Born & Bred For This

THERE ARE A TON OF PLUGS, BUT ONLY A FEW CON­NECT

Low Rider - - CONTENTS - STORY & PHO­TOS BY BETO MEN­DOZA

Mike Lopez's '83 Cadil­lac Coupe De Ville

“Born into this.”

It’s a state­ment that’s thrown around of­ten, but only few can say with cred­i­bil­ity. But when your par­ents met on the boule­vard back in 1976—where your dad used to lay low in a Glasshouse and your mom fol­lowed suit in a juiced '65 SS—it’s not only a match made in heaven, but proof that you truly were “born into this.” That’s ex­actly the case for Mike Lopez, aka “Cadil­lac Mike.”

As a child he used to flip through the pages of Lowrider mag­a­zine for in­spi­ra­tion. Page af­ter page, he’d take men­tal notes but soon re­al­ized he had a par­tic­u­lar fas­ci­na­tion with the cars in Life­style Car Club. By the time he was 16, he pro­cessed all that in­for­ma­tion and built a bike that he de­buted as “Casino Dream­ing.” The bike was an in­stant hit and with no form of com­pe­ti­tion to de­ter his win­ning streak, he not only be­came a four-time, con­sec­u­tive “Lowrider Bike of the Year” cham­pion, but the rea­son the rules were changed to limit the num­ber of times any one par­tic­u­lar bike could win the ti­tle; quite the achieve­ment.

Mike went onto build a few more bikes, but soon he yearned for more. In his early twen­ties he picked up a '94 Cadil­lac Fleet­wood. His orig­i­nal in­ten­tion was to build a full-on lowrider but search­ing for N.O.S. parts made him re­al­ize just how scarce parts were. “This was dur­ing the im­port days when

ev­ery­thing was go­ing to Ja­pan. The Ja­pa­nese were buy­ing sea con­tain­ers full of N.O.S. Cadil­lac parts and no one was re­pro­duc­ing them,” Mike ex­plains. Know­ing this, he took it upon him­self to buy any­thing and ev­ery­thing Cadil­lac re­lated.

“It be­came an ad­dic­tion,” he says. Yet lit­tle did he know that his ad­dic­tion would de­velop into the suc­cess­ful busi­ness we now know as Cadil­lac Con­nect.

In the process of col­lect­ing parts, Mike has also amassed quite the col­lec­tion of Cadil­lacs and to­day we’re high­light­ing just one of them: his '83 Coupe De Ville. The build be­gan at Cadil­lac Con­nect where they shaved a host of body parts, added a ’90s kit, a moon­roof, and some fresh chrome. Phillips Fine­lines was called in to come up with a one-of-a-kind paint scheme and af­ter mix­ing sev­eral House of Kolor can­dies, Phillips

cre­ated a cus­tom peach color with the ad­di­tions of pat­terns in ma­genta, blue, orange, and dif­fer­ent pearls. The fi­nal touches come by way of some gold leaf­ing and pin­strip­ing, while Homies Hy­draulics dropped in the two-pump setup and Cal­i­for­nia Up­hol­stery stitched to­gether a cus­tom in­te­rior.

With plans of drop­ping an LS mo­tor into the en­gine bay, it’s just a mat­ter of time be­fore it’s fi­nally com­plete. Then again, this De Ville is proof that if you do what you love, and you do it well, there’s nowhere to go but up.

Mike would like to thank his wife and kids for their fam­ily sup­port.

No­to­ri­ous lux­ury with a d'El­e­gance cus­tom paintjob.

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