It was the summer of 1972, and Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, David Bowie, and Disco Music filled the radio airwaves, and ruled the record charts.. The Summer Olympics, the Brady Bunch, and Benny Hill commandeered the television screens, and the first generation of video games was born when Atari released PONG. The world was changing, and so were the streets of East Los Angeles. The roads in the area had begun to rumble, haunting residents with flashbacks of the earthquake that had rocked the Los Angeles area just a year earlier. This was no quake however, the earth shaking vibration that residents were experiencing was caused by the glorious birth of the New Life Car Club, which was hitting the streets of "East Los Angeles" and was becoming a force to reckon with!
Unhappy with the car club they belonged to, a visionary group of 7 or 8 guys had decided that they were going to branch out and start their own club, and they wanted to run it the way they saw fit. The first order of business was to come up with a new name. Someone suggested the name "New Life," and they agreed that it was the perfect name for what they wanted to accomplish with the new club. Shirts were ordered, plaques were cast, and pretty soon the streets of East LA were filled with cars flying New Life plaques. Reynaldo "Butch" Martinez founding President of New Life, and his 1966 Buick Riviera set the bar for the club in terms of both build and style. The club set up rules and regulations, implementing a leadership structure that would serve as their foundation for years to come.
Almost overnight, the club membership exploded. Within a month, new recruits were showing up to the meetings in droves, as current members would bring friends and family members that were interested in joining the New Life. Most potential members were leaving other clubs, or had left other clubs because they liked what they saw in New Life. Naturally, this did not sit well with the other clubs, and they made it very clear that they felt New Life was not going to last, and that the members who left would be back to rejoin their previous clubs upon its failure. Membership requirements were simple; attend four meetings, let the club get to know you, and after the fourth meeting, your membership was voted on. New Life's meetings at the Montebello Golf Course were filled with perspective members as the clubs popularity grew. Requirements were as simple as have a clean car to get in and the right attitude kept you in the club. Butch kept these meetings very organized, as he and his officers had the recruitment process down to a science.
All walks of life were represented in New Life, and many of the members were even still in high school. Montebello High School, Cantwell High School, Schurr High School, and Garfield and Roosevelt High School all had New Life members within their respective student populations. There were members that were in college, and members who were already working regular jobs. This diverse membership proves that New Life was not your typical car club. Most car clubs of this time period had a stereotype image, whereas many of the New Life members were regular guys with long hair, who listened to Rock n' Roll, and who happened to be into Lowriders. There were members who were considered homeboys, and yet others who were into the Disco scene. Even though they all did not share the same taste in music, they all shared the same appreciation for a clean, stylish Lowrider.