The 2002 Scrapin’ Tour kicked off with a grade-A show at Miami, Florida’s Youth Fair and Expo Center this past January, an event that featured more than 500 vehicles representing the Lowrider Movement in the Southeastern United States in fine style. Showing many uniquely styled rides, the South Florida lowrider community rolled into the show with their own distinctive flavor. Miami has perfect cruising weather and at the show you could see many area car clubs displaying proudly. Special thanks go out to all of our vendors and sponsors who made this show such a success. The 2002 Scrapin’ Tour is sponsored by Gumout, Quaker State, Nitto Tire, Dayton Wire Wheels, ShowTime Hydraulics and Thump Records, all of whom are providing free giveaways to lucky winners at all 16 Tour events.
Florida car clubs like Rollin, Bottom Out, Envious Creations, So-Lo Creations, Low Impressions, Unique, Negative Camber, Sudden Impact, Second To None, No Limit, Latin Cruisers, Low Lyfe and many others made this Sunshine State lowrider gathering one to remember. Special awards were earned by Rollin C.C., led by Ernie “Grandpa” Villarejo, for Most Members and Envious Creations C.C. for Best Display. As the sport of lowriding continues to grow throughout the United States, several California-based clubs like Uso, Majestics and Individuals are making their presence known in the Southeast as their club plaques and colors are being displayed proudly by their newer Florida chapters.
Traditional lowriders are as popular as ever and we had one of the nation’s best examples in the house with Allen Lopez’ “Evil ’63” Chevy Impala. The reigning Lowrider of the Year was transported in for display only by LRM’s “Aztec Dos” transport trailer. Among those holding down that traditional lowrider style in Miami is Jason Unis, who is now leading Individuals C.C.’s Florida chapter. Jason showed his ’84 Cadillac with pride and won the Best Hydraulics special award. Roberto Medina’s ’81 Buick Regal from Second To None C.C. is also a stand-out Florida low-low and it earned the Best Engine award as well Second Place in the Car Sweepstakes.
The big winner of the day, however, was Los Angeles C.C.’s Jesus Ortega, who brought in his ’87 Chevy Monte Carlo, “Freak Show,” all of the way from Southern California to win Best Undercarriage, Best Murals, Best Individual Display and First Place Sweepstakes. Third Place in the Car Sweepstakes was captured by Uso C.C. member Mike Harrison for his ’88 Chevrolet Caprice, The Beast Within,” that features many wild modifications including beastly sculptures protruding from the rear of the car. Uso was also represented by Hiro’s ’38 Chevy and ’54 Chevy chop-top, and Mark Williams’ ’74 Cadillac Eldorado. Meanwhile, Kano Reyes rolled in his ’63 Buick LeSabre flying the Majestics placa, and Mitch Joseph, the president of So-Lo Creations, showed his fresh ’93 Fleetwood that capped off a row of clean vehicles from So-Lo.
Lowrider Euros were also abundant. First Place in the Euro Sweepstakes was won by Cesar Gonzales’ ’95 Honda from Bottom Out Car Club. Rollin C.C. also showed some real lowrider Euro styling with Anthony Gran’s juiced-up pearl white Honda Accord and Sergio Palafox’s ’98 Mercury Grand Marquis that sports green-flaked paint and murals. Mike Germain could not resist bringing out his super-sweet chameleon-skinned ’99 Accord that’s loaded with attitude. Coming down from New York City was Mike Leto’s ’92 Mitsubishi, which sported a very nice hydraulics setup.
Like the uniquely diverse communities that live in the Miami area, the hot rides that made up this showing of vehicles came in all different styles and sizes. If you were lucky enough to walk the entire fairgrounds you could take in all that the show had to offer. Outdoors, the show entrants lined up their fantastic vehicles for all to enjoy on this warm January day. Trucks and SUVs busted out hard here this year.
Juan Gonzales’ silver-flaked ’89 Ford Ranger from Unity C.C. won the First Place Truck Sweepstakes. Second Place was claimed by Rollin CC’s Luis “Gucci” Rivera for his outstanding ’99 Ford Expedition, and Third was captured by Jose Cruz’ ’94 Chevy Suburban. Other stand-out trucks and SUVs included Brian Brown’s juiced silver and black ’96 Chevy Tahoe with a Cadillac Escalade conversion, Damien Gonzalez’ air-bagged 2001 Tahoe, Alex Tatum’s 2000 Lincoln Navigator, Jorge Rodriguez’ Ford F150/Navigator and then there’s “G’d Up,” a ’94 Suburban that came in from San Benito, Texas, to represent Unique C.C.
With all that space in today’s trucks and SUVs, there is plenty of room for fantastic audio systems, outstanding examples of which were certainly prevalent here. Audio systems that merit special mention could be found in Freddie Alibiza’s ’93 Suburban, Joe Vaburdey’s 2000 Chevy Blazer, Bob Ford’s ’97 F150, Orlando Colon’s ’95 Nissan King Cab and John Aruricchio’s hot ’98 Navigator.
The thousands of spectators were also treated to an excellent display of custom hydraulics action (see separate coverage elsewhere in this issue), as well as sizzling stage entertainment that was capped off by the DJ Laz show which always ends up with some serious booty action. Laz was followed by the incredible LRM bikini and hardbody contestants who put on an unforgettable performance for all to enjoy.
Thanks to all who participated and once again made this annual event one of the best shows on the Tour. We’ll be anticipating another huge turnout on April 21 at Tampa’s Florida State Fairgrounds where we will again emerse ourselves into this one of a kind motorsport!
Hydro hoppers and dancers kick off the Scrapin’ Tour in high style!
If you plan to show off your hopping skills in Miami, Florida, you’d better come prepared because Miami is a tough town! The spectators at the first show of this year’s Scrapin’ Tour were out to have a fun time and knew the difference between hot and not so hot. The gente in south Florida are passionate about their hydraulics and expect to be impressed. Only one or two of the competitors weren’t quite ready and heard the crowd’s displeasure. The rest were right on the money and the crowd loved ’em.
The event got off to a slow start, however, with the competitors trying to get a handle on the new rules, published in the January issue of Lowrider. Frank Carralero from Red’s-Miami and Go-Lo rep Dave Withrow worked out the details and finally got things rolling. The crowd cheered Jerry Sweeney from West Palm Beach, Florida, who made up for the delay, sending his ’89 blue Mazda to a class-winning 61 in the Truck Hop class. The Double-Pump class saw Frank from Red’s battling his ’63 Chevy Impala against Justin Chuven’s silver Chevy wagon from CCE. Justin took it with 45 inches compared to Frank’s 39 inches.
Kenneth Sciacca was the second contender in the Luxury Hop, but only had to beat a score of zero since Alberto Garces’ gray ’78 Chevy Monte Carlo broke on the start. Ken’s “Who Built Yours?” ’85 Olds Cutlass posted a 31-inch leap to establish the lead. He held on for the win after Carlos Martinez was only able to launch his white ’83 Monte Carlo to 29 inches for Second Place.
Carlton Tucker was the only competitor in the Street Car Dance, but that didn’t change anything. He worked his ’84 Cutlass, “The Bermuda Triangle,” so hard that the car had the honor of leaving the field on a forklift, positive proof that Carleton wasn’t holding anything back. More high-flying performances occurred in the Street Truck Dance with Brian Gonzalez blasting his red, white and blue Chevy Blazer all over the infield, finally scoring a 12. Unfortunately, the toughest competitor in the class had Frank at the switches of the Wicked Wires Suzuki. The Red’s action was hot enough to destroy the right front wheel and earn Frank a 14, good enough for the class win. Even with the mangled front end, Frank adjusted the switches and drove off of the field as casually as if he were rollin’ on four.
In the Radical Car Dance, Myles Holcomb’s pink and yellow ’91 Geo Tracker from Hi-Low Hydraulics squared off against Bryan Gillespie’s ’81 Cutlass, boasting CCE Hydraulics and telltale creases in the rear quarter panels. The fans knew that Gillespie’s car has been around. Although Myles created plenty of action and scored a 10, Bryan flogged his Cutlass, breaking the driver side front wheel, destroying the fender and filling the car with smoke, proving that he was going for the gold. His score of 17 got his name on the winner’s list.
The announcer told the crowd that the new Radical Hop class had only one rule. And that was, “There are no rules!” Actually, there are a few, but nothing to get in the way of a crowd-pleasin’, sky-scrapin’ performance. The lowest number hit in the new class was a thoroughly respectable 56 inches by Richard Armenta’s ’94 Toyota. But it just got better. Bryan Gillespie’s bright orange ’91 Mazda pickup got the attention of the south Florida audience with a 60-inch hop, letting them know that this truly was an exciting new category. Steven Menendez’ beautiful blue ’88 Ford Ranger looked way too pretty to compete, but he quickly showed the crowd that he had done his homework. Stephen bounced the Blue Oval to 63 inches, good enough for Second Place.
But none of the competitors were a match for the combined experience of the next team. Frank Carralero drove the yellow Wicked Wires truck to the sticks and Efrain Lopez took the switches. Since Efrain had helped Frank put the truck together, Frank wanted him to be the first to hop the new truck in competition. Efrain did not disappoint, raising the bar to 76 inches for a resounding win in the Radical Hop! The tough Miami audience got what they came for, showing their approval with lots of noise and a standing ovation.
The first Hop of the new year was a great success and, with the battered cars and trucks pushed into the background, the fans crowded the stage waiting for the next round of entertainment. DJ Laz, the “Pimp with a Limp,” energized the Florida gente with his high-octane rap and high-energy dancers, followed by a no holds barred, Miami-style bikini and hardbody contest that became a true photo opportunity. About the time that most Kodak disposables were on melt down, Selah and “Marvin the Martian” captivated the crowd and took home the cash. Trophies and fat Sweepstakes checks wrapped up a perfect day, with many taking home permanent reminders of the fun at Miami’s Scrapin’ Tour kickoff show.