From a young age, senior Sergio Ybarra had an interest in cars after watching Cars The Movie and The Fast and the Furious. On his 14th birthday, Ybarra purchased his first car, a 1995 Honda Civic LX.
“Paul Walker was a big part of me liking cars because he really did what he loved in movies and it was racing cars,” Ybarra said. “Having my own car was different because I would always try and drive my parents’ cars but they never let me because I was too young.”
Since getting his first car, Ybarra has gained interest in the drift scene and has worked with many different cars and trucks. In total, Ybarra has owned 11 cars.
“One of my favorite cars that I’ve owned was my 1997 Nissan 240sx s14,” Ybarra said. “It was all stock, but the exterior looked amazing, It was sitting on Work wheels (vskf). I’ve actually owned three cars that were imported from Japan. A 1990 Nissan Laurel c33 had a diesel engine rd28de, 1991 Nissan Cefiro it had the same engine as the r32 skyline which is the rb20det, but it also had a rb25det turbo on it.”
Besides driving his cars, he takes them to car shows to compete. He has competed in many shows including Elite Tuner and EOS 360, and have received three awards for his trucks.
“I remember when I was 15, I went to this huge truck show at Buffalo Bills, most of the people knew of me and when I went to the stage to receive my award, many people were yelling ‘HE’S 15,’” Ybarra said. “When I started walking back to my truck, everyone was congratulating me because I was going against 300 plus trucks. Me, being the youngest and winning something, was truly one of my favorite memories and something I will never forget.”
In his free time, Ybarra likes to spend time with his brother working on cars. He works on stock cars, and changes the interior and exterior.
“This is my life, I like to go build cars with my brother just for fun or help each other on our cars,” Ybarra said. “Cars helped me with so much, I don’t really like doing anything else. I just really enjoy working on my cars and friends’ cars.”
Through his interest in cars, Ybarra has met numerous friends and made connections at car shows as well as at school.
“At car shows, there are many grown men that will ask me what I’ve done to my cars and how I did it,” Ybarra said. “Just from starting a conversation like that will earn you respect in the car scene. I’ve had many people come up to me and my brother and ask us if we wanted to be in their car group. Everyone in the car scene knows me and my brother because we love conversing with other people that love doing what we do.”
After finishing a project, Ybarra sells his cars to make profit for another. He keeps most of the cars in his garage or on the side of his house. Currently, Ybarra drives a 1992 Nissan cima y32.
“My 1997 Nissan 240sx kouki was my favorite car because it was super low to the ground,” Ybarra said. “It would always pop up the street markers or lane dividers. It got great reactions from others and always turned heads.”
Ybarra hopes to continue his projects into the future and expand his connections within the car scene.
“Cars are a 50/50 for my future because cars like Tesla are electric and might take over so all I would have to work on is the tire rotation or brake pads,” Ybarra said. “As of right now, I’m trying to have as many cars as I can just because I know for a fact that when I’m older I won’t be able to.”