A princess poised to run or a Blue Diamond resting in the rough? Low-key, well-executed st
If Cinderella had been a baller, she would have made her getaway in this. Sliding into a hand-cut glass seat, she would have dropped-not a slipper-but a flat-screen monitor gleaming like a silver salver. As she sped away at midnight's final stroke, her Caddy would have shed its crystal casements for boxes of wood, plastic, and wire.
Cheryl Mendoza is no indentured servant, but still she broke free from the twin sisters Mediocrity and Monotony. Not satisfied with the assembly line baubles belched from the automakers' factories, she and her husband, Victor, crafted a Blue Diamond from an '03 Escalade.
They didn't spin this project like gold thread from a seamstress' wheel. Neither did a handsome prince deliver a miraculously completed truck with a parade of knights and courtiers. Cheryl and Victor, who work under the name of Pimp-N-It Auto, cast hard work, time, and money to make their fairy tale come true. The project took seven months, $180,000 (on top of the Escalade's original $68,000 price), and lots of knuckle nicks on Victor's part (and a little help from their son and some friends) to build.
They call their SUV "Blue Diamond," but, in a way, it's more like amethyst turned inside out. JT Evo's Tony Yip in Rosemead, California, marbleized the body's stock elements and Lexani body kit with a blurply blend of blue paint spiced by raspberry pearl, and buried it under six coats of clear. Ichiban lamps in front and Crystal Eyes brake lights in back punctuate the blue neon that illuminates the Escalade's custom grille and underbody. Sliding up the Lamborghini doors and peering inside the Escalade is like jumping down the rabbit hole into a world of music and video suspended in sheets of quartz. Amplifiers, monitors, cables, and blue neon were sandwiched between sheets of glass. Meanwhile, the walls, pillars, doors, and ceiling are lined with Louie Vuitton's signature logo, making the Escalade's interior look like an inverted bowl of blue-gray designer stars atop a glittering frozen sea.
Let's cover some specifics. Three technicians-Carlos Llanos, Robert Lopez, and Eddy Pattillo-from Advanced Car Creations in Garden Grove, California, teamed with Victor on the mobile electronics portion of this install, as well as the neon and strobes.