Ortiz never really wanted to join a car club, even though people implored him to do so. The first car club he attended was in a Walmart parking lot for a fundraiser for Hobbs Elementary School in Grand Prairie back in 2009, and Big Blue took second place.
“I liked [the car shows] because when the Cowboys weren’t playing in the off-season, that was our season,” Ortiz explains. “We got to showcase the rides.”
Raymond and his brothers, Val and Rudy, collaborated with Raymond’s brother-in-law, Jose Saldavar, to form Cowboys Life Car Club. The founding three cars were Raymond’s Big Blue his wife Elizde’s Da Playmaker and another vehicle called Ring of Honor Their first official tailgate was at Cowboys Stadium in 2009 during the San Diego preseason encounter.
Jose Saldavar is the “brains” of the operation, and he owns the Dynasty truck. He registered the name “Cowboys Life Car Club” in December 2009 and currently serves as the club’s president, organizing an 18-car show tour each every off-season, spanning from Oklahoma City to San Antonio, in addition to the ancillary appearances and events.
Unlike other car clubs that are finicky with their rides, Cowboys Life takes a radical approach. They encourage onlookers to touch and sit inside their vehicles. Up to 5,000 people will sit inside Ortiz’s Big Blue during game day tailgates.
“We’re different. We let people get in them, sit in them,” Ortiz expounds. “They get to enjoy it because they may never have nothing like what we have. And like I said: we’ve been blessed to have it.”
President Jose isn’t as open as he used to be; vigilance has prevailed since an absconder swiped his iPhone. Nonetheless, his heart is still in line with sharing the wealth.
“We encourage to where we allow the kids to get in for photo ops,” President Jose adds.
Tom Landry said the three important things in life were God, family, and football. Cowboys Life holds true to that with their family inclusion and participation. The wives and the children travel with the cars to all of the events.