Growing up in the North Hollywood suburbs affectionately known as “the Valley” or “the 818” to Los Angeles residents, Curtis “Bigg Cook” Corley was forced to take an alternate route into the Lowrider culture. In fact, it took a fateful journey to the Crenshaw district with his father, in order for Curtis to begin his love affair with lowriders. Curtis and his father came to visit their cousin who lived just blocks from the legendary strip, giving Curtis firsthand access to these mighty machines, something he was unable to achieve in his own neighborhood. Curtis’ first visit to a Lowrider Car Show came when he was just 9 years old, as the young boy begged his father to take him to see the machines that he couldn’t stop talking about since he first witnessed them cruising near his cousins’ house. Though he was so young, Curtis still remembers the euphoria he felt when he first walked into the parking lot and was quickly surrounded by candy and flake paint jobs and freshly chromed-out car parts. As he walked through the show, he noticed a few cars that he remembered seeing down on Crenshaw, giving him the insight that maybe the hobby known as “lowriding” was not merely a hobby at all, but actually a way of life. Like any young man, Curtis was most interested in the attention that was given to car owners by the local models and girls that attended the car shows.
At the age of 15, he started getting more involved with studying the cars, and at the age of 16, he was the only 10th grader in his high school that owned a custom lowrider car. His custom-painted silver Regal, complete with a two pump setup, was the envy of many classmates. Still, the Valley was no place for lowriders at that time, so in ’95, Curtis and his friends began building tricked out Hondas to satisfy their automotive cravings. Import car clubs were all the rage at this point in time, but they were primarily based out of Los Angeles. Since Curtis and his boys were proud of their Valley neighborhood, they decided to start Honda Heaven Car Club. His car club began to get the attention and the respect from the streets that it deserved, but Curtis still felt like he was missing something. After finding out that Snoop Dogg was filming the video for “Murder was the Case” nearby, Curtis drove his custom Honda down to the set, but became quickly disappointed that all of the crowd’s attention was being given to the lowriders that were there instead. He took it as a sign to go back to his automotive roots and build another lowrider, hoping to show the streets that his heart still belonged to the culture. He and his fellow car club members decided to drop the name “Honda” from their car club, leaving it to become known as Heaven Car Club.
Curtis knew that this car had to be classic, so he decided he wanted a big body, maybe a Lincoln. Most of the big bodies that he found were in really bad condition, and the ones that were decent were severely overpriced, leaving Curtis scratching his head for answers. Still, he pressed on and decided to build a Lincoln anyway, after finding the perfect one for the right price. The stock white Lincoln Town Car took on a whole new identity after he got it home. He had his friend Joey from Majestic’s do a partial frame reinforcement, and delivered the Lincoln to Mac From Pro hopper, so it could receive a one-of-a-kind hydraulic set up. Curtis was looking for a head turner, so he decided on an eye-popping, two stage, cherry red paintjob, which definitely helped him achieve this goal. After the car was painted, the interior was reupholstered with a custom red carpet and given grey suede and leather seats, complete with red stitching. When it was time to chrome out the car, he delivered his undercarriage parts to Alberto’s Polishing, where they gave the parts a beautiful mirror finish. The car only took a year to complete, and it quickly became a car show favorite, winning multiple awards on the circuit. The car is not only a beautiful ride, it is also a practical one, as Curtis is able to enjoy cruising in it all the time, much like a daily driver.
Curtis would like to thank his wife Adrienne, his kids CJ and Kennedy, his mom and pops, and Heaven Car Club for helping him get his Lincoln out of the garage and out on the streets of North Hollywood.
Heaven 4 Life
Owner: Curtis “Bigg Cook” Corley
Vehicle: ’01 Lincoln Town Car
City/State: N. Hollywood, California
Club: Heaven Car Club
Engine: Stock with custom painted parts
Body/Paint: A two-stage cherry red with interior and engine parts painted to match by Esteban from Auto Explosion, Gardena, CA
Interior: Red carpet, grey leather, grey suede and red stitching by Joe from California Upholstery
Sound System: A custom build trunk lid, two THD monitors, 3 10-inch woofers, Alpine head unit, hidden amps, and custom upholstery to match the interior by Carlos from Sound Connection
– Compton, CA
Suspension: Custom-built setup (Anodized red and chrome whammy pump, bent tubing, battery rack, hexagonal Pro Hopper battery rods, and eight Optima batteries) and custom-built A-arms by Mac at Pro hopper-Van Nuys, CA; partially reinforced frame by Joey-Big M Customs
Tires: P155/80 R13
Wheels: Custom wire wheels with powder- coated red lips and chrome spokes