Hector Leyva of Las Vegas has been Lowriding since 1994. Originally from Los Angeles, Hector carries a heavy influence from the cruising scenes of Hollywood Blvd. Initially homesick in Vegas, this transplant was introduced into the Vegas scene and flourished, finding a home with the Desireable Ones Car Club. A member of this club, Ernando Damien, sold Hector a semi-complete ’81 Cadillac DeVille, which became his calling card and trademark ride.
This purchase would not only solidify his presence within the scene, it would help to define his role in the club as well. After a few years in the club, Hector became the president of the Desirable Ones Las Vegas Chapter. With his street Caddy by his side at all times, Hector felt that he needed to set a positive example to continue the club’s legacy and heritage. Not quite having reached the desired results with the car that he wanted to have as Club President, the decision was made to re-build the car and turn it into an award winning contender. In doing so, Hector also wanted to prove that owning an expensive commercial property or business is not a necessary resource to build the perfect Lowrider; you can do it on a budget too!
The cranberry-colored 1981 Cadillac Fleetwood was fitted with plenty of additions and tricks. For starters, the car was painted with a Cadillac Cranberry and was doused with a Stage II Pearl which really helps to set the car off. All of the Caddy’s body work and paint was done by Ernesto’s Body Shop, and then pinstriped by Danny D. of Baldwin Park, and Bugs Gonzales. After the car was painted, Hector had Zack “The Kid” Felix freshened up the paint, as he sprayed candies and pearls to further bring out the shine and tone of the previous job. After a couple of months, several HOA letters, and numerous neighborhood complaints, the vehicle’s paint was at long last complete.
In the end, beauty is best served with simplicity, and this theory best defines the rebuild of this elegant Caddy. Inside, the interior was given a breath of fresh air by Armando from Quality Upholstery. He gutted the interior and brought it back to life, but rather than go exotic, he chose to keep the luxurious appeal of the factory style. Some of the standout additions to the car include the custom digital gauge cluster and painted dash panels, which were dressed up with a touch of chrome accents. Beneath the new carpets and the freshly scented leather interior lay hundreds of feet of wiring, which serve as the foundation for Mario Escamilla’s audio/video system install. This Scosche sound system was built around the hydraulic set-up, as the vehicle was sent to Wild Child customs in Montclair, CA., for a new old-school set up to be installed. The two pump six-battery set-up featured four square dumps, and four old school filters, which were mounted to a custom AH2 manifold machined especially for the build. Other tricks involved in the set up include a custom fill tank and hard-lines, which were showcased throughout the fiberglass panel-build by Mario.
By this time the car was completely disassembled by Hector and The Kid, who wrenched on it for months in Hector’s garage, dubbed “Dezired Customs.” The results of their labor included a molded and painted frame, with a full chrome undercarriage that was plated by Kyle of Automotive Plating Services. The small block 350 engine was also painted and dressed up with chrome. Luckily for Hector, he finished the build before the HOA in his quiet neighborhood took action against him for working on his vehicle at all hours.
With the car finished, Hector has been hitting the local show circuit, including the Vegas Super Show, SEMA, The Magic Clothing Convention, and the Las Vegas Motor Trend show. The only thing left on Hector’s list to accomplish was to be featured in Lowrider Magazine, and today, he has crossed that off, too. In his own words, Hector wanted to thank the following people:
“Special thanks to everyone who had a part in the transformation [of the Caddy], no matter how small, it was still a collective effort. All my fellow club members who lent a hand, I thank you. A very special thanks is also in order for Zack Felix, “The Kid,” whose hard work and motivation served as the key to the build’s success. Most of all, I have to say thank you to “Moms,” who has always been there to support me during all my builds.
“Freak of the Week”
Vehicle: 1981 Cadillac Coupe Deville
City/State: Las Vegas, Nevada
Club: Desireable Ones, Las Vegas, NV
Engine: Stock 1992 350 5.7 liter engine.
Body/Paint: Danny D and Bugs tag-teamed the design on the car, and Felix Designs laid out some pearl fades on the pinstriped and silver leafed foundation.
Interior: Using a 1992 interior, the Cadillac was modernized, and the Cadillac seats were stitched in two different tones of leather.
Sound System: Mario Escamilla installed the Scosche sound system, which featured two amplifiers that powered the midrange and subwoofers.
Set Up: 2 Aluminum Black Magic pumps, Custom machined manifold old school filters, dressed with one old school oxygen tank, 4 Adel dumps designed, plumbed, and hard-lined by WildChild Customs.
Tires: Coker 5.20’s
Wheels: 13×7 88-Spoke Dayton Wire Wheels.