Model: Monique Lagorce
Clothing By: www.kandyshopbikinis.com

The spirit of lowriding is stronger than ever, but what really carries the tradition of lowriding is not just the cars themselves, but more importantly the stories behind their builds. This month LOWRIDER Magazine takes a look at two different Impalas from Los Angeles Car Club that embody the heritage of classic American cars built with a twist.

Hecho en Mexico

When industry tastemaker, Javier "Mexico" Gomez set out to build the car of his dreams, little did he know it would become a family affair. Originally purchased from a friend for a hefty $30,000, the ragtop would consume countless hours of manual labor, but it was the process of building the car that would create memories that could only be told and never sold. Built with the help of his father Don Beto, the most laborious part of the process was the metalwork. "The car required a lot of metalwork to get it back to tip-top shape, but even more time was spent tracking down parts," said Javier. In total, he spent four years tracking down hard-to-find parts including an electronic eye, vacuum ashtray, litter bag, compass, and a rear speaker switch just to name a few.

In all, a total of $90,000 was spent bringing this historic piece of automotive history back to life and in the end he built a driver — not a trailer queen — that has already taken home numerous awards including Best Original at the Lowrider Super Show in 2008 as well as Best Original in 2009 at the Arizona Lowrider Show.

When we talked more about the culture and heritage and of lowriding, Javier did have some important things to say about the evolution of lowriding. "Nowadays, lowriding is still strong, but I think we're at a point of transition," he says. "We're slowly getting the respect and attention from the hot rod guys and I think that all started with all of the LS motor swaps that the scene has been cranking out. If you were to ask me, I think the next big thing is going to be working more on our suspension setups just to show them that our cars can drive and handle as good as they look."

That said, we couldn't agree more. Today, lowriding continues to be one of the most detail-oriented markets of car customizing, and when it comes to paint, candy, and chrome, many of the top contenders in the scene continue to set the benchmark in craftsmanship and quality. As each year passes, we're seeing builds that could easily compete with the best in concours, but what makes these builds different is the simple fact that a majority of these cars are built and not bought, while being crafted and created with the support of more than just a checkbook. In the end, these cars become members of the family and will serve as a vehicle to carry tradition and family values.

Tech Specs

Vehicle: 1958 Chevy Impala convertible

Owner: Javier "Mexico" Gomez

Vehicle Nickname: "Hecho en Mexico '58"

City/State: South Gate, CA

Club: Los Angeles CC

Engine: 283 four-barrel

Body/Paint: Mexico Collision Center — Honey Beige PPG

Interior: Anniversary Gold interior by California Upholstery

Suspension: N/A

Sound System: Wonderbar radio, Epicenter crossovers

Wheels/Tires: 13-inch Daytons Zenith knockoffs on 5/20/13s Coker Premium Sport tires