Houston, we have lift-off! The second trek of the year into the Lone Star State was just as exhilarating as the last Lowrider Magazine Evolution Tour event. Hoppers and dancers from the regional area, and even from as far away as Chicago, Illinois, made their way into H-town. A number of fierce competitors performed superb high-flying moves inside the main floor of the massive Reliant Arena.
The Shorty’s Hydraulics crew was in the house in full force with a team of vicious bouncing beasts. Soltero “Shorty” Villareal pulled out the big guns in his hometown. His son and switch man, John Vega, was able to pull an upset when he broke the Single-Pump Hop record in Dallas, Texas, just a few months prior. Would they be able to beat their own jump mark? John Vega pulled up to the sticks and amazingly leapt to a new world record height of 62 inches. We couldn’t have asked for a better way to kick off the hydraulic action.
The Truck Hop attracted two of the top Texas trucks. Gilbert Gasca from Bad Boyz Kustom Hydraulics was going head to head with Mr. Villarreal. The last performance of Gilbert’s ’82 Ford Ranger in “Big D” earned him the First Place win in the Truck Hop there, but due to technical difficulties, Gilbert had to sit this one out. Shorty’s ’92 Ranger sprung into action and collected another new world record with his 86-inch jump.
The Double-Pump Hop class never looked better. Sergio Lujan’s 60-inch championship record was the number to beat and we had two well-respected, high-hitting contenders who had their eyes on that honor. Victor Jimenez’ ’87 Chevy Monte Carlo punched in at 30 inches, but it just wasn’t enough to contend with the two Chevy Impalas that followed behind him. The pressure was on as Shorty rolled out his red deuce to the middle of the arena. Could he possibly capture a third new world record and beat Sergio’s notable jump that was set in Dallas? A few flicks of the switch sent the front end climbing to the top of the sticks. The ’62 hit an astonishing 65 inches and was crowned as the jefe in the Double-Pump class. Sergio Lujan’s baby blue “trey” put up a good fight but the day’s glory just wasn’t his. The World Class Suspension ’63 was only shy by 3 inches.
The intense and grueling hydro action didn’t cease there. It was on to the Radical Hop division. Jose Mireles was called out to be the first contestant to show his skills. Jose’s ‘90 Mazda soared to 86 inches, but Shorty wasn’t about to be outdone in this category either. His silver ’86 Mazda, dubbed “Skyscraper II,” was teetering on its rear wheels as it seized the class with an 89-inch hop. The owner was a bit disappointed that he didn’t introduce his back bumper to the Reliant concrete floor, but we’re sure that he’ll get his chance in San Antonio, Texas, inside of the Alamo Dome.
The gravity defying action makes the Car Dance a part of the show that you just can’t miss. The crowd cheered and was rowdy like never before. Ted Quintero’s black ’87 Monte, “Natural Born Killer,” from USA Motorsports gave the crowd just what they wanted. The CCE-equipped MC was bouncing nearly waist high and was quick to hit every move imaginable. Lolo’s green ’85 Olds Cutlass continued the thrashing and bashing, which had the hydro fanatics wanting to see more. “El Travieso” was outfitted with an arsenal of pumps from the Shorty’s Heavy Hitters line. John Vega was at the controls and he didn’t dare miss a beat. The decision for a winner in this dance-off wouldn’t be easy. They both shared the limelight with a 25 point score.
Gilbert Gasca’s ’86 Chevy S-10 kicked off the Truck Dance affair. The Bad Boyz Chevy mini-truck scored a remarkable 17 points, but Shorty was hot on his tail. Shorty’s ShowTime-equipped ’84 Chevy Blazer rocked the arena floor. “El Mero Mero” was moving every which possible and secured the First Place win with 19 points. In the Radical Dance, Carlton Tucker made the expedition to Houston from Chicago to dance his multi-colored ’86 Cutlass. Things were off to a good start, but unfortunately Carlton was disqualified after he was unable to keep the moves going. Johnny Soledad’s ’92 Toyota was reppin’ California Kustoms. Despite breaking hardware, Johnny kept the juice flowing and scored nine points. Myles Holcomb prevailed as the day’s Radical Dance winner with his candy red ’88 Mazda.
World records were conquered and the new reigning champions had every right to be proud of their day’s accomplishments. With all of the relentless competition on the circuit and the hoppers and dancers vying to be at the top of their game, we can only wonder if the records will be broken yet again at the next LRM Evolution Tour stop. If you didn’t get the opportunity to witness the chaos, you sure did miss one spectacular affair. Don’t fret, LRM’s mission is to bring the adrenaline-rushed action to you through these pages. Kick back, strap yourself into your Lazyboy and enjoy the sights before you.