Portland, Oregon, and the great Pacific Northwest has always produced some tight rides and this year’s parade of high-dollar hardtops and convertibles at this year’s Lowrider Magazine Legends Tour stop at the Portland Expo Center had a lot of people talking. In addition to scores of slick radical rides, the Portland event featured a spectacular hydraulics display and performing artists who received screams and chants from the crowd.

Let’s be somewhat real here, in order to put on a national tour like this, an organization needs sponsors like Quaker State, Nitto Tires, Black Magic, Player Wire Wheels, Exide Orbital Batteries and CCE Hydraulics to help pay the freight. We’re talking about first-class airline tickets, limousines, presidential hotel suites for the staff and Hollywood-style catering in addition to an entourage of beautiful ladies. Basically, the Editorial staff has to be pampered to do their job! Yeah, we’d like to think that we’re nice and fat here at Lowrider, but that’s not really how the real world works; it’s taxicabs and nutrition bars for breakfast, lunch and dinner… at least for some staffers.

Like a symphony maestro, Go-Lo Entertainment’s chief of staff Mike Karsting carefully directs all aspects of the show, strategically placing top cars in their “pay-to-play” 20×20-square-foot show spaces. This show was different from the rest because a lot was riding on crafted modifications and Sweepstakes points, and the Quaker State representative was there to pin points on the chests of heavy hitters who make as many shows as possible. Let us clarify this Quaker State Cup jargon in plain English: whoever has the most overall points at the end of the Tour earns $10,000 (they’ll even wave ’em in your face) as the grand prize at the Las Vegas, Nevada, Super Show this October. But don’t take our word for it, check the 2003 rulebook for even more details. All we know is that whoever wins will have one wild party that night!

Let’s do it this way and run down the seven Sweepstakes classes! We’re going to call out the top winners of the day because everybody wants to know who the winners are at the end of the show. In the Car class at trophy time, from First through Third, were Alejandro Vega, Gary Entwistle and Kim Lookman. Kim’s ’63 Chevy Impala convertible featured a cool clear hood and trunk. That see-through modification was cool, but it made the judges bump it right out of the Traditional class and into the bottom-end of the Radical class. Let’s just say that Kim wasn’t happy losing, but it was his first competitive show. Sometimes you live and learn. Next up to grab a trophy and some loot were the Euro/Sports Car guys. Uso (now Uce) Car Club always cheers loud for anyone in their camp and Mark Pyle (among others) received cheers for his First Place finish. “Chopper” McCain in Second and new guy David Corento in Third rounded out the category.

The Truck class also includes Chevy Blazers, too. Uso yelled again for their man Steve Cates and Royal Image C.C. got the chance to take pictures of Erik Lofgren in Second Place. Okay, guys, smile for the camera and that includes Arnolfo Sandoval with a bad Blazer. After those guys walked off, the next guys up for pictures in the Traditional Lowrider Class were Anthony Fuentes from SouthSide C.C.., Bobby Mac from Showtime and Robert Jimenez from the Individuals.

It’s tough to break down the classes any further, but Go-Lo manages to serve everybody and one class implemented recently is the Original ’69 and Below Sweepstakes class. Eric Wisterman placed First in this new class with a clean ’63 Impala, while John Ortiz scored enough points for Second and Scott King, Jr. came up in Third. One guy who had our ear was Joe Phillips, who let us know that he’d like to be acknowledged a little more in the magazine and he has a point. It seems that we left him out of some show coverage this year so we’ll satisfy him this time since he drove a long way. Joe took First Place in the Bomb class, while Frank Sanchez was the underdog in Second. Joe did mention that he was nervous because Frank showed up with more tricks on his ’50 Chevy Fleetline. In for Third was Jaime Esquivel with an eye-catching candy-orange ’37 Chevy. Last but not least were the Bomb Truck dudes. Two bomb truckers made the grade; one a Ford and one a Chevy. Stan Scott placed First with a ’51 Ford and Mrs. Melanie Kine got a trophy for her Second Place ’49 Chevy.

Oh man, there was lots of action at this show with Angelina and Lil’ Rob rocking the house and, of course, the many pretty girls that Lowrider shows are highly known for. As for the Legends Tour, it keeps on making legends and if you want to know who’s going to win big at this year’s Super Show, be in Vegas on October 5th at the Cashman Field Center. You’ll never regret it because Lowrider’s back and coming on strong!