The journey to become a medical doctor is not for the faint of heart. The monetary and time commitments it takes to reach Ph.D. requirements can put a tremendous strain on an individual. Medical school and residency programs take years, and some fail along the way, dashing their dreams of completing the education necessary to become a licensed medical doctor in the process. This type of struggle is certainly something that aspiring Lowrider builders can relate to, as it sometimes takes years to build the perfect Lowrider, and the amount of financial and personal strain each build requires is definitely on the same level as earning a Ph.D. If you can imagine doing both in the same lifetime, then you can imagine what it's like to walk a mile in Dr. Steve Alvarez-Mott's shoes, as he's one of the rare individuals who has achieved both of these milestones
Steve's father was a designer at General Motors in Detroit, Michigan, when he was born in March of 1955. At two years old, his parents divorced, and Steve, along with his brother and mother moved back to South San Gabriel, California. Years later while attending San Gabriel High School, Steve learned to drive in the family car, which was a 1966 Pontiac Tempest. His mom held a job which gave her the use of a company car, so she sold Steve the Tempest for $200 upon his completion of his driver's license requirements. Soon, Steve and his friends got into Lowriding, and with money earned from working various jobs, he started to fix up the Tempest.
The first modification the budding young Lowrider made came in the form of a lowering job, which consisted of a trunk full of rocks that Steve found at "Marano Beach" (now known as Whittier Narrows). Sometime later, he heated the springs on the Tempest and added rims, before giving the car its first "custom" paintjob courtesy of Earl Schieb. Soon Steve and his friends began noticing car clubs in the parking lot at San Gabriel High School. One day in 1973, during the school's lunch break, Steve and his friends were cruising Valley Blvd. in Alhambra, when they saw a 1951 Chevy Bomb scraping down the street. As it passed them, they saw the Groupe ELA plaque in the rear window. After that sighting, they knew they had to check out the club.
It just so happened that one of Steve's friend's brother knew Eddie Flores, who was president of Groupe ELA at the time. After getting the recommendation, Steve and his friends began attending club meetings at Our Lady of Guadalupe Church on Hazard and Hammel street in East Los Angeles. Soon, they were full-fledged members of Groupe ELA, and were fully entrenched in the Lowriding scene at the time. Steve and his fellow club members were going to parties, dances, and of course cruising Whittier Boulevard every Friday and Saturday night.
After high school, Steve was not sure what he wanted to do with his life, so he enrolled in East LA College, where he studied math. The duality of these two worlds became amusing to Steve, as the guys in the club thought it was odd that he was in college, and the people in college thought it was weird that he was in a car club. Steve completed his Associate's Degree in Math, and decided he did not want to have a career in math after all. He switched majors, and enrolled at Cal State Los Angeles as a biology major. Although he was having the time of his life with Groupe, he knew he couldn't make a living just partying, so he buckled down at Cal State Los Angeles, and got himself a job working part time for the Los Angeles County Welfare Department. A busy man, Steve split time between working there and working at Rancho Los Amigos Hospital in Downey, California. Steve managed to save some money from these jobs, so he had Ruben "Buggs" Ochoa paint the Pontiac a candy pearl purple. The car was on the cover of Lowrider Magazine in 1978, and in 1979, Steve got his Bachelor's of Science degree in Biology.