At age 16, Steve was driving back and forth in his custom Merc, from school (Cantwell High) and to work everyday. On weekend nights, you'd find Steve hanging out on Atlantic Boulevard in East L.A. where Groupe Car Club gathered on one corner, Imperials Car Club gathered at the Safeway Market across the street, Lifestyle Car Club at the Mobile gas station and Spirit Car Club at the 76 station. Other car clubs would cruise Whittier and Atlantic and Steve is quick to name almost all of them off the top of his head because they also had a lot of influence on him: "Sons of Soul, Bachelors, Orpheus, New Life, The Bold Ones, Brown Breed, Latin Lords, Royal Image, Midnight Classics, Klique, Majestics, Professionals, Suave Bugs, Lady Bugs, Abraxas, Artistics, Thee Illusions, and The Classics from Santa Ana." Just about every car club had approached Steve and asked him to be a part of their club, but Steve had a personal connection with the Dukes Car Club since he knew OG president, Julio Ruelas. Steve had known Julio since 1973 when he lived down the street from Steve's grandmother. Steve would ride his bike over to Julio's house just to talk to him and see his car. Although the Dukes' longstanding rule that members had to be at least 21 years old was a hurdle, Julio made a special exception for Steve and his '50 Merc. Steve became quite close to fellow member Chayo Olguin, who was then known as the "Traveling Duke," because he always drove his car to the custom car events, both near and far.
Steve wasn't afraid to drive his Merc anywhere and he actually felt that driving your lowrider is what it was all about, especially in the pioneering days. This ideology soon became advantageous to Steve and the lowriding movement. Steve caught the attention of LRM writer and photographer, Robert Rodriguez, who had seen the Merc cruising by on Whittier Boulevard in East L.A. Robert approached Steve and asked him if they could feature his ride in the magazine. Around this same time, Joe "Yoya" Ruiz, a main liaison between car clubs and LRM, also connected Steve to the magazine's staff. With these two sets of helping hands Steve ultimately met the two founders of Lowrider, Sonny Madrid and Larry Gonzales, in mid 1979. The guys seemed to really take a liking to Steve and he offered to help them in their magazine distributions throughout southern California, especially since he knew the area and many people in the custom car scene. Sonny and Larry had the magazine based in Northern California (San Jose) and, therefore, this offer was very attractive to them as they were trying to expand the magazine more into Southern California.
Steve soon found his name on the payroll with LRM's parent company, ATM Communication, Inc. (also owned by Sonny). Not only would Steve help distribute the magazine in his Merc to local stores throughout Los Angeles, Orange, San Bernardino, Riverside and San Diego counties, but he also started to go farther out to Northern California, Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico and even as far as Texas! Steve became more than just the Distribution Circulation Manager; he was also a car show promoter, photographer, writer and car show main judge.