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Performance & Hotrod Business May '14

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76 n Performance & Hotrod Business n May 2014 A few years later on another visit he asked if they would sell it. The answer was: "No." Disappointed but undeterred, he was soon the proud owner of a blue and white, all original 1955 Mercury. The car was 100-percent original, but it didn't stay that way. "Everybody was into low-riders," he says, and the Merc, original or not, was generally considered to be a "nice bomb." Besides chopping it down, he also experi- mented with some "homemade hydraulics" with that '55 Merc. "I didn't have money for hydraulics," he says. So he cut off the springs, jacked up the car and stood 2x4s upright in between the A-arm and the frame. Then he'd drive down the street to where a local car club would be having a meeting. "I would sit there at the corner and as soon as the light hit, I would hit the gas and the car would come up a little bit and the blocks would fall off and then the car would slam down," he recalls. "It looked like I was hitting switches. They would be like, wow, look at that car! Then wow, look at that little kid driving it! Then I'd drive around the corner and jack it back up and put the blocks back in. I had my moments with that car." Early Birthday Present More than two decades passed before Castillo had another Merc to cut up. In- stead, his next car was a '67 Mustang con- vertible, all tricked-out with suicide doors, reverse hood, digital gauges and a nice paint job. He cruised around in it with other members of the L.A. Street Boys, a Mustang car club. HOTROD Above and Left: A nice lineup of vintage proj- ects. Below Left: Before: Castillo picked up a '51 Chevy convertible that needed a little work. Below Right: After: Jesse Castillo, with wife Mona. He spent two months "day and night" to transform the '51 Chevy convertible. SHOP PROFILE: LORDZ OF KUSTOMZ PHBMAYp58-91.indd 76 4/2/14 2:02 PM

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