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SOTTO On Monday, December 26, 2011

Walt's impact on customs and lowriders has been felt for over 30 years. His style was all his own. The lines he laid, the scrolls he put down, his flames, his famous roses, the crazy full paintjobs he churned out...they are and will forever be legendary.

When I was a kid I heard Walt's name often. He striped many cars for my family in the late 60's. We lived only a few miles from his shop and my uncle had known him for years. In 1970, my uncle took his 65 Impala to Walt to get the quarter windows striped. Walt did it in just a few minutes. "Blues Image" adorned the window and my uncle Bob thanked Walt as he left his shop to hit the boulevard.

A couple years and alot of work later, my uncle's 65 was almost show-ready. My Grandpa finished the paint and it was time for the finishing touch....some striping by Walt. He was still local and was really making a name for himself. Walt was the go-to guy and always had a busy schedule. But my uncle wouldn't go to anyone else. With a new paint scheme the car needed a new name. "Plum Crazy". Walt did it in two colors in his signature lettering style. He outlined a bunch of panels with thick lines. And he did some pretty large scrolls on the side of the car. Again, my uncle was very satisfied and proud of the work Walt did on the car. It was the signature late 60's/early 70's Walt Prey style that he was known for.

Around the same time(late 60's) Walt did similar work on a 67 Impala that we've come to know and love. It was owned by a man I'm proud to call my friend, Howard Gribble. If you're familiar with this blog and with the Los Boulevardos messageboard, you've most likely seen this Impala before. Walt worked his magic on Howard's car and Howard had the great foresight to document it with quality photography.

Here's a young Walt Prey posing in front of Howard's 67 Impala.

Cars like Howard's 67 and my uncle Bob's 65 were the boulevard customs from an era that gave birth to the full-on lowriders that we know today. They were the missing link between 50's customs and 70's lowriders. Before lowriders were called lowriders. Walt's style was all over them. He was doing straight lines, scrollwork, dagger style designs, lettering, you name it. He played a huge part in the evolution of this style.

The natural progression was toward more crazy styles and techniques. Again, Walt Prey was at the forefront and his work was well on it's way to legendary status. Two words..."Gypsy Rose". This car(both versions) will forever be one of, if not the, most famous lowriders in history. And it was because of Walt Prey.

Hand painted roses, outlines, veiling, cobwebbing, fades....Walt did it all.

He was definitely a master of style.

It's safe to say that modern day lowrider style and custom paint in general would not be what it is today without the vision, talent, and work ethic of Walt Prey. Los Boulevardos Car Club thanks him from the bottom of our hearts. And our thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends.


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