Lowriding has always been about creativity and individuality. We live in a culture where one man’s mess can be another man’s masterpiece, that’s for sure. Don’t tell Orlando Lovato this however; he clearly understands this already as he has taken this 1994 Buick Roadmaster and transformed it to his own rolling work of art. Orlando has always loved cars, and when you mix in an interest in getting into Rollerz Only car club, that is a great recipe for Lowrider success! His journey originally started when he met the Club President from Georgia by the name of Big Dirty, and it continued when he purchased the Buick from another fellow Rollerz Only car club member Troy, in Dallas. Once the car was his, Orlando knew it would be a unique and interesting project because it wasn’t a typical build.
Orlando grew up in Phoenix Arizona, where he found himself to be a rebel without a cause. He realized he needed some guidance, so where can you get guidance all day and night? Your friendly neighborhood US Army recruiting station, that’s where! Troy joined and became “Army Strong,” as he partook in the first Iraq deployment and returned for a third deployment as well. While in the army, he received training, which included skills in car building and in the process; he gained an even fonder interest in cars, specifically, the cars in Lowrider Magazine. For the Lowrider historian, this is the same road many of our (Pachuco) Lowrider ancestors in the ’40s followed after returning from war.
Wounded while he was in the line of fire, Orlando unselfishly finished serving our country and returned back to the United States to reenter civilian life. In 2008, he started building his Buick Masterpiece. As a self-taught mechanic and car builder, he learned as he went along. Trial and error perfected the Roadmaster to what you see now. Orlando wanted to see plenty of chrome and candy, so he skinned the car’s belly and engine compartment, and sent all he could out for plating. The car’s canvas was covered with candy, flake, and patterns, complements of Jerod Frannea and John Rendon a/k/a “Cadillac Jay.” John Rendon of Artistic Creations laid on pin stripes, murals, and did the engraving on the Buick. When it was time for the upholstery, Orlando stayed with his Rollerz family, having past Bomb Champion Gene Bare stitch up the luxurious custom interior. The car couldn’t become a true Lowrider without the hydraulics, so Orlando chose Ray, at Worldwide Customs in Phoenix, to give the Buick three Pro-Hopper pumps to prop it to attention and slam it on the floor.
Orlando has often been asked, “Why a Buick Roadmaster? Why not a G body, Impala, or Cadillac?” Well he believes it is because of his uniqueness as an individual and the fact that he set out to make this personal masterpiece on wheels with his own signature. Orlando sincerely appreciates all the Rollerz Only members who have helped with the project, but really wants to point out that the true heroes in his life are his wife, Mary Helen, who has been there for him every step of the way through life’s challenges and triumphs. He also wanted to thank his children Angelita, Orlando Jr., and Marcos for their patience and understanding of dad’s love for Lowriders. Thank you Retired Sergeant Lovato for not only serving your country, but for also being a great example to the many who fly a car club plaque.