Throughout the year, the Lowrider HOF committee picks which deserving members of the Lowrider community are to be awarded and honored with an induction into the HOF. After numerous meetings and phone conferences, the HOF committee made their final decision on who would be in the HOF class of 2010. With so many positive and productive individuals in the Lowrider community, it was extremely difficult to narrow down the winners for the categories of Lifetime Honor, Craftsmanship Honor, Leadership Honor, Memorial Honor, and the newly added Visionary Honor, along with the Lowrider Car Masterpiece honor.
The event was held at the Long Beach Hilton, which is a large venue for a special occasion like this one. The evening started around 5 p.m., where the attendees kicked off the night’s festivities by sharing cocktails at the hotel bar. Soon after, attendees began lining up in order to reserve their seating reservations and raffle tickets for the giveaways, which were to take place later on in the evening. As the attendees entered the luxurious Imperial Ballroom of the Hilton, the lights were dimmed and the sound of oldies music filled the air to set the perfect Lowrider mood for the beginning of the banquet.
The banquet featured a steak dinner, refreshments, and a delicious dessert. HOF committee member Richard Ochoa, who explained the itinerary for the evening and gave away different raffle prizes, with ceremony fellow member Texas Ed, handled opening introductions. After the introduction, the ceremony began as a video played introducing the new category Lowrider Masterpiece, which was formed to honor the legendary cars and their builders, which have forever shaped the culture. First up was Mando Estrada from Klique Car Cub, the owner of the first titleholder for Lowrider of the Year with his’78 Cadillac Coupe De Ville, “Brandy Madness.” The next Lowrider Masterpiece was given to “Raw Deal” owner, Joe Fontanillo from USO Car Club, who won the first title of Lowrider Truck of the Year back in the 80’s. The third Masterpiece award was given to Donald Zavala, the owner of ’77 Pontiac Grand Prix, “The Entertainer.” All the owners that were awarded the Lowrider Masterpiece award got a chance to make a small speech, and were also awarded a plaque of the layout with their Lowrider vehicles. The next award was the Lowrider Visionary Award, given to Alberto Lopez for the revival, commercially and upbringing the image of Lowrider Magazine back in 1988, and thusly contributing to the progression of the Lowrider sport and culture worldwide today.
After Richard Ochoa gave away more prizes to the lucky ticket holders, it was time for the main event. The Lowrider Hall of Fame Video played, and the award for Memorial Honor was given to the late Richard Gonzales, from Majestics Car Club. The Memorial Honor was followed by a touching speech from his wife, in memory of Richard. The next video featured Andy Douglas, who was bestowed the Craftsmanship Honor Award for his contribution to Lowriding, thanks to his originality and outstanding vehicle building skills. The second award was given to the ever energetic and full of life, “Crazy George” Luna. Crazy George received the Leadership Honor for holding his position as President of the Viejitos Car Club for more than 24 years. The last award given was to “Mister Lowrider” himself, Ralph Fuentes. Ralph received the Lifetime Achievement Award for his lifelong contributions to the Lowrider community around the world.
Lowrider Editor Joe Ray made the closing remarks. Joe explained why it’s important for the new generation to pay homage to those who have set the foundation of the culture in years past. He believes that should be done by keeping open communication lines and visiting with these legendary “Veteranos” whenever the opportunity to do so comes. This is how the new generation can keep the Lowrider movement alive! The new year will be here before we know it, and the Lowrider HOF committee will begin choosing next year’s winners very soon. If you missed out on this event, make sure you attend the 2011 HOF Honors which will bring yet another monumental occasion to the Lowriding culture.