Badass biker babe and hotrodder, Joalda Lopez, is takin’ names and kickin’ ass in Albuquerque New Mexico. Joalda owns and operates Rebel Road Hot Rod Garage and started modelling when she was 17. She was asked to help with a promotional shoot for a tattoo shop. The shoot was done in a pinup style and has become a way of life for her.
Being a builder, you better believe she has some cool rides including a 1954 Chevy that’s been chopped, and a 1984 Datsun 720z pickup that was passed down from her father. Her father bought the truck brand new and it has been a part of her life since she was a little girl. A biker babe, needs a bike too. She rides a 1997 Harley Davidson Sportster that’s got a 1200 cc conversion, hardtail kit, and a springer front end in the works. Joalda hopes to one day own a 1937 La Salle Hearse and a 1971 Chevelle.
Mrs. Rebel Road’s Hobbies include motorcycling, building puzzles, fishing, and working on cars when she isn’t busy being the ONLY female automotive restoration shop owner in the state! She also hits up car shows and motorcycle rallies regularly. When the day is done, Joalda finishes it off with a medium rare prime rib steak, potatoes, and a tall beer. And her ideal vacation? Somewhere tropical with an open bar.
Joalda’s shop, Rebel Road Hot Rod Garage, in Albuquerque New Mexico, specializes in the customization, restoration, and maintenance of classic cars, trucks and motorcycles. They handle everything from oil changes to full frame off custom restorations on pre 1987 vehicles. They have been in business just 2 years, and have already built a reputable name for themselves, as well as a start to a social media following. Make sure you follow @mrs.rebel_road and @rebelroadhotrodgarage on Instagram.
“My fiancé and I talked about opening up a hotrod shop as a joke or possibly a retirement plan. My fiancé has LIVED and BREATHED classic cars since he was a kid! So it was bound to happen. I was one of the first groups to get furloughed during the pandemic because, I was in the medical field. This was before unemployment was available. My fiancé and I started working on cars in our back yard just to make ends meet. He came home one day and I had the LLC paper work for “Rebel Road Hot Rod Garage.” Filled out and told him. “We are opening up a hot rod shop!” The idea of having something that’s MINE and being able to have 100% control of my finances really intrigued me. We were supposed to get married in 2020. We used our canceled wedding funds to start our business.”
“We have had A LOT of cool projects come through the shop. My favorite though has to be a 1979 r65 BMW motorcycle. It came in for a full restoration. It is my favorite because the customer gave us 100% control of the customization of the bike. Which I was able to lead the fab and style of the bike! She came out STUNNING!
We have a few cool current projects. One is a 1974 Cadillac Ambulance in for a semi restoration. A 1976 k10 for a full restoration that the owner has had since NEW! And A 1956 Willys with a trail rig conversion!”
“Opportunity for a huge thanks to one of our closest friends who helped us get started, Kawika Smith. My father in law, Jay Rockwell, who helps in any way he can, and our first set of customers who trusted us despite our startup and our age.
We have HUMONGOUS PLANS for Rebel Road! We are currently looking into adding our second location in the state of New Mexico. Grow a brand so big those that don’t have classic cars recognize it!”
“Funny shop story was when my fiancé called me into the shop to look at an empty engine compartment. Weird right. Well I looked and there was a CHICKEN! A whole live ass chicken was just hanging out in an engine compartment of a 1960 c10. Naturally I picked it up and brought it into the show room where it hung out with us for the rest of the day. We named it Tony and helped it get home once the sun started to set. It was such a sweet chicken.”
Thanks Joalda for being apart of our first issue of 2023 and good luck in the future, hopefully we will be writing about your huge Rebel Road brand again in the future.
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Article: Brian Holzli
Photography: Wen C Wu (@wu_zhih_wen)