The month of July is always a time of patriotism for Americans. We have the Fourth of July Independence Day celebration filled with day cruises, barbeques, and of course Lowriders. We decided to pay homage to the month by featuring a Lowrider built by a true American hero; New York Firefighter Terrance Keeby. Guys like Terrance risk their necks night in and night out on their jobs, making sure that we are safe. The horrible occurrence of the 9/11 tragedy left Terrence reeling, and he vowed to build a Lowrider in tribute to the Americans who lost their lives that day and to the others who have strengthened each other since the crisis. This fire engine red '61 Ragtop is live from New York and represents "The Big Apple" to the fullest! We can thank our East Coast friends, Marvin and Bean from the Drastic Car Club, no strangers to our West Coast shows themselves, for corrupting Terrance into building a Lowrider that earned him a spot with their club. The ride traveled across the country to be unveiled at the Las Vegas Super Show last year, and made more than an impression on the crowd. Terrence and crew's hard work really paid off, and you could feel the sense of accomplishment they share in this incredible build. As they posed next to the car for pictures taken, family and friends could not help but feel as tall as Lady Liberty herself, as this car is truly one-of-a-kind. You might not normally think of New York and its Five Boroughs being a Lowrider haven, but trust me; this '61 Impala will change all that in a hurry. One look at the murals, which adorn the valve covers of the chromed-out engine, will have your chest thumping with pride. They are murals from 9/11 scenes that tribute the firefighters from N.Y. who fought valiantly during the tragedy, and you will undoubtedly be proud of this Lowrider and all it stands for. Clearly, New York has another legend to boast about.

This month's "Lowrider Garage" is a fun one; we'll be showing you the ideal process used to increase the thickness of a natural oxide layer on the surface of your chrome strips or moldings. The process is called Anodizing, and it decreases the chance of corrosion and wear resistance. Think of it as a clear sealer put on your polished metal by way of electrical circuit adhesion. This is a must if you're about to restore a classic. If you're not into moldings and chrome deluxe accessories and want to go full custom, we have a suicide solution for you as well in our Tech Department garage also. Please remember that custom modifications flow with certain types of makes and styles of cars. In other words tilt hoods, doors, and trunks should not be designed or built into a car for judging points at car shows. The risk has to equal the reward too, so when you do the unthinkable − make sure it looks factory installed! Scissors Doors Inc. has put out an engineered hinge kit for those of you interested in suicide doors on your ride. This hinge kit prevents your doors from hanging, so you will be able to close and open your doors a thousand times without chipping your paintjob. Another important resource for a job like this is having the right metal fabrication shop at your disposal. Sometimes you've gotta leave the work in the hands of professionals.

While we're on the topic, I'd like to talk to you about creativity, innovation, and failure. The three are inevitably intertwined, and while I encourage everyone to build their own version of a dream car; remember that we all have different skill sets. Cutting corners by doing it yourself when you're not skilled enough to try a major mod not only gives a bad name to custom car culture, it is also sure to scare away anyone who wants to work with you in the future. We've all had nightmares that our dream projects got hacked up because of inexperience, so don't be that guy. You'd rather drive a dream than neglect a nightmare; trust me. The better your ride looks out on the street, the better you represent the Lowrider culture. This is not to scare any of you away from going all-out; just merely a reminder to outsource the parts of the build you're not as comfortable with. If you're looking for new mod ideas, we also covered the National Roadster show in this month's issue, and the rides there did not disappoint!

We're also happy to follow last month's issue with more jam-packed traditional rides, customs, bombs and inspirational stories! Thank you for supporting Lowrider!

Respectfully,

Joe Ray