When 34-year old New Mexico native Bobby Romero puts his mind to something, it exceeds expectations. His first attempt at a low custom ride was a '94 Honda Civic nicknamed "Bobby's World," which was featured in Lowrider Magazine's April 2002 issue. With a debut like that, his next custom ride had to go even further. After dropping out of the Euro scene, Bobby found a '61 Chevy Impala in Phoenix, Arizona, and knew it would be his next show winner.
Growing up around Espanola Valley which is known as the "Lowrider Capital of the World," Bobby knew first-hand the challenges he was about to face while building his dream Lowrider. He proceeded to break the rebuild down in order of importance and time that each aspect would take, that way he could have a smooth building sequence. First, the stock motor needed some work, so friends Sam, Jerry and Matt removed the motor and rebuilt it. His friend Willie was sent to Millennium Plating in California, on a mission to make sure that all the engine parts that needed to be chromed, were done so with expert care. Bobby along with his friends Lee, Vicente, and Felix installed the newly chromed rebuilt motor into the Impala.
No stranger to flashy paint, Bobby took the Chevy to Miguel Terrazos of Automotive Collision Experts in New Mexico for a unique combination of PPG Lemon Ice base coat. Ortiz in El Paso, Texas added his custom touch of pinstripe and silver leafing to really give the Impala some exterior style. Willie Trujillo grabbed the reins and added a four-pump, four-dump Pro Hopper hydraulic setup, using 8-inch cylinders to the front and 10-inch cylinders to the rear, which gave the Chevy a clear lift.
With the '61 coming along perfectly, Bobby went to Robert Rios of R & R Customs in El Paso, Texas who also happens to be the President of the Estilo Car Club, El Paso chapter. Robert removed the stock, white, torn-up seats and wrapped them in a theme of yellow and white vinyl biscuit tuck. Bobby then set his sights on the stereo installation, adding a Jensen DVD player and Kenwood components for clarity. Kenwood amplifiers power the carefully placed 10-inch subwoofers, which were built into the back wall of the trunk.
The unique part of Lemon Ice is that it's on the road daily. "What good is a car you spend so much time building if you can't enjoy it on the streets?" says Bobby's wife Cherie adding, "I'm extremely proud of him and support him every step of the way." As a family man and father of two beautiful children, Nazarae and Dylan, he involves them both in every aspect of his Lowrider passion and promises to help them when they decide to build their first custom cruiser. Thanks to the help of Bobby's friends Lee, Vicente, Leroy, Felix, Israel, Chris, Willie, Miguel, their wives, and the support of Estilo Car Club. Lemon Ice has reached the top of the shelf.
Owner: Bobby & Cherie Romero
Vehicle: '61 Chevrolet Impala
City/State: El Rancho, New Mexico
Club: Estilo C.C. Espanola Chapter
Engine/Drivetrain: Lemon Ice is powered by a rebuilt V8 283-c.i.d. The Powerglide transmission was replaced with a 350R for a better ride. An Edelbrock carburetor was added. The engine parts were removed and driven to Millennium Plating in California. Sam, Jerry and Matt rebuilt the motor with Bobby, Lee, Felix and Vicente making sure it was added and chromed correctly.
Body/Paint: Miguel Terrazas of Automotive Collision Experts in Espanola, New Mexico handled the bodywork and paint. The straightened body was covered in PPG Lemon Ice Yellow flowing into the engine bay and interior. Five Star Plating in El Paso, Texas took care of the re-chroming of the bumpers and undercarriage.
Interior: Robert Rios of R & R Customs out of El Paso, Texas recovered the stock seats and cabin with white and yellow biscuit tuck vinyl and yellow door panels and carpeting.