The sun-baked calles of Phoenix, Arizona, are home to some of the hottest cruisers and street hoppers that you'll find anywhere across Aztlan. One such passionate pavement pounder is Mike Jones' heavily gold-plated '86 Olds Cutlass, "Todo Oro" (so named because, as photographer Saul Vargas tells it, "everything that could be gold plated was gold plated"), a car that represents Individuals Car Club in the "Valley of the Sun."
A lowriding veteran at 24 years old, Mike was initiated into the lowrider scene at a tender age. "I've been around lowriding since I was a youngster," he says. "My Pops used to take me to cruise Central Avenue in Phoenix with him. I was hooked at 13." His "Pops" also gave Mike his first lowrider, a '71 Chevy Caprice.
Now all grown up and a professional sales manager, Mike hasn't lost any of his love for the lowrider lifestyle. His latest ride was (as the window lettering reads) "built not bought" (with help from "OG Mondo," Todd at Street Life Hydraulics in Phoenix, Gavilan Customs in Mexicali, Pancho, Luis, "Bugs" and "Spike") and built to hop like there's no tomorrow.
The quality of this car is no accident. "When it came to doing something to swing, it had to be something that was show quality," Mike explains. "Being from the 'Big I' (Individuals C.C.) I wouldn't have wanted it any different than having one of the hottest hoppers out there."
Mike takes his recent "King of the Street" title seriously, but he likes to have a little fun clowning the competition. "I'm the king," he declares. "You gotta come see me to try and take the crown (LOL)." Until someone does grab the crown, Mike says that his future plans for the car include "taking out all of the haters!" Well, it's good to be king, but (as the man once wrote) "uneasy lies the head that wears a crown," que no?
Owner: Mike Jones
Vehicle: '86 Oldsmobile Cutlass
City/State: Phoenix, Arizona
Club: Individuals C.C.
Engine/Drivetrain: The stock V-6 was loaded with gold-plated pieces (all done by Kerr West in Phoenix) and tuned up at Gavilan Customs in Mexicali, Mexico.
Body/Paint: The black finish with striking gold graphics is the work of "OG Mondo," with the legendary "Bugs" of Arizona breaking out his finest brushes to put down the pinstriping.
Interior: OG Mondo worked his magic inside as well as outside.
Sound System: This Olds got the audio hookup at Nene's Auto Spot in Phoenix.
Setup: The team of Gavilan, Pancho, Luis and Todd at Street Life Hydraulics in Phoenix built the two-pump setup with 8-inch front cylinders, telescoping rear cylinders, four switches and 10 batteries.
Tires: P155/80-R13 Cornell whitewalls
Wheels: Zenith wires