Low Rider - - CONTENTS -

Legacy car clubs, es­pe­cially the ones that have been around for more than four decades like the Im­pe­ri­als, Dukes, Klique, Groupe, Life­style, Ma­jes­tics, Spirit, and Car­nales Unidos, to name a few, have been fly­ing their proud plaques for hun­dreds of thou­sands of miles.

Some of these afore­men­tioned clubs have been the pi­o­neers who came be­fore most of us had cars and taught us the by­laws or the re­spec­tive car club rules that have been passed down through many gen­er­a­tions of car clubs to­day and will be to those in the fu­ture. There are over a thou­sand car clubs reg­is­tered in the Lowrider Club Registry, and each and every car club has lost a ded­i­cated mem­ber who left great mem­o­ries of the blood, sweat, and tears com­mit­ment of rep­re­sent­ing the proud name that they each wore on a chain-stitched jacket or sweat­shirt. These special and beloved mem­bers leave us with the thoughts of what could have been if they could only have stuck around a lit­tle while longer. Their char­ac­ter­is­tics and pas­sion for build­ing lowrid­ers are the mem­o­ries that linger the most. There are some mem­bers who die leav­ing 30 or maybe 40 years of mem­o­ries be­hind them, and when those guys pass on, it feels like you just lost half a car club.

I have been there be­fore through my own car club’s loss of mem­bers and I al­ways think and wish that they could have been around for just a few more meet­ings, or a cer­tain car show with their cars fi­nally fin­ished the way they wanted them to be. It seems as though the faith­fully de­parted al­ways leave us with an un­fin­ished project ride that they were one day hop­ing and dream­ing to have wrapped up soon. It also hurts pretty bad when cer­tain mem­bers from other clubs die, es­pe­cially the le­gends.

Julio and Fer­nando of the Dukes along with Jesse Valadez from the Im­pe­ri­als were the elders and men­tors from our past who left a gi­ant hole in the Lowrider his­tory book—be­cause they wrote most of it. They were the ones who laid all the groundwork to get this world­wide cus­tom car cul­ture go­ing. Though the pain sub­sides from all the losses I have men­tioned, it never re­ally goes away and you wind up try­ing to live in the past, but you pun­ish your­self be­cause in all re­al­ity you just can’t go back. We go back look­ing at pic­tures of club get-togethers, past car shows, meet­ings, and all we can do is try to ap­pre­ci­ate those times we shared with them. We can never take life for granted when we join a car club be­cause we are in it for the long haul com­mit­ment and sac­ri­fice and there is no guar­an­tee we will be there all to­gether when the wheels do fall off for all of us.

Some of our legendary clubs have lost 40, 50, even 60 mem­bers through time, and those guys, may they rest in peace, were the ones who could tell the sto­ries about the first 520s, the first car that had hy­draulics, who came up with the first wrought iron twisted grille.

This Novem­ber issue of Lowrider mag­a­zine fea­tures a '62 cover car Im­pala owned by To­mas Vasquez from the Im­pe­ri­als who cre­ated a rolling me­mo­rial of paint, mu­rals, and mem­o­ries in honor of the Im­pe­ri­als mem­bers who have died. God bless all those who rode with the sounds of 520s tread­ing on as­phalt. You can never be re­placed with your beloved mem­o­ries, lessons, and the best times in life left be­hind, and may you al­ways low ride where there are no cops to give out tick­ets for be­ing too low!

The land of Lowrider En­chant­ment, Al­bu­querque, New Mexico, be­came “Show­case Lane” at the New Mexico Con­ven­tion Cen­ter as hun­dreds of the bad­dest qual­ity rides through­out the land rolled up to dis­play their rides at the an­nual Artemis Pro­duc­tions Lowrid­er­sanc­tioned Super Show. Clas­sics as well as tra­di­tional rides, bombs, trucks, and the also-pop­u­lar lowrider-styled mo­tor­cy­cles took over this pres­ti­gious event once again! Please have a look at our special show cov­er­age as this should be all the in­cen­tive you will need to load up your ride on a trailer and be part of a 20x20 dis­play for next year’s one-of-akind show­time ex­pe­ri­ence. Joe Romero, family, friends, and car club con­tinue to go all-out to impress not just the loyal fans who sup­port the show but to let the rest of the world know that New Mexico is def­i­nitely the land of Lowrider En­chant­ment.

Sea­son three of the Quaker State/ Lowrider Roll Models Se­ries fea­tures Aaron Va­len­cia and his tri­als and tribu­la­tions of grow­ing up within the dark sur­round­ings and down spi­rals of life. His fork in the road would even­tu­ally lead him to the “Lost An­gels” Pro­gram. It’s not that easy to be­come an en­tre­pre­neur and a phi­lan­thropist when you do it the hard way, but what mat­ters the most is that he earned his way back up to be­come a strong ex­am­ple to our youth in to­day’s some­times ugly world. “It’s eas­ier to build strong chil­dren than re­pair bro­ken men.”

Re­spect­fully and God bless,

Joe Ray, Ed­i­tor Joe.Ray@mo­tortrend.com

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