BY MICHAEL KITCHENS
Owner: Clifford Casem
Occupation: Painter, platinum auto refinishes
Hobbies: Cars, diving, fishing
Suspension: Airride custom suspension install, custom valving, VIAIR compressors, 12 gallon tank, GC450 Extreme valves and gauges
Exterior: Shaved and molded door handles, tinted headlights, rear taillights, blinkers and parking lights, chromed accents
Interior: Pop-locks, gutted trunk and wheel wells, custom speaker enclosure and subs
Wheels and Tires: 22-inch Forgiato Concavos fitted with Delinte 235/30ZR 22s all around
Born and raised on the North Shore, Clifford Casem spent 20 years as “the behind-the-scenes guy” when it came to cars. Everyone knows someone like that — the fella who made things happen but never had the opportunity to stand in the spotlight. Now at age 39, Clifford has become an established painter who manages his own shop, Platinum Auto Re finishes, and finally has his own quality lowrider to show off to the masses.
Clifford was introduced to the lowrider scene by his good friend and fabricator, Marty Sarabano, and has been in the scene since he was a sophomore in high school. He’s owned a few cars and built a few cars, but none to the level of this 1988 Chevrolet Monte Carlo.
The first thing you’ll notice about this ride is its sleek, gorgeous lines and accents. Chrome pieces adorn the exterior while the door handles have been shaved and smoothed, and features pop-locks. The front and rear lights have been tinted a dark red to add a touch of menace. He calls her “Demonic Dreams” and says the sinister scheme represented his troubles in life at the time.
Although this ride is more than 25 years old, the car looks like it came directly from the showroom floor. Completed in two months, the car is covered in absolutely immaculate Brandy Wine paint that glows in the sunlight. Red pearl flakes twinkle like stars depending on how the light hits the car. A custom flaming skull was added and helped to win Hottest Body & Paint at its first show.
The ride is seriously dropped via a custom Airride suspension install. Two Viair compressors feed into a 12 gallon tank featuring GC450 Xtreme Valves all around. The entire trunk was gutted, including the fender wells for some tremendous drop. When raised, the front end can get some serious air as well while being controlled by a custom switchbox. The Monte Carlo runs deep on 22-inch For- giato Concavos supplied by Revolution Motorsports and are fitted with Delinte 235/30ZR 22s wrapped all around.
Clifford would like to thank all of his supporters, including Spellbound, NRS Fab, Hawaii Street Custom, All Out Custom and Old School. Even with everything done so far, Clifford seeks to raise the stakes even further.
“I’m never satisfied with my own work. I see what I need to improve,” says Clifford. He considers this ride the first step in a long evolution to an eventual top-level lowrider. He even plans to repaint the ride in a totally new scheme.
I guess when you’re an incredible painter, the car really is the canvas.