Adjacent to Los Angeles County, Ventura County is located in California’s Southern Coastal area, which is often referred to as the “Gold Coast.” The region is picturesque as it is comfortable, in fact, the area is considered to be one of the safest and most affluent areas in the country. The county’s location also gives it a great reputation as well, being close enough in proximity to Los Angeles that residents can commute there for work and still return home to the confines of this secluded paradise. Being such a neighbor to Los Angeles, the area has also felt the influence of LA’s Lowrider scene. Over the years, there have been quite a few award winning and magazine featured rides from Ventura County, which boasts a number of car clubs with many years of history in the area.
One of those car clubs is Ventura County’s own Connected Car Club, which was established in 1999-2000 by a group of dedicated riders with a singular vision. Bound together by car enthusiasts who all started their Lowriding careers at a young age, the club’s bond goes even deeper than that; they’ve also been good friends since childhood as well. With each rider finding themselves as a member of a car club, they decided to band together and form their own club―adhering to the moral standards and ethics they all shared.
The name Connected was chosen for the new club for its simplicity. There simply was no better way to describe the ties the members felt to one another personally, and as fellow Lowrider and car enthusiasts. The goal was to collaborate to establish a strong and elite club with their standards that would not only represent the finest in Lowrider builds but would also focus on their friendship and dedication to the lifestyle as well. With that in mind, the members of Connected designed their plaque and club colors with their collective personality as the focus. Since they shared such a unique vision, they wed to make sure that the design of the plaque was different and used a strong lettering that was easily identifiable on the streets and at the shows. They also wanted to stand out with their color choices as well. Connected club members all agreed upon the blue and gray club colors to separate them from the look of other clubs. This proved to be a great idea because in a sea of black car club shirts at the shows, Connected Car Club’s blue and gray tees stand out just like their club cars.
The club used a traditional hierarchy as they do believe very strongly in being organized. Connected has a president, vice president, a sergeant-at-arms and a panel of original members that oversee the club and ensure that the club members adhere to their standards out in the scene and in their own garages as well. They do have one differentiating guideline, however. Unlike most clubs, Connected Car Club members do not pay dues; instead, they all contribute when the club has a function or when the club enters a car show.
Initially the club began with nine members, but has since expanded to a 20-member roster. As far as new membership is concerned, the club is very protective of its reputation, so prospects can only be introduced via a current club member who is in good standing. The prospect must then be introduced to the club officers before being considered at a club meeting, and they must be willing to show commitment to organization and uphold the club’s standards. Once they qualify for a club vote and are voted in, they are placed on probation for a period of time. After that period is over, the prospect becomes a new member, which the sponsoring member is responsible for, for one year.
As diverse as the membership is, Connected also boasts a variety of car makes and models. The club has street cars, full show cars, and hoppers in their arsenal; and these all get plenty of use on the Boulevard. The members of connected insist that they aren’t afraid to get any rocks in their treads, get their undercarriages dirty, or bang a bumper, either!
Speaking of banging a bumper, club member Jerry Lamm is a veteran hopper and is always at the top of the measuring stick with his hoppers. These aren’t just bang ‘em up machines, either. Jerry’s battle platoon is prepared for battle with custom paint, striping, leafing, and murals. He realizes the importance of not only placing at the car hop, but placing at the car shows as well. Another member with a couple of award winning club cars is Aaron Hodgson. Aaron is the owner of “The Outlaw,” a 1985 Chevy Blazer that was 2002 Lowrider Truck of the Year runner-up. In addition to having this Blazer as a Lowrider Centerfold, Aaron’s 1957 Chevy Bel Air “Lethal Injection” was the centerfold feature in the September 2008 issue of Lowrider Magazine as well. The name comes from the injected and supercharged power plant that powers the classic Chevy. The club is more than just cars, though. Connected also has a few members with Harley Davidson motorcycles fixed up in a traditional Lowrider Style. These two wheel creations have custom paint, air bag suspensions, custom wheels, and handle bar and exhaust upgrades. Just like their 4-wheeled counterparts, these two-wheeled creations are head turners wherever they are seen, be it the streets or the shows. I guarantee you, we will be seeing more of the club in future issues of Lowrider Magazine.
Because the club members are lifelong friends, keeping the club active and motivated is certainly no difficult task. They play softball on a regular basis, barbeque, attend shows and events together, and hang out with each other as often as time allows. Family is a big priority with Connected, and the club encourages family members, to club functions and help with club activities. Connected members will also attend other members’ family events too, going above and beyond in supporting one another. This family dedication is definitely the key to the success of this great club, and the members share this sentiment.
With twenty members right now, Connected Car Club plans to stay a one-chapter club. Content with building a strong legacy, the club is willing to take things slowly to increase membership over time. In short, the connection the club members have with each other as well as their quality rides will undoubtedly keep them around for a very long time. We here at Lowrider Magazine salute the members of Connected Car Club for their ten-plus years in Lowriding. Thanks for your contribution to our wonderful culture!