Lowrider Pimps


THE LOS ANGELES UNIQUES: Interview & Gallery

Car: ’64 Chevrolet Impala

Images: Jaymz Eberly / Ian Young

Words: Ian Young



A distant siren is blaring an all too familiar sweet song as a passing homeless man pukes his guts out on the curb. It’s windy and an unhinged and clearly unusable gate continues to smash itself open and closed with each gust. In the midst of this near maddening racket I am at peace. Just taking in life as it comes … all the noise is relaxing in a way.  I am at peace listening to the roar of the passing traffic on the freeway overpass with the wind blowing around litter, used aerosol cans and old porn magazines around my feet.  The echoing of the local band jamming their hearts out a couple stories above us in the surrounding semi-abandoned warehouse building is keeping the beat of my heartbeat, pacing footsteps and all the rest of the noise company.  Every once in a while a heavily graffiti covered train will thunder passed reminding me of the old days.  Yeah … this is L.A. … Downtown L.A. at that … and I am at perfect peace.


Back to Reality:


I take a drink of my soda and damn near choke to death from shock when the sweetest blue 1964 Chevy Impala I’ve ever had the privilege to lay eyes on turns the corner. It’s Jose along with his club members the Los Angeles Uniques riding in one of the most beautiful lowriding visions to ever cruise the surface of the earth; and the reason we are out here today.



Lowrider Pimps: This is a sweet car man … I appreciate the interview today.  

Jose: No problem.

So let me ask you… how long have you been lowriding?

Jose: I’ve been lowriding for at least twelve years.

Lowrider Pimps: Yeah? How’d you get started?

Jose: My brother got me started. Well, my father … then from there my brother really got me started.  My brother had a ’65 and I used be his shotgun back in the days when he was lowriding.

Lowrider Pimps: Ok, ok … so how old is your car club The Uniques, man?

George: The Uniques is about fifteen years old.

Lowrider Pimps: Yeah?

George: Yeah, the mother chapter started in Orange County.

LP: So talking about the name The Uniques y-know, what makes you guys Unique?

George: Just the name in itself y-know what I mean? “Unique” … Uniques y-know? We’re just different from any other car club.  Every car club stands out but we’re unique.

LP: So the name alone stands for itself…

G: Exactly.

LP: Ok, ok … In your opinion, what makes a good Car Club?

J: Dedication … supporting your other club members, never putting anybody down. Getting all the kids involved … getting family members involved…

G: It’s a family thing.  Y-know we lowride but at the same time we lowride with our families. … y-know, I ride with my son … sort of a camaraderie…

J: Right.

LP: So tell me a little bit about you car here man, like what makes it special … what do you love about it?

J: Well … I can’t really go detailed because, I mean, I love everything about my car.  I mean, it did take stages.  The frame was fully wrapped and the body was taken off the frame.  All the brake linings are done on it… everything’s chrome on the motor, the undercarriage is also chrome.

LP: Ok …… man, we gotta get come some shots of that.

J: Yeah, the engine is chrome… I didn’t wanna really do too much. I went kind of original with the upholstery. I didn’t wanna go too new. Everybody now is actually not using all that…

LP: Keeping it stock…

J: Yeah … I’m trying to keep it kinda stock.  I feel that when you get in your car, you wanna feel like your in an old car.

LP: Right.

J: You know what I mean? It’s an old car so if you start modifying it too much,  it changes the car, to me.

G: The feeling… There’s a certain feeling. You want it to feel like when the car first came out.  Like the way it came out … that’s the way it’s gonna stay.

J: Yeah … that’s really the way you feel when you drive the car.

G: A lot of guys cut the doors ... cut the top …

LP: Fucking it up basically.

G: Yeah … exactly.  (laughing) We keep ours stock, original.

LP: Ok, ok … So did you build it yourself or did you have somebody else build it or what?

J: I’ve had friends help me out. I really don’t know too much about building cars. I mean, I’ve learned now… as I’m lowriding I’m starting to learn but … yeah, I’ve had friends help me.

LP: So what makes a good car in your opinion?

J: Well, a good car to me is … y-know it’s not falling apart.  It’s got a good paintjob… it’s got the wire wheels nice and shiny.  The motor’s gotta look decent y-know… all that to me makes a good car.

LP: Have you ever had your car in any magazines or videos or anything like that?

J: Well, it came out in the Lloyd Banks video “Hands Up”

LP: Oh yeah?

J: Yeah … it came out there and it came out in Mr. Capone-E’s CD “Don’t get it Twisted” .

LP: Man, when’s that stuff come out?

J: Actually, the CD came out in 2006 in December.  It’s out in stores now.  What else… uh,  ProRider Magazine… a European magazine.  But that’s about it.

LP: So have you ever gotten caught up in any of the politics of lowriding? Like, they tend to associate lowriding with crime and stuff like that.

J: Nah, not us.

G: Even though we’re from L.A. but we don’t involved with all that crap.  Y-know? We don’t gangbang we just lowride.

LP: …it’s all about the cars.

J: Right.

LP: So where do you see lowriding as a culture going in the future?

J: I really don’t know … I mean,  I don’t think it’ll change.

LP: Yeah, it’s always been the same y-know? For the people who are true about it at least.

J: Yeah … actually it’s grown.  It’s grown a lot from where it started.

LP: Do you have like a crazy story or stand-out situation that happed with the car?

G: Rear end …

J: Oh man. I had to re-do the rear-end. 

LP: What happened with that?

J: I was driving on the freeway once. I was actually with my father, it was my first time driving the car. I was kinda test-driving it…

G: In what lane? (laughing)

J: I was in the car pool lane and the rear end…just came out.

LP: Aww man…

J: Yeah … the car actually turned three or four times.  But it didn’t do any damage to the car.

LP: I was just about to ask you about that…

J: Yeah I was real lucky. But that was the only crazy thing that ever happened to me in the car other than that.

LP: I mean, the whole back just came off or what…

J: The rear end… just the rear end.  But other than that … you know, I fixed it. I put the brakes in there again. You have to change them to a Ford-9 rear end I believe. That’s the only thing that’ll work with these cars.

LP: Yeah well it’s beautiful now you got it in great shape.   Alright, so do you have any shout-outs to anybody out there?

J: Just to our car club The Uniques more than anything. My wife and my family for supporting us and this lowriding thing.

LP: Well it was a pleasure to interview you man and I appreciate you guys coming out here and y-know … showing love man.

J: Oh yeah… and thank you guys too for keeping the lowrider image ... y-know looking good. Because through you guys the lowriding will keep going you know?

LP: Take care of this car man… (all laugh)

Nighttime has fallen and The Uniques cruise away just as they came, Jose at the wheel, George riding shotgun with Miguel and his lady in back next to the Uniques nameplate. They bust a wicked sparkling three-wheel back on to the highway as we loaded up our gear in admiration.  This is Ian Young signing off.  Drive slow and ride low. . .

Editor's Note: You can see more of Jose's car on our car shows page.