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EL ABUELO



David Aguilar of Ilegales car club a native of Tijuana, Mexico has been into cars since his youth growing up in La Colonia of La Independencia. He explains how along with his brother and friends they would often purchase complete cars for as little as $50 for parts and use it to finish another, they would modify and drive them on the dirt roads, to local car shows or hangouts.


After coming to the United States in the early 60’s to further his education, his love for cars only continued to grow. He would go on to explain how he would find his 1935 Plymouth at a friend’s shop, and after many unsuccessful tries at purchasing it from the owner he found it on a classified ad years later placed by his friends brother who had purchased it. His plans to convert it to a taildragger would be a lengthy project. One that even his wife would surprise and contribute to the build by buying David a brand new 350 crate engine. He smiles when he says that the car wasn’t meant to be, but through his hard work and support from his family he was able to put money aside and build his dream car.


When asked what makes La Vuelta a successful event, he’s quick to state the people and the community. He states that the diversity in people that visit from all over the county, the variety in style of cars and music make it a special community event. David says that he’s noticed other communities trying to do the same, which is a positive thing because they see what the event has done for small businesses and the image of Barrio Logan.


David is quick to say that positive events such as this help to combat the negative stereotype of lowriders because it allows the children to see that anything is possible with hard work. That many of these colorful and unique cars take a lot of preparation, vision, dedication, and commitment from the owners. He loved seeing the kids take over the last cruise night, riding in their bikes down Logan Avenue to Chicano Park escorted by car clubs and SDPD because as he states they are the next generation.


Artwork by: Chikle

David always looks forward to Wednesday nights in the summer months to help him escape and unwind from his daily grind at the shipyard where he has worked for the past 44 yrs. With no plans to retire until he finishes his next project a 1950 Mercury which he calls his Lego project, you are sure to not only see David cruising or parked on the avenue. But chances are you will see him with his grand kids as his son Cisco a local DJ provides the soundtrack for the cruise night on the corner of Sampson and Logan in front of Salud. To him, there is no bigger joy then sharing his passion with his loved ones and friends.


From building a car that was never meant to be, to naming it El Abuelo in honor of his grand kids. David continues to leave a positive mark in the San Diego car scene, immortalized in art projects, magazines and respected by many. His smile and firm handshake not only welcomes you to our bi-weekly cruise nights but it invites you to enjoy the traditions and culture of Barrio Logan.

Artwork by: Ricardo Islas

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