American cars manufactured during the ’30s, ’40s, and ’50s are known as “Bombs” throughout the lexicon of the Lowrider movement. Representing the styles and days of the early Pachuco movement for some enthusiasts, Bombs recall a simpler time in American automobile design, when style and comfort were the top priority. These cars were simply made to cruise. Thanks to their classic design, Bombs remain an extremely popular segment of the culture today, and one that will always be appreciated. In fact, entire Car clubs, Internet web sites and message boards are devoted to these American beauties, but their legacy doesn’t stop there. These timeless classics are not only popular in lowriding; they are a vital part of the American classic automobile culture as a whole.
It is common within our culture to find a group of individuals who share the same appreciation for a certain type of Lowrider, and it is only natural over time that these individuals would form a car club dedicated to their shared obsession. That is exactly how Bomb Club came to be. After hanging out at car swap meets and car shows together for a while, a handful of Bomb enthusiasts decided to form their own club. Prospective members set out to join forces, and, six years ago Bomb Club was formed.
Forming a club was nothing new for the founding members. Some of them had been in car clubs in the past, and based on those previous experiences, they set out to do something different with this club. For starters, the club initially just ran a sticker on their cars to signify club affiliation. Eventually, the sticker became a wooden plaque that was made for the members to display in their rides at the shows, swap meets and cruise nights. As the club grew in size, they decided to display a more traditional plaque in their rides. A design was agreed upon by the members, but instead of having the plaque casted in the traditional way, they decided to have their plaques laser cut. Joel at Jagster Laser Cutting was tapped to cut the plaques for Bomb Club, giving a nice modern touch to the club’s classic rides. The decision was also made to keep the club a single chapter club. The founding members did not see a need to start additional chapters, and they still believe that the club functions best as a one chapter club.
Bomb Club founders also decided to stray from the traditional way a car club is governed, ultimately settling on a more democratic vision. Most car clubs have officers that oversee the club, and usually, these officers make the decisions for the club as a whole. In Bomb Club there are no officers, no committees or leaders, as the common sentiment among the members is that they are all adults, and therefore do not need to be telling each other what to do. They all decide and agree on issues pertaining to the club with a unified vote. There are no dues, meetings, or rules in this unique club. There are no basic requirements to join the club, either, since the club does not actively recruit members. They are sought out by individuals who share their passion and hope to participate under the common bond that comes with being a Bomb owner. Bomb Club is much more of a family then they are a club, as they make sure that everyone gets along, helps each other, and mutually respects one another. There is no tolerance for gossip, jealously and overall negativity, in any form.
The club has a diverse array of rides in both two and four wheel configurations. As with most clubs these days, Bomb Club has a large amount of Harley Davidson motorcycles in the club flying the vaunted Bomb Club plaque. The four wheel rides are represented well with various models from the 1930’s, 1940’s and the early 1950’s. There are a few members that have more than one ride sporting the club’s logo.
Michael “Lomo” Hurtado is one of the members who has more than one ride with the Bomb Club plaque in the back window. His 1946 Chevy Truck called “Locito46” is two-toned Maroon, and lays frame thanks to the Bag Man out of Anaheim, California. Lomo credits El Pollo Body Shop, and his compa, Pelon, for helping him in getting the truck back on the streets. The truck has been a steady cruiser for over 10 years, thanks to a thorough two-year build. Lomo’s second truck is a 1951 Chevy 3100 Custom Cab, which has been part of his fleet for 9 years. The truck was torn down and re-assembled in better than new condition, thanks to Lupe Garcia, Bag Man, Danny D, Metal Finishing Marketers and Olympic Top Shop. The finishing touch to Lomo’s collection is his 1939 Chevy Master Deluxe affectionately nicknamed, “The Don.” The car was sprayed Yosemite Green, which happens to be an original color for the 1939 model year. Mike Perez re-did the interior and added a Hampton Coach Kit. Once again, The Bag Man and Metal Finishing Marketers were called in to work their magic on the ’39 as well. Joe Epstein in Montebello, California did all of the mechanical work, detail work and final assembly on this classic beauty.
Honorary Bomb Club member David Gonzalez first met the members of Bomb Club at the Pomona Swap Meet, while he was chasing parts for one of the many project cars in his fleet. An avid Bomb man himself, David has not one, but three 1936 Chevys. The first one is a two-door Cabriolet, which has been completely restored and accessorized. The second Bomb in his collection is a four-door Phaeton convertible, which is also fully restored and period correct. The third member of David’s Bomb fleet is a Coupe Delivery, commonly regarded as Chevy’s first El Camino. This Bomb is a frame off and factory correct restoration that David discovered while in Las Vegas, Nevada. Each of these cars is fully equipped with skirts, a testament to David’s exhaustive desire to bring his Bombs to life in perfect detail, as he looked everywhere for them to complete each build. David truly has no boundaries when it comes to chasing parts or project cars. He found his 1942 Chevy Suburban in Florida. Post World War II, the Suburban was commonly used as an ambulance, so often times the seats were removed to accommodate the space needed to fit the gurneys behind the front seats. It took a while, but David found the correct seats and accessories to finish this one-of-a-kind ride. The final ride in his fleet is his 1954 Chevy Canopy Express. Back in the 1950’s, these vehicles were used to sell vegetables in the neighborhoods and boroughs across the U.S.A..
Bomb Club member Danny Lopez purchased his 2003 Harley Davidson Heritage Springer Soft Tail in July of 2003. The Black & Silver motorcycle has been customized by both Danny and the Los Angeles Harley Davidson dealership. Danny’s bike happens to be the 100th anniversary model, so Danny kept the customization to a minimum, in order to preserve the value and collectability of the bike.
Jorge Lopez picked up his FLHR Harley Davidson Road King brand new in April of 2006. Jorge and his family all worked together to pick the right chrome accessories to accent the Road King. Fineline Cycles took care of the 21″ front wheel, and added their own air bag system to the bike. Jorge is a serious music fanatic, so he had Fineline install an IPOD sound system that could complete the look and sound he was looking for.
Staying true to their family roots, the club also boasts a husband and wife duo, Rocky & Susan Placencia, who each have an amazing Bomb of their own. Susan’s 1953 Chevy Bel-Air 2 door hardtop was found tucked in a back room at Joe Epstein’s Shop on Whittier Blvd. in 2005. At the time, the Bel-Air was just a primered shell of a car. Joe diligently assembled the car for Susan, and sent it out for paint. After it came back from paint, there was a near tragedy, as a small explosion occurred at Epstein’s. Luckily, the Bel-Air survived without so much as a scratch on its new finish. The car promptly went home with Susan and Rocky, where the final touches were added to the car, thanks to some additional help from Lomo and Pelon. It was a two year project, but well worth the time, as Susan’s ’53 came out as a top notch Bomb.
Susan’s husband, Rocky, found his 1953 Chevy Bel-Air 4 door in Venice Beach, California over fifteen years ago. It was stock, and according to Rocky, it had that “Driving Miss Daisy” look. Fellow Bomb Club member David Chavez aka “Bird” lowered the fifty three, and Rocky promptly took care of the rest. He added the visor and a few chrome accessories to make sure it had the “firme style.”
Although we only mentioned a few of the Bomb Club rides, all of the cars and motorcycles in this club are show worthy and consistently take home trophies from the various shows they attend. The club prides itself on overall car quality, but stresses that it’s their own uniqueness that truly separates them from the more traditional clubs. Boasting over one hundred active members, the club can easily fill a car show of its own with some truly astonishing rides. The club regularly attends shows throughout the Southern California area, although there is no limit to how far they are willing to travel to attend a show. The club is also highly active in communities around the So Cal area, and they remain committed to bringing their rides to community events designed to benefit children and schools.
Bomb Club motivates its members by attending shows, cruising, having parties and going on camping trips. Despite the fact that there are no meetings, the club continues to be a motivated bunch, and participation is always high at the events in which the club attends. Since the inception of the club, they have held an annual Cinco de Mayo picnic, where the club members and their families enjoy a day of music, food and good company. Since the club is more like a family, it is only natural that they would also include their members’ families in the club’s activities. Including extended family members helps to ensure a much larger percentage of people participating in the club’s activities, and it also helps to make everyone feel like a welcome club member.
What does the future hold for Bomb Club? They plan on staying a one chapter club and expanding the club in moderation, adding only worthy individuals who possess the right character, and of course, a love for Bombs. A few members currently have new projects in various states of completion, and, given their amazing track record, it’s only a matter of time before we see these project cars fully restored and out on the streets. Bomb Club is an excellent representation of Lowrider culture, as well as the Bomb movement and we applaud their amazing contributions to our cherished pastime of Lowriding.