Since the beginning of time, human beings have gathered in groups to showcase their finds with everything from the latest hunt to treasures and more. As time went on, those methods of showcasing what was acquired changed greatly with the presentation and to who.
In the late 1970s, a group of people came together for common goals. To enjoy cruising with their friends, the custom vehicles, and the spread of good vibes. This group of people and their vehicles combined became known as the Brown Impressions Car Club out of Laredo, Texas.
From early on many organizations or car clubs have come and gone and some are still present to this day, but what we do know is that the Brown Impressions C.C. is one of the largest organizations in the United States and has been included in the Lowrider Hall of Fame. Not only recognized as a lowrider car club but its contributions to society, as a positive and influential structured and hierarchical organization. Everything from raising money for charity, and donations for the less fortunate, to helping families rebuild their lives after a fire.
We recently interviewed a member of the Brown Impressions named, Eddie, aka “Papo.” He spoke to us about his history, and love, and provided some more insight into what started as a goal and hobby when he was a 7th grader, to what he calls now a part of culture and lifestyle, “a way of life.” His very first attempt at lowriding was with the help of his dad who was a diesel mechanic and had every tool imaginable to do what he needed to do to his first lowrider bike, which was built piece by piece. Tools also used, included the use of welding equipment to bend the forks. He says that the overall process for the bike took over 2 months to complete.
Eddie’s first vehicle, with regards to cars and trucks into the lowrider lifestyle, started with a 1986.5 Nissan Hardbody (1)(“A 1986 Nissan pickup could be a 720 or a Hardbody; that’s why you’ll see some owners refer to their Hardbodies as 1986.5“). Eddie stated he acquired the vehicle through one of his brothers from California, and we asked what was the first thing he did after getting the truck, his response was quite simple, “I started with a cruise first to let others know, I’m here,” as he put it. Throughout his years and living life like many others, priorities came first, such as family, work, and of course, those dreaded bills, but he never gave up, like his children, he kept lowriding close to his heart and knew someday, he could continue that journey to help make a difference in the world.
As some may argue the notion that lowriding is a menace and problematic, or that there’s nothing but drugs and criminals everywhere, it is not. There are bad apples in every group of people, no matter the status quo or class. We simply can’t control what others may think or do, but what we can provide is a way for others to enjoy a great time with phenomenal works of art in motion and what we can learn from other cultures and the people behind these works of art. It takes a great deal of patience, money, and hard work to pull off some of these skilled crafts that often take years to do. These skills take time to learn especially when it comes to rebuilding something that no longer exists.
So how did Eddie come into being a member of the car club the Brown Impressions? A very simple answer, it was by invitation. He worked at a local convenience store/ gas station as a manager in Laredo, Texas in the 90s, and one day, destiny intervened. On a sunny afternoon, a man in a fully customized lowrider approached Eddie with questions about his truck and asked who he rides with, and of course, Eddie fully unaware simply answered “by myself?” After some light and friendly discussion, an address was given to Eddie to show up to. Turns out the individual in question was a prominent figure in the car club. Eddie states that he was in shock and awe about how someone like this could even be remotely interested in who he was.
The moment came for Eddie to make his appearance and upon his first arrival, he stood back. There were a bunch of men just chillin’ outside, and anyone seeing this for the first time would probably wonder as Eddie put it, “am I going to get jacked?” But in the end, Eddie was given recognition as a new member of the Brown Impressions and the rest is history. As a member, Eddie did obtain a wide variety of trophies and magazine features throughout the years for his involvement and his lowrider truck. He says that this way of life creates and promotes positivity and that “it just makes you and others feel good, it’s fun.”
A few shoutouts by Eddie; To all the Brown Impressions Chapters and especially to Chuy Martinez, Linda Martinez, Mingo Vasquez, “One day we’ll be cruising together,” and to Poncho Martinez “keep up the good music.” “And also a big thank you to my friends, and my brothers and sisters for helping out with my first lowrider in helping me to acquire those parts I needed.”
Brown Impressions Car Clun, Lowrider Car Club, Laredo Texas, Brown Impressions Member Papo
Gonderman, M. (2021, Feb., 1). Before the Nissan Frontier, the Hardbody Earned Its Respect
https://www.motortrend.com/news/1986-1997-nissan-hardbody-history-info-photos/, 5th paragraph