Imperial Valley

The annual La Gente C.C. event is as impressive as ever.

In the wake of the tragic events of September 11, 2001, the Annual La Gente Super Show Nine scheduled for October 20 in Imperial, California, almost didn’t happen. La Gente C.C. president Antonio Camacho was finding out that not all of his car show sponsors were able to contribute funding as they had in the past because they were already exhausted from donations given to relief organizations and charities to help the victims of the New York City crisis.

However, with the country seeming to be at a standstill, officials with the Imperial Valley Expo graciously understood the reasoning behind the club’s decision to go ahead with their annual car show while the nation was still grieving. It was time to dig deep into the club members’ very own pockets, but they soon realized that they would need corporate assistance. So Antonio went back to plead with sponsors such as Alford Distributing Company, Budweiser, Caliber Screen Printing, La Fonda Restaurant, Pepsi and Univision, and in turn they dug deeper to help the club (which would have settled for a picnic) keep their tradition going and help “our nation’s healing efforts towards terrorist attacks.” So says the show’s announcement flyer.

The gates opened at 11 a.m. to 300 lowrider cars, trucks, bombs, imports and highly decorated bicycles sitting lower than a snake’s belly. At a time when the car show community needed something to cheer about, nearly 6,500 people walked through the gates to enjoy the event. At the end of the day, Orlando Ceballos’s ‘80 Cadillac Coupe de Ville (and September ’01 LRM cover car) was crowned Best Car, which meant “Game Over” for the competition. Frank Silva topped the truck field with his ’89 Chevy Blazer, while Joe Palacios’s ’52 Chevy was named Best Bomb and Angel Edwards earned the Best Euro prize for his ’89 Honda Accord.

Super Show Nine also included a Hop and Car Dance contest, which pitted mechanical wizards against one another to see who could hop the highest and put out the best hydraulic moves. In the Single-Pump competition, Pedro Coronado from Team Rudy Del Toro led the field with his ’86 Chevy Monte Carlo. Richard Sabala did the same in the Double-Pump class with his ’70 Chevy Caprice. The Truck Hop was divided into Single-Pump and Double-Pump classes, which were won by Frank Diaz and George Guzman, respectively. Scoring the most points in the Car Dance was Jose Lizarrosa, whose Buick Regal, “El Cachanilla,” came up from Mexicali, Mexico, to dazzle.

At one point the show was almost scratched off of the calendar because terrorists were trying to destroy our freedoms (which include attending car shows). So we give credit to La Gente C.C., whose members, while down in sadness, decided to lift the spirits of the Imperial Valley custom car community. Props also to Amigos, Aztlan, Bajitos Del Valle, Blvd. Knights, The Crowd, Cybertron, Del Valle, Desert Dreams, Finest, Groupe, Imperials, Latino Classics, Mi Vida, New Illusions, Oldies, Pharaohs, Realistics, Revolution, Rostros, Street FX, Street Style, Southwest Stylez, Supremes, Touch Of Class, Unidos, Uniques and Viejitos Car Clubs for coming out with their finest rides and showing their support. It’s true for lowriders just like the nation at large that united we stand.