For David Lopez, AKA “Big Dave,” lowriding began when he was a youngster, riding his bike to the nearest convenience store to buy himself the latest issues of Lowrider Magazine. His love for the sport only grew stronger through the years, and he started building his first low-low even before getting his driver’s license. The first project of his was an ’88 Ford Escort, which was handed off to him from one of his older sisters.
David put a lot of his time and effort into that first project, but eventually ended up selling it a few years down the road when he started envisioning himself with a G-body kind of car instead. With a brand new family in tow, David decided to take a small break from the lowriding scene and hunt down a four-door family daily driver. But once he locked eyes on the “plain Jane” two-door, a lot of sweet ideas and visions started rolling in.
The drive all over the Central California coastline is a favorite for David, who, now at 30 years of age, has firmly deepened his passion for building custom cars. And more specifically, he’s almost finished tuning his immaculate ’85 Oldsmobile Cutlass, which is what brought us to this land famous for the cruising culture.
In truth, David’s ride doesn’t have all of that turntable flash added to it, but what it does have is a clean and pristine lowered look. Indeed, one of the most popular modifications that David had done was the addition of a 42-inch double-door power sunroof (built in one day no less). See, David woke up one day and drove down to Sunroof Performance (South Gate, California) for the roof cutting ceremony. After double-checking the roof’s measurements, sitting in the waiting room reading Lowrider, going to lunch and answering phone calls from his carpet cleaning business, he headed back home, all in the same 24-hour period. Now that’s a dedicated lowrider.
David is still having visions of the Cutlass with plans to chrome and shine the undercarriage, which will no doubt silence the haters and leave them in the dust for good! But for every king of the streets, there’s a queen helping in the plans, and David’s wife, Aida, and his daughter Najette always know to find dear ol’ dad safe and sound in his garage. When asked whom he’d like to thank for their support, without a doubt he says, “My loving family and all of my Low Conspiracy Car Club buddies!”
Owner: David Lopez
Vehicle: ’85 Oldsmobile Cutlass
City/State: Watsonville, California
Club: Low Conspiracy C.C.
Engine/Drivetrain: David’s father, Jose Lopez, AKA “El Don,” laid hands on every piece and part of the precision rebuilt stock Olds engine until it came to life with a muffled rumble.
Body/Paint: Bringing a car’s body back to its original design is the mark of a body shop magician. Body By Hank (Watsonville) is well known for duking it out with dents and sealing the deal with primer and paint. In this case, it was an original remake of the metallic gray color scheme. Pinstriper Allen Signs (Watsonville) makes fine-line swirls and curls look easy when it comes to finding that little bit of extra design enhancement.
Interior: Recline the seat, man, the classic looks and styling of the dark gray leather interior fits well with David’s lowriding plan of family comfortability. Upholstery work was done behind closed doors by Lil’ Rich (Porterville, California). Other interior styling includes the chrome and woodgrain Nardi steering wheel.
Sound System: Music is a big part of his life and David knows how to set the cool atmosphere with Pioneer and Audiobahn systems. A trusted stereo source for perfect installations was Soundwaves (Salinas, California) for Audiobahn amplifiers and multi-range speakers. A Pioneer AM/FM stereo with CD/DVD availability and video monitors are other must-have electronic goodies and gadgets.
Suspension: A lowrider is not a lowrider unless it has a custom moving suspension played with at the flick of a switch. No messy hydraulic fluid here, David chose the latest technology driven airbag system on the market today. The large chromed tank in the trunk contains air pressure at 160+ psi. Del Toro Customs (Gilroy, California) did what they do best and installed a system meant for effective operation and style.
Tires: P155/80-R13 Cooper
Wheels: 13×7 Zenith wires