Most lowrider fans love Cadillacs but only a few diehards will build a car with so much history. The Cadillac luxury automobile almost disappeared during the Great Depression because of its slow sales. At that time the Cadillac was considered the most expensive car on the market. Since then, Cadillac has been building luxury cars that are perfect to cruise in with their smooth ride, leg room, and slick looks, which is one of the reasons why Jose Sandoval is a big fan of Cadillacs. He decided to build a ’82 Fleetwood, which he calls “Pura Plata.” The other reason he built Pura Plata was to keep a promise he made to his cousin, Jose Avila. He promised him that he’d build a lowrider worthy of the pages of Lowrider magazine and dedicate it to him.
Jose’s love for lowriders started at a young age while he was living in Rosemead, California, when he used to cruise Whittier Boulevard and Crenshaw. Jose was also influenced by his friend Chico from M&M Hydraulics. At that time Chico owned a ’82 purple Cadillac convertible that he also cruised on the boulevard. When Jose turned 16, however, his first car was not a Cadillac. Instead he owned a ’83 Cutlass, which his friends Mando and Chico came together on to hook him up with a two-pump hydraulic setup and eight batteries. It also had a custom Candy Brandywine paintjob.
After driving a friend’s Cadillac he realized that it was definitely the car for him. The driving experience was different and he knew then that he needed to get his hands on one and build it. So Jose sold his Cutlass and became a member of the Cadillac family.
After a few rides he was cruising a stock ‘90 Fleetwood. While visiting some friends in Visalia, California, he saw his soon-to-be ’82 Fleetwood sitting on a driveway, so he stopped by to talk to the owner. Jose ended up trading his ’90 Fleetwood for the ’82 Fleetwood and took the car home. After driving the car for a few years it was time to start on the promise he had made to his cousin. He took the car to Joe’s Auto Works, in Tulare, California, to get the project started. Sam Gomez upgraded the Cadillac body by replacing the front end, side panels, and front and back bumpers with all ’90 Cadillac parts to give it a new look. Since the body didn’t need much work, Joe Morales got the car ready for the Long Beach Blue paintjob. Joe had Alberto Herrera do murals all over the car to fill in the graphics that were added to it, then Ruben and Curley added the finishing touches by accenting the murals with pinstriping and gold leafing. After the body was done, the car was driven to M&M Hydraulics, in Gardena, California, so they could begin working on the setup.
Jose’s childhood friend Chico was in charge of building the two-pump setup. Before it was started, Chico and Joe partially reinforced the frame and extended the A-arms so the front wheels wouldn’t camber. The setup included 21/2-ton springs and 6-inch cylinders in the front. In the back 10-inch cylinders were installed with eight batteries controlled by four switches. The car was sent to Garza’s Upholstery, in La Puente, California, where it got a face-lift with some new leather, keeping its original luxury look. After three years of construction the car was finally ready to hit the car show circuit and cruise the streets. Since its beginning, Pura Plata has taken numerous awards at car shows all over California. Jose kept his promise of building an award-winning Cadillac and dedicated it to his now late cousin’s honor. Keep an eye out for Jose’s Pura Plata as he continues to dress up his clean Cadillac Fleetwood Brougham.
Pura PlataOwner: Jose SandovalVehicle: ’82 Cadillac Fleetwood BroughamClub: Delegation Car Club in Central California
Engine/Drivetrain: Jose cleaned up the engine and added a few chrome pieces, including an alternator and support bars.
Body/Paint: Joe’s Auto Works took on the task of laying down a Long Beach Blue paintjob after Sam Gomez upgraded the Cadillac with parts from a ’90 Cadillac. The car was muraled out by Alberto Herrera from Quality Art, in Visalia, California, with a “ballers” theme. Curley and Ruben put on the finishing touches with pinstriping and gold leafing.
Interior: Garza’s Upholstery, in La Puente, California, reupholstered the car with new leather while keeping the luxury look.
Sound System: Jose installed a clean sound system that includes a Jensen touch-screen, Rockford Fosgate amps, MB Quarts mids and tweeters, and two JL Audio woofers.
Setup: M&M Hydraulics in Gardena, California
Wheels: 13-inch wires with center gold