Dave's Dream

Smithsonian lowrider an expression of New Mexico community



Chimayo , NM – Dave’s Dream wasn’t just any clean Espanola Valley lowrider.

This immaculate 1969 Ford LTD lowrider was so extraordinary that the Smithsonian Institute bought it from Irene Jamarillo in 1992 and included it as piece of its eternal collection in the Museum’s former Road Transportation hall.

The car was once owned by Irene’s late husband David Jamarillo who died in a car accident in 1978.

“I don’t think he’d be able to believe it,” Irene Jamarillo said of her husband David.
The chronicle of Dave’s Dream attracted the curators of the Smithsonian Institution when they began exploring for objects representing the subsistence of the Rio Grande Valley in an “American Encounters” showcase.

“This is the first lowrider in the history of the world, to my knowledge, that’s going into a museum. Said Bill Withuhn, keeper of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History.

The LTD is a limited edition coupe with a powerful 429 cubic-inch V-8 and four speed transmission. Jamarillo purchased the coupé from his cousin in 1975 and, like many youthful Hispanics growing up in Espanola Valley , began customizing it. He used the car to drive back and forth to his job in the uranium mines near Grants. He added leg pipes, flared fenders, a custom chrome grille and “Frenched” tail lights.

“In the sun it’s any color you want it to be,” said Dennis Martinez, who helped recondition the car along with the Bajitos car club. Dennis Martinez is a cousin of Jamarillo’s who also is married to Irene Jamarillo’s sister, Ercelia.

An extensive gold stripe runs across the side of the car, along with wide, pink streamers, elusive butterflies, white stars and two lower-level antennae’s. The cars interior is upholstered with plush black and red velvet in a diamond and button tuck contour. A remote control color TV is installed in the back.

Even beneath the wheel wells, a range of New Mexico icons embellish the painting frame – a yucca plant, a road runner bird, and Camel Rock, a familiar sight on the highway to Santa Fe.

The trunk contains 4 rail batteries and a pair of chrome hydraulic pumps that can lift or drop the car. In the valley, the lowrider is a prominence representation that can bump up the status of an everyday person the way a top quality mount once made a man a cowboy.

“When you get into your ride, it’s like putting on a good suit. It makes you feel good,” Dennis Martinez said.





Dave's Dream

1969 Ford LTD

Smithsonian lowrider an expression of New Mexico community