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Orlando ‘Orlie’ Martinez gives the 1964 Chevy Impala he drives for Low ‘n Slow Lowrider Tours an ‘eco-friendly carwash’ Friday after a light rain. He calls his car ‘La Reina.’

There’s no way to quantify this, but I’m pretty sure the happiest corner in Santa Fe is the intersection of Nusbaum Street and Washington Avenue.

Directly across from my front window.

Morning, noon and night, curious tourists, appreciative gearheads and nostalgic possessors of an AARP card gather around a silver (actually, cherry), 1964 Chevrolet Impala and a man named Orlie Martinez, a de facto ambassador to New Mexico’s lowrider culture and a helluva nice guy, to boot.

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Orlando 'Orlie' Martinez drops the backend of a 1964 Chevy Impala lowrider at the end of tour around downtown on August 26, 2022. “If it doesn’t scrape, then it’s not a lowrider,” Martinez said regarding the hydraulics of the car.

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Orlando 'Orlie' Martinez poses on Washington Avenue in front of the 1964 Chevy Impala he gives tours in for Heritage Hotels & Resorts Inc. on August 26, 2022.

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Orlando 'Orlie' Martinez gives the 1964 Chevy Impala he drives for Low ’n Slow Lowrider Tours an “eco friendly carwash” after a light rain on August 26, 2022.

Phill Casaus is editor of The New Mexican.

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