Life's unpredictable events can help to mold the choices we make, ultimately shaping our future as we move forward towards our own respective destinies. While there are a number of factors and influences that can permanently affect us, one of the biggest can be a change in scenery, in which we are forcibly removed from our comfort zone and away from the things that are familiar to us. For Audie Munoz, a move from East Los Angeles to Hemet, California during his first year of high school did just that.
Audie was born in East Los Angeles, where he spent his childhood and adolescence in close proximity to an exciting new movement. He was able to experience the glorious early days of Lowrider culture, which was taking the nearby Whittier Boulevard by storm. Since he was lucky enough to have older siblings, young Audie was able to get his first taste of the Boulevard when he was just nine years old. Through his brother's and sister's interaction with their own friends, Audie was able to soak up the knowledge of the street politics going on at the time, while also keeping up on the latest news regarding various area clubs like Sons of Souls, New Breed, In Crowd, and Gestapos.
Already experienced, Audie was given his first car at the age of 14. His older sister gave him a 1957 Chevy, which was already sitting on Cragars. Always eager to go against the grain, he didn't heat the coils to lower the car, although that was a very popular practice at the time. He instead added hundred pound flour sacks, which he acquired from his father, inside the trunk to lower it to the ground. Since he was not yet able to obtain his driver's license, Audie was "side streeting" his way to his junior high school, in attempts to avoid law enforcement. After completing junior high, the mildly rebellious Audie enrolled in Garfield High School, where he spent his afternoons in the parking lot with his'57 Chevy. Not long after his first days at Garfield, his parents decided that a change in scenery was needed to keep Audie out of trouble and on the right track to receiving his high school diploma.
Audie's parents sent him to live with his grandmother in Hemet, California, to finish up his high school education. Even though he was initially disappointed, a reluctant Audie packed up the '57 and drove to his grandmother's house. He was the only Lowrider in Hemet at the time, so he stood out instantly upon his arrival at San Jacinto High School. Needless to say, the young man from East L.A. was not the norm in the area, and he and his car made quite the impression on the other students in the school.
Even though he had been around Lowriding all of his life, it was not really a significant part of his life during high school. Audie had played sports since he was a youth, so when he enrolled at San Jacinto High School, he joined the school's sports teams. Audie excelled at football, basketball, and baseball, earning "All County" honors in football, and "All CIF" honors in basketball and baseball. Audie was out in Hemet for five years before he finally returned to East Los Angeles.
Once he was back in East Los Angeles, Audie began building cars. The '57 Chevy he had kept during his adolescent years was replaced by a '64 Chevy Impala, which was also replaced by a '65 Chevy Super Sport. Audie then bought a Ford LTD and joined the car club that everyone in his neighborhood was a part of; Klique Car Club. It was a good car club, but Audie felt more in touch with what was going on with Lifestyle Car Club. Lifestyle had started two years earlier, and at the time, this burgeoning club was on the rise. Eventually, Audie sold the LTD and bought a 1976 Malibu, before officially receiving his membership in Lifestyle.