoids, and four Centennial batteries
Kenwood stereo with two Kenwood amps, four Kenwood speakers, and a single 10-inch Rockford Fosgate subwoofer
13×7 Superior wire wheels with 155/80 Milestar tires
Knightons Automotive, Turkey Town Graffix, Engrave It Inc., Electro Plating, Straight Street Automotive, Krazy Kutting