Trade between Japan and the U.S. has been rising more and more. The usual route is towards our shores but the Japanese have an affinity that we can serve. As it is, American iron is the status symbol of choice overseas and they just can't get enough of our cars, trucks, and SUVs. Cadillac Escalades may be a dime a dozen here stateside but over yonder on the other side of the pond, they are one of the most sought-after vehicles to be seen in. Go figure.

Glide Import Car Shop situates itself in Machida, Tokyo, Japan, and is a regular customer on the import/export gravy train. Known for bringing Japan some of the best deals on American drivables, Glide is on the forefront of the madness that is the Japanese car craze. Here at home, Glide is supplied regular doses of V-8s from their friends at Authentic Images Co. (AIC) in Carson, California. AIC's head man in charge is Wataru Noto and he knows the business well. Price gouging from federal trade is huge, so Wataru builds the vehicles here and then ships them to Glide, but the mark-up is against the vehicles, not what's in them. Essentially, Glide receives the vehicles ready to hit the streets.

AIC used local talent to create this high-dollar, candy cruiser before crating her up and sending her on her way to the land of the rising sun. Steve Deman of the Kolor Kings in Huntington Beach, California, was commissioned to replace the factory color with something more befitting of a custom baller hauler. Steve reached into his magic palette and pulled out Cherry Bomb Candy from the Kolor Kings' private collection provided by Auto Air. Deman went spray loco and coated everything down to the firewall, engine cover, and even the doorjambs. A mix of silverleaf and One Shot pinstriping gives the Cadi a bit of hot-rod styling cues. It's the alligator candy stripe, which was painstakingly applied, that brings the inside theme to the outside.

Not one to just do anything halfway, Steve pulled out the dash face, center console, and door panels for some added rich candy coating. Anything that started as wood trim from the factory, and even an entire aftermarket add-on wood kit, was treated to a full-scale silverleafing. To create some dimension, Steve left some of the pieces in the eye-catching silverleaf and then smothered others in Cherry Bomb. The effect of the candy over the silverleaf is incredible. Topping the steering wheel's wood trim is Kolor Kings' Mercedes Silver.

For the rest of the interior, Auto Upholstery's Oscar Diaz had control. Oscar sewed up a flowing mix of red alligator in the seat centers, headrests, sun visors, sunroof shade, and even the door panels. Red piping was run around the perimeter of all the seats for a little flavor, and the Cadillac crest was embroidered into all the headrests. Bone-hued suede covers the headliner and door speaker pods, bringing the Escalade to full West Coast styling.

Back at AIC's world headquarters, Noto had a set of wheels befitting the theme of the SUV: 22/27-inch Asanti Alligator wheels fully chromed and wrapped in special Nitto NT101 rubber sized 305/45VR22/27. Once in place, the transformation from meek to sleek was completed. As of this writing, the truck is scheduled to disembark from our shores and head towards the Japanese mainland. Once you get this in hand, some lucky and happy customer of Glide Import Car Shop will be enjoying the Cadillac Escalade and all of its alligator features. Don't fret, as many more Escalades exist right here at home for you to add your magic touch to.

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