While we introduce this styled-out Lowrider Monte Carlo for our August issue Lowrider cover, the first introduction of the General Motors Monte was actually back in 1969, when this beauty arrived as a four-passenger, luxury two-door coupe during the height of the GM Muscle car era. The Monte Carlo was originally created to answer or compete with the Ford Thunderbird back then, and the dealer show room brochures labeled the car as being very deceptive because of its SS package having the (LS-6) version of a 454. Beyond the performance aspects of this new GM model, it was equally as deceptive when it came to the car’s looks. In fact, it performed very well in sales, as the Monte became one of the most attractive looking cars on most Boulevards back then, especially the cruising Boulevards. Chevrolet’s 1970 through ‘72 generation Monte Carlos used two headlights up front; instead of the four that were the norm on other Chevrolet model cars. It also featured the longest ever fitted 6’ hood, which was a great thing for painters looking for more room to apply their skills in color coordination and intricate pattern designs, like this issue’s lime green and schemed ’72 Monte Carlo from that comes well represented by Oxnard’s Jose Alvarez from the Lifestyle car club.
We also tribute the passing of the very legendary pin stripe master by the name of Walt Prey, as he has put his brushes in mineral spirits for the final time. Ever the humble man, he never wanted attention or admiration; he was just a man who loved what he did and wouldn’t have it any other way. That was vintage Walt for you. I knew him as a friend and served as a return customer for over 30 years, and not too long ago, when he was selected and asked to be in the Lowrider Hall of Fame, he genuinely accepted the accomplishment but turned down the invitation because of the attention and acknowledgement he would receive. It might have been the only time, right then and there, that he allowed himself to receive that kind of praise because he was so modest that you couldn’t get him to leave his studio surroundings for anything anyways. That was his sanctuary. Walt’s Studio, and this was at various addresses, was quiet like a library when you approached to visit, and whenever I did, I waited in front of the big roll up door entrance until he saw me and asked me to come in. It never mattered what car he designed or worked on for any of us, and it didn’t matter how much it cost either; all that mattered was that we had a legend applying his God-given talent to our cars in the form of murals, sprayed candies, pearls, leafing, and lettering. Just knowing that your car was going to receive the best look it could have, and that you were fortunate enough to have your machine become one of the hundreds he left his mark on was plenty enough. Walt was very well known in the custom world, but he was known more in the Lowrider world. He was the guy who made all custom painters better as he color matched and tied in their colors on finished paint-jobs. What hurts the most is that he left so soon. Lying in his legacy are miles of boats, bikes, cars, trucks, building signs, and funny cars bounding down the road of life, and carrying his legend with them on every cruise. His life’s work could almost be considered as his hobby because his humility wouldn’t ever let him make any big money. During the little time he had to himself, Walt was enthralled in his model airplanes that he enjoyed building, just to take a break from things. At his funeral, his dad spoke about the time he came out to California from back east to visit. A young Walt disappeared from the family house during the visit, only to be found in the driveway, body lining and striping his father’s brand new car with a set of baby moons he mounted on the car from which he had ordered through JC Whitneys. Had he known about his son’s love for his work, his dad would have never left him with such a blank canvas as that new car, but it made Walt’s father smile as he recognized the genius and passion in his son. That’s how it was for everybody who came in contact with the talented artist and painter. Walt made everyone happy, and that’s what made him love his work even more. I’m sure as we speak right now, that Saint Peter is waiting at the gates above for some leafing to be done. Walt Prey comes from great family, and by his passing, they also found out about Walt’s other large extended family, the entire custom world! Stripe on Walt Prey!
The 40th Annual Tejano Super Car Show Odessa, Texas! Wow, can anyone believe that? 40 years! No one is as dedicated to entertaining the Lowrider culture in Texas as Nick Hernandez (Hall of Fame class of ‘06 Inductee), but if an accountant looked at the books to see what it costs to promote 40 outstanding Lowrider car shows like this granddaddy of a show, he would find that the only profits would be measured in the love for the game and Lowriding way of life. Congratulations, Nick! We don’t know how you do it, but we know why!
Don’t forget to get all wired down on all the safety tips you need to know about as our Tech Editor Saul Vargas finds out the “Truth about Spokes.” Tru Spoke Wire Wheels, that is.