This summer, the National Chavez Center hosted a remarkable event that brought together thousands of passionate individuals. The Cesar Chavez Lowrider and Classic Car Show, held in partnership with the Classic Dreams Car Club, was a testament to the enduring spirit of lowrider and classic car clubs. These clubs have deep-rooted connections with the Latino community and continue to advocate for its well-being.

Car clubs have played a pivotal role in supporting causes dear to the hearts of many within the Latino movement. They were instrumental in the United Farm Worker’s march from Delano to Sacramento, which took place last year in support of Assembly Bill 2183. During this march, the idea for a car show at the NCC took place thanks to a fortunate encounter between Executive Director Andres Chavez and members of Bakersfield car clubs.

Reflecting on that encounter, Andres Chavez spoke to the Bakersfield News-Press, saying, “I was on that march and was really moved personally by their commitment.” This profound connection prompted him to reach out to a gathering of Bakersfield lowrider clubs to gauge their interest in organizing an event at the historic center.

On August 12, thousands of car enthusiasts from across southern California converged at the National Chavez Center to pay tribute to the enduring legacy of Cesar Chavez and the farm worker movement at the inaugural Cesar Chavez Lowrider and Classic Car Show. The event was a vibrant celebration of culture and community, with one of the highlights being the “Sí Se Puede Car Club,” a name deeply rooted in the movement.

The event also provided an opportunity to honor individuals like Martina Contreras, whose unwavering commitment to the cause made her a backbone of the movement. Her contributions were immeasurable, from preparing meals for hundreds to hosting union meetings at her home. Today, her children continue to honor her memory and dedication to La Causa.

The inaugural Cesar Chavez Lowrider and Classic Car Show was a powerful reminder that, as Cesar Chavez famously proclaimed, “Sí Se Puede” – Yes, we can – make a difference and continue the legacy of justice and equality for all.

Images courtesy of Chicano Soul