Unicos Car Club shows highs of riding low in Tyler for nearly 25 years

Unicos Car Club shows highs of riding low in Tyler for nearly 25 years
Published: Dec. 7, 2022 at 1:53 PM CST|Updated: Dec. 8, 2022 at 11:12 PM CST
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TYLER, Texas (KLTV) - How low can you go? Well, there’s a group of guys in Tyler that can take their cars down to about three inches, and some can also get a couple feet in the air.

Brothers Joel and Ivan Alvarado love cars, but they don’t really like them parallel to the ground like most folks. For Joel it started when he was a kid in his dad’s car.

“I was in the back seat, and he started bouncing it and ever since then I fell in love with it. And I told my dad once I start driving I want me a, I want a “Carlo and that’s exactly what he ended up getting me you know,” Joel said.

Their dad, Daniel has worked on cars for years, and the kids liked to be involved.

“We started with the bikes, you know. Low rider bikes. And he’ll paint them for us and we’ll put them together or whatnot. And from there we got a little older and we started messing with the cars,” Ivan said.

And in 1998 their six-member Unicos Car Club bounced into existence.

“I mean we’ve had our ups and downs, you know, but we’re still here you know?” Ivan said.

“You ever break it?” I asked Joel.

“Yeah, I broke it a few times. Hopping it, bouncing it, you know,” Joel said.

His painted undercarriage shows signs of, shall we say, use? But even with perfect paint and engraved chrome dashboard trim the:

“Cars are never finished. You always want to add stuff to it or whatnot, but I finished it about five years ago, I want to say,” Joel said.

And yes, the parts are high but:

“You can’t stop feeding your kids to buy a fender,” Ivan said.

They must be adults about all this so:

“We put them together pretty much. Put the puzzle together,” Ivan said.

It can take a decade to make the tough sixties cars acrobatic, and they tend to lose their trunk space to hydraulic pumps.

“So, this is the secret, huh?” I asked Ivan.

“Yep. Shhh,” he said putting his finger to his lips.

They used that secret at the Tyler Christmas Parade.

“Show out a little bit, you know. Show them what they can do; a little three wheeling, little bounce. And it’s pretty cool to let people see what we built. You know, our artwork,” Ivan said.

When I was offered a ride inside artwork, I just couldn’t say no.

“I think something’s wrong with your shocks,” I said to Joel.

Whatever bumps Joel hit, he smoothed it all out on three wheels. Nothing more stable than three-point balance.

They say they like the older cars because they’re easier to work on, have great lines and can take the abuse. Having one built or buying one outright generally runs over $100,000.