When most lowriders think about building a new project car, what immediately comes to mind are cars like Chevy Impalas, Monte Carlos, those old Deluxes and anything else that came from General Motors. But what about Mercury? No, not the planet, the automobile brand. You know, the car that your grandpa or grandma drove to church or to the local bingo parlor on Sundays.

Well, that was exactly what was told to Armando Torres of San Jacinto, California, when he told his friends and family that he was going to buy a worn-out '68 Mercury Montego. "Why, Armando?" was the cry from friends and family. That didn't change Armando's mind, and he bought the car anyway.

The old Mercury had some wear and tear on it, and to the normal car builder, it had some potential, but unless you're a hardcore Ford fan, why build one? Well, for one thing, the car is a ragtop and how many '68 Mercury Montego ragtops have you seen cruising the freeways lately? Let's rephrase that. How many '68 Mercury Montegos have you seen period? That's exactly why Armando wanted to build one.

Armando is no stranger to building custom cars. You might remember his immaculate '58 Chevy Del Rey from the February '05 issue of Lowrider, which had the most incredible blue paint and killer interior. You might also remember that Armando is a custom upholster by trade, and along with his brother Jorge and their father, Armando Sr., they own Armando's Upholstery in San Jacinto. Armando, Jorge and Armando Sr. all had a hand in creating something on this ride with a lot of the work done in house.

What can you say now about this old Mercury Montego? It's definitely not your grandma's church-going car anymore. In fact, it's actually quite a hot custom ragtop. Armando did tell us, though, that on occasion the car does have a tendency to pull hard to one side as he cruises by the local bingo hall.