No parent ever wants to be called into a conference with their child's teacher. Imagine getting the call for a conference with the teacher of your five year-old Kindergartner? The parents of David Anthony Garcia had that experience become a reality and the outcome of the meeting was both good and bad. The teacher contacted David Anthony's parents to show them the detailed drawing he drew during class. Sounds like a positive right? Well, the problem wasn't the drawing itself, it was that he had drawn it on his desk. This left the teacher in a bit of a predicament, as the drawing was so detailed and full of creativity, it couldn't have been made by the hand of an average five-year-old. Although he was in trouble, the teacher wanted David Anthony's parents to see the artistic talent that their son possessed. The Kindergarten encounter confirmed what his parents already knew, David Anthony had artistic talent.
David Anthony's introduction to the art of model building came from his father, who used to build models for David Anthony and his brother, Joseph. His dad would also buy the boys models every pay day for them to build. As his drawing talent increased, so did his penchant for intricate model building techniques. When he was thirteen, his father's friend, Bobby Ortiz, who was also a model builder himself, invited them to attend an IPMS (International Plastic Modeler Society) meeting in Orange County. He had been quickly impressed by the two boys' talent after seeing what they were doing with their models. Although at first there were mostly military themed models at these meetings, the Garcias helped to bring in the modelers that were building custom car models to the meetings.
Soon David Anthony and his brother were competing in model building events like OrangeCon, the Southern California Classic Model Car Show (Ontario), the Lower Left Coast Model Car Contest (San Diego), and the Cactus Classic (Victorville). He was building traditional hot rods, 50's customs and radical customs, using just about every type of model car part he could get his hands on. After a while, David Anthony was making a name for himself and getting a reputation for building very detailed models. Rick Hicks of Pegasus Hobbies built a Lowrider model called "Grapes of Wrath," which took Lowrider building to another level. This build, in turn, inspired David Anthony to build one of his own. Before that, most of the Lowrider models were hoppers/dancers, but not yet very detailed.
In 1995, he built "Highland '64" from scratch and parts from other kits. At that time there were no Lowrider model kits or parts, so David Anthony had to use parts from other kits or even make some of the parts himself. The build took a year to complete, as he took it to another level. At the time, most of the modelers glued the doors, hood, and trunk in an open position on their models. David Anthony made sure that "Highlander '64" had opening and closing doors, as well as the hood and trunk. "Highlander '64" was the first Lowrider model to win outside of the Lowrider category at the shows. It took "Best of Show," "Best Detail," "Best Interior," and "First Place Lowrider," at the Southern California Classic Model Car Show; a show which many consider to be the "Super Show" for model car builders. This was quite an accomplishment for David Anthony, since he was competing against modelers who were older and much more experienced than he was considering the fact that he was still a teenager!
Although "Highlander '64" secured David Anthony's reputation for high quality builds, his replication of Joe Ray's "Las Vegas" car would also garner him quite a bit of attention. The build quality and attention to detail in that build is still unrivaled today. Completion of this legendary model took David Anthony three years to complete after countless hours of research.