Lowrider clubs have changed dramatically today in comparison to yesterday's Lowrider Club's, some of whom can be best described as "Gangs on Wheels." These Car Clubs from the late '60's and early '70's fought with each other anywhere on the streets, as the competition during those times was literally a "nothing to lose" concept. Welding another clubs plaque to the frame of a car and scraping on it down the Boulevard was an agenda for some of the guy's. The use of masking tape to hang another rival Car Clubs' promotional dance poster upside down on your ride was also an invitation for retaliation. All threats were guaranteed back then and they were delivered in a timely matter. Getting dragged from your car by eight or nine rival Car Club members and accepting a pretty good beat down was the norm--even while in traffic! During those dark times, the weapon of choice was the bumper jack, and if you ever left your vehicle parked out in front of a store with your plaque displayed in the rear window, the enemy club would leave behind shattered glass on the pavement from your back window, and an empty space where your plaque used to sit. Hell! Some guys even collected plaques from all the different clubs.
Today car clubs invite other clubs to join them for picnics. There are ceremonies called Trophy Presentations at Car Shows. A trophy back then was another mans destroyed vehicle. Long gone are the days when the term "Hit Car" meant "a beat up four-door vehicle that could pile in 5 to 6 long-haired characters, that was also dependable enough to take you to the scene of a planned attack." With it, you could wreak havoc and not have to worry about having this car banged up as retaliation, because it already looked that way. The stories and memories from these early day experiences seem unbelievable, but sadly enough, they are true. I lived through the latter part of those years and saw it for myself. I laugh now when I think about it, because I know people would say, "Oh, he probably believes in "La Llorona" too! Let's just say that the character of these individuals and their clubs was more of a commitment to violence campaign than it was a display of Lowrider camaraderie. My best advice would be to listen to one of those car club vets, take notes, write a book, and come out with a movie!
There were quite a few clubs who disbanded because of that era. Some changed their club names or joined other clubs. Some bought Harleys or Cadillac Seville's, and moved to faraway places like San Bernardino, CA. But in those medieval times, there were definite risks involved when you had a rather nice car and went for a slow ride on Whittier Blvd. in E.L.A. There were the days when the Orpheus Car Club, who were a club to be reckoned with, would let it be known that no one was to be on Whittier Blvd. for a certain time, and that place would become an instant ghost town, just by word of mouth! Those types of guys, with the wife beater shirts and flared Levis pants, meant what they said, and although they were a terror on the streets of L.A. who took care of business with clinched fists and crowbars in hand, they sometimes did so with a certain amount of respect. For instance, if you had a problem with another car club and your woman was with you, they would let you slide and get you handled another day. They would also let you know that you got a pass, however! You could be sure that the next time you cruised by solo on the Boulevard, you would be going to a Body Shop the next day for an estimate!