Story: Evan “Evo” Yates
Photography: Andrew Link
The North American gray wolf is an intelligent, ferocious hunter that, as part of a pack, can dominate the landscape. Nokturnal Car Club’s logo, a wolf howling at the moon, was selected for the animal’s courageous and aggressive character, aspects that Nokturnal’s members pride themselves on possessing. And as their pack grows—as well as, ultimately, the number of packs (chapters)—Nokturnal’s status in the car show scene becomes that much more respectable.
Nokturnal Car Club held down its first official RIDES cover spot in the July/August 2008 issue with a “Crew of the Year” cover line attached. At the time, Nokturnal was ahead of the curve, with vehicles rockin’ wild tribal graphics and air-bagged suspensions on massive wheels. In the five years since, they’ve seen membership increase and new customization techniques evolve, going hand in hand with the heightened competition—and unfortunately, at times, hate. Chito Pacheco, vice president of the highly regarded Los Angeles Nokturnal chapter, is a certified O.G. in the California car-club scene, as he’s been affiliated with the club for a decade. In addition to his tenure, Chito lays claim to not one but two RIDES cover cars: the Impala SS bagged on 26s from July/August 2008 and the widebody Camaro from June 2010. “That [first] cover helped [Nokturnal] expand,” explains Chito, “especially on the East Coast.” At car shows, their presence is undeniable; all members tend to stick to a strict dress code of black khaki, suit-style shirt with the prominent marigold Nokturnal embroidery—Locs and L.A. Dodger fitted caps optional. Needless to say, when dozens of NOK members dressed in all black with a hint of gold are on the scene, their presence is felt before you even see their whips.
With their vehicles, Nokturnal’s goal is to stay ahead of the curve and always attempt something innovative. “We always look to be different and to do something that hasn’t been done before,” explains Chito. “Sometimes people like it and sometimes they don’t, but we have to keep trying new things.” Nokturnal’s original influence comes from the Southern California Lowrider scene, which, at least out West, is at the top of the food chain. “Our roots are in the Lowrider scene,” explains Chito. “Some of us come from mini-truckin’ backgrounds or custom new-schools, but we look at the Lowriders like the big brother.” Within their crew, O.G. members strive to be a positive influence and source of inspiration to new recruits, in hopes the newbies will one day have rides worthy of magazine covers and car-show podiums. “We want to motivate our new recruits to create top show cars,” says Chito. “And we just want to improve the whole scene in general.” And even though the club’s logo is a wolf howling at the moon, Chito affirms the howling is done by the cars exclusively, not the members. “We don’t need to run our mouths,” explains Chito. “We let our cars do all the talking.” With countless magazine covers, TV appearances and 20 total chapters, including seven in Southern California alone (and even one in Japan), Nokturnal clearly doesn’t need to say a damn thing.