Lowrider car clubs are formed when a group of individuals come together with the same values and ideas and decide to start a car club. That said, the process is certainly easier said than done, as there are a ton of organizational concepts that must be taken into consideration to form a truly successful club. One of the first major decisions for any aspiring club revolves around membership; they have to figure out what type of club to be. There are two types of car clubs in Lowriding, those with multiple chapters spread out in multiple states and countries, and those with one chapter in one location. There are advantages and disadvantages to each. A couple of advantages for multiple-chapter clubs include a wider membership scope and a larger fleet of cars flying the car club plaque in different places. Some disadvantages of car clubs with multiple chapters occur when expansion happens too fast and the core values of the club become overlooked. Communication can break down between the chapters and mother chapter to the point where there can be issues not being addressed that jeopardize the club as a whole. A single chapter club also has its advantages; members are generally from the same geographical area so the personal connections are often times more tightly knit than a multi-chapter club. Single chapter clubs also have their disadvantages. With one chapter, the number of members may be so large it is difficult to manage. Another disadvantage is that there is not an opportunity for club growth or expansion because the club is not active in multiple areas, making new recruitment difficult. Obviously each type of club has its advantages and disadvantages, so there is no right or wrong kind of club to form; it is up to the founding members to decide what type of club they will be.
When the founding members of Atlanta Georgia's Obsession car club got together in August 2001, they decided they would be a one-chapter club. Collectively, they felt a one-chapter club was the right choice and it has not hindered the success of the club one bit. Once the founding members decided on the type of club they were forming, naming the club became the next priority. Each of the founding members began throwing out names and checking out the club registry on LowriderMagazine.com. They decided to pick one word that would best describe them, and someone mentioned, "Obsession." After reading the definition of the word, the group knew they found the name of the car club that best defined their collective passion for Lowriding.
With the name and type of club out of the way, the next order of business was to come up with a hierarchy for the club. The founding members decided that they would not put into place a set of officers. It was decided that the whole club would vote every decision pertaining to the club and if a decision cannot be made by the vote, the founding members will step in and make the final decision.
Requirements for membership in Obsession are not discriminatory in terms of make and model. Obsession welcomes all styles of vehicles, including traditional Lowriders, Bombs, or originals into their club. As far as the type of individual who fits the Obsession mold, the club seeks only those individuals who share their love and dedication for Lowriding.
Although the club is based in Atlanta, Georgia, the club has members from Alabama, North Carolina, South Carolina, and different parts of Georgia. This is one of the tradeoffs of a one-chapter club and being a member of a one-chapter club means one thing; members have to go to where the club was founded in order to attend meetings. While Obsession meets regularly to discuss club business, they are considerate to the distant members and often have meetings in cities outside of Atlanta to ease the travel burden. Membership in the club is currently at 16 members and counting.
Since the formation of the club back in August 2001, some of the members of Obsession have been featured in the pages of Lowrider Magazine. Jose Reyes' 1987 Chevy Monte Carlo, "Homies Edition," was featured in the September 2008 issue of the magazine, while Edgar Brito's 1964 Chevy Impala SS Convertible, "The Formula," was featured in the March 2010 issue. Edgar's '64 was actually the first feature we shot on our first-ever trip to the ATL. Mike Wapniewski's 1987 Buick Regal Limited, "One 87 Georgia Regal," was featured in the February 2011 issue, while Johnny Estrada's 1971 Oldsmobile Cutlass "Hater Built" was showcased in the April 2012 issue of Lowrider Magazine. Tommy Garcia's 1963 Chevy Impala SS, "Green with Envy," was featured in the January 2010 issue. Club members Keith Whitner and Art Reyes have also had their 1964 Chevy Impala Convertibles, "Red Ride in Da Hood," and "Firme 64" featured.
The family members of Obsession car club members are also involved with the club and the club's activities. Many of the children of the club members have their own Lowrider bicycles and compete alongside their parents. Family members proudly represent the club by wearing the club colors at car shows and club functions.
Obsession is very active in the car show circuit in the south. It is not uncommon for them to travel out-of-state to a car show; in fact, the club has gone to Florida, South Carolina, and North Carolina to attend car shows. Some of the members of Obsession have driven across the country to participate in Lowrider Magazine's Las Vegas Super Show and the Arizona Super Show. Their dedication is a testament to the Lowrider saying, "'Til the wheels fall off."
Not only does the club attend shows, Obsession C.C., also produces its own show every year called "Obsession Fest." What started out as a picnic has evolved into a full-fledged car show, complete with live entertainment and a car hop. Stephanie and I have been fortunate enough to attend the show for a number of years while covering the event for the magazine. The show is a must-attend for the clubs in the southeast; not because there are not many shows, but because of the great hospitality and treatment they receive from the club during the event.
With ten plus years as a club, Obsession has had its growing pains but they continue to thrive. The members of the club and their families live the Lowrider lifestyle and are great ambassadors of the culture. We here at Lowrider Magazine would like to thank the members of Obsession car club for their contributions to Lowriding.