In 1989, Doug went back to his roots, and took the traditional road with his first '64 Chevy Impala convertible. "That was the car I always wanted. It's the same year I was born, too," he beams. The Impala came out exactly as he pictured it, and they say "perfection breeds perfection", so it was only right to step it up a notch with an encore. Two years later, he refurbished one of the most sought after cars in Chevrolet history, a '64 Chevy Impala Supersport Convertible. He dubbed the Chevy "Classic Blues," and fully restored it back into its original glory, turning heads wherever he went and rightfully earning tons of respect from his peers. It was in the late '90s where Doug flourished, making a bold commitment to himself that the next ride he built was truly going to be one of the best the culture had ever seen. He was right.
Making the decision to go all out on a vehicle is easier said than done, and it means you have to have a building plan. Realizing that plan may take a year or more at least, so patience and dedication are the keys to success, according to Doug. "One thing for sure, it takes a lot of heart and soul to put into it," he preaches. After a few years in development, his patience paid off, and in 1999, Doug unveiled his best ride to date. His "Heavy Hitter '64," a total revamp of the Supersport Convertible, made a statement and steered Doug towards the full custom class. Winning in that class wouldn't be easy, however. He encountered some tough local competitors like his own compadre, Trino Alfaro, the builder of "Cherry '64," and other serious Impala customizers like Chuy, aka "Scarface", Harold James' with his '63 Chevy ragtop "Hawaiian Punch" and Southern California's Vernon "VMax" Max, with his extensive collection of traditional Impalas. As much as these guys are great lowrider competitors, overtime, they also became Doug's good friends. "On any given Sunday, anyone of us could take First Place. That's how neck and neck we were." says Doug, who also adds that he shares a mutual respect with those guys, whom he feels are all as equally dedicated as he.
2002 would provide Doug with two of his most cherished memories from his illustrious lowriding career. His 2002 Supershow appearance in Las Vegas earned him a Third Place trophy for the Lowrider Car of the Year Award, and he also made LRM's centerfold feature layout in our December 2002 issue. That third place ranking fondly shares a home on his shelf, along with many other trophies that undoubtedly hold interesting stories of their own. Some of those tales stem from the numerous TV appearances his cars have made throughout the years. He's been asked to bring his cars to the set of NBC's "Nash Bridges," and participate in local evening news shows like "Graffiti Night" in Modesto. He also saw screen time in music videos, most recently garnering airtime on "Pimpeando" for MTV 3, and a few years back with a call from Delinquent Habits for their music video shoot in 1997.
His work is not all centered around the glamour of television and movies, Vigil has also given back to his community in many ways. In 1999, his Aunt Velma Lucero, a member of community action group in Sacramento, was having trouble getting a campaign car built for her AIDS program. Doug happily stepped in, and delivered the perfect vehicle to her doorstep within a month. That ride turned out to be a '53 Chevy Bel-Air known as, "Tu Vida Cuenta," which was driven throughout California for a Statewide Aids Prevention and Awareness Campaign.