This year's Lowrider Hall of Fame Memorial Honor is presented to Richard Gonzales of the Majestic's Car Club, Phoenix Arizona Chapter. "Big Rich," as his friends and fellow Lowriders knew him, held the office of Car Club President for over thirty years. His unselfish dedication to this club was widely inspirational to the Lowrider community, making his lifetime commemoration special to everyone who knew him. A quiet giant in Lowriding, his actions spoke for him. With his untimely passing, he left behind his adult children, Richard Jr., Ruben, Rosanna, Randy, and Rachel from his first marriage. He also leaves behind his beautiful wife and companion of 25 years, Pam Gonzales, who, along with her children Robert, Frank, Pete, and Lisa, remained by his side throughout his years with the Majestic's. Pam was patient, as most club Presidents' wives are. She understood that to be married to Richard, she had to understand that a piece of him would always be attached to the Lowrider lifestyle that captured his heart.
With close to forty chapters worldwide, The Majestic's Car Club rank as one of Lowriding's largest and most respected organizations ever to fly a plaque. Richard's life journey was shared with a core group of family, friends, and club members that to this day, pay the upmost respect and homage to the Arizona Lowrider. His name was synonymous with the Majestic's, and rightfully so; as he was the man behind the origins of the Phoenix Chapter of the club.
Each Majestic's chapter worldwide has a story to tell, but Richards's story starts in the same manner as most of his counterparts. Born in West Phoenix on April 1st, 1957 and raised by his loving Parents Mary Helen and John Gonzales, Richard and his brother John, or "Pudgy" as his close friends knew him, were into cars at an early age. At first, Richard's passion was the need for speed and hot rods. As sure as the caterpillar changes into a beautiful butterfly, he changed his automotive direction and built his first Lowrider, a blue Ford Pinto. Obviously, he was very confident having lowered a Pinto to cruise down Central Ave. But Richard did as we all do in life; he made the best of everything, Chicano Style! When Richard and the club's founding members, Art, David, Victor, Dickie, and the Machaca Brothers, among others held their first meeting back in 1976 on 33rd Avenue and Marshall, they were thinking more locally regarding a car club name, unaware of the Majestic's in LA and Compton. After hours of debate, one of the members mentioned that he had just seen a new movie with Charles Bronson called "Mr. Majestic," and he liked the way it sounded. He brought it up as a suggestion, Big Rich liked what he heard, and as everyone knew, no one argued with Big Rich. That was that, and thus began the branding of Majestic's Car Club...or so they thought.