Throughout this journey called life, we’re all prone to being judged, or passing judgment ourselves. From what we wear to what we drive, judgments are being made on a daily basis, and we’re either giving them or receiving them. And while it hardly matters what others think about us, it’s part of life and a habit typically done out of jealously, ignorance, or quite simply habit.
Now, when it comes to the car world things are no different and we’re all prone to passing judgment. I know that’s not what you want to hear but the truth of the matter is that we do it all day long. We judge other builds on the basis of paint quality, chrome quality, and the parts they use, and at the end of the day the first thing we notice is year, make, and model of the car. The car you roll up in almost automatically drops you into a different tax bracket—you know what I’m talking about. Seriously … pull up in a 1957 Bel Air or a 1958 Impala and you’ve automatically become a “baller.”
But flip the script and roll up in a G-body and there’s less talk and the rumors are virtually nonexistent. In short, everyone leaves you alone. In light of that, many believe that G-bodies are basic lowriders for common folk, or a project car for the guy who just landed a decent-paying job. But is it always true? Of course not. Some people buy G-bodies because that’s what they can afford but on the other end of the spectrum are the individuals who buy them because they love them, and that’s exactly the case for both Tavo and Junior from the Maniacos Car Club.
While both could easily afford Impala rags, they’ve stuck to their gut instincts and built cars that they truly desire. Aside from not wanting to go the “mainstream” route, these two truly love G-bodies and they’ll gladly choose an ’80s Cutty over a ’60s Impala any day of the week.
“I’ve always loved Cutlasses and I’ve had history with this one,” Junior, who bought his Cutlass off of a friend of his, explains. At the time of his purchase, the car was Candy Apple Red but the paint was in less-than-stable condition and severely chipped up. Because of that, he repainted the car white with a gold pearl and then transformed the interior by having it redone in a tan motif. A few years later, Junior took the car to Diamond Touch Body Shop and had them paint the belly but he was still looking for more. Soon enough, he had an unmentioned painter do some patterns but the job was so horribly done that he decided to take it to Levi in order to get it painted properly. But the costly mistake was a blessing in disguise as the new pattern that Levi dropped took the car to the next level. From there, the inspiration and nudges from his club members made him redo the interior and the motor, which in turn created the full-blown show lowrider that you see here.
Now moving on over to his partner in crime, Tavo begins to explain his love for G-bodies as being something that was always in his blood. He’s owned a G-body for most of his life, and about the only time he took a break was while raising his kids. The minute they got bigger, he came back with a vengeance and that was roughly three years ago when he decided to scour Craigslist and score on this 1987 Regal. The purchase was one that quenched his desire, and this same car is the one that would grant him entry into the Maniacos Car Club. In addition to that, it’s the car that would become a platform for his kids to learn firsthand what it takes to build and drive a lowirder.
In building the car, he explains, “My goal is to teach my kids to work hard and stay dedicated. I want them to see what I’m doing in hopes that they too can own a lowrider of their own one day.” To begin, the build was jump-started by his friends Negro and Paisa who did the bodywork. Once complete, Levi sprayed the candy and pearl paint, Mike Lamberson added some leafing and striping while Spike reinforced the frame, chromed it out, and added the three-pump setup, which was followed by a visit to California Upholstery for the mandatory interior makeover.
In all the duo have built G-bodies to reckon with and in turn created lowriders that were built out of self-respect for what they wanted—instead of what the scene deems as cool. And while the two cars speak volumes about keeping it real, it also serves as a great example that the best lowrider you can build is the one you truly desire.
1987 Oldsmobile Cutlass
No Pasa Nada
Huntington Park, CA
350 with Billet Specialties valve covers/air cleaner, RAB Performance water pump/alternator/starter, Accel distributor/wires, Hedman headers, MagnaFlow exhaust
House of Kolor with gold pearl and ice white pearl flake, pagan gold and Aztec gold for the fan, skips, fade-a-ways and the rest of the patterns. Mike Lamberson added the gold leafing and striping while Rick Munoz added the murals.
Two pumps with three Adexs, Accumax solenoids, and four Exide batteries
California Upholstery added the rust-colored suede, perforated leather, and regular leather for the custom interior that features Honda Accord front seats and Mercedes-Benz CLS550 backseats. To finish the interior, Lokar billet door handles, Dolphin gauges, and a Nardi steering wheel were added.
Pioneer head unit with two Diamond Audio amps, Infinity Kappa mids, and two 12-inch Kicker subwoofers
13×7 Zenith Wire Wheels with custom knockoffs featuring an authentic Mexican 50-Peso Centenario gold coin and Premium Sportway 5.20s
1987 Buick Regal
350 with Demon carburetor, electric fan, and aluminum radiator
House of Kolor Candy Cooper with fade, water drop, and other patterns
Three ProHopper pumps with three Adex dumps and 10 Centennial batteries
California Upholstery put together custom interior with two-tone perforated leather and regular leather in rust and copper color. A Rolls-Royce starlight headliner, Lokar handles/vents, Dakota Digital gauges, and Nardi steering wheel completed the interior.
Pioneer double-din with three JL Audio amps, Infinity mids, and two 10-inch JL Audio subwoofers
13×7 88-spoke Daytons with 5.20 Premium Sportways