Nick Pineda of Atwater, CA remembers being introduced to Lowrider Magazine in the early 1990’s. “I remember that I was immediately hooked by all the beautiful models who posed by the even more beautiful cars. Needless to say, I have never put Lowrider Magazine down since,” says Nick with a chuckle. Given his long-term readership, Nick’s certainly been exposed to everything under the sun, which pushed him to be creative with his latest project, a 1996 Tahoe/Escalade conversion, and the task was not for the faint of heart.

After moving from his hometown of Houston, TX, Nick ended up moving into the town of Merced, CA. “I was fortunate enough to be able to meet and work with a lot of people who I looked up to as a kid reading Lowrider Magazine,” Nick explains fondly. “People like John Mannenian, Doug Vigil, Manuel Corbala, LeRoy and Kenny Gonzales.” Rubbing shoulders with some of LRM’s creative minds only further inspired the young Nick, and he knew that one day he would push the envelope and create something worthy of the magazine’s coverage.

In 2007, Nick bought himself a two-door Tahoe shortly after buying a brand new Escalade EXT. “I started kicking around the idea to build a two-door Escalade, but everyone kept telling me that I was crazy and that it would never fit.” That inspired Nick to prove everyone wrong. “With an office job and no experience I took on the challenge in my garage and thru the process of trial and error, I was able to build my two-door Tahoe conversion,” says Nick with pride.

The truck turned heads in the scene and in 2009, Nick joined Nokturnal car club. “Since I joined the club, I’ve been hitting up as many car shows as I can in California and Nevada,” says the avid enthusiast.

Nick would like to thank all the car clubs in the 209 that have shown him love and would he like to thank them for their support. “I also want to thank my Nokturnal family, including Bobby, Jaime Ayala, and Scooby for always having my back through thick and thin. Last but definitely not least, I want to thank my beautiful wife and kids who put up with me throughout my craziness, building cars, taking long trips to car shows and for being selfish at times by spending all our money on this lifestyle.”

Tech Specs

“Sitting On Gators”

Owner: Nick Pineda

Vehicle: 1996 Chevy Tahoe

City/State: Atwater, CA

Club: Nokturnal

Engine: A red top Optima battery along with MSD wires and distributor were added to the stock 350-engine. Nick also had a few parts painted to match the car. A Flowmaster exhaust was also added for efficiency.

Body/Paint: Fernando Servin of Pineda Boy Customz in Atwater, CA sprayed the Tahoe with a House of Kolor Candy Apple Red paint.

Interior: Nick Pineda of Pineda Boy Customz swapped out the Tahoe’s stock interior for a Platinum Escalade interior that included the dash, seats and door panels. The alligator inserts found in the seats were installed at Castillos Upholstery.

Sound System: The in dash navigation was installed by Nick Pineda.

Tires: Lexani 305/30/26.

Wheels: Asanti three piece 26-inch AF143 were sent out to get color matched.