Like many car clubs across the land, Old Memories likes to keep the lowrider tradition alive by teaching the younger generations the ways of the lowrider lifestyle. Lowrider family traditions have been around since the evolution of the lowrider. The tradition usually begins when the family starts building their project car in the garage or backyard. The kids help out by handing Dad the tools or cleaning the parts for his project. This is also where they get the skills and confidence to start working on their own projects. From model cars on up, they start working on the pedal cars or lowrider bikes. In most cases the kids grow up to build custom lowriders that hit the streets with the same family values, which are then passed along to their kids and so on.
We met up with a few family members from Old Memories. First we sat down and talked to the president of the SoCal chapter, Felipe Calvillo. Felipe owns a fully restored ’51 Chevy Suburban that was built in a year and a half with help from his wife and two daughters. Felipe’s oldest daughter, Katie, owns a ’71 Schwinn Fair Lady bike, which was put together after her dad and younger sister, Amanda, influenced her to build something to show when they hit the car shows. Amanda has a ’63 Schwinn Hornet that she decided to build after she attended a few car shows with her dad and saw that other kids displayed their own lowrider bikes too. She decided to build a bike with the lowrider influence but kept a little bit of the original beauty that the older Schwinns have.
Paul Roa’s ’46 Chevy was purchased from Joe Epstein 15 years ago before he got married and began raising his kids. Back then the car was missing the engine, transmission, interior, and all the glass. Some of his friends thought he was crazy for purchasing the car that way but, like everything in his life, he knew there was hope for the car, it was just going to take more time than what he had anticipated. Now the car is one of the cleanest ’46 Black Chevys in SoCal, with a few thousand dollars in collectable accessories that were added on to increase the value of the bomb to over $15,000. Paul’s knowledge of classic accessories was passed onto his son, Daniel, better known as “Capitan” in the lowrider family scene. Capitan is only 7 years old, but his knowledge of classic accessories extends to that of a 20 year old. He started building a ’50 pedal car, “My Brother’s Dream,” which was purchased through the Recycler for $40. The project started after his little brother passed away and is being built in memory of him. Capitan follows his dad to all the swap meets and car shows and keeps a lookout for accessories he can buy for his pedal car. The two-tone Candy Red paintjob is accessorized with a custom siren, lights, compass, thermometer, and a traffic light viewer. Just like his dad, he is the founder and president of the Old Memories Pedal Car and Bike Club.
Ruben Cantoran’s love for lowriders started when he was in junior high and his brother-in-law gave him a ride to a graduation party in his ’54 bomb. After that day he knew that one day he would build a bomb too. His passion for lowriders and bombs grew over time. He soon found and purchased a ’50 Chevy Fleetline. The bomb took over two years to complete to Ruben’s liking. With over $20,000 invested into the project, the Chevy was hooked up with an air suspension system and a custom mint paintjob. His passion for cars was also handed down to his son, Junior, who also likes custom bombs. Junior fell in love with a ’50s pedal car that was painted to match his dad’s car. Besides playing with his Thomas the Train toys, Junior likes to help his dad clean the hard-to-get places on the ’50 bomb while his dad takes care of the details that are too high for Junior to reach.
The Old Memories Car Club has been around for decades. Their classic-styled bombs are built to look like you’re living back in the ’40s or the ’50s. They have set goals and standards for all since their beginnings. Let it be known that they are also a classic example for other families whose hobbies include lowriding. With the new generation building award-winning pedal cars and lowrider bikes, there’s no telling what the future has in store for the lowrider community when they’re old enough to build the bigger bombs-an Old Memories tradition.