Just remember, Francisco Franco’s nobody’s fool, period. He’s as cool as they come with a drive for the street, his loving family and the nationwide Uce Car Club for whom he gratefully serves up the props. Pop the hood on his ’84 Olds Cutlass and you’ll find special one-off fabricated inner fenderwells chromed on the top and gold anodized on the bottom portion.
Las Vegas, Nevada, may be in a desert but there’s no fool’s gold here. The chrome and gold plating came courtesy of Automotive Plating Services (Las Vegas) and one guy making and breaking the rules is championship engraver Hernan D’Aloia at Hernan’s Custom Engraving (Whittier, California). He gently crafted wicked designs on the mirrors, hydraulic pump pressure plates, window moldings and rear differential cover. Other details include Autometer Classic oldie gauges, banjo-style gold-plated Grant steering wheel and crazy window etching by “Big Will.”
Like many other car builders, Francisco has a storied history about how he came to fame. The lowrider sport is a powerful force in a young man’s mind. It’s so strong that at 12 years old, little Francisco held up the magazine to his mom and professed that he would be a top dog driving the toughest lowrider in the magazine.
Years later, and after saving up more than a few coins in his piggy bank, Francisco found the cleanest Olds Cutlass that money could buy. The sucker was so clean that he screeched the starter twice because the engine was so silent. That was a rookie mistake made by a guy with a lot of heart who later became tired of being a spectator clinging to chain-link fences watching everybody else have all of the fun. At first, Francisco’s mother didn’t really share in her son’s seemingly hopeless dreams and said that it was his only pleasure and that he was foolish for spending a bank of money on the car. Thus, he named his greatest custom “Foolish Pleasure.”
|Vehicle:||’84 Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme|
|City/State:||Las Vegas, Nevada|
|Engine/Drivetrain:||Carl Brown and Al Sill wrenched the factory ’84 3.8-liter sun yellow V-6 Oldsmobile engine block with a tri-flow air filter, polished 4-bbl. Edelbrock carburetor and polished manifold, valve covers and headers, plus yellow sparkplug wires and upgraded yellow powdercoated distributor and alternator. The automatic tranny is an original 400 Turbo and “Big M” and Chapo at AAA Muffler (Las Vegas) custom bent and curved aluminum steel pipes into a pair of polished 40 series Flowmaster mufflers with 2-inch pencil tips.|
|Body/Paint:||The body features an airy Hollywood top with super-clean original replacement parts and pieces with subtle gold-plating highlights. Shop owner Oscar of Oscar’s Custom Creations (Las Vegas) molded the frame and laid down pagan gold candy over a copper base and shining golden patterns. Also, local pinstriping talent C.H. Thurman and muralist Sal of Sal’s Artworks (Orange County, California) hustled up to create a winning combination of accenting color line designs and a family portrait on the Vegas Strip.|
|Interior:||Like an extreme makeover, Francisco started from scratch with the fabulous boys from Uptown Upholstery (Las Vegas) who worked feverishly to stitch an Uce C.C. logo into orange and almond colored vinyl with gold stitching, neon lighting and gold leaf accents before finally touching up the car with chrome and gold accessories.|
|Sound System:||Andy at S.S. Audio (Las Vegas) hooked up the Cutty with a Sony digital CD-playin’ AM/FM hide-away head unit pushed by a single 1,400-watt, four-channel Lanzar amplifier. Shaking the windows are Kenwood tweeters, Lanzar midrange speakers and 8-inch Audiobahn woofers.|
|Setup:||Uce club member and best friend Raymond Andre and Oscar upgraded the chassis and suspension by installing performance-enhancing yellow polyurethane bushings and bumpstops by Energy Suspensions. Welding specialist Dan Daniels reinforced the upper and lower A-arms, trailing arms and rear axle, and built the trunk’s integrated chrome pump and battery rack before dropping the vehicle off at N’sane Motorsports (Las Vegas) for a Black Magic chrome and gold setup with 3/8-inch hard-line steel tubing with gold-plated fittings, six Workaholic batteries with 24K gold precision Stinger connectors, two engraved Marzocchi pumps, four dumps, two solenoid blocks, 21/2-ton springs, and 8-inch (front) and 12-inch (rear) cylinders. Franco himself mounted 10 switches into the center console, which allow for easy clowning access.|