It goes without saying that the core of any custom lowrider starts out with the Chevy brand. Carlos Gomez, a 27-year-old mechanic from Durham, North Carolina, shares that same belief. He purchased a '63 Chevy Impala and immediately began putting time and money into it. Cruising home one night after a car club meeting, his Impala was hit from the back and totaled. Escaping injury, Carlos was left with a dilemma. His decided to search for a new Chevy to build or find something that had already been started.

He was well aware of a '98 Lincoln Town Car in Kentucky that was built by a man known as Lincoln James. The Lincoln was sprayed purple and had a flashy appeal, which was what Carlos wanted. After he made a reasonable offer on the Town Car, it was shipped to North Carolina. The first step was bringing the Lincoln to his shop where he removed the entire motor. The electronics were ripped out and the entire engine bay was gutted. With the Chevy mentality still active, he received a clean Chevy Caprice 350 motor from a club member and sent it to Concord Plating in North Carolina to coat it in chrome. The firewall was shaved down to give the Lincoln a little more access room for the upgraded motor.

A mechanic since the age of 15, Carlos was able to handle the majority of the build by himself. The entire Lincoln frame was removed and fellow club member Rocky painted the frame to match the custom purple paint. While the frame was removed, Carlos began adding reinforcements to the entire body. A two-pump CCE setup was laid in and hard-lined for a cleaner look. To give it a slightly different exterior, Adrian, from Celtic Customs in Greensboro, North Carolina, brought the Town Car into the paint booth and altered the custom paint. A PPG Passion Pearl Purple mixed with House of Kolor Candy Magenta coated the entire exterior. Adrian added a touch of creativeness by airbrushing women down each side and Carlos' club "Lowyalty" on the engine firewall. The interior was wrapped in a combination of black vinyl and purple suede with Lowyalty logos stitched into each seat.

Lowyalty Car Club has grown in the last couple of years into a well-organized family group. Each member has contributed their time and passion toward not only their own cars but to each member. Carlos and his wife, Maria, have two children, Nathan, 4, and Daniel, 11 months. Nathan has already expressed interest in his father's passion, similar to what Carlos had done with his father, Carlos Sr. His flare for creativity has already gotten him respect on the streets with his Lincoln. "One thing I truly love is when you pop the hood and you see a Chevy engine in a Lincoln," Carlos says. "Nothing beats that."

Purple Rain
Owner: Carlos Gomez
Vehicle: '98 Lincoln Town Car
City/State: Durham, North Carolina
Club: Lowyalty Car Club

Engine/Drivetrain: This is the first Lincoln with a Chevy 350-cid V-8. The 700 R4 tranny was rebuilt. Chrome-plating was done by Concord Plating in Concord, North Carolina. A Hot Shot cam was installed along with a shift kit, Headman headers and a dual Flowmaster exhaust. All the work was done by Carlos at Charlie's Transmission in Durham.

Body/Paint: Adrian, from Celtic Customs, sprayed the first custom paint with PPG Passion Pearl Purple and a mixture of House of Kolor Candy Magenta. Adrian also added custom murals down the side and a club logo on the firewall as well as pinstriping throughout. The frame was removed from the body and club member Rocky handled the painting of the undercarriage and frame.

Interior: The Lincoln was wrapped in black vinyl with purple suede inserts in the seats. The ceiling has suede lines through it that flow to the trunk where the Lowyalty logos are stitched into the vinyl seats. All the interior work was done by Pepe's Upholstery in Durham.

Sound System: A Jensen 7-inch flip-out DVD player was added, along with Kicker mids and high components. One 600-watt Kicker amplifier is used to power the two 8-inch Kicker subwoofers hidden in a Plexiglas wall behind the back seats. The stereo work was all done by Carlos.

Setup: Carlos added a Full Motion two-pump, two-dump CCE hydraulic setup. A CCE 8-inch lift to the front and a 12-inch lift to the rear are powered by six Trojan Marine batteries. Two switches handle the moves mounted on the dashboard. The Lincoln was wrapped for reinforcement, and the stress points were all coated in steel to protect from bending.

Tires: P155/80R13 Continental

Wheels: 13x7, 100-spoke OG Wire anodized purple spokes and lip

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