Ultimate Riders C.C. started out like most car clubs do; a bunch of friends with the same passion for automobiles who begin hanging out and riding around together. Today, most people associate this group of friends with a man named Vernon Maxwell, and the fleet of cars that he has built over the years. While he is a member, this club is composed of about 20 strong members who have united to become more than just a club; they're family.
We caught up with club founder Greg Dixon, who gave us some insight into this amazing club, which was established 12 years ago.
"When we committed to the idea of forming a club, we wanted it to be with people that were going to be serious about it. We wanted to promote a positive family atmosphere for the club, but we were hung up on picking out a name. After taking some time in 1998, we found some inspiration while watching the "Young Hog" and "Cali Swingin'" videos. There was one cat in those videos, "V-Max," who was really doing his thing as a solo rider. After asking around, we knew he had his own business called "Ultimate Hydraulics." Now I wanted the name "Ultimate," for the club, but didn't know Max at the time. I didn't want to step on anybody's toes and just claim the name. Luckily, a mutual friend of both Max's and mine told me that he knew Max and could introduce the two of us. A few months later in San Bernardino, our club was set to do the Black History Parade when we finally met up with Max. Max and I began talking, and I put it all out on the table that I was interested in starting a club with the name "Ultimate." Max listened, and said that he wanted to be a part of it, but not before we could clarify what the club would really be about. We both believed that for a club to have longevity in the Lowrider game, it really has to have a great set of values and an extremely committed group of members. The last thing we'd need would be a bunch of cats that aren't about Lowriding and family. We decided to start the club that day, and we were proud that it happened on the day of the Black History parade, which would forever mark the anniversary of the birth of the club."
"Since that day, we have participated in it every year, and we have become a key figure in the parade. There's a good chance that soon we will become one of the biggest sponsors of the parade. We usually get stereotyped as a Black club; trust me, we've been called everything under the sun. For the most part it has been polite, or at least the derogatory comments were made behind our back and not in front of us. Even though that's how we get categorized, the truth is that we are just a car club. Yes the majority of the club is composed of Black members, but our other chapters, from Utah to the St. Louis chapter, are all mixed. The club is integrated, and we hope that in 2011, the club can put to rest the persona of being labeled as a "Black club." I think that goal will get accomplished, as the other chapters will be out in full force supporting and representing the Ultimate family."
The future of the club is to have fun; more fun than we had last week or the week before. People might wonder what we mean, and it's simple; if you do this as a competition or for bragging rights, it becomes a job, as you need to "keep up with the Joneses." At that point, everything that you can imagine has already been done in the past. It becomes old and that's when this isn't fun anymore. We want to make sure that we don't burn ourselves out and that this club continues on a positive track."
Ultimate Riders welcomes everybody who has a good attitude. If you don't have a family, they can provide one, as the club itself has certainly become one big extended family. If you see them out on the Boulevard, rest assured that it is not simply the quality of their cars that makes this club "Ultimate"; it is their attitude and outlook on life that truly makes this car club worthy of such a perfect name.