Mando Curiel of Garden Grove, California, has been lowriding since he was 14 years old. He started with a custom tricycle as a youth, but eventually moved on to buying this 1983 Oldsmobile Cutlass in 1996 when he was just 17 years old. At that time, Mando admits that his plans for the car only extended to that of a basic street-custom ride. Sure, he wanted a clean car that could still look nice displayed at a local custom car show, but he wanted it to be a driveable lowrider worthy of the boulevard.
In 2001, Mando joined a local car club that was based in Orange County. Latin Life Car Club ended up being the right move for Mando as it brought him around fellow peers who shared a love for custom cars, get-togethers, and car shows. The club had a mix of members who possessed different talents and networks of contacts and this proved to be very valuable to someone who wanted to take their custom lowrider to the next level. Mando’s Cutlass did get quite a few doses of customizations and it wasn’t until the Sept. ’01 issue of LOWRIDER that his ride landed a coveted feature on the pages.
A decade later, in 2011, Mando decided to change the car completely and rebuild it as a total frame-off restoration. He changed everything, including the exterior color, interior, full engine, and trunk. The complete transformation was just recently completed and although it appears to be a different car, this second time around was well worthy for a second feature!
Mando started lowriding when he was young and now that he has his own kids, I am showing them how to lowride with their own bike and pedal car. Mando says that lowriding is definitely a big part of his family!
1983 Oldsmobile Cutlass
Garden Grove, CA
1983 3.8-cid engine rebuilt by Mando
Armando Esquivel of Jazz Auto Body in Stanton, CA, shaved and molded the inside hood and trunk before laying down a light green finish. Sal Elias added is talents of candy patterns and detailed airbrushed murals. Oscar Mendoza of Oscar’s Graphics in Huntington Beach, CA, did the one-of-a-kind pinstriping on the frame and engine bay. Edgar of Castaneda Engraving did the engraving and Eli’s Polishing handled the chrome plating necessities.
Chico at M&M Hydraulics in Ontario, CA, installed a whammy tank with Adex dumps. Six batteries power the system, controlled by four dash-mounted switches. Herman Sanchez of Anaheim, CA, did the full wrap, reinforcing the GM frame.
Dayton 72-spoke knock-off rims wrapped in 155/80/13 whitewall Travel Star tires.
Joe of California Upholstery in Bell Gardens, CA, did up an eye-popping interior makeover with four bucket seats, a custom center console, headliner, and a custom dashboard with Intellitronix Digital gauges.
Mando, himself, did the installation of the Pioneer head unit, 6×9-inch Infinite midrange speakers, and the Alpine Type-R woofers.