Model Monique Milian
Hair and Makeup By: Monica Caldera
Ray Palmer is better known as Bigg Ray to his friends. Ray was born and raised in Lakeview Terrace, California, where at a young age he took an interest in building Model cars. Ray shared this interest with his older brother, and he became so good at building the model cars that he began to compete in small contests, garnering positive attention in each one. His skills also enabled him to begin selling his creations at toy stores.
Naturally, as Ray grew, his toys did as well. In '89, he purchased a '73 Caprice for $500, and the car became his cruising mobile on Hollywood Blvd. After a few cruising tickets, he decided to change the color of the car for a fresh start. The car also received new shoes in the form of triple gold Mclean's, which Ray purchased from Orlie's Hydraulics. Ray's '73 sound system consisted of two home speaker boxes that were hooked up to a Boom box that was powered by 16 size D batteries.
Ray was rolling right along and enjoying the good life of a Lowrider, and things got even better when Ray met some friends that furthered his automotive interests, He met Ray May and D-Mac from the Majestics Car Club, and while he was hanging out with them he also met Chinaman, Chinaman became part of his family and even though they were from different hoods, they put their differences aside and Ray became a full member of the Majestic's Car Club S. F.V chapter.
Since Ray's Lowriding history dates back to 1990, he decided to put that experience to even better use by opening up his own hydraulics company, which he did with the assistance of his business partner, MacGyver. They opened up Pro Hopper hydraulics in 1993, and became one of the biggest Hydraulic manufacturers in the country. Back then, Pro Hopper Hydraulics were one of the main sponsors for the LRM Tour, so Ray got to travel with the Tour and performed with a hopper called "The Flipper." After many years of the tour and breaking hopping records, Ray separated from the company and started on his new venture; managing a rim shop.
In a Lowriding career like Ray's you'd get the impression that he had done and seen it all, but a new inspiration came to him after a visit to the Las Vegas Super Show. Ray's journey to his latest project came about after he laid eyes upon the first '96 Cadillac Fleetwood that was given a two-door conversion by Topo. After Ray saw the car at the Lowrider Vegas Super Show back in '07, he knew that he wanted one just like it. After a few years, he found out that the car's owner had it for sale. He worked out a deal with the owner and he purchased the car, which was already in perfect shape.
Of course being the rider he is, Ray did not want people to think that he had just purchased a "ready-made" Lowrider, so he took the car straight to David Mendoza of Custom Motoring to tear the car apart. David changed the car's color three times before he was satisfied with the blue color scheme. The custom paint job includes flake, custom candy patterns and fades, in addition to some finishing touches added by famed Pin Stripe guru Walt Prey. The interior was also replaced to match the exterior of the car. Jay from JJ Upholstery gutted the interior and then replaced it with custom two-tone suede and Gray vinyl, adding circular accents throughout the car. For the hydraulic set up, Ray implemented a clear pump display that they had used at Pro Hoppers back in the day. This set up allows spectators to literally see the hydraulic process in motion. Ray hit up Chino from C&L Hydraulics and to coordinate the details on how he wanted the set up to be made. Chino manufactured a one-pump setup with a clear housing, clear Adex dump, and custom bend tubing. The setup also includes six batteries and a fiberglass enclosure that is custom painted to match the car. The undercarriage of the Caddy also got a makeover. The frame was reinforced, painted, and accented with custom pinstripping. The suspension was disassembled and sent out to get dipped in chrome by Big Rich in Los Angeles, CA. The A-arms were also adorned with custom engraving after they were molded and reinforced. When it was time for the engine compartment, all metals were painted and all chrome was re-chromed, leaving behind an utterly flawless engine bay.
After a couple of years of construction and three different paint jobs, the car was ready to hit Vegas in full force one again. This time it represented the Majestics Car Club under a new name; "Blue Ray." The car took home plenty of awards as well as the bragging rights at the Super Show. Ray would like to take the time to thank his family and his Majestics Car Club brothers for helping his dream come true.
'96 Cadillac Fleetwood
Grand Hills CA