When one chapter closes, another begins. This common sentiment describes the auspices of new beginnings, and sums up the formation of the legendary Old Memories Car Club to a T.’ In 1978, this incredible Bomb car club began taking its first collective cruises, and they haven’t looked back since.
Old Memories founder, Eddie Soler, was a member of another club that began with his neighborhood friends back in the 1960’s in Los Angeles, California. Over time, Eddie and a few of the other members decided to leave that club for one reason or another. Even though they had left the club, they still continued to hang out together and fix up their bombs. These afternoons spent together sparked up talks of collaborating again, although it took some time to find a common focus for their idea.
After a while, the group decided to start their own Bomb car club. They wanted to start a club that would reflect the high standards that they built their bombs with, and hoped that it would create an environment where the members mutually respected each other, and members would have a say in decisions for the club. Eddie had always liked the name memories, so he added old in front of it, and proposed the name Old Memories to the group. The name fit well for a Bomb car club, especially since the sight of these old machines tends to bring back a lot of memories for people, both young and old. Everyone was on board and with that decision, the most important part of forming a car club was accomplished; a name for the club had been decided, and Old Memories began to make new history.
As with any new club, the plaque needed to be designed. Eddie had an idea of how he wanted the plaque to look, so he designed the lettering and the plaque. His friend, Manual Navarro, designed the ribbons that anchor the plaque. Eddie took the final design to Mr. Polar, who produced the plaques for the newly formed club. The group also decided that black and gold would be the club colors. With the car club name, club colors chosen, and the plaque designed, Old Memories South Los Angeles officially formed in September of 1978 on 43rd street in Los Angeles, California with Eddie Soler and Tony Lopez leading and founding members Carlos Soler, Tony Baltierra, Manual Navarro, Pancho Sinfuentes, Miguel Duran, Tony Moreno, Joe Mangaro and Roy Chavez rounding out the lineup.
With all of the formalities out of the way, it was time to hit the streets. The newly formed club hit all the big shows in the Los Angeles area. The club was present at the Los Angeles Sports Arena, Long Beach Arena, and the Shrine Auditorium shows. They even had a big show at the Pico Rivera Sports Arena with the Artistics Car Club.
Within five years of the formation of the club, a chapter was opened in Tucson, Arizona by Tony Lopez, after he was transferred there by his job. The El Paso Texas chapter was the next chapter to form under Pancho Sinfuentes, who had relocated to the Lone Star State. Over the years chapters have been formed in Southern California, Northern California, Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, and Japan. In January of 2011, the country of Australia became the latest destination to have an Old Memories chapter. This makes 20 chapters of Old Memories worldwide.
Each chapter has a president who runs the chapter using the rules and regulations put in place when the club was formed back in 1978. As with almost every car club, if you are flying an Old Memories plaque, the car must be clean and under no circumstances can the plaque be modified. Keeping with the majority rules structure, the club and its chapter decides as a whole which events they will attend. Like stated before, everyone has a say in club decisions.
Since Old Memories is a Bomb car club, a member’s ride cannot be newer than 1954. The club and its chapters have members with rides that range from 1954 to the 1930’s. The majority of the cars are Chevrolets but it is not uncommon to find a Packard, Buick, Plymouth, or Pontiac with an Old Memories plaque in the back window. Members and potential members must be dedicated to the preservation of these classic automobiles and the superior reputation of the club.
Many of the chapters and club members have been featured in Lowrider Magazine. The San Gabriel Valley chapter was profiled after chapter president Ray Vargas expanded his family home into a meeting place for his chapter, and a place for the members to work on their cars. Fred Perez of Old Memories Denver, Colorado chapter was profiled in Lowrider Magazine for his involvement with the youth of Colorado as an educator. A number of the chapters have had their members’ cars, toy drives, and car shows featured in the magazine. The Los Angeles chapter’s historic Olvera Street show is an event that was also chronicled in the pages of LRM. Beyond magazine coverage, the club has also been featured on television programs like AIM TV, and the very popular but short-lived television show, Living the Low Life.
Every chapter of Old Memories is also active in their communities. They participate in community events, such as toy drives and fundraisers for schools and community organizations. The club as a whole makes sure to give back to the communities of which they are a part of. Through this community involvement, the club proves that there is more to Lowriding than cars, car shows, and cruising.
In the same manner as community service, family is also a very important part of Old Memories. The member’s family is encouraged to wear club colors and participate in club events. The club and its chapters have events catered to the families, like picnics, or trips to the mountains and the beach. The support of the family is vital to the success of the club and its chapters. Many of the members are grooming their children to be the next generation of Old Memories. Paul Roa’s young son, Daniel, also known as The Capitan is already building pedal cars and learning how to paint. He is also the founder and president of the pedal car and bike club. Surely, he will have an Old Memories-worthy vehicle before he is of driving age.
The club is now at twenty chapters worldwide, and has plans to continue careful expansion into other locations that do not currently have a chapter of Old Memories. With 30 plus years as a club, Old Memories has established a legacy built on tradition, high standards, and respect. Their legacy has also left its mark on Lowriding worldwide and will continue to do so with the next generation. We here at Lowrider Magazine salute Old Memories for their contributions to the growth of Lowriding, and wish them many more years of continued success.