Wanting to keep his mind busy and stay out of trouble for once, Mike “Vito” Sutton of Desert Hot Springs, California decided to delve into a new project after taking a bit of a hiatus from custom builds. Having built several magazine quality customs in the past, including a 1964 Chevy Impala right before this build, Mike is no stranger to the work it takes and the dedication to see a project through to completion. He also knew exactly what he was aiming his sights for in his next project. Wanting the end result to be a killer cruiser that could be driven and enjoyed with the family (seems to be a common theme as we get older). So sit back and relax as we introduce you to Sutton’s latest creation, the Vito “Corleone” Coupe.
As with most projects the build-up on this Cadillac began with a few emblems being shaved and of course, one thing led to another. Mike Sutton planned and plotted early on to guarantee that his parts list would be complete, and nothing would hold him up in the process. He called upon his buddy, Jay La Rossa of Lossa Engineering to help with the pavement pounding stance that every “gangster” mobile begs for. Once Jay built the control arms it was time to mount the Slam ‘bags on all four corners. The rear of the car was dealt with accordingly and a c-notch was cut in for the much needed clearance to tuck the absolute gorgeous 22-inch Colorado Custom wheels. Coupled with Bilstein shocks this Coupe still floats down the road like the day it rolled off the showroom floor. Ensuring the project was kept super clean from top to bottom, Mike chose to hardline the car with 1/2-inch copper line. Once the valves were mounted and the compressors were wired it was game on, and you know what they say about hitting switches in a six-fo right? Forget about it!
Photos: Johnny O Photo | Words: Jason Ballard
Next on the list of things-to-do was to address the body of this American classic. To maintain the elegant lines Mike decided to keep the body mods to a minimum and just clean some things up to a pristine finish. The hood and trunk emblems were deleted and smoothed and he also installed a custom canvas for the clean nostalgic look to set it a part from the rest. Additional surgery on the car includes cutting down the bumpers both front and rear to ensure they are tucked up nicely and flow with the classic lines a bit better. Afterwards, all the chrome was re-done from front to back and all the stainless was polished by Mike “Vito” himself. The finishing touch for was the dripping deep black House of Kolor paint to really finish off the Cadillac exterior in style.
When it came time for a fitting stereo to match the rest of the quality and style of the build, Kicker Audio was the weapon of choice. Kicker mids and highs were added to keep the high frequency sounds crystal clear and to round out the lows, Kicker L7 10-inch subwoofers were built into a custom trunk enclose by Gary Bell at Design Concepts. An Alpine CD player with iPod hookup serves as the head unit for the car installed in the custom center console which gives the cabin of this cruiser a lethal look. Now you can’t hear anyone knocking on the inside of the trunk when the stereo is hitting peak levels inside the Vito Corleone Coupe.
The murderous motor in this Cadillac is none other than the original 429. But not wanting to leave anything alone, Mike took it upon himself to get his hands dirty yet again, by going thru the internal of this big block. The camshaft was machined, rods resized and the block bored .30 over. Prior to being reinstalled into the car, the motor was painted to match the exterior of the ride. The intake and manifolds were smoothed and then ceramic coated. A 700R transmission was gone thru from top to bottom by Navi Transmissions and the Oftenhauser polished valve covers contrast perfectly against the other factory parts that Mike sent out to have chrome plated. Devious Customs was enlisted to build the custom fuel cell, which houses the huge amounts of fuel needed to push this thing from show to shop, all with the family in tow.
This was one of Mike’s favorite builds, as things “went mostly according to plan this time around.” Yeah, if you do it enough, you tend to anticipate the kinks in the chain and work them out a bit easier with experience. Mike wanted to personally thank everyone who helped on the build including: Steel Rubber, Colorado Customs, Kicker, Alpine, and Slam Specialties. Having grown up around hot rods and working on customs with his friends and family, it is easy to see that Mike was cut from the right cloth. Until next issue, keep those sights focused on those killer projects, and stay tuned!
Owner: Mike Sutton
Vehicle: 1964 Cadillac Couple DeVille
Hometown: DHS, California
Front: Custom upper and lower control arms, R8 Slam ‘bags, uniball with heims
Rear: Custom center link with uniball, R8 Slam ‘bags
Frame Mods: C-notch
Brakes: Baer brakes
Performed By: Owner and Jay La Rossa
Front license plate removed from bumper
Front/rear emblems shaved
Front/rear bumpers tucked closer to the body
Paint: House of Kolor black and clear coat
Extras: Custom canvas top installed by owner
Performed By: Owner
Factory seats recovered with custom inserts
Factory Cadillac dash and gauges
Custom center console with Alpine CD and iPod hookup
Kicker 6.5s and Kicker L7 10-inch subwoofers
2,500 watt Kicker 5-channel amp
Performed By: Owner, LB Threads, and Gary Bell
Numbers matching 429
Camshaft with a custom grind
Rods resized and .30 pistons
Intake and manifolds smoothed and ceramic coated
Transmission: 700R custom built
Performed By: Owner & Machine Shop
Special Thanks from Owner:
“I also want to thank my wife Jennifer for her support through all the late nights and weekends and my kids Victor and Tyler for their help. Also all my sponsors and friends who helped support this build and a big shout out to Bill at Colorado Custom Wheels for the insane 22-inch Caddy wheels which really make this build what it is today.”