Founded in 2000 by Guillermo “Willy” Espinoza, Junior, Rooster, Mario aka “Baby Spike”, Andy, Truucha, Cherry, and Buzzer in the city of Los Angeles, CA. The Maniacos Car Club was born, boasting a no-holds barred, anything goes approach to lowriding and cruising. Maniacos quickly gained a reputation true to their nickname as a street club, and quickly became well-known for taking names by gas hopping and street hopping on the high profile Crenshaw, Pacific and Whittier Boulevard scenes with reckless abandon. The Maniacos were the only car club willing to abuse and sacrifice their candy-painted, chrome-undercarriaged cars without flinching, even if something broke or was destroyed during the course of battling it out with other street hoppers and shops, often leaving them to bring home badly damaged cars as proof of their courage and dedication to winning the grueling lowriding wars in the concrete jungle of Los Angeles. This “whatever it takes to win” philosophy is a testament to the heart of this club and can also be seen in its huge growth from humble beginnings.
The club’s first meetings started in the backyard of Mario’s So. Cal. home, where they would initially work on their cars and hold meetings. Looking to bring something new to the table, the club aspired to take lowriding to a level never seen before, even in the face of the adversity that would soon come from the risks they were willing to take. People thought they were just crazy, but respect and support poured into the club as tales of their amazing street wars spread throughout the Los Angeles underground like wildfire. As the club’s popularity grew, so did their membership, and what was once an 8 member club now boasts over 35 members and 3 different chapters in three different states, including Los Angeles, CA, Las Vegas, NV, as well as the Maniacos’ newest chapter based out of Houston, TX. Staying focused, they began to throw different family functions to benefit and further the club, including BBQ’s and special fundraisers, vowing to use the money raised to support the club’s members during times of special needs. This money couldn’t have come at a better time as no sooner than they found success, the Maniacos quickly found themselves in the grips of a horrible tragedy.
Houston member Thomas Mechell’s lowrider exploded into flames while he was cruising with his wife and kids, leaving his youngest son with 3rd degree burns on his back and top of his head. Grateful to escape with their lives, the Mechell family still found themselves swimming in medical bills for their youngest child and had no way of coming up with all the necessary funds. The Houston Chapter of Maniacos immediately took it upon themselves to help out their fellow lowrider and his family and started doing car washes, BBQs, fundraisers, as well as a car show to raise money that would help the Mechell family to pay off the bills they had accumulated from the terrible accident. Soon after the Los Angeles Chapter heard about what the Houston members were doing to help out one of their own, they hosted a fund raiser in Elysian Park to help out the Mechell clan as well, proving that no matter where a car club member lived, or which chapter they belonged to, they still had the support of the entire club.
This sense of family, overcoming adversity, and willingness to do whatever it takes to achieve their goals best defines the Maniacos Car Club of Los Angeles as a true representation of what lowrider culture is really all about. Beyond the glory, style and flash of the machines lies the family bond behind them, a bond that cannot be broken, destined to live forever in the hearts and minds of lowrider enthusiasts and car club members nationwide, as our wonderful culture continues to spread its wings and define future generations for many years to come.
Cyberpace is Scrapin’ on LowridingTV.com
This is the phase that can be heard on the internet these days on www.LowridingTV.com, a phrase that executive producers Mark Aragon and Rick Mansfield have been working on since 2002 when they began their challenging journey of building and putting up a website that illustrates what they had seen first hand for themselves; the unfiltered real low rider story of hard working, good people who love their families and their culture.
After seven years of extensive filming, gathering the right people, experts and families that properly represent the phenomenon known as the low rider car culture, their vision has finally become reality.
Both Mark and Rick each earned their stripes working in the motion picture/television industry for many years prior and were producers on the award winning series, which is in its 7th year of syndication, “Rolling Art,” an automotive show that focuses on the motorized vehicle as an art form.
From the beginning Mark and Rick realized that some of the low riders that they had seen were truly amazing works of rolling art and immediately wanted to add low rider segments to the Rolling Art show. After winning numerous discussions amongst other RATV show producers, Mark and Rick emerged as one of the first groups of TV producers to bring the low rider culture into main stream television. In 2002 they broadcast their first of many low rider segments, and haven’t looked back since.
Having demonstrated their true desire to show the positive side of lowriding over the past seven (7) years, Mark and Rick have become accepted and trusted as “The Guy’s” throughout the low rider culture and have gathered an impressive digital library complete with some never before seen footage of both historical and recent low rider events, as well as helping to promote upcoming Latino bands, such as Salvador Santana (The SSB,) Upground, B-Side Players, and Balance, all of which can be heard on the LRTV website.
2009 promises to be a great year for LowridingTV.com, as they have already pooled resources with companies such as, Latin Heat Online, LATV, Latin Lingo Clothing, and of course, Lowrider Magazine.