The Windy City of Chicago, Illinois is known historically for many things. The town has long been considered a center for finance and business, and the history surrounding the storied sports franchises of the Blackhawks, White Sox, Cubs, Bulls, and Bears has often been associated with the city’s character. The town has always had a thriving music scene as well; in fact, its blues history can rival some of the more known southern hamlets. Still, you might be surprised to know that there is a hardcore devoted custom car culture throughout the Chicago area. Forty four-year-old Albert Ortiz was born and raised in Chicago, and as a young boy he dreamt about making an impact and a name for himself within that very scene. With some motivation and hard work, Albert has done just that; thanks to this remarkable 1982 Cadillac Coupe De Ville.
Mesmerized by his first purchase of a Lowrider Magazine in the early 80’s, Albert connected instantly with the culture and knew it was the direction in which he wanted to steer himself. “I wanted to find a way to express my creativity and stand out in this big city,” Albert tells us with a smile. The opportunity arose when he found out a stock Cadillac was for sale a couple blocks away from where he lived. With no immediate guidance, he relied on friends to help him start his project. Excited to get things underway, he took the Cadillac to his friend, Louie, who was training at a technical school. Eager to test out his painting prowess, Louie happily applied a clean coat of GM Silver Blue Metallic over the stock paint.
He turned to Albert Munoz, from Munoz Wheels, to have the entire Caddy switched over to the ‘90s style by replacing the side panels and piecing other parts together. Thanks to some trusted word-of-mouth recommendations, Albert enlisted master-painter SIC from Houston, Texas to fly in and lay down impressive patterns and a pinstripe motif that truly set the Cadillac apart from the rest. With the exterior complete, the next step was to update the interior. Albert brought the car to Pedro, at Victory Upholstery in Berwyn, Illinois, for a complete transformation. Pedro kept it “all the way Caddy,” by using an El Dorado interior to replace the old one for a more modern look. All the switches on the door panels were removed and relocated to clean it up, giving the new interior the feel of factory freshness.
Aesthetically, the car was where it needed to be, but there was still much work to be done. The suspension was first up to bat as Albert had Bob Wagner from Hollywood Kustoms in Naperville, Illinois add a three-pump, three-dump Shell Happy hydraulic setup. Of course this Caddy needed to be able to hit the road to be properly appreciated, so to get the Cadillac running strongly, Rich, from the Engine Factory in McCook, Illinois, dropped in a crate 4100 V8 motor.
Albert wishes to thank all his club members from Together C.C. as well as those in the Los Angeles chapter for guiding him in the right direction. His appreciation also goes out to his mom, Albert Munoz, Ray Naidin, and Bob Wagner for their help and support in the build. The House of Blues has always been recognized as the center for the best in entertainment, and adding that name to Albert’s prized Cadillac ensures that it will have that same long-lasting reputation where ever it goes.
“House of Blues”
Owner: Albert Ortiz
Vehicle: ’82 Cadillac Coupe De Ville
City/State: Chicago, Illinois
Car Club: Together C.C.
Engine: Rich from the Engine Factory in McCook, Illinois replaced the motor with a crate 4100 V8. A chrome air cleaner, EGR and master cylinder booster round out the engine customizations. Abe Chavez from A&R Plating handled the chrome plating.
Body/Paint: Albert’s friend, Louie, at a local technical college in Chicago Heights, Illinois, sprayed the paint with GM Silver Blue Metallic. SIC from Houston, Texas was brought in to lay down the patterns and pinstripe throughout the body. Albert Munoz assisted with the ‘90s-style conversion, including the custom made panels. Hector from Imaginations C.C. helped to install a 44-inch moon roof.
Interior: Albert enlisted Pedro from Victory Upholstery in Berwyn, Illinois to remove the stock cabin and replace it with a Cadillac El Dorado interior. The door panels were built switch-free as the window controls were relocated to the console. Blue leather and suede were used to coat the seats. A color bar was added for an old-school look.
Sound System: Tony from Berwyn, Illinois added the Pioneer head unit and installed Alpine components throughout the cabin. An Alpine amplifier sends power to the single 10-inch Alpine R Series.
Setup: Albert ordered three Shell Happy pumps and brought them to Bob Wagner of Hollywood Kustoms in Naperville, Illinois. Three Delta dumps were mounted and a polished faucet slow-down valve was made. Six Deka batteries ensure the four-switch panel on the dash handles all the necessary moves.
Wheels: 13-inch Kristal Wire Wheels powder