San Diego had already seen the emergence of some notable car clubs. The Latin Lowriders, Nosotros and Chicano Brothers got started in the area during the 1960's. Brown Image, New Wave and Klique were also active in San Diego at the time. While attending Montgomery High School, Rigo also came across a club called the Casinos. Most of the neighborhood kids considered the Casinos more of a social club and the club was often chastised because of this status. Rigo had no interest in the Casinos while in high school, until his good friend Joe Flores joined the Casinos and invited him to a meeting. Rigo was hesitant at first, but he eventually attended a meeting and found the club to be very different than they were during his high school years. The Casinos were down to 4 or 5 members and invited Rigo to join, asking him to help them build the club back up. The club changed colors, changed plaques, and of course changed their image. The final goal was to establish a car club that was recognized on the United States side of the border, since the Casinos had been primarily recognized on the Mexican side, due to the fact that the club spent most of its time in Tijuana, rather than San Diego. Hanging out across the border was not what Rigo liked to do, he preferred to cruise in San Diego, and wanted the new Casinos to make a name for themselves in the city. This first appearance of the Casinos would foreshadow the group to eventually become Amigos Car Club.
Two or three years after the re-invention of the Casinos, people were still associating the club with the party scene across the border. In order for Rigo and the club to be properly recognized on the U.S. side, a change had to occur. The Casinos were still not considered a Lowrider club, and they were not getting the credibility or clout they were looking for. Something had to change, and this led to a difficult decision for the club. The club was rebuilt and reestablished with about 18 members, who were willing to do whatever it took to achieve their status. Half of the club was in agreement that something new needed to be established, while the other half wanted to stay with the same name and continue on as they had originally been. This formed a dividing line among the members that ultimately led to the birth of something new. When Rigo and the other members finally decided to start a new club, the other remaining members became upset, and decided to end the Casinos. The group moved on, and the task now was to find a new name for the new club.
For the next three or four months, meetings were held to come up with a new name. Nothing would stick, and the members had a tough time agreeing on a name. Rigo and a couple of the other members who also grew up in the Chicano Movement were looking for a name that would reflect that influence, but some of the other members were not on board, having not grown up in the Chicano Movement. The task of finding a name was wearing on the guys, and causing tension among members. An unlikely source would help finalize the name selection. One of the ex-members of the original Casinos had a cousin in Los Angeles, California, whose boyfriend was a member of Amigos ELA. During one of his many trips to Los Angeles to see his family, he mentioned to his cousin's boyfriend that there were some guys in San Diego looking for a club name. The boyfriend instructed him to ask the guys in San Diego if they would be interested in starting a chapter of Amigos in San Diego. After a couple of weeks of conversations, the ex-Casino member returned to San Diego with the name and the plaque. It was unanimous; everyone saw the plaque and agreed that the name represented what they were trying to accomplish. The boys got together with the Amigos from East LA, and as the saying goes, "the rest is history". Rigo and his peers officially started the San Diego Chapter of Amigos Car Club in 1977.