Car clubs, for many of us, are like second families. For those of us dedicated to our crafts, sometimes the time we spend with our fellow members outweighs the time we spend with our actual families. When a member of our car club passes away, there is a void left within the club and it can be hard to keep the club going after the death; especially when it is the president of the club who passes away. Neu Exposure car club is all too familiar with this, and their resilience defines the passion that Lowriding is all about.
Neu Exposure car club was established in the San Fernando Valley area of Los Angeles California, in 1986. Javier Perez was the first president of the club and ran it for a few years before passing the torch to Tony Rodriguez, who carried it for a couple of years before ultimately passing it on to his brother, Leo Rodriguez, in the early 1990s. The club had originally started with mini trucks and Chevy Blazers but when Leo took the reins, he took it to another level. He expanded the club to Lowrider cars and trucks, and the club made their collective presence felt at the shows and on the Boulevards, turning many heads in the process. In 1992, Alex Robledo started the Neu Exposure Bike Chapter with the approval of Leo and the rest of the club. The club had now come full circle and was getting noticed by many and taking trophies home from shows. Then, everything changed.
Tragically, on March 2, 2000, Leo Rodriguez unexpectedly passed away leaving the club without leadership. Within a year of his passing, the club fell apart; things just weren’t the same without Leo. The members could not sustain the club after his passing, and it looked like Neu Exposure car club was doomed. After seven years of being dormant, Alex and Adrianne Robledo decided to bring back Neu Exposure as a tribute to Leo.
The new inception of the club began with only two cars and four bikes, but the club has since increased its membership, thanks to friends and family. As of 2010, the club is at twenty members, and they plan on expanding membership while remaining a one chapter club.
The club has a hierarchy in place like all clubs; including a president, vice president, sergeant at arms, and club secretary. Prospective members must build their cars and/or bikes to club standards and the prospective members must attend shows and club events. Once the requirements are met, they are voted into the club. When Alex and Adrianne re-established the club, they also kept the same standards Leo had set for the club’s cars and bikes.
There is still a wide mixture of vehicles in Neu Exposure, including a Ford Thunderbird, a pair of Chevy Blazers, big body Cadillacs, an El Camino, and the classic 1964 Chevy Impala. The club’s four-wheeled, two-wheeled and three-wheeled rides are regular show winners. Adrianne Robledo’s Chevy Blazer is a regular show winner and has placed at Lowrider Magazine’s 2009 shows in Arizona, San Bernardino, and the 2009 Super Show in Las Vegas. Mario Campirano’s ’64 Impala was a car he always wanted, especially since his childhood friend, Ray, had a father who owned one. A few years ago, that same six four became available, so Mario bought it and restored it to show quality. It recently hit the streets and is becoming well known at the shows.
Evalina Gonzalez’s “Exorcist” trike placed First in Class at the 2009 Lowrider Magazine San Bernardino show, and also took home the Best Murals award as well as 3rd place in Best of Show. She also took a hand full of awards at the 2009 Super Show in Las Vegas. Abel and Arthur Robledo’s bikes placed at multiple shows in 2009. They were also featured in Lowrider Magazine’s Readers Ride Family Edition. After Leo Rodriguez’s passing, his Blazer was shown for about two years, thanks to Mandy, Jr., and Team C&L, before it was retired. The Blazer has recently been brought back out, and has now been renamed “Resurrected.” Fans of the truck will always remember it as “VaVoom,” however. The club travels to shows throughout Southern California, Arizona, Nevada and Texas.
In addition, past and present club cars and bicycles have been featured in Lowrider Magazine, as well as in newspaper articles about the Lowrider Culture, and commercial and magazine advertisements. Back in 1993, Neu Exposure was featured on Huell Howser’s show about the 1993 Los Angeles Lowrider Super Show. More recently, the bike club was a part of Comedian Joey Medina’s Cholo Comedy Slam in Los Angeles.
The core value of the club is family; the members agree that family is the heart of the club and without the support of each member’s family. the club would not be successful. The youth in the club generally start out in the bike club and eventually move up when they become of driving age. The club plans family events to keep the club motivated and to ensure that everyne feels like they are a part of the Neu Exposure family. Leo Rodriguez’s legacy lives on with the re-incarnated Neu Exposure car club, and their commitment to unity and the love of Lowriding is the perfect tribute to him. Neu Exposure would like to dedicate this feature to the memory of Leo Rodriguez, and his contribution to Lowriding in the San Fernando Valley.