Attending car shows, specifically in the western hemisphere, one tends to see a bit of everything custom; or should we say “kustom” for the sake of this article? Having gone to more than a thousand shows since the late ’70s, I’ve seen my share of cool stuff and mediocre crap. Trends and traditions can fluctuate just like the stock market.
In this case it’s about the people who delve into the world of the lowered, vintage GM rides with the to-die-for body mods and paint schemes. No “zillion dollar” set of wheels and high-tech tires will make your daily driver ever come close to the wow-factor invested in these rolling pieces of art. Nope, just plenty of heart, imagination, and mechanical know-how with a mix of talent and a nod to tradition, a bit of tweaking to make it your own, and hopefully some recognition as to being part of the custom culture we so dearly cling to.
So when I was asked by Rob Fortier to give an update as to what the lowrider elitists were up to these days, it was with great honor and pleasure—but it wasn’t as smooth as we’d hoped it to be. Nope, crazy schedules, time frames, and time zones had me trying to gather a relevant group of talents who could share with us their stories and how things came to be as far as work ethic and role models they took on along the way. So here’s what they got for you and thanks to those who were able to help pave the way and blur that candied, chopped, and lowered “line” just a bit more for you and I.
Aaron Lobato, U.S. Kustoms, Albuquerque, New Mexico
Aaron Lobato, owner of U.S. Kustoms in Albuquerque, New Mexico, is a transplant from El Monte, California. He had his beginnings in 1991 when he was an avid reader of Custom Rodder magazine and has made quite a statement with his two cars, both ’53 Chevy customs that have seen ink in R&C and The Rodder’s Journal. The green one with a Watson-esque flavor and the other with a tubbed rearend and Mickey Thompson wide whites, have received their fair share of accolades from the godfathers of the custom culture and from the general public as well. Not bad for a guy in his mid ’30s.