Makeup by Val@iconimage.com
Every Lowrider community has that one man that seems to have owned cars forever, and holds the neighborhood standard for cruising and developing the perfect lowrider. Rick Ortega was that chosen figure within his home community of Atwater Village, CA. All the youngsters in the neighborhood would gaze in awe at Rick's machines, especially when he would hit the switches, making his machines dance with the perfect boulevard two-step. Rick, who now lives in the city of Covina, California, has owned a few cars in his lifetime, including his signature car "Aladdin." This '64 Impala set the bar for detail and craftsmanship on the scene back in the mid 90's, making Rick a household name within the community.
While Rick enjoyed his local celebrity, his life had changed, and that change would ultimately bring him new responsibilities and priorities. After getting married to his wife Mona, Rick reevaluated his life, and realized it was time to build a future for his wife and three daughters. He realized that the first step towards achieving this future would have to come from making a huge sacrifice; it was time for Rick to sell his prized possession, the "Aladdin." Though it hurt Rick to part with his baby, he knew the right thing to do was to sell it, and figured that he would instead buy a more feasible car to drive. One day after visiting his mom in Atwater, he found this clean '84 Cadillac Coupe DeVille for sale, and, after a little negotiating, the car was on its way home with Rick in the driver's seat.
Always eager to build his cars with a unique style and willing to take risks, Rick wanted to make this Caddy stand out from the build techniques that were common among Cadillac enthusiasts. At the time, most 80's Cadillac owners felt it necessary to update their toys with a Euro clip. Rick remembered how these American beauties were when they were brand new, and decided against the Euro clip, opting instead to build the Cadillac in a style more true to its own era. This build meant a lot of work, and started with Rick meticulously going through the entire engine to ensure that the car would be truly reliable transportation. Rick had a method to his madness, as he was planning to drive this car daily, hoping to show it off at every possible opportunity.
The car was given an initial tune up, and was then taken to Richie Valles of Unique Twist in Burbank, CA, who took the Caddy down to the metal. This car was in cherry condition, so the body work needed was minimal at best. Modifications given to the Caddy at this time included shaving the emblems and door handles, as well as adding a 44-inch moon roof to the car. The Caddy was then sprayed in a House of Kolor lacquer Brandy Wine, and the three-stage paint job was executed immaculately, leaving the Coupe DeVille looking like a completely different car upon completion.
Once Rick took the car home, he had a minor setback that would end up becoming a blessing in disguise, and a blessing that would accidentally help him take the car to the next level. While Rick was working on the car, a cabinet door in the garage swung open a little bit too far, putting a small chip in the once-pristine paint. Frustrated, the situation left Rick no choice but to take the Cadillac to the extreme. The straight candy would have to receive a new facelift before it even got a chance to see any action on the streets.