Pimp your ride in Carson City | NevadaAppeal.com

Pimp your ride in Carson City

Becky Bosshart
Appeal Staff Writer
Cathleen Allison/Nevada Appeal Unique Sounds co-owner Mitch Abdelhady talks about the increasing popularity of customizing cars with new video and audio equipment. The owner of the 1998 BMW M3 behind Abdelhady is adding about $6,000 worth of equipment to the car.
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At Unique Auto Sales, customers will be able to buy their used car and get their candy, too.

That’s eye candy for the car lovers.

When the Abdelhady brothers, who own Unique Sounds, open their used-car lot on Highway 50 East, they’ll sell the cars with the customer’s choice of shiny rims, sound and video system.

They think this business will work for car lovers who want it all at once for one lump sum, rather than buying the audio, video and custom wheels piece by piece with whatever money is left over after buying the car.

“It’s getting popular with people,” said Mitch Abdelhady, 33, about audio and video systems. “You notice in an after-market industry that people are spending more money on their cars.”

The brothers bought 3080 Highway 50 E., the former location of the Hitchin’ Post Western Store, and expect to open Unique Auto Sales in about four months. They’ll have from 10-15 cars on the lot, with a showroom and installation bays.

Unique Sounds gets a couple huge jobs a year. This week, workers installed about $6,000 worth of equipment into a yellow BMW M3.

“It’s worth it to me because it gives me a lot of satisfaction,” said car owner Gilbert Dayao, who also owns Gilson Auto Body. “If you’re into cars, you would know what I mean.”

He’s getting a 12-inch sub woofer, a custom amplifier and six speakers. It would’ve cost more, but Dayao brought in his own video equipment for install, which includes a flip-up DVD screen that’s installed in the dashboard.

These only work when the emergency brake is up, Abdelhady is quick to say. It’s for those times when the driver is stuck in traffic and wants to put in a movie. DVD screens for the kids are installed in the roof, called “drop down,” or in the back of head rests.

Dayao has dropped about $100,000 into this BMW, and he’s got three other show cars like it. Dayao will use the BMW for car shows and club racing. Since it’s marketing his business, he writes it off on his taxes.

Cable TV shows, such as Speed Channel, have influenced the custom car install industry. In the Hip Hop culture, multiple screens inside the car is a status symbol.

“They’re getting here, but it’s nothing compared to the big cities,” said Khaled Abdelhady, 30.

There isn’t a lot of demand for flames and graphics on Carson City cars, said Jason Palotas, owner of No Coast Customs.

“It’s usually people their 40s and up because they’re usually the ones that have the money,” he said. His auto body shop also keeps him in business.

Few may have the flashy paint jobs, but there are enough people in the Carson City area who want good equipment inside their vehicles. Khaled Abdelhady estimated their business has increased 15-20 percent each year since they opened the shop 10 years ago. About 90 percent of their customers are male, aged 18-40. Unique Sounds’ biggest job was for a Reno man’s Ford Expedition. The job took four months and cost $35,000.

• Contact reporter Becky Bosshart at bbosshart@nevadaappeal.com or 881-1212.