Car Club Wars became a reality because the majority of clubs back then had large quantities of membership, which also included shotgun riders, and quite a few street gang members thrown in to the mix as well. As a leader, or President of a Car club back then, it was hard to tell what and where some of your members were. Every club weekend meeting someone would bring the problems or trouble they encountered or started, so that their club could to take care of it. Right or wrong, everyone had to back it up. That grew tiresome, thus it eventually became the beginning of the end. There was an "I've got nothing to lose" mentality with a whole lot of pride behind those plaques and short sleeve embroidered sweatshirts. Famous old school car clubs such as the Sons of Soul, NewWave, Gestapos, Klique, New Life, Groupe and New Breed were constantly in some type of beef or wars throughout these trying times. This gave plenty of reason for the ELA. Sheriffs to remain on tactical alert, trying to curb the Lowriders and their enthusiasm. Very few clubs like the Majestics, Bachelors LTD, Classics, Imperials, and the Groupe at times, had quality cars and focused on pursuing a different image and direction, namely to expose their clubs' cars at the R.G. Canning Car Shows. I have been fortunate to be around long enough to hear everyone of those clubs' versions of the war stories. Who was the baddest? Who started it and who finished it? Who won most of those brawls? In the end, the sad truth is, they all lost and we, the newer generation had to live and learn from it. It wasn't all bad back then though, as it was these old car clubbers that started it all for us, and they also sacrificed away the enjoyment that we all share today. Lowriding is a hobby, sport, and a Culture now and those guys are the only ones responsible. Never forget that, or forget them! If you come across any one of these guys you can't tell them "Wish You Were Here," because in reality, they still are. Please let them know that they are responsible for everything being the way it is today. Appreciate the gift of Lowriding, and appreciate all those guys from the past, as well as the ones who have also passed on. If you're in a car club today, then you have rules and bi-laws or standards. Who do you think established them?
This walk down memory lane was inspired by our Cover Car, the 1976 Caprice Classic, which brought back all those old memories. I remember the time when this car was the baddest of all the Lowriders ever. They took up so much room in the Chevrolet Dealer Show Rooms. Most of all, I also remember that in that era, Lowriding survived its growing pains, so that we can put behind us the days when Car Clubs were Gangs on Wheels.
Ask Danny Boy, from the Groupe Car Club what I am talking about; he lived it, and still does in his own style in our "Image" segment. Danny Boy is a respectful leader of generations through his work with the Groupe Car Club. He saw that old school way which was taught to all of us, and now he teaches on in the magazine too!
We also have Mr. Tribal himself, Bobby Espinosa, who also learned a lot from the streets and applied that culture to his clothing line. He wears it well in our "Original" segment, too.
The Imperials Annual car show was a great success as usual, and is beginning to look like an old fashioned Lowrider happening. We have the coverage of that ever-growing event, which respects and repeats tradition; just like their club does!
Also in this month's issue of Lowrider Magazine, we visit the Museum, or I should say, the Muffler Shop of the Legendary Joe Epstein. You may recognize that familiar name as synonymous with Mater Deluxe and Fleetline. Joe's Image and style have made him more than "legendary." That title covers not only Whittier Blvd. in Montebello, but anywhere in the world where you can hear the rap of the pipes sound. Please check out his shop and story, and perhaps visit his historical place of business if you get the chance.
There are some wise guys in the "Car Club" section. Congratulations are in order for the Good Fellas Car Club. They are a family, and do come well represented.
The future ain't what it used to be!