Ask anyone who’s built a custom car and they’ll tell you firsthand that it can easily break the bank—and that same story holds true for Illinois resident Augustin Alvarez.
The build of his car took so much blood, sweat, and cash that he named his finished product Low Cash. Since he was 11 years old, Augustin has been enamored by the lowrider culture. “There is this show called Scoop the Loop in downtown Waukegan,” Augustin tells LRM. “That’s where I learned what a custom car was.”
Looking back, he remembers flipping through the pages of LOWRIDER and there was something about all the Cadillacs that seemed to resonate with him. When he finally got to the age where he could start investing his cash, he did what his heart told him and decided to buy a Cadillac.
Living in the Midwest creates a lot of environmental issues for a car builder. The winter season with its snow and salt is one of the main causes for rust on vehicles, so it’s important for vehicles to be stored properly. Unfortunately for Augustin, his Cadillac had major rust and even with the best men on the job it couldn’t be restored. Dejected but not discouraged, he removed all the good parts from the car and kept them until he found a new direction.
Fast-forward to 2004 and he found the perfect canvas, a 1985 Cadillac Fleetwood Brougham. As soon as he brought it home he began removing every piece and adding the parts that he had stored in his closet, under his bed, and in the garage. Building a car from scratch wasn’t easy or cheap, but Augustin had a vision and nothing was going to stop his progress. The body was separated in his yard using two different tow trucks. Rudy Sanchez got busy reinforcing the heavy frame.
Attention was then turned to the paint where Juan Ayala handled the frame paint and Joaquin Rios laid down patterns with so many colors it’s even hard to keep track.
Low Cash stayed the course and came out to enormous accolades, including Best Paint awards. Augustin wishes to thank everyone who helped throughout the build, including Joaquin Rios, Jose Torres, and his car club Somosunos. Although it emptied his bank accounts, Augustin wants to say thank you to his lovely wife, Raquel, and their children, Augustin Jr., Klaryssa, and Marissa.
1985 Cadillac Fleetwood Brougham
Agustin Bahena Alvarez
Somosuno Old School Lowrider
Chevy 350 small-block, 700-R4 transmission, EnduraShine Edelbrock carburetor and intake manifold, Edelbrock water pump, Trutech Billet Specialties serpentine system, A/C cooling system with electric fans, Edelbrock valve covers, breathers, and Billet Specialties air filter
Passion Purple, California Gold, Royal Blue, Electric Dye concentrate, Mandarin, Kandy Apple Red, Claret, Sundance paints, silver flake, ’90s front clip, two-door molding, rear bumper kit
Full wrapped, molded, and reinforced, extended upper control arms, reinforced lower control arms, Black Magic two-pump setup, six Interstate 3100 batteries
two-tone tan and beige leather, painted steering wheel column, Billet Specialties steering wheel
Kenwood 7-inch head unit, Pioneer Premier components, two 12-inch Orion subwoofers, Alpine amplifiers
100-spoke 14×7 chrome and gold Dayton Wire Wheels, 14-inch radials