Story: Evan “Evo” Yates
Photography: Pepper Yandell
Although it may seem like a distant memory, MySpace kick-started the social media era in which we’re all immersed today. Back in the beginning of the social media days last decade, MySpace was earth’s most popular social-networking site. MySpace was a fitting tool for gauging one’s online popularity, but more importantly, for making connections. And while there were plenty of creepy model-harassing stalkers clogging up the site, there were some legit connections being established—like businesses and, in at least one case, a car club.
So says club founder Beto, at least. “I started getting to know the guys through MySpace and talking to them about opening a [Swift] chapter in Texas, because the car game in Texas needed it.” At the beginning there were just two members: Beto, and Neto of Tyler, Texas. But after an impressive showing at a large car show in June 2010, Swift members from California reached out to help the Lone Star crew make it official. “After Cali came down, we had enough people recruited to start our first chapter, which was based in Houston,” says Beto. Like any crew’s hunt for popularity, a car club is no different, as it needs standout vehicles to garner major attention before people in the game will take it seriously. The crew found its two initial heavyweights in a pair of blue beasts, both of which were featured in RIDES (Mar/Apr 2011). “The most famous rides were Eder’s H30 [Hummer H2 bagged on 30s] and Paco’s LS7 [800hp Silverado],” says Beto. “Those two changed the path for the club.” After hundreds of thousands of views on YouTube, magazine features and a prime location on the 2011 SEMA floor, the H2 and Silverado succeeded in officially securing Swift Texas’ position on the map. Additional help came in from a heavy social-media push by club members. They’ve had vehicles featured on CMT’s Trick My Truck and Speed Channel’s My Ride Rules. In addition to the fanfare, the club also achieved tangible honors at Texas car shows, including the popular Texas Heat Wave, where they were awarded “Best Club.”
The low point for the Tejas team was when club member Joseph B. tragically passed away, ultimately sending a tremor of disbelief—not only through the crew but through the entire car show scene. “That really shocked the club,” says Beto. “He was a really good person and member, and he was always putting in work, so it was very sad when he left us.” But the group came through the loss, and now the club is thriving, with more than 75 active members from across the state—including crews in Houston, Dallas/Forth Worth, West Texas, San Antonio, Austin, Corpus Christi and Eagle Pass. “We’re trying to cover the entire state, from east to west, north to south,” says Beto. With all its accomplishments, the goal for the Lone Star squad now is to grow and dominate the state and surrounding areas—an impressive goal, given the size of their home turf. Beto concludes, “We just want to keep the club alive, stay on top and keep winning!”