Cars were made to be driven back in these days and members certainly had many chances to prove themselves out on the streets to their fellow club members, as well as to the car community at large. Cruising was the best way to earn stripes and respect, and no greater battleground existed at the time than the legendary Whittier Boulevard. This historical boulevard was a bumper to bumper weekend warzone of cruising, set to a sonic backdrop of doo-wop, oldies, ranchera, and classic rock sounds, blaring out of the individual vehicles. Every afternoon became a party, and all of the East L.A. Car Club natives had their own preferred parking spots. The Bachelors LTD Car Club would park on the north side of Whittier Boulevard in front of Curly's, which was a men's clothing store. Al's Army & Navy Clothing was across the street, and this spot served as home to the Latin Lords Car Club. All of the car clubs respected each others' parking spots, so there was no reason for territorial wars to ensue. The entire boulevard was like a big family reunion every weekend, and no matter what time you cruised down Whittier Boulevard, it was a sure bet that you would always see someone you knew. Local sheriffs patrolled this hotbed of Lowrider activity and handed out $2.00 parking citations for improperly parked vehicles. Another commonly received citation was for having a car club plaque in the rear window. The officers claimed that, "It blocked your vision when looking to the rear." Increasingly worried about potential gang activity due to this growing culture, the police presence grew stronger, and the sheriffs began writing field reports on each car club. They used these reports to gather information on individuals, in order to keep profiles on each car club. The reports were so detailed, that when the police would run the car club name in their database, background information on individual members would come up. Despite this growing police presence, the culture was well underway and nothing could stop it.
This was the era of rabbit-ear antennas, 4 & 8-track stereos with vibe-sonic 45rpm record players under the dash, color bars, writing on rear quarter windows, names above door handles, and chrome lake side pipes. Choice rims at the time were Cragars, Rockets, Dynastys, and these were always deep set with 5.20s. Tru-spokes emerged later, and despite the potential for being ticketed, car club plaques were proudly displayed to show unity and club identity. I remember riding my Schwinn Stingray in the sixties, and seeing Lowriders all over East L.A. flying their car club plaques. I admired the Bachelors LTD Car Club because my own brother Blas (BJ) Gonzales Jr. was a member, thanks to his lifted maroon 1964 Chevy Impala SS. It was a wonderfully innovative time back then. Car Show displays consisted of brown bark, angel hair, white rock, white foam, and an informative car sign by a legendary pinstriper like Mr. Walt Prey. Hot spots for cruising were A&W Root Beer on Whittier Blvd. in East LA, Harvey's Broiler (also known as Johnny's Broiler) on Firestone Blvd. in Downey, and Tiny Naylor's on Sunset Blvd. in Hollywood. The Bachelors LTD Car Club was a very self-sufficient club, as the majority of the customization work was done by the club members themselves, although sometimes they would receive some assistance from their respective fathers. After all, the fathers of these pioneers were often the original builders of rides themselves. These father and son duos were fine examples of true Lowriders, and it was not uncommon for some fathers to also take their son's friends under their wings as if they were their own child. This "each one, teach one" philosophy rang true throughout the Bachelors Car Club, and their reputation and respect grew tenfold as a result of it.