Makeup: Kelli Brandt
Miguel Martinez was into lowriding even before his son Miguel, Jr. was born, and that was more than 23 years ago. So there was no doubt that “Junior” was going to be brought up on the best automotive customizing genre in the world, the lifestyle of the slow and low! As soon as Miguel was old enough to drive he obtained his first car, a ’92 Chevy Caprice. Within a short amount of time, this ride was sitting on some wire rims, lifted (with hydraulics) and wearing custom paint.
Obviously, Miguel didn’t waste any time in representing the lowered lifestyle as a licensed driver in Riverside, California. Unfortunately, the natural high that he was riding on didn’t last as one night in 2000, a jealous somebody attempted to jack the ride. The attempt failed and an accident occurred, leaving Miguel mostly unharmed, but the Caprice totaled. Although his morale was the only thing lowered after that, Miguel was determined to come back even harder with another custom ride. When an opportunity had arisen he took it, and the end result was an upgrade to a ’95 Cadillac Fleetwood, known as “Cadi-Fornia Love.”
At first, the Caddy was Miguel’s only means of transportation. Since he works as a plumber in new construction developments, dirt roads and muddy terrain were frequently confronted. Miguel would sometimes have to park outside the construction sites and walk in with his tools. The construction workers would always trip out that his Caddy was his everyday driver. Although it wasn’t totally customized (like it is now), it still had a nice set of wire rims and an aftermarket top.
Within a fairly short amount of time, Miguel’s uncle, Mando Martinez, painted the Caddy over at Martinez Kustoms in Santa Ana, California. Mando gave him the family special, laying down eye-catching tangerine and pagan gold colors. After being painted, Miguel had other big plans for his ride, but marriage and a child understandably put that on hold for temporarily. When finances finally leveled out and extra time prevailed, Miguel had his father, who happens to own AMC Kustoms in Riverside, install a wicked hydraulics setup. Although AMC always puts out quality work, Miguel says that his setup was one of the best that he’s ever seen, and that’s an unbiased opinion! Miguel’s father really went crazy with the setup, installing stainless steel hardlines and custom octagon pumps.
Before Cadi-Fornia Love was unveiled for the first time, Miguel also had an E&G Classics diamond-cut material to add to the top. Finally, Apollonio at A&B Polishing in Pomona, California, and Juan at Golden Plating in Santa Fe Springs, California, did the chrome and gold plating, respectively. Everything came together just one day before this year’s Fontana, California, stop on the LRM Evolution Tour. The premiere of the Caddy received awesome response from show goers and Miguel received a Third Place trophy in the Semi-Custom Luxury category.
Miguel is not sure what he wants to do next with his Caddy. He would like to add a sunroof and a Continental kit (which he already has in his possession), but it is also possible that he might sell it if the right offer comes along. Time will tell on his decisions, but he admits that Cadi-Fornia Love wouldn’t have been possible without the love that he received from Sal, Joel and his family (including wife, Aurora, and son Miguel III).
|Owner:||Miguel Martinez, Jr.|
|Vehicle:||’95 Cadillac Fleetwood|
|Engine/Drivetrain:||5.7-liter LT1 V-8|
|Body/Paint:||Mando Martinez at Martinez Kustoms in Santa Ana, California, did the custom bodywork, including shaving the rear handles and hood emblems. Joel Garcia of Jagster Engineering in Los Angeles, California, produced a one-of-a-kind grille, unique extended skirts and taillights. Paint came next in brightly colored tangerine and pagan gold with heavy flakes. Sal Elias did the graphics and pattern work and it was Mike Lamberson of Ontario, California, who added the pinstriping.|
|Sound System:||Miguel himself installed a Pioneer Premier Series head unit, two Pioneer 800-watt amps and four Pioneer 6x9s.|
|Setup:||Suspension: Miguel Martinez, Sr. at AMC Kustoms in Riverside put together a crazy custom hydraulics setup complete with 1/2-inch stainless steel hardlines hooked up to Kustom Octagon pumps and two Adex dumps. Six Trojan batteries power the setup, which is controlled by four switches.|
|Tires:||P155/80-R13 Winston whitewall|