Traffic Car Club was established in 1970 in Pomona, California, by a group of friends led by Steve Acosta. The club started like most of the clubs back in the early years of lowriding: by only admitting traditional lowriders and establishing chapters.
The club was active throughout Southern California during the ’70s. During the ’80s, Traffic started to allow mini trucks, which were at their height of their popularity at the time, into the car club. In 1986, a young Mark Alcala would join Traffic with his mini truck; he helped keep the club going throughout the highs and lows of the ’90s.
In 2003, Mark became president of the club and decided to make some changes. One of the changes he made was to reign in the chapters and make Traffic a one chapter club. He also relaxed the requirements on the type of vehicles the club would allow. Traditional lowriders, bombs, trucks, VWs, and mini trucks are now allowed to fly the Traffic plaque. In recent years, Traffic added quite a bit of two-wheeled customs: Lowrider bicycles and custom motorcycles can now be seen representing the club on the streets and at the shows.
The level of customization on the member’s rides range from full to mild custom builds. One of the more recognizable cars in the club is Traffic’s Vice President Louie Perez’s Los Angeles Lakers-themed car. Every aspect of Louie’s car represents the purple and gold. Memo’s big-bodied Cadillac, Mark’s ’71 Monte Carlo, and Jessie’s Harley-Davidson are some examples of the quality of the rides that represent the club.
Is there a Lowrider of the Year award in the future for the club? There are no definite plans but a number of club members are in the process of not only building new rides but also freshening up their current rides for the show circuit. Since the club is based in Southern California, it generally attends shows in the SoCal area, but some have traveled to Northern California and plan to head to San Diego and Phoenix in 2009.
With 30-plus active members, Traffic has a set of officers overseeing the club as well as the direction of the club, including President Mark, Vice President Louie, Secretary Ruben, and Activities Director Memo. The club also has a team of Sergeant at Arms to ensure that the club members adhere to the guidelines. The officers are also tasked with keeping the members motivated and involved in the community by participating in community service activities and other club outings.
When asked what the strength of the club is, Mark said family. “Our families are part of the club and the foundation of the club,” he says. Mark also credits his wife Sylvia with not only being his biggest supporter but also a major part of the success of the club. The challenge of keeping a club alive and active is achieved much easier with the support of family.
So what does the future hold for Traffic Car Club? “We plan to grow the club and strengthen the bond between members,” Mark says. Since Traffic focuses on quality over quantity, the club’s plans to grow will be gradual. The club is on its fourth generation and has no plans of stopping there. The kids on the bicycles already have their eyes on their first cars. We can’t wait to see what the next generation has in store for the club and the culture. Congratulations to Traffic Car Club on a rich history and exciting future.