Mario DeAlba Sr.’s passion for Lowriders has been a lifelong commitment. He began customizing cars when he was just fifteen years old, eventually transferring his love into a profession in 1969. With over forty years under his belt at the professional level, he specializes in auto body and paint at his own shop, Mario’s Autoworks, where he works with three of his four sons. Throughout his life, Mario and his four sons can be credited for building nearly eighty cars; that doesn’t include cars the family has built for their customers!
His 1936 Chevy Master Deluxe named “El Padrote” was crowned the 2011 Bomb of the Year while his son, Alberto DeAlba, took the Lowrider of the Year title in the same year. “El Padrote” isn’t the first Bomb to claim this title for Mario, he also claimed the honors almost twenty years ago when he won it from 1993 to 1995 with his 1951 Chevy bomb named “El Corazon,” a Bomb which he still has. While Mario Sr. was taking the Bomb of the Year title, his two oldest sons, Mario Jr. and Alberto, took the Euro of the Year titles. “After nearly twenty years, the father and son legacy was repeated,” says Mario with humbling pride.
When he bought “El Padrote,” it was a move to replace his former Bomb named “El Padrino.” “I worked on this car for eight or nine years in my spare time. I took it as far as I could go to challenge myself with it because I don’t think that I will live long enough to finish another one,” says Mario.
While he has earned some lofty titles in his Lowriding career, Mario insist that he just builds cars that he loves to drive. “I’ve never said that I’m going to build a car to be Lowrider of the Year; I build them to cruise them because in my heart, I enjoy it,” he says. “Car customizing has always been in my life, I don’t know why or how, I just know that I enjoy it. I’m only going to quit when my heart stops.”
Owner: Mario De Alba Sr.
Vehicle: 1936 Chevy Master Deluxe
City/State: Montclair, CA
Engine: 350 GM Crate motor, Flowmaster Hush Power exhaust, Mountain Driveline, GM Corvette TPI, Sanderson Stainless headers, CFR pulley system, AC Delco, Interstate, Pertronix, Flex-A-lite, Flex fan, Speedway Aluminum
Body/Paint: Mario’s Autoworks shaved the inside and outside of the trunk lid, streamlined door hinges, suicide doors, smoothed the running boards, molded 40 Chevy headlines, sunk turn signals, sunk duel antennas, molded rear fenders, shaved firewall, electric doors and windows. Once the body was ready, Mario sprayed the candy brandy wine over gold. Tom Clark and Willis Dormer did the pinstriping. Sal Elias was called in to do the murals.
Interior: Mark, at Elegance, in Upland, CA., stitched together the red velvet interior. A Dakota digital gauge was installed along with billet gauges, glove box door and custom headliner.
Sound System: Mario installed the Pioneer head unit with Pioneer amps, subs and speakers.
Setup: Hoppo’s Hydraulics, in Ontario, CA., installed the two-pump setup. Mario’s Autoworks boxed, reinforced and smoothed the frame.
Chrome: Miguel Chavez of Compton, CA did all the engraving found on the car. Victor, at Best Polishing and Chrome, in Pomona, CA., handled all the chrome and C and M of Azuza did the gold plating.
Tires: Hankook 155/80R13
Wheels: Zenith 13×7.