The name Mario DeAlba, Jr., of Mario’s Auto Works in Montclair, California, is certainly not new to regular readers; the list of past LRM feature vehicles that he’s owned/built includes “Suicide Revenge,” “24 Kilates,” “Cotton Candy,” “Ghetto Burban” and others. In fact, between Mario, his dad, Mario, Sr., and brothers Albert and Greg, the DeAlba family has had enough features to fill a magazine.
This month, we are proud to feature the latest incarnation of this artist’s vision, a ’93 Cadillac Fleetwood called “Cadistrophic,” a play on words aimed what it spells for the car’s competition at the shows. Judging from its record so far–First Place at LRM’s San Bernardino, California, show and again at the 2001 Super Show in Las Vegas, Nevada–the name is appropriate. Yet, like all of Mario’s cars, this was no overnight success. It took two years of nights and weekends, $30,000 and inspiration to create the custom Caddy.
“Back in the summer of ’96, I was driving an two-door ’80 Cadillac Coupe de Ville that I had just fixed up. The big bodies were just being seen then. When I saw Anthony Fuentes’ Caddy (from Imperials Car Club) I knew that I had to get one of those,” Mario recalls. “So, by winter ’98, as a Christmas present to myself, I purchased one.” Mario drove it for a year as a street cruiser, until he decided that it was time to go all out. “By then everyone had one so I knew that it would have to stand out above all the rest, as I have done with my other cars.”
The first step was to remove the body, then reinforce and fill the frame. Then, Nick and his dad at Corsair Powdercoating in Ontario, California, finished it in candy blue. Next Mario shaved the door handles and key locks and replaced them with ’93 Nissan Altima door handles. He also shaved the antenna, emblems and turn signals, Frenched the front license plate, molded and cut away the front wheels, added Euro-style taillights and (after painting the car) installed an E&G Classics Castle grille, Continental kit (with an Azteca wire wheel) and a Cabriolet top.
Speaking of painting, Mario started the flawless flaked finish by first laying on a DuPont Bahama blue chroma-basecoat mixed with a heap of House of Kolor chameleon blue metal flake. Then he applied subtle graphic patterns using custom-mixed candy green, blue and teal to accent the beautiful blue base, along with thin “pinstripe” lines created in the paint between the patterns.
However, it took the combined talents of top stripers Mike Lamberson and Mike Tippetts to apply the real striping to the car. The entire car, including the frame, suspension, rearend, gas tank, trunk, setup, doorjambs, hood, engine compartment and engine components (even the amps and speakers) are all striped. That’s not all of the artistic touches to the body; the firewall, doorjambs and the underside of trunk lid and hood are all fully muraled with lovely lady “painters” by Fonzy and Brian Garcia of Air Shots in Montclair.
Mario also dismantled the stock 5.7-liter V-8 engine and painted the block to match the body. He added tubular headers and a hand-built twin-ram air cleaner which he took, along with most of the engine parts and components (plus the suspension and rearend parts) to be plated. Victor in Pomona, California, did the chrome while C&M Gold Plating in Rancho Cucamonga, California, handled the gold. Mario also painted several engine components candy blue to finish it off in style.
To finish of the exterior, Azteca Wire Wheels sponsored Mario with a set of custom-made 13×7-inch chrome and gold wires with alternate gold and blue spokes and custom-engraved hex caps. The OG look is completed with P155/80-R13 Kelly Celebrity skinny whitewall tires. Mario filled the trunk with a super show setup featuring two gold and chrome pumps: a 3/4-inch ported Hi-Low Monster pump with an aluminum block and one OG Adel square dump for the front, and a Red’s G-4 pump with Marzocchi gears, an aluminum block and two Delta dumps for the rear. Hand-bent stainless steel lines, #6 and #8 hoses, seven batteries (hidden behind custom covers) and two Red’s Pro Blocks complete the package. Red’s cylinders (8-inch front and 10-inch rear) and 41/2-ton Red’s springs front and rear provide lift and control bounce.
All that remained was the interior and audio/video system. Willy of Willy’s Upholstery in Montclair created a blend of ’80s and ’90s styling using gray vinyl upholstered in Cadillac Fleetwood d’ Elegance patterns. Then the Mario’s Auto Works logo was embroidered in the fold-down center console. Digital gauges, carbon fiber dash panels and a custom-painted gold Billet Specialty steering wheel add to the Euro look.
Then, it was off to CBA Stereo in Montclair where Noah installed an awesome sight and sound system featuring an Alpine CVA 1000 AM/FM/DVD digital sound processor with TV monitor, three Icon TV screens (in the front headrests and center console), Rockford Fosgate Punch crossover, two JL Audio tweeters and six JL Audio mids. In the trunk, three Rockford Fosgate Punch amps and three 10-inch JL Audio woofers (painted to match the body) complete the package. Solar Tint in Montclair applied the dark Madico brand window tint, but it came from Elite-Hawaii member Alan Acierto. “I couldn’t find anything here in the States that I liked,” explains Mario. “So I had Alan send me some from Hawaii.”
That may seem a little “extreme” just for window tint, but that’s the way that Mario is, and we’re “extremely” glad. Otherwise, we wouldn’t have such an extremely cool Caddy to enjoy. “But, I didn’t do it alone; I have to give special thanks to everyone who participated in the building of this car,” Mario points out. “Including my parents, brothers and especially my girlfriend Rachel for putting up with all of the long days and evenings and bad attitudes.”
|Owner:||Mario DeAlba, Jr.|
|Vehicle:||’93 Cadillac Fleetwood|
|Engine:||Chrome and gold 5.3-liter Cadillac V-8 with tubular headers and custom billet air cleaner, pulleys and accessories|
|Setup:||Two chrome and gold pumps; 3/4-inch ported Hi-Low Monster pump with one OG Adel square dump and one Red’s G-4 pump with Marzocchi gears and two Delta dumps, 8-inch (front) and 10-inch (rear) Red’s cylinders, 4 1/2-ton springs, hand-bent stainless steel lines, #6 and #8 hoses, seven batteries, two swithes|
|Tires:||P155/80-X13 Kelly Celebrity|