When you think of superheroes, you think bright capes and flashy names, however most overlook the job that 41-year-old Anthony Maldonado from Denver, Colorado does. In '95 Anthony was on the way to his daily job as he passed by a firehouse and saw a fireman sitting out front smoking a cigar and laughing. "These guys knew something I didn't." Anthony tells us. Within two years, he had joined those men and became a Denver fireman.
In a sense of nostalgia, Anthony wanted to find a vehicle from the year he was born. When it came to shape and size, he knew this car would have to be an Impala, as he had always been a fan of these classic Chevrolet designs. He set his sights on the proper canvas to create his unique style, and located a '69 Chevrolet Impala at a home near his local bank. After months of scoping it out, he stopped by the house to have a better look. The owner wasn't home, but the curious Anthony inspected the Impala in the driveway as best he could. A month later, he found the same year Impala in a classified advertisement. He called the owner, and as fate would have it, this was the same exact vehicle! During the purchase of the car, Anthony mentioned that he was a firefighter, and in an even crazier twist of fate, the man that sold him the Impala ended up becoming a firefighter three years later. Such is the life of a superhero.
The main task Anthony wanted to accomplish was to design the Chevy in such a way that it would really stand out on the Denver streets. He enlisted the legendary Sonny Valdez to lay down House of Kolor Oriental Green Kandy flake, with graphics and patterns in the way that only the talented Sonny could possibly design. During the painting process, Anthony would occasionally venture into Sonny's shop with a case of beer, showing his appreciation for Sonny's work and offering a refreshing break. True to his creative methods, Sonny actually used pieces of the cardboard from the case of beer to complete some of the graphics! When it came time for suspension, Anthony asked his friend Sam Henry, of Sam's Kustom Hydraulics in Denver, to lift the heavy body. A two-pump, four-dump setup was installed and positioned so that even with the car at its lowest, it would still clear driving height.
The next step was gutting the interior. Balls Deep Kustom Rods in Arvada, Colorado handled the task of wrapping the bench seats in white and green vinyl, before coating the trunk with the same pattern, and adding "Big Time '69" stitching. Anthony added his own touch, by installing enough bass that he could be heard several blocks away from the firehouse. For extra giddy-up, the motor was overhauled and rebuilt by Rivera Auto in Denver, Colorado, and the final step to the build was completed by adding a set of 13-inch, straight-laced Dayton wire wheels.
Anthony's limited time in working on his car is attributed to his high priority job. He isn't rescuing kittens out of trees; he is saving children from fires and extracting accident victims out of vehicles. "My worst call was about a child not breathing. Having a young child of my own, I took it very seriously. After getting the address of the location, I found out it was my home and my baby girl. Every minute it took for my truck to get there seemed to take an hour." Fortunately, his daughter regained her breathing, and everything turned out okay. This incident is proof plenty that at the drop of a hat, Anthony is ready to take on situations that most of us simply couldn't handle. When it comes to superheroes, it's always good to know that we have someone like Anthony Maldonado in our own Lowrider culture. We definitely need them.
Big Time '69
Owner: Anthony Maldonado
Vehicle: '69 Chevrolet Impala
City/State: Denver, Colorado
Club: Street Time C.C.
Engine/Drivetrain: The V8 350-c.i.d. was removed and rebuilt by Rivera Auto in Denver, Colorado. An Edelbrock carburetor and chroming was added for looks.
Body/Paint: Sonny Valdez handled the large Impala by sanding and removing the door handles and moldings, before laying down rich coats of House of Kolor Oriental Green Kandy paint throughout the body. Sonny added creative murals and pinstripe in his usual fashion.
Interior: Shawn Groom at Balls Deep Kustom Rod's in Arvada, Colorado removed the seats and coated them in White and Green vinyl. Green loop carpet was added to keep the colors flowing. A Grant steering wheel topped off the interior additions.
Sound System: Anthony added an Alpine head unit that runs sounds through the Infinity components lined in the cabin. One 18-inch Kicker square subwoofer gives the Impala the bump it needs.
Setup: The Impala was brought to Sam Henry of Sam's Kustom Hydraulics in Denver, Colorado, where he added a two-pump Showtime hydraulic setup using 8-inch cylinders in the front and 10-inch cylinders in the rear. Six Workforce batteries line the trunk and give plenty of juice to the 8-switch panel hidden inside the cabin.
Tires: P155/80R13 Mastercraft rubber
Wheels: 13-inch straight-laced 100-spoke Dayton wire wheels