There was excitement in the air. It’s always like that just before the kickoff of the new Lowrider show season in Miami, Florida. One of the largest concentrations of lowrider enthusiasts this side of Southern California, the gente in South Florida look forward to starting the new year right. And, participating in Lowrider Magazine’s 25th Anniversary Pura Plata Tour was the way to guarantee a great start in 2001. Drivers from around the Sunshine State and from around the Southeast converged on Miami’s Fair Expo Center for the first and hottest show of the new season.

Florida merchants and body shops knew well in advance that something was going on. Custom suspension and hydraulics shops had to put on additional personnel to handle the need for radical new setups. Stereo shops were scrambling to install the loudest and the coolest new systems as the mid-January deadline approached. Custom painters worked long hours to ensure their latest creations dazzled the eye with the newest shades before showtime. Graphic artists and muralists labored feverishly over the most imaginative designs so that drivers could be ready for their grand unveiling at Miami. Backyards and garages around the state saw similar feverish activity as everyone burned the midnight oil getting their rides ready for the big show.

In typical fashion, the weather in Miami was marvelous. Record numbers of spectators and entrants came to party with the Lowrider staff for the weekend. Huge indoor displays of some of the South’s finest vehicles, matched by an equally huge collection outdoors gave the crowd lots to see and enjoy. The DJs were jammin’ from the moment that the gates opened at 10 a.m. ’til the show ended at 4 p.m. Spectators enjoyed the excitement of the Car and Truck Hop/Dance, with the switchmen showing a crowd pleasin’ “death and destruction” approach to hydraulics entertainment. When the carnage was complete, the emphasis shifted to the sexy sounds of Genuine Soul, the musical energy of the Iconz, and the provocative enthusiasm from Trina of Slip ‘N’ Slide records. The bikini and hard body contests kept the crowd’s intensity high.

Also in typical fashion was the great collection of Euros that always turn out for the Miami event. Unique air bag installations were everywhere, from three-wheelin’ bagged Honda Accords to air systems displayed in the trunk like the finest traditional hydraulic setups. Stereos were just as wild with elaborate trunk-mounted systems soundin’ great and rakin’ in the SQ points. Cleaner and faster, lower and louder, seemed to be the guiding elements for this year’s batch of trend-setting Euros. Check out the photos and you’ll see what we mean. Also check out the next fun stop on the Florida scene when Lowrider returns in April to the Tampa Fairgrounds. Polish ’em up and get ready to show. We’ll be lookin’ for ya!

Meanwhile, back in “Berdoo,” or should we say San Bernardino, California, lowriders from throughout the Southland tested the elements during a busy storm season on the West Coast. There were some serious storms looming throughout the previous week and had many of the staff wondering if it would be a rainout. The show had already been postponed from the month before and the make-up date was looking shaky just two days before the weekend. By all accounts, the show was still on as cars moved in on Saturday, the majority being placed indoors. The skies actually parted for a bit but the clouds still looked as though it might be coming down any minute.

Somehow though, the rain never really came as hundreds of custom rides streamed in for the outdoor portion of the show on Sunday morning. Cars like B.J. Marageno’s 2000 Honda Civic with its slammin’ good looks and killer hi-fi sounds were ready to rock that day. B.J. was pretty excited when we told him that we were interested in photographing his Civic for an upcoming issue. Another great find was Fortino Reynoso’s burgundy ’95 Accord that was done to the gills with hot wheels and cool suspension mods to boot. Hey, while we’re at it, we might as well mention who won in the top spots, right? Ronnie Payan of Pharaohs C.C. took the Euro/Sports Car Sweepstakes with his impressive ’89 Nissan Sentra, “Sabor A Mi,” which has been totally redone. The last time that we saw the car it was a different color and had less details. Keep an eye out for this awesome ride on the show circuit as we head out for Dallas, Texas, and points further east as the Anniversary Tour continues to pick up steam!