Lowriding in Bakersfield, California has been around for over 30 years. The city "over the hill" from Los Angeles is an integral part of the history of Lowriding. Car clubs in the area like Carnales Unidos, have been Lowriding since the 1970's, and are a key component to the success of Lowriding in the city of Bakersfield and its surrounding communities.
Carnales Unidos member John Fernandez, a product of this historical area, has been Lowriding since he was very young. He recalls cruising Chester Ave. in downtown Bakersfield with his friend Manual Gonzales during the 1980's.The attention the Lowriders got was intoxicating for John, and it would become his life's passion.
Having been officially hooked on the culture, John knew that he had to build a Lowrider, so the inaugural quest to find the perfect one began. John found a 1978 Chevy Monte Carlo in pretty good condition, so he bought it and brought the Monte Carlo home. As he stared at it in his driveway, John knew that it was time to turn the car into a Boulevard cruiser that was going to turn heads.
Throughout his years of cruising Chester Ave., John had met some friends in the scene, so he enlisted their help with the Monte. The crew went to work on the Chevy, along with its proud owner, John, to get it primed and ready for a fateful debut on the Boulevard they loved. The car was completed as a street car, but eventually, John decided to take it to another level.
To accomplish his overhaul, a Chevy 305 crate engine was sourced by John, and he had Carlos Ponce and Danny Cortez dress it up with some chrome accessories, before installing it in the Monte Carlo. Once the engine and transmission were in running order, it was time to tackle the suspension. Once again, the duo of Carlos Ponce and Danny Cortez worked their magic on this upgrade. A Pro Hopper Hydraulic set up was installed, using two pumps, 3 dumps, and 6 solenoids to help get the Monte Carlo moving in every direction. Six 3100 series batteries keep the system powered. Lastly, the frame was reinforced, and the entire undercarriage was accented with paint and chrome. 13x7 Reverse Gold Spoke Daytons on Remington tires completed the rolling stock upgrades.
John next moved onto the Monte Carlo's body. He added a 1980 Monte Carlo front clip, and 1989 Chevy Celebrity wagon headlights. A pair of 1996 Lincoln tail lights and a shaved firewall completed the upgrades to the body. Pelon, from Jassos Paint and Body, and Danny Cortez primed the body to be ready for paint. Once the body was ready, Danny sprayed a base of House of Kolors Candy Purple, with a Fuchsia flake on the car. He then added multiple patterns in Fuchsia Pink and Pearls. Jake, from Pinstripe by Jake, added his accents to the Monte Carlo, and Alberto Herrera added murals of gladiators, skulls, and women throughout the car. The combinations of the patterned paint job, pinstriping, and murals have attracted quite a bit of attention for John.
John had Raul from Raul's Upholstery cover the interior in matching magenta and purple fabric to compliment the exterior. Danny Cortez molded the dash and door panels, which were painted to match the exterior. Alberto Herrera once again worked his magic on the interior, and added murals to the dash and door panels. John, Carlos Ponce, and Danny Cortez added the Alpine components in the dash and placed Punch, Kicker, and JL Audio speakers throughout the car, to give John just the right amount of in-car entertainment he needed while cruising the streets of Bakersfield or being parked at a car show.
Three years ago, John was introduced to Carnales Unidos by his friend, Chuy. The club was the perfect fit for John because of their strong ties to the surrounding communities and the youth in Bakersfield. John has coached youth baseball for 12 years, and the club has helped to sponsor his team and other youth organizations in the Bakersfield area. The club's outreach was very appealing to John, and, to this day, he is very proud to be a member of the club.
Now that the Monte is complete, John has finally been able to hit a few shows. He took first place in his class at the 2009 Bakersfield Nationals, and most recently, first place in his class at the 2010 LG Fresno show.
A humble Lowrider, steeped in family and positive values, John acknowledges that he did not build the car on his own, so he would like to thank his family, friends, and club members for their support with the Monte Carlo. Without their help, "The Rebirth" would not have become a reality.