The ties that bind the lowrider culture allow us to have an unparalleled longevity in modern car enthusiasm. The more things change, the more they stay the same; at least when it comes to classic and iconic status. A perfect example would be the symmetry between the ’65 Chevrolet Impala and Groupe Car Club. For decades, or I should say for over four decades, these two have been a joint venture on boulevards and avenues everywhere. Between the Chevy factory and the Groupe garages, these intertwined entities have created or produced close to a hundred of these killer specimens; lifted, painted, and customized for the sole purpose of claiming the streets they so deservedly roamed. The rear angle image of the lime-painted fastback featured on this August issue’s cover calls to mind the many they have held in their archives. Permanent fixtures like the three round taillights, the rear Impala insignia, and the Plaque in the rear window are nostalgic! Traditions like those exemplified by our cover car exist today because style and soul will never die in the lowrider world. Groupe and the ’65 Impala give us living proof of this, as over 40 years later, they remain both classy and classic—especially in lime green.
As we continue with more modern lowrider history, yet another legendary chapter has begun. When you go out and research the “History of Lowriding”, there’s a good chance you will find that it begins either with the Ruelas brothers or the Duke’s Car Club. This proud and iconic car club just celebrated an unprecedented 50 years of existence at the Knott’s Berry Farm Hotel with around 500 guests in attendance! The ever burning torch that Fernando passed down to his sons burns as bright as it ever has, as they carry on the family legacy and continue to write the Duke’s into the lowrider history book. Check out our “On the Scene” coverage of this famous event, as well as extended coverage on the Lowrider website. Congratulations on the big Five O, Duke’s!
Our “Street Cred” section features a holiday ritual during the Easter Sunday holiday where lowriders from all over Southern California congregate to celebrate Easter in their own way. Since the days when ’69 and ’73 Caprices slept under shady trees on the grass at Arroyo Seco Park in the Highland Park area, Easter Sunday saw a tradition begin involving lowriders; a tradition that was celebrated not too long ago at Elysian Park near Dodger Stadium. Picnic events have always been the right way for lowriders to celebrate this holiday, as many would bring their families to the park after church and the world of Easter baskets and dresses would meet the world of paint and chrome in a unifying and peaceful afternoon. Ever since I can remember, I’d see city parks full of lowriders on this holiday; families would spread out blankets and food while their ’73 Caprices would take a nap on the grass. One of the more memorable Easter gatherings had been The New Life Car club’s happenings way back at Arroyo Seco Park in the Highland Park area. I don’t know if some of you remember cruising the historic Pasadena freeway and catching a glimpse of their gathering, but it lives on to this day. Thanks to great events like that one, it has become customary to bring out the lowriders, a blanket, and a bottle of wine to relax in the shade and enjoy the camaraderie of other car clubs and enthusiasts who continue to carry on the Easter tradition. No matter the park, you will find lowriders there on Easter Sunday, as good times and holidays will always go together.
While we all continue to write the pages of lowrider history, take a moment to reflect on how lucky we all are to have this culture we love and continue to help spread our movement with honor, integrity, and respect. The ties that bind us are greater than our trials and tribulations, and in those long nights in garages and never-ending treks to car shows, we find out who we are and what we are really made of. Keep scraping the pavement, and enjoy the times that are part of this wonderful history, because we aren’t going anywhere.
Until the next trip,