The 1978 Lincoln Mark V Is a Precious Gem In the Heart of Texas

About four decades ago, David “El Mister” Loya watched as one of his co-workers arrived to work as they did every day, driving a Lincoln Mark V Diamond Jubilee. Having been lowriding since the 1970s and loving everything about the culture, he thought to himself, “that style of car would look nice as a lowrider.”

That idea sat with him for almost 40 years and finally, in 2018, an opportunity presented itself in the form of a similar Mark V that wasn’t far from where he lived, in great condition, and up for grabs on Facebook. Rather than ignore the obvious act of fate, he picked the car up and enjoyed it in factory condition for about a month before those thoughts of building something unique were too much to ignore-that’s when the adventure began.

A Rocky Road

Unfortunately, things got off to a rocky start as the car went to a body shop where valuable time was wasted. Loya decided to pull the car out and bring it back to his shop to figure out his next move. During the transition, a painter that worked at that shop reached out and said he’d take on the paint duties himself in accordance with the patterns and selection of colors that Loya wanted. Things were looking up.

While the car underwent its bodywork and custom paint makeover, Loya removed and sent the bumpers and all the car’s moldings to Show Chrome for detail work. He also ordered all the necessary weather strips and gaskets from Steele Rubber as he knew that old seals would take away from the freshly laid paintwork.

It’s What’s On The Inside That Counts

With the exterior changes in full motion, Loya turned his attention to the interior. Taking a recommendation from a friend, he called on R.G. Elephant to work some magic inside the car. As Benjamin of R.G. laid out the plans for the cabin, Loya brought in Luis Avila of Cuates Hydraulics to build out an Innovation Gravity hydraulic set up. Communication was key as Benjamin and Luis teamed up to create a one-off trunk display highlighting both R.G. Elephant’s stitch work and Cuates Hydraulics’ handiwork.

Back to the in-depth exterior changes, by this time the Diamond Jubilee’s panels were patterned out, painted, clear coated, and sanded down in preparation for all sorts of leafing and stripes, performed beautifully by Sammy “Sacco” Acosta. Once dry, the bumpers and trim pieces were added along with a custom fabricated and chromed grille. Finally, it was ready for its wheels and tires, and Coker Tire wrapped True Spokes were the perfect fit.

Team Effort

As with any lowrider build, a deadline can help speed up the process and for Loya, debuting “Blue Diamond” at the 2019 Tejano Super Show in Odessa, Texas, became the focus. During the final week leading up to the big show, R.G. Elephant and Cuates Hydraulics put in some long hours to make sure that the set-up would be ready in time. Their hard work paid off with the car making it to the show and earning coveted 1st place honors in the Luxury category.

After making its mark in Odessa, Loya decided to take some time in working on the car’s undercarriage. It was pressure-washed, cleaned up, and fully painted before he installed new exhaust tubing from front to back and new Flowmasters. The front portion of the undercarriage and its A-arms were reinforced, its cross-member springs chromed, and the gas tank received a custom mural.

Once again, Luis from Cuates Hydraulics helped put everything back together so that the car could make a return in 2020 to the Tejano Super Show. Even though it was difficult holding a show under the looming global pandemic, the show went on thanks to all the hard work of the Super Show staff and judges who maintained the safety of the participants and enthusiasts. On its return visit to the Tejano Super Show, Blue Diamond earned yet another 1st place trophy in Luxury, but also backed it up with an additional 1st place win for its hydraulic set up.

All of this would not have been possible without the help of special people like Julian, who painted the car, to his son Christopher, and Miguelito of Image Car Club, and everyone who helped him complete the build of this beautiful gem. Loya is also the proud owner of 1965 Cadillac Deville known as “Unique Warrior.”

1978 Lincoln Mark V Diamond Jubilee 

Vehicle Nickname: Blue Diamond

Owner: David “El Mister” Loya

City/State: El Paso, Texas

Club: Image Car Club

Engine: 460CI 210 HP V8 3 speed Automatic

Exterior: covered side parking lights, custom grill tube, battery cover Image, all exterior Chrome from Bumpers to Moldings, from Inside the Hood to all frontend undercarriage

Body/Paint: PPG Med Blue Metallic, Candy Blue on Silver Leaf; pinstripe: Silver Leaf, Variegated Leaf, Lavender Color / Blue Color

Suspension: straight axle – all original, springs chromed, A-arms molded and chromed, mural underneath rear bumper (American eagle, Mexican eagle, guns and roses skull design)

Hydraulics: Innovation Gravity Hydraulic set-up, powered by 48 volts, 4 Whitaker dumps,                       4 gas check valves, 2 Purolator mini filters, 2 A-6 oxygen tanks, 4 Parker 90 Downs & 4 cannon plugs, cylinders 10-inch front and back, 4 Altima batteries

Interior: blue vinyl, blue cloth interior kits, purple stitching, custom steering wheel,  24-inch color bar

Sound: JVC CD player in glove compartment, 8″ Kicker speakers in each door panel

Wheels/Tires: 14 inch True-Spoke wires with 520 Premium Sport Way tires

Thank You: Paint: Julian, Painted Car Patterns: Julian Pereyra, pin stripping leafing: Sammy “Sacco” Acosta, hydraulics: Cuates Hydraulics & R.G. Elephant, chrome: Show Chrome, Upholstery: R G Elephant – Benjamin, Interior Color Design: Tere, Pattern Color Design: Mister

Special Thanks to Julian, OSO from 2A, Dirty Customs – Rafael & Family, my Son Christopher and Miguelito of Image Car Club