The Lowrider bug strikes many at a young age, and Rolando Perez was no exception. At fifteen years old, Rolando picked up his very first Lowrider Magazine and instantly became hooked. He vowed that the immaculate machinery that graced the magazine pages would one day grace his own garage. Rolando grew up in Arlington, Virginia, and at the driving age of sixteen, he began building vehicles with the help of his father, Tito. "I remember removing and replacing my first engine at 16," he says proudly. While under the close supervision and tutelage of his father, Rolando's knowledge of mechanics grew. Now 29-years old and Vice President of a family owned trucking company, Rolando uses every bit of the lessons he learned on a daily basis.
Looking for a unique project, Rolando set out to find a ride that wasn't a common choice in the Lowrider world. He came across a 1982 Chevy Malibu Classic station wagon on one of his many trips to Louisville, Kentucky, and was intrigued on what it might become in his capable hands. He purchased the wagon and brought it to Brent and Jeremy Greer at Pitbull Hydraulics, located in Louisville. The brothers removed the frame and built a rolling chassis, and the Malibu's motor was removed and refurbished. Accessory parts were then sent out to Nice & Easy in San Diego for chroming, but Rolando was just getting started.
With a fully wrapped frame, he drove the Chevy to Josh Culver at Culver Customs in Louisville, where the ever-meticulous Josh smoothed the body down and added a custom mixture of grays and blacks, complimented by three pounds of Gun Metal flake. The wagon was brought back to Pitbull, and Brent installed a 3-pump, 3-dump hydraulic setup. A two-inch drop mount was placed in the rear for hopping capabilities, while one external hop switch was wired to launch the wagon, complemented by a 4-switch panel mounted on the dash to control the standard moves.
With well over 10 years of service to the Lowrider culture, Rolando has finally fulfilled his dream of being in the pages of LRM. He has recently started his own chapter of Individuals C.C. in Virginia, and has already taken top honors at local shows. Rolando mentions, "The Grocery Getter" couldn't have been completed without the help and inspiration from my father and family, along with the help of Brent and Josh from Kentucky." His longtime girlfriend Alejandra tells us, "It began as a grocery getter, but now it's a show winner." Nudging Rolando, she adds, "Hopefully, one day you'll see me in the pit, hopping the wagon!" With a strong upbringing and a focused mind, Rolando was able to transform an everyday wagon into a one-of-a-kind grocery store parking lot hopper!
Owner: Rolando Perez
Vehicle: '82 Chevrolet Malibu Classic Station Wagon
City/State: Herndon, Virginia
Club: Individuals C.C.
Engine/Drivetrain: 3.8 V6 rebuilt by Brent and Jeremy Greer of Pitbull Hydraulics in Kentucky; chrome plating by Armando Medina of Nice & Easy Plating in San Diego, California; turbo 350 and a custom bent Flowmaster exhaust
Body/Paint: By Josh Culver of Culver Customs in Louisville, Kentucky; Sherwin Williams Charcoal Gray basecoat, Gun Metal flake, three different grays and custom-mixed black tinted coating; six layers of Sherwin Williams clearcoat
Interior: Seats and door panels upholstered in Madrid soft black vinyl by Ron Lucas from Louisville, Kentucky; black carpet and wood grain inserts by Pat from High Rise Customs in Woodbridge, Virginia.
Sound System: Pioneer PEH-P30CO1B head unit and installed six JL Audio components installed by Pat from High Rise Customs.
Setup: Three-pump Pitbull Hydraulic setup, single Adex dump, two oil systems, 8-inch Pitbull cylinders (front) and 14-inch (rear), eight Exide Turbo Start group 31 batteries, 4-switch panel, plus a one-switch external
Wheels: All chrome 96-spoke 13x7 Zenith wires
Tires: P155/80-R13 Cornell radials