Story by: Jonathan Millstein
Photography by: Andrew Link
Back in 2001, the St. Lunatics dropped “Midwest Swing” and proclaimed, “It’s a Midwest thang, y’all, and they ain’t got a clue.” While back then the rest of America may not have been clued into car culture in the Midwest—and would remain in the dark for another decade—Xplizit Car Club out of Orange County, California, would eventually take note, forming their Midwest chapter in 2011.
Having made a name for themselves on the West Coast, launching in 2009, club president Juan “Diablo” Resendiz reached out to Ernesto Silva (main elite council in charge of Xplizit Midwest, East and South) about expanding to middle America. “I received a call from the car club president [Diablo],” says Ernesto. “He told me all I needed to know about the club, and from there we started the Milwaukee, Wisconsin, chapter.”
The Midwest chapter has since expanded beyond Wisconsin to Illinois, Michigan, Missouri and Indiana, and it boasts more than 60 members. “Potential members inquire about membership, or a recruiting member from one of the chapters may approach them and extend an invitation to sit in on a meeting,” says Ernesto. While members certainly have to mesh with one another, you get a very different sense when it comes to the cars, as Donks rest next to imports next to old-schools next to trucks. All makes and models are welcome, “as long as they have their unique touch. The more mods the vehicle has, the better,” says Ernesto.
In just three short years, the chapter has grown into a force to be reckoned with. “We have been recognized in the custom scene as the number-one club in the Midwest for the last two years,” says Ernesto. And for those still sleeping on the Midwest, that’s no easy feat. “The custom scene in the Midwest is not easy,” adds Ernesto. “It’s getting harder every year, and more custom vehicles are coming out killing the scene.” Take, for instance, Ernesto’s T-Top Camaro, which graced the cover of RIDES back in March/April 2012.
From Cali to the Midwest, Xplizit Car Club has put the heart of America on the custom-car culture map and, with that, put the rest of the states on notice.