The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree; and when your father is a collector of cars, it’s hard not to catch the bug and get inspired. So in what might seem like an adult toy chest, both Jesse and his brother picked up on their father’s lifestyle and their admiration for their father’s collection became second nature-but that shouldn’t have come as a surprise.

After spending time around so many of his father’s cars, Jesse began a mental list of some of his favorite rides, and among the list was a 1978 Monte Carlo. With its elegant, free-flowing lines, the Monte Carlo was not only commonly available, but also an affordable platform used for lowriding. So that’s where Jesse began.

To make his dreams come to fruition, he began with an online search where he found a 1978 Monte Carlo located in Arizona. It was an all-original car with only 50,000 original miles, and with a price tag of only $3,000, Jesse couldn’t pass it up, even if he was financially strapped for cash at the time.

With the car in his possession, the first thing he did was straighten out the body and have Louie Carrillo lay down one of his trademark candy flake tangerine paintjobs. Little by little Jesse kept chipping away at the build and along the way he opted for a two-pump hydraulic setup, a complete sound system, a custom interior, and the necessary wire wheels.

During his build, money was tight, but the end result is a lowrider that he’s extremely proud of. The car not only became a testament to his patience and love for lowriding, but also an experiential process that brought out the best from both his family and friends. In closing, Jesse would like to thank his wife for her inspiration and support, and now that the Monte Carlo is done, it’s become a rolling canvas that represents one man’s dream and his family’s tight knit bond and admiration for a man-and a car-they respect, love, and truly admire.

1978 Chevrolet Monte Carlo

Vehicle Nickname
Sunset Dream

Jesse Carbajal

Santa Ana, CA



Flaked House of Kolor Tangerine

Two pumps, four switches, and six batteries

Khaki-colored leather

Kenwood stereo with two amps and Pioneer speakers, and a single 10-inch subwoofer

100-spoke 13×7 wire wheels and Firestone 155/80-R13