AUTHENTIC, GENUINE, ACTUAL, REAL
Growing up in Monterey Park, Ca, I was your average kid who grew up with Hot Wheels, retrofitting model cars, and cruising the neighborhood with my Schwinn Sting Ray. Looking back, these were the good old times when social media meant you had friends to talk to face-to-face. Later on, while in High school with Montebello and East LA as my backyard, I got my first glimpse of what was a utopia of custom Lowriders.
This was back in the early ’70s, and while Muscle cars thrived, my heart and soul were influenced by the custom paint, murals, velvet custom interiors, or anything of Lowrider styling. I especially favored the 1960s and 1970s Buick Rivieras, Chevrolet Caprices, and Lincoln Continentals styles.
I purchased my first Lowrider in 1974 and joined the Lifestyle Car Club a few months later. As time passed, I became more involved with the club and customizing low-profile automobiles. Cruising the Boulevard or displaying at Lowrider Car Shows or Lowrider Happenings brought out a competitive edge in me to build classic custom cars known as Dressed to Kill, Hollywood, and Las Vegas.
In 2006, I was elected into the Lowrider Hall of Fame, and a year later, I was offered the dream job of Editor-in-Chief for Lowrider Magazine.
I was honored to be presented with such an opportunity and knew that with this power came great responsibility. I was blessed to be the voice of our culture and knew from then on that my mission would be to carry the torch of passion and heritage that powers our community. Since then, I have always felt that my duty was to continue our traditions and uphold the standards and cultural values that represent lowriding.
As my mission began, I slowly started to understand that I was really tasked with two jobs. One was to represent the culture, and the other was to educate the corporate titans that lowriding is unlike any other form of car culture. I soon became a mediator, trying to fight not only the public stereotypes but the corporate leadership that saw the profits and not the people. They saw an opportunity to bastardize the reach of the culture by restraining not only the moves I was able to make but the peers I was able to choose – many of those still with the same agenda.
The years passed, the story remained the same, and that’s when I realized my energies put into fighting my own peers to do the right thing could be better focused on creating a new narrative, a new direction, and a new vision with no corporate restraints – and that my friends, led to my exit and the creation of Original Lowrider, taking back our roots and growing from here without restrictions.
Original Lowrider remains committed to extolling the virtues of hard work, creativity, and raising the bar for automotive modification and continues to strive and reach the potential for all Lowriders around the world.