Model: Kara Kelli

Jose Martinez of Camarillo, California has lived in the vast Southern California region for his whole life. Being infatuated with music and the big custom car scene that has originated from here, he admits that he’s always dreamed about building up a car, cruising it and ultimately dedicating it to the southern half of his home state. This region of California he affectionately calls the “Big Sur,” meaning big “South” in Spanish, and for those of you who have visited, lived, or still do live here, I don’t have to explain the draw of cruising a Lowrider down PCH.

At only six years of age, Jose fell in love with Lowriders, and while others his age were playing with toys, he would make sure to attend all the local car shows. Even as a small child, Jose had his own Lowrider bicycle, which he began customizing to his own specifications. At age 16, he became the luckiest kid on his block, as he had come across a 1959 Impala convertible for sale in his own hometown. The ragtop was in dire need of a full restoration, but Jose was more than willing to put in the time and effort to do it right. The result ended up being this beautiful blue topless ride, which sports a rare continental kit, bumper guards, and power windows.

Now that it’s finished, Jose will cruise his Impala to the local shows or get-togethers, enjoying the fruits of his labor to the fullest. He says he is content with where his ride is at now and doesn’t plan on adding any further customizations, as he likes having a street custom ride, to drive anywhere. He thanks his mother, father, brothers, and sisters for their emotional support and physical help with the build-up of this project. He also thanks the general lifestyle and culture of Lowriding, which has been an overwhelmingly positive influence on him, keeping him out of trouble and away from gangs. Jose says he’ll definitely be Lowriding for life! Glad to hear it, Jose!

Tech Specs
“Big Sur”

Owner: Jose Martinez

Vehicle: 1959 Chevrolet Impala Convertible

City/State: Camarillo, CA

Club: Ventura County Riders Car Club

Engine: Original, but rebuilt, 283-c.i.d. V8

Body/Paint: Alfonso, of Benton Court Body Shop in Moorpark, California, was the man in charge of prepping the body and adding the final finish of eye-popping Atlantic Blue paint.

Interior: Superior Interior redid the interior for Jose in the original pattern and two-tone color.

Sound System: Jose did not want to get too in-depth with the sound system, and wanted to keep things clean and simple. Ultimately, he installed a Sony head unit, two California amplifiers and three Sony 6x9-inch mid-range speakers.

Setup: Augie Gomez of Lugo’s Hydraulics in El Rio, California wanted to preserve this classic ride by installing a clean and subtle two-pump setup powered by three deep-cycle batteries.

Tires: 155/80/R13 Cooper whitewall.

Wheels: 13x7 LA Wire.