WEATHER »
Lowrider Cab owner Benny Bermudez stands by one of his rides.

Paul Wellman

Lowrider Cab owner Benny Bermudez stands by one of his rides.


Cruisin’ Down the Street in My ‘64

Santa Babylon’s Classiest Cab


Living in a hip-hop video is but a phone call away. Next time you need a ride, be it downtown, uptown, across town, or to a liquor store to buy a 40-ounce of freedom, there is a sparkling emerald green chariot, riding low to the ground and waiting to deliver you to your destination. You can hear its bassy, rumbling growl two blocks away, its profile cutting a classic California image through your neighborhood as it approaches. As the cherry fresh 1964 Impala pulls up outside your house, you can’t help but flash on thoughts of Eazy-E, Dr. Dre, and Snoop Dogg. You open the heavy, low-slung door and stoop inside; the plush white interior dazzles your eyes and welcomes you with a cool and relaxing embrace. Cue the record Mr. DJ, this ain’t your Momma’s cab ride, it’s time to roll in style mile after mile. Welcome to Lowrider Cab, Santa Babylon’s freshest, funkiest, and most fun way to get from Point A to Spot X.

Jumping into the local cab landscape during the busiest time of year, 29-year-old Benny Bermudez launched Lowrider last August during Fiesta days. With virtually zero cabby experience, save for a stint as Shorty’s Skateboards team manager, Bermudez, who still works a 9-5 at Shorty’s, was not afraid of his new business venture’s trial by fire. “I drove across country with some of the craziest professional skateboarders just absolutely wasted and figured [driving a cab] couldn’t be much harder than that,” explained Bermudez, before adding, “Plus, if it didn’t work out, I figured either way I would wind up with a really nice car.” Turns out, his gamble that the masses would dig on a full-blown themed small-scale cab company was anything but-Lowrider proved to be a serious crowd-pleaser during its first weekend on the job. “It’s been great,” said Bermudez with pride and surprise. “At least once every night I have someone who gets in and is like, ‘This is the sickest cab I have ever been in!’”

The ‘64, which is now joined by a similarly styled 1997 Lincoln Town Car and a soon to hit the streets lowered limo, hasn’t always been a head-turner. In fact, in an ironic arrival to its new stomping grounds, the Impala first showed up in town a few years ago on the back of a tow truck. Purchased by Bermudez off of Craigslist from Northern California for $1,500-“bought without ever really seeing it,” he laughed-the now gorgeous ride was a bit of a clunker before its restoration process. “When I picked it up and tried to drive it, it didn’t even have a gas pedal,” remembered Bermudez. Besides that, and perhaps even more disturbingly, the entire inside was once covered with sketchy, leopard patterned sheets. But now, after almost two years of rehab work that included an entirely rebuilt engine, the Impala is a slick and sexy machine that oozes a classic and contagious California cool that is downright enjoyable for passengers and passersby alike-something that Benny seems to take genuine pride in: “Basically, I just want to make it fun for the people.”

4*1*1

Lowrider Cab: Call 722-5118 or visit lowridercab.com.

To submit a comment on this article, email letters@independent.com or visit our Facebook page. To submit information to a reporter, email tips@independent.com.



event calendar sponsored by:

SEC Sues Goleta Breast Implant Company’s CEO for Fraud

Hani Zeini allegedly concealed information and misled investors.

Goleta Woman Arrested in Hope Ranch for Prowling

Christen Aceves was also wanted for unlawful possession of a bird of prey.

Man Talked Down from Goleta Overpass

The 48-year-old had tied himself to a sign support.

Get Oil Out Founder and Dolphin Sculptor Bud Bottoms Dies

He was a true man-about-town and an engaged public citizen.

Plastic Bags? Throw ’Em Away

Santa Barbara County makes recycling rules tougher in face of exacting standards.