Everyone has had a favorite hang out at one time or another in their lives. For some, it was a friend's house, a park, a burger stand or even a nearby parking lot. In the 1970s, Danny Aguilar and his friends hung out at a local Hudson gas station in the city of Pico Rivera, California. This gas station offered a refuge, a place where the boys could be themselves, sharing their common love for classic automobiles. Little did they know at the time, the friendly neighborhood gas station they loved for convenience and service would soon become the birthplace of their car club, now known as the Together Car Club.
Danny started Together with six guys and six different cars, ranging from a 1974 Chevy Camaro to a 1969 Chevy Caprice. However, before the club could begin to make its name known at the car shows or gain popularity among the local cruising spots, a plaque design would have to be created and club colors would have to be selected. After deciding on both, Danny had each plaque stamped with a number denoting each member's induction into the club. Since Danny was the first president, his plaque was stamped with the number one. He took it upon himself to ensure that the cars were up to the standards that the club originally set when they formed Together Car Club.
Since the club's humble beginnings, they have attended shows in Central California, San Diego, and Las Vegas, finding the time and effort along the way to support plenty of local shows and cruise nights around Southern California as well. Given the club's commitment to excellence, it is not uncommon for them to go away with various awards at these shows--a testament to their hard work and dedication to the culture.
After establishing a strong presence in just a few short years, the club started to produce their own events in the Southern California area during the 1980s and 1990s. A partnership with the City of El Monte produced the legendary "Memories of El Monte" car shows throughout the 1990s. The club has continued to produce car shows and community events, including bone marrow drives, in order to help local charities and sports programs reach their financial goals. They also host their annual "Fun in the Sun" picnic at LA's famous Elysian Park every Memorial Day Weekend. In 2008, with the help of Pico Rivera Mayor Ron Beilke, Together put on an amazing outdoor car show at the Pico Rivera Sports Arena. The event was so successful, car show entrants were still lining up well past noon to gain entry into this prestigious event.
The Los Angeles chapter currently has about 20 active members, featuring a mixture of newer members and numerous lifetime members, including first president Danny Aguilar, who are still actively involved with the club to this day. Together was a one chapter car club up until 10 years ago, when members Ray Naudin, and Bobby Martinez started a Chicago Illinois chapter, which boasts a roster of 15 active members.
Seeking to better organize themselves and uphold the values they were founded upon, the club formed a committee which they have dubbed the "Together Government", consisting of Club President Adam Amarillas, Vice President Hector Avila, Master Sergeant Jimbo and Club Treasurer Tom Martinez. The committee works to keep the club members active and motivated as well as to ensure that the club meets every two weeks at Pico Park in Pico Rivera, California, where their meetings have been held for the past 18 years.
The club has been a home to a variety of vehicles, including big-body Cadillacs, Bombs, trucks, and, of course, Chevy Impalas from various model years. The builds range from mild customs, to cars with complete undercarriages. Regardless of the extent of the build, members' rides must meet and fulfill the club's pristine standards. A shining example of their dedication to the sport, the club even has a car that was built over 17 years ago by Together's president Adam Amarillas that still competes on the show circuit. The car still has the original paint, interior and murals that were done during the original buildup. Always working to improve their designs and concepts, the club promises to debut a few new rides in 2009. Together is also currently kicking around the idea of building a contender for the coveted "Lowrider of the Year" title.
Keeping family as the main focus and inspiration of Together Car Club, family members of club participants are included in all club functions, activities and even meetings, and are also strongly encouraged and allowed to wear the club's logo and colors. This sense of unity is the strongest bond for the club, and when you see Together at a show, you can see the members' families all pitching in to help one another to achieve their goals. Truly, it can be said that there is nothing like going to a show with your own set up, crew, and personal cheering squad to support you during the all-important trophy presentation! Together Car Club also plans its events around individual members' schedules, so that the families can all have a chance to get together and participate. Current President Adam Amarillas states, "When the family is involved, it gives them a better understanding of why we all love lowriding so much."
The club's plans for the next few years include boosting club membership numbers, as well as working to improve the quality of the existing members' rides. They also plan to continue to produce their highly successful Pico Rivera Sports Arena car show and annual Memorial Day picnic. Given the history and legacy that Together Car Club has created in the lowrider culture, there is no doubt they will be around for many more years to come.