Exclusive Report & Interview with Orlies Lowriding Magazine founder Orlie Coca
Story by: C.A. © 8/20/2010
Photos: Josh Grajeda
A common question asked by many in the lowriding community is: "What ever happened to Orlie?"
Well, we figured it be a good idea to shed some light on this big mystery. We learned that Orlie Coca was indeed alive and living comfortably in Phoenix, Arizona where he currently owns and operates a hydraulics and vintage car parts shop.
When seeking facts, there's nothing closer to the truth than meeting face to face so we decided to visit Orlie in person. Upon meeting with Orlie at his remarkable looking ORLIES HYDRAULICS & CHEVY ACCESSORIES shop, we were quite impressed with the shops detail. Orlie's shop features an excellent collection of flawlessly restored Chevy Bel Air classics and a wall covered with memorable lowriding photos that reveal a classic timeline of Lowriding history from coast to coast.
We are pleased to present our sites visitor’s with this never published report and exclusive interview with Orlie Coca himself.
THE GODFATHER OF HYDRAULICS
Orlie's life in lowriding all began in 1978 at Bellflower, California where he and hydraulic veterans, Pump Man Eddie, Traveling Tony Parker, Wayne "BIG HAUNCHO" Day, and others began to experiment with the powerful functions of lowrider hydraulics. Orlie would then organize car- hopping contests which was one of Orlies true passions. This activity would inspire Orlie to begin his very own brand of car hydraulics. His experience in car hopping eventually eared Orlie recognition as the "Godfather of Hydraulics”. Orlies hydraulics business thrived, scaling in the millions of dollars. Orlie's Hydraulics grew to become a force to be reckoned with, but trouble would soon loomed in the horizon.
A KINGS RANSOM
Orlie's great success would ultimately arouse the envy of haters who would later kidnap and hold him ransom. Orlie outlived the ordeal but learned one valuable lesson. No matter how much a man lends a helping hand, there will always be a flunky or two ready to interrupt progress. This tribulation had instilled fear into the lives of the Coca family, a dread that would prompt Orlie to close his hydraulics shop and move to New Mexico.
THE ORLIE COCA & ALBERTO LOPEZ CONNECTION
Before moving to New Mexico, Orlie revealed his plans of starting a lowriding magazine to Alberto Lopez, friend and founder of Lowrider Magazine. Lopez had not yet thought of the concept of creating a magazine that focuses on lowriders and thought Orlie was on to something really big.
Lopez would eventually beat Orlie to the punch and release the first lowrider-based magazine in American history. Orlie believes that his idea to begin a lowriding publication may have inspired Lopez to create what is now notoriously known as Lowrider Magazine. As the years passed, Orlie Coca and Alfredo Lopez remained good friends and would scratch each other's backs by joint venturing.
ORLIE'S LOWRIDING MAGAZINE UNLEASHED
Orlie released his very first issue of Orlie's Lowriding Magazine on the fall of 1991 with the help of family members Lupe Coca, Art Coca and Sandy Coca. Orlie's Lowriding Magazine became an instant best seller, covering shows across the United States and even Mexico. Orlie's Lowriding Magazine would include photos of not only lowriders and bombs, but motorcycles, mini-trucks, euro's and even 4x4 trucks. Orlie's Lowriding Magazine was a true "peoples publication" , thus winning the hearts of thousands.
OLM MEETS ITS END
After publishing numerous OLM issues throughout the 1990's, Orlie grew ill and could no longer endure the stress of travel and publication. He was left with no other option but to sell his much-loved Orlies Lowriding Magazine. The magazines new owners would in due course, run the magazine to the grown and cause a sad ending to Orlies Lowriding Magazine.
CAN'T KEEP A GOOD MAN DOWN
Many who know Orlie affirm that he's never been a quitter. Orlie is here and plans to take lowrider hydraulics to a whole new level. ORLIES HYDRAULICS & CHEVY ACCESSORIES is expected to present the lowriding community with a grand opening so pay the Godfather a visit and thank him for the happiness he brought us with his legendary Orlies Lowriding Magazine.
Orlies Exclusive Interview
Interviewed by Josh Grajeda
© Convicted Artist.com
C.A.: When was the first time encountering the concept of installing hydraulics to a lowrider?
Orlie: I began hopping in 1978 with Pump Man Eddie, the Traveling Tony Parker, White Boy Chuck, Wayne "BIG HAUNCHO" Day, Andre Jackson, and Tony Bogart. In the 1970's and 80's there was a man named Auto Step and Andy from Andy's Hydraulics. Both were white guys who owned radical lowriders with piston pumps. During those times people would laugh at piston pumps. Hugh Stillman, Steven Miller from Lowrider Hydraulics, Raul's and Andy's and myself were all competitors. Business was 100% and everyone was making money. Then Along came the greed and that's when lowrider hydraulics went down the drain.
C.A.: How and when did you get into the lowrider movement?
Orlies: In July 1978 in Bellflower, California. Before you knew it, I had 8 stores in the area that grew into a multimillion dollar business.
C.A.: What are you perceptions of being referred to as "The Godfather" of hydraulics, the first to ever mass produce hydraulics for lowriders?
Orlies: It feels good to have started something positive. I used to organize park hopping contests and shows. Lady's and cars is what's up. Acts don't do justice for lowriders.
C.A.: What gave you the drive to start Orlies Lowriding Magazine?
Orlies: Being kidnapped in California was the reason I decided to move to New Mexico and started Orlies Lowriding Magazine. I thought it was the best thing to do.
C.A.: What are your views regarding negative opinions some cops have of lowriders?
Orlies: Many cops no longer view lowridering as illegal. Cops are only targeting the fools.
C.A.: Now that we are in 2010, what are your views on the condition of today's lowrider lifestyle?
Orlies: I have been doing this for years. Lowriding is and up and down thing. The economy is always changing and things are not always up.
C.A.: After you experiences in Los Angeles and New Mexico, why did you decide to move to Arizona?
Orlies: I always had a store here in Arizona and would come to leave supplies. I ended up buying some property and staying here.
ConvictedArtist.com would like to thank Orlie Coca for allowing us the honor of conducting this exclusive interview and for sharing details about his personal life. We hope that this story serves as a great reference source for anyone researching the life of Orlie Coca or the lowrider culture.
Very first Orlies Lowriding Magazine Vol.1 Winter 1992