Famous for its Mexican rodeos and Latin entertainment, the 6,000-seat Pico Rivera Sports Arena is a popular recreation spot for the Los Angeles area. The facility was built in 1979 and is reputed to be the largest Mexican rodeo ring in the United States. The arena has also hosted many car shows and events over the years.

In March, Together Car Club put on its first large-scale car show of 2008 in the L.A. area. Clubs and solo riders from Arizona, Northern California, and all around Southern California came out, despite the light rain, to show at the historic Pico Rivera Sports Arena. Laid out on the area grounds were Spirit from Arizona, Imperials, Groupe ELA, Techniques, Lifestyle, Rollerz Only, Oldies, and many others.

Eventually the sun broke through the clouds, allowing the show cars a little more shine from their paint. The estimated participant count was about 500 entries. Vehicles and vendors lined every part of the arena grounds and the crowd was still coming through the gates late into the afternoon.

In 2008, Together Car Club started its 31st year in the lowriding culture. Established in 1977 with six cars and six members, Together remains active in Southern California with 20 members, and 10 members in the Chicago area with current club president, Adam Amarillas, at the helm. To produce the event at the sports arena, Together worked with the arena management and the City of Pico Rivera, Mayor Ron Beilke, and Mayor Pro Tem Gracie Gallegos-Smith to ensure the event went on without any issues. Congratulations to everyone involved on a successful event, we look forward to next year.

Techniques Car Club Bone Marrow Donor DriveOn any given day, thousands of men, women, and children search the National Marrow Donor Program (NMDP) registry for a donor match who will hopefully lead to a life-saving transplant. These patients are fighting leukemia, lymphoma, and other life-threatening diseases that can be treated with a bone marrow transplant-which for most of these patients may be the best and only hope to cure them of the disease they're fighting.

In February there was a bone marrow donor drive in Baldwin Park, California, that was hosted by Techniques Car Club, along with the Baldwin Park Chamber of Commerce, International Lowrider Alliance (INLA), and Christ Extended Hand Church. The drive was a success for the NMDP-85 donor registrations were taken for the marrow program. According to Shelley Baker, of www.marrow.org, the number of registrations was considered very high for a donor drive in recent history, which is significant since there is a need for minority donors in the registry.

Along with Techniques, Swift Car Club, Imperials, Unique Diecast, local community members, and even a few supporters from Japan came to support the drive by registering for the donor program. One special attendee was "Boo," the godson of Peter Cruz from Techniques Car Club. He is 13 years old and has been battling cancer for eight years. He is in need of a bone marrow transplant and is hoping one will be found soon. By bringing this cause to our readers we hope we'll encourage more donor drives. The support of this event confirms that the lowriding community is more than just candy paint and hydros.

Pioneer Sound BuilD Off CompetitionSan Diego plays host to sound-quality kings and queensWhat do you get when you give 20 shops the same Pioneer Premier brand equipment and six weeks to build a system? You get the '08 Pioneer Sound Build Off competition that culminated in San Diego. This was also the company's annual dealer road show, an invitation-only event. Pioneer hand-picked these select Premier dealers from all around the country to go head to head and showcase their shop's talents.

Each dealer received: one DEH-P800PRS single CD player, one PRS-A900 four-channel reference amplifier, one PRS-D1200SPL Class D mono amp, one TS-C720PRS-63 4-inch component speaker for mids and highs, and two TS-W3001D4 12-inch Pro Series subwoofers. The goal was to come up with the best-sounding audio system utilizing these components. Sound quality and installation judging were done the day before by judges Will Adcock, Moe Sabourin, and Jason Gay, all members of the International Auto Sound Challenge Association (IASCA). The judges deemed Sounds Sensations, of Marietta, Georgia, with their '99 Mercedes CLK as top dog. For their hard work they received a 4-foot trophy and a check for $10,000. Cartronics of Santa Rosa, California, earned Second Place with its '08 FJ Cruiser, and The Specialist of Tucson, Arizona, took Third, utilizing a '07 Honda Element.

The event also offers Pioneer a chance to give dealers a sneak peek at some of the new products it will be releasing. In addition, they get to talk about their strategies and ideas for the mobile audio division. Larry Rougas, vice president of marketing and product planning for the mobile division, spoke about the future of Pioneer's head units. The new AVIC-F series navigation units were introduced and its all-inclusive units, featuring Bluetooth, DVD playback, and exclusive Pioneer technology, like conversational voice recognition. This feature will let you control iPod and phone functions in a normal conversational voice just like if you're talking to another human. As Pioneer explains it, "The technology accepts and recognizes conversational phrases and language, filters out superfluous sounds and phrases, and if the user doesn't give enough information in the command, the unit will ask additional questions to clarify the request."

As is the case with most Pioneer events, they made the event fun by doing the presentation dinner on a cruise Saturday evening, complete with some "funny money" gambling. If you're look for Pioneer's all-new AVIC-F series navigation and other new products, check out www.pioneerelectronics.com for the latest info.