As part of our nod to custom dream cars and the people who help put these rides together, specifically those who channel their creativity in new directions and push the envelope, we agreed to hang out with Ruben Alvarez, the owner and operator of Monkey Bars in Pico Rivera, California. Ruben is a highly sought-after individual who is renowned for his craftsmanship and mechanical dexterity. We were lucky enough to catch up with Ruben to see if we could finally hook up a little “monkey business.”
It was actually a few months before we were able to meet with Ruben in person, which happened at, of all places, a photo session involving a customer of his named Lewis Clark. The next time, though, he was with Donald Maynard’s ’94 Honda Civic; the same car that received an air suspension and severe tub job by Winning Edge Customs. Well, Donald decided to remove the rear seats in his Civic, add a bottle of NOS and some more tunes in place of the rear bench.
Ruben noted that each bar that he creates for a customer is unique; no two are exactly alike and the designs have progressed with each ride. So, even those who try to copy his flavor (monkey see, monkey do) still have a way to go to get in his groove. Also, Ruben has more monkey bars for show car applications, especially since that involves a lighter grade steel tubing. When it’s all said and done, you can either send your monkey bar out to be chrome plated or go ape and paint it to match the color scheme of your custom cruiser. So stop monkeying around and follow along as we show you the “juicy bits” of building a custom cage.