The Pharaohs Car Club of Fowler was founded in 1957 by a small group of Fowler High School seniors and recent graduates who shared an interest in classic and vintage cars. Its purpose was to promote fellowship among members, encourage driver safety, and to promote musical productions, car washes, and other events for charitable causes – including the Muscular Dystrophy Foundation, March of Dimes, and Fowler Hospital. Fowler Police Officer Bill Gonsalves and Fowler High School Auto Shop Teacher Al Leal served as Sponsors/Advisors.
The Club’s name – The Pharaohs – was unique when adopted in 1957. However, in 1973 the legendary film “American Graffiti” was released to widespread popularity and critical acclaim. Its stars included Richard Dreyfuss, Ron Howard, Harrison Ford, Mackenzie Phillips, and Cindy Williams. It was written and directed by George Lucas, and the plot was influenced by Lucas’ own teenage years in the early 1960’s in Modesto, located only 100 miles north of Fowler. The car club featured in American Graffiti was named the “Pharaohs” and Bo Hopkins played the role of its leader, “Joe the Pharaoh.” Because of the popularity of “American Graffiti” many car clubs formed thereafter adopted “The Pharaohs” as their name. An interesting note here is that there has always been an issue with the spelling of “Pharaohs”. In the movie it is spelled correctly if you look closely at the club jackets being worn. However, there are some plaques being sold at car shows with a Bo Hopkins cast signature (inside of a car outline) which has the name is spelled incorrectly – Pharoahs – and yet another version (no car this time!) which has the correct spelling! One version is a race horse, the other a car club!