Richard Baldwin, from Long Beach, California, is simply known as “Richie.” When he’s not busy at work as an IT Technician, you’ll catch him with his Majestics Car Club brothers at just about every local car show and Lowriding get-together. Richie is always down to go for a cruise in his customized ’96 Cadillac — a multi-patterned, eye-catching Fleetwood Brougham, that sports enough chrome and anodized metal underneath the car to create an award-winning ride on that bottom side alone!
The Lowriding lifestyle first attracted Richie back in his high school days when he would be waiting at the bus stop. During those moments, he would see the older students roll out of the school parking lot in their Lowriders and it was that desire to be behind the wheel of a low-low that kept his interest perked until he got a ride of his own. At the young age of 17, Richie was an official Lowrider, cruising his car from home to school and back again every day.
After a little while, Richie found a new inspiration through his father, by way of upgrading to a Cadillac. Richie’s dad had owned many Cadillacs before and like the old saying goes, “like father, like son.” So the hunt was on to find the right Caddy and Richie began looking everywhere, searching newspapers and the Internet. At last, a stock but clean ’96 Fleetwood Brougham turned up on a website and Richie quickly set up a time and date to meet the owner and test drive it. Everything checked out and Richie took it home to get started on the modifications.
The first thing he did was put in a 42-inch moon roof. Once that was complete, he then installed the hydraulic setup, and threw on some custom rims . When he went to the car shows, he saw so many other Fleetwoods just like his, so he knew he had to take it all to the next level.
The car was stripped down and given some unique body modifications, including a molded header panel, molded rear third brake light and side mirrors, molded moon roof, as well as shaved door handles and fender blinkers. The eye-popping color scheme of blue and teal really make this luxury ride stand out among the rest. Unlike other car builders who chrome out the undercarriage, Richie decided to do some suspension parts in chrome but many others in an anodized blue (thanks to Big Spike at Gator Customs in South Gate, California).
Richie sends out gratitude to Topo and everyone who helped with the customizations on this Caddy, now officially known as “Blue Ballz.” Richie sends a special thanks to his wife and kids for all their loving support. While “Blue Ballz” is certainly a unique and amazing ride, Richie says he is not done with it just yet, and that it will always be a work in progress. n
Owner: Richard “Richie” Baldwin
Vehicle: 1996 Cadillac Fleetwood Brougham
City/State: Long Beach, CA
Club: Majestics (Los Angeles Chapter)
Engine: V8 LT1
Body/Paint: Javier over at Mexico Collision Center in South Gate, California, spearheaded the exterior makeover, executing many body modifications and then spraying a candy blue and teal color scheme. The Caddy was then handed over to Curly, who finished off the project adding some of his unique and elegant pinstripping.
Interior: Joe from California Upholstery in Bell, California, stitched up a custom 3-D patterned interior in leather and suede. The blue colors he chose matched the car’s exterior perfectly. Other interior modifications include a candy painted wood grain, molded candy billet steering wheel, molded candy door panels, billet rear view mirror, and billet shift knob.
Sound System: Big Pun at Pun’s Customs in Paramount, California, installed an Alpine 7-inch DVD touch-screen head unit and Clarion equalizer.
Setup: An effort from Richard and Rick (at Homies Hydraulics in Paramount, California and Low Life Hydraulics in Inglewood, California) ultimately produced a two-pump custom hydraulic suspension, powered by eight batteries and controlled by four switches. Chassis work was done by Richard, Roman, Saul and Dominic.
Tires: 175/80/13R Cornell whitewall.
Wheels: 13x7 100-spoke (anodized in teal and candy blue and with patterned dishes).