Jerry Garcia has grown up with the car that you see on these pages. Jerry’s imagination took hold of him early on. After looking through the pages of Lowrider Magazine in the ’80s, Jerry was hooked and knew what he wanted to build. The Ford Mustang that Jerry owned at the time was not what he considered lowrider material, and it was obvious what he had to do. The Mustang was sent off to greener pastures for someone else to enjoy and this ’81 Olds Cutlass started its 20-year odyssey.
The year was 1986 and the enthusiasm of youth was in full swing for Jerry. His sharp Cutlass was a major part of his life with many a day spent working on the car. His youthful imagination kept the ideas flowing. Since then, during the 20 years of owning this car, there have been many trials and tribulations, but Jerry has stuck with the car through thick and thin, even when others may have thought it best to sell it and move on.
Jerry’s Cutlass has been through three paint jobs, four upholstery schemes and four fires. One of the fires was at a show. Jerry’s setup caught on fire and his keys were in his support vehicle located in the parking lot. Luckily the door was open, so Jerry and his friends ripped out the back seat and put out the fire, but it’s one of the reasons for disconnecting electricals at a show.
During the course of his building and showing the car, Jerry learned what makes a car a winner by asking judges questions and learning from his mistakes. Jerry’s judging career began when he was asked to help judge at a show, and you can now find Jerry walking the aisles during a Lowrider Tour show, scorecard in hand, putting his 20 years of lowrider and show experience to work.
Jerry’s imagination continues to show him the way and he’s started another project, a ’68 Chevy Impala SS that he’s excited about. But like your first love, this Cutlass will always have a special place in his heart. And we all know that this kind of stuff doesn’t happen without the help and understanding of friends, family and your car club, to whom Jerry would like to say thanks.
This Cutlass has too much sentimental value for Jerry to sell. Fortunately, his 11-year-old son is finally coming around to the lowrider scene and Jerry looks forward to handing it down to him. We’re sure that father and son are both looking at the Cutlass and the ’68 with the same imagination that brought Jerry to these very pages.
Owner: Jerry Garcia
Vehicle: ’81 Oldsmobile Cutlass
City/State: Mesa, Arizona
Club: Society C.C.-Mesa
Engine/Drivetrain: The stock 231-c.i.d. V-6 powers Jerry’s imagination and does just what a lowrider is supposed to do and that’s low and slow.
Body/Paint: Ultimate Restyling in Phoenix, Arizona, took care of bringing to life Jerry’s “Imagination” starting with some bodywork. Then, “King George” applied the House of Kolor candy Oriental Blue paint. “Arizona Bugs” and Mickey’s in Mesa handled the pinstriping.
Interior: The interior received some custom treatment with four Chevy Camaro bucket seats and a homemade center console all covered with two-tone blue tweed. The trunk and headliner received a sculpted Lowrider Man. Richard Vega of Vega’s Kustoms in Mesa stitched up the interior.
Sound System: Richard Vega also installed the simple yet effective system. An Aiwa head unit powers a set of Lanzar 6x9s and a set of Rockford Fosgate 4-inch coaxials in the center console.
Setup: The heart of any lowrider is the hydraulics and Jerry’s car got a healthy dose of ShowTime Hydraulics. Sal Gonzalez of Ivy’s Transmissions in Mesa made the system happen. Eight-inch front cylinders and 10-inch rear handle the adjustments, while a set of 1-ton springs keep it up. Two ShowTime pumps, four Delta dumps and 10 switches complete the trunk-mounted system.
Tires: 5.20 Premium Sportway
Wheels: 13×7 Crown wires with diamond-cut spokes