Passing down a legacy of consistency is the very meaning behind the concept of “Tradition.” Tradition occurs when new generations are passed down those ideals and standards and expected to continue them on their own, only to pass it down to the next generation. Naturally, Tradition Car Club has done just that; earning a reputation that lives up to their lofty name by having had numerous quality rides over the years, some of which have even been featured in the pages of LRM. The quality of not only the club’s cars, but also the character of the members themselves has made the Tradition Family stand out among a sea of Lowriding car clubs. In this exclusive feature, we commemorate Tradition Car Club on the brink of its 20th birthday, and we take a brief look at the club’s history, present state, and future plans.
Created from a joint vision between two 17 year olds, Jose Ruiz and David Lopez, Tradition Car Club saw its humble beginnings in 1993. The club quickly took shape, especially after the duo initialized the club’s principles and bylaws, and started to recruit some of their Lowriding friends into the club. As eager as they were to make their presence felt on the Boulevard, the club founders remained diligent and focused on setting up a strong foundation for Tradition. Organized meetings began to bring the new members together to strategize on how they should go about designing the club’s logo and plaques. One of the more artistic club members, Hugo, began sketching out the plaque’s design on a piece of paper. The club members really liked the design and voted to run with the look he had created, so the sketch was then taken to a shop in El Monte, California, where the design was turned into a reality. Tradition members could finally fly their club moniker, as a mold was formed and the first plaques were poured, cut, and chrome-plated.
The club’s officer positions were eventually filled and the club started to take shape as a smooth and functioning organization. The initial club government was as follows: Jose Ruiz, Club President, Danny Martin, Vice President, Mike Leos, Club Treasurer, and Rene Ramirez and Lance Gout, Sergeants of Arms.
With the plaques made, the club would have been ready to start representing on the streets, but the members decided to wait until their cars reached a higher standard. They felt that they could really make a great first impression among other already-established car clubs if they showed patience and did things right the first time. This patience and long term vision has come to define this club. Mike Leos elaborates, “It was something we felt was necessary in order to gain respect on the streets as a new car club, and still―to this day―we stand behind this club standard.”
Eventually, the club members were ready and their high quality cars began to make appearances out at the cruise strips and local car shows. In no time, the Tradition plaques were flying high! As time went on, the members continued to live their lives, enjoying club functions as well as time spent with their immediate families. Over the course of the next few years, some of the members got married and began having kids or took on other responsibilities in the forms of careers and school. Often times, these changes also force members of Lowrider clubs to prioritize away from the driveways and garages, and Tradition felt this transition among its members. In 1998, the club went into a dormant stage for a while, but the members’ continued to build anyway. Five years later, the plaques began flying again and a whole new series of rides began hitting the streets.
In 2007, as the club grew in membership, it also felt a subsequent growth in awareness by the surrounding Lowriding community. Naturally, Tradition received many inquiries about new chapters, in the same way that many long-term clubs do. In order to adapt to the modern scene, Tradition decided to split into chapters. Sergio Torrez now handles the “Inland Empire Chapter” (of California), and Mike Leos handles the “Southern California Chapter.” In a relatively short time after branching out, another chapter formed, about 3,000 miles away! Terry Infante is heading the new Hawaii Chapter out of Honolulu.
The club has always been diverse in their lineup, as Tradition members ride all types of Lowrider vehicles, including Bombs, Impalas, G-bodies, trucks, bicycles, and even Harley-Davidson motorcycles. Even more diverse than the club’s cars, are the members. Mike states, “We have always thought of the car club as a family, rather than a car club and we always will. This is the ‘Tradition’ of the club.” Mike also went on to talk about their positive involvement within the community: “We’ve always tried to be role models to the kids and we have done numerous charity events to help elementary schools, feed the homeless, and we’ve collected blankets and clothing for the less fortunate.”
Tradition’s future is intricately linked to their past. The club plans to continue expanding their family and helping out in the community by donating their time and efforts to help those in need. This is what they’ve always done; it is their “Tradition,” and the Lowrider world and community-at-large are better places because of it. While they’ve undoubtedly helped to increase the positive image of Lowriding, Tradition will always continue to have a good time enjoying their rides as well! Check out the club’s website at: http://traditioncc.webs.com.