Burbank, CaliforniaAn anniversary commemorates or celebrates an important milestone or past event in someone’s life. Wedding anniversaries mark the day a husband and wife were joined as one. A birthday commemorates an individual’s date of birth. In the lowriding community, an anniversary celebrates the creation of a car club or a car club chapter.
The Oldies Car Club is one of the longest established car clubs in the lowrider culture today-some of their chapters have been in existence 30-plus years. To commemorate the San Fernando Valley (SFV) chapter’s 30th anniversary a banquet was held at the Ramada hotel in Burbank, California.
Along with the SFV chapter members, Oldies chapters from Northern and Southern California were in attendance to celebrate the festivities. The Low Lifes and Majestics car clubs also came to show their support.
The night started off with dinner and music by the P’zazz Band featuring Vel Omarr. A photo slide show of the SFV chapter was shown during dinner and then afterward awards were presented to the SFV chapter members as well as some members from the other chapters in attendance. A special honor was given to Oldies SFV President and Lowrider Hall of Fame member Ricardo Alvarado and Vice President George Mirzoian for their commitment to the club. After dessert was served, dancing went into full swing, with help from DJ Lalo, taking the celebration into the wee hours of the night.
Lowrider magazine would like to congratulate the Oldies SFV chapter on their 30th anniversary and their contribution toward the image of what car clubs are all about.
Mi Coche My CultureSan Jose, CaliforniaLivin’ The Lowrider Lifestyle In San Jose’s Mexican Heritage PlazaThe Mexican Heritage Plaza in San Jose, California, held a lowrider car show and art exhibit to show off the beauty of the lowrider culture’s history in the South Bay. But it was more than just another summer show. It was an event that celebrated the history of Chicano art as seen on customized lowrider cars dating back to the ’60s.
We’d like to thank the Castellano Foundation for its commitment and dedication in honoring both the style and sport in this region. “The Plaza is thrilled to present, at long last, this very exciting artistic exhibit, which will portray one of the genres of the South Bay-lowriders,” Marcela Davison Aviles, president and CEO of the Mexican Heritage Plaza, says.
While it was the foundation that came in with the funding, the organization enlisted the help of some very knowledgeable co-curators: Marcos Gaitan, a degreed muralist, and Lissa Jones, development associate at the Arts Council of Silicon Valley. Both have experienced the days and nights of eastside cruising their entire lives. “It happened in my own backyard. I was really proud,” Gaitan says. “I think I was born for this job!”
Take, for instance, the intersection of Story Road and King Boulevard in the barrio of East San Jose-it was the road to be cool and have fun. Who doesn’t like to cruise around town and be noticed by friends-especially in a fixed-up ride? The Jack in the Box on the northeast corner, an iconic memory of the past, was and still is a common hangout for people to take a break, eat, and chill during cruising rituals. “I used to go with my brother cruising back in 1976. It was a big social scene, the place to be and be seen,” Gaitan says, remembering the 5.20 cruising era.
A sometimes misunderstood culture, a lowrider lives and breathes with nearly 100 entries checking in for the day. Veteran car clubs like Dukes and Viejitos drove a stylistic barrage of cars that were painted all the colors of the rainbow with metal flakes, pinstriping, and clearcoats mixed in to preserve both the paint and a social part of history. If cars are the father or big brother of the lowrider scene then there’s usually a little brother following along, which is where lowrider bikes take their cue-being the little chavalito and looking up to dad. Along the plaza walls, kids, in a glorious attempt to follow in dad’s tire tracks, displayed their painted and modified Schwinns (which are now hard to come by) with molded frames, twisted parts, upholstered seats, and lots of chrome. It’s a way of creating the same kind of cruising cool, only these two-wheelers glide down the sidewalk, occasionally scraping a pedal.
In reflection, bringing to light the rich history of San Jose’s lowrider scene reminds us of the automotive industry’s only culture and its ability to inspire those who wish to keep the trend on the road for lowrider lovers everywhere.
For more information, please contact the Mexican Heritage Plaza at 1700 Alum Rock Avenue, San Jose, CA 95112, 408.928.5524.