Open House This Weekend: Speakeasy Launches Classic Cadillac Design Group With Custom Flair

Gregory Alanzo's 1947 Fleetwood custom. Design rendering by Mike Herbert. Gregory Alanzo's 1947 Fleetwood Custom. Design rendering by Mike Herbert. This weekend, Speakeasy Customs & Classics opens its garage doors to celebrate its public launch. The group, which started up in 2016, specializes in Cadillac-inspired restoration and customization with an art and design based approach. Founders Gregory Alonzo and Mike Herbert met while working with the Automotive Mentoring Group, a program that seeks to build a bright future for Chicago’s inner-city youth by providing a platform for automotive work and design. Herbert, who specializes in Cadillac design, paired well with Alonzo, who had been putting together a restoration and customization team with the dream of opening their own shop. Joined by restoration expert Edgar Lara, they set off into creating a Cadillac-based restoration group, paying homage to the classic Cadi aesthetic while offering unique takes on custom design. The Speakeasy team at work in the garage The Speakeasy team at work The name “Speakeasy” comes from the unlicensed saloons of the 1920s prohibition era, popular social hangouts for jab, drinks, and jazz. The Cadillac, which rose to popularity as a luxury car around the same time, was part of the aesthetic of the times, catering to a strong stylish feel with the stout of a stag and the class of a martini. Processed with VSCO with a6 preset A Cadillac Coupe DeVille before restoration At its heart, Speakeasy Customs & Classics is about preserving the art of the Cadillac, staying true to its curves, its style, and its cruisibility—whether its fixing up an old jalopy or personalizing a classic, Speakeasy drives the classic beauty of the Cadillac into the modern day. Located at Speakeasy's headquarters, the open house this weekend celebrates the fruition of Speakeasy’s vision and offers the public a glimpse into its specialized world of design work. Stocked with stylish cars, works in progress, intriguing design plans, and smooth jazz, the garage is an atmosphere reminiscent of the speakeasy vibe from which it draws its name. Whether you’re a seasoned car buff or have a curious mind for design, the Speakeasy team welcomes you to share in its passion for automotive art. 16649531_397029017313903_382319622287980129_n A work in progress waits with high potential in the Speakeasy garage The open house will be held at this Saturday February 18th from 2pm-8pm at the Speakeasy Customs & Classics garage (6512 S. Lavergne). Refreshments and food will be served. You can help support the group’s kick-start by making a donation through GoFundMe. To learn more about the perks of their fundraising campaign, visit the open house event page on Facebook. Follow Speakeasy Customs & Classics on their website, Facebook, and Instagram. You can contact them at or by calling them at 630-301-4569.   All photos courtesy of Speakeasy Customs & Classics.
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Stephanie Lenchard Warren

Stephanie Lenchard Warren is a visual artist and nonfiction writer. Her work explores finding ourselves in nature as well as the nature in ourselves.