The Portland Expo Center played host to this year’s Lowrider Magazine Tour hop sponsored by CCE Hydraulics. This hydraulics event was important as everyone was scrambling to try to qualify for the Las Vegas Super Show Hop. There were already more than 30 vehicles qualified for the Super Show at the time of the Portland show, so you know that the competition was intense.
A total of 21 competitors came to give their all at the indoor hop. There were local guys looking to represent their hometown as well as guys who came up from California to try one last time at qualifying for Vegas. The Single-Pump Hop turned into a battle between two competitors. Shayne Atterton and his ’87 Olds Cutlass hopped against David Marquez and his ’64 Chevy Impala. The result was a win for David, whose ’64 appropriately hopped 64 inches.
The competition was stiffer in the Double-Pump Hop, where six guys tried their luck. As it turned out, there was a two-way tie for Second Place as Teresa Vasquez’ ’84 Buick Regal and Mike Lane’s ’83 Cutlass each topped out at 54 inches. They were well behind David Marquez, who murdered the competition by killing the back bumper of his ’81 Cutlass and hopping 76 inches to equal his current record that people are looking to beat at the Super Show.
Jorge Guzman’s ’89 Toyota and Michael Gartner’s ’84 Chevy S-10 Blazer battled it out in the Truck Hop. Jorge hopped first and his Toyota did well as it started to climb, but then the battery rack broke and the power just shut down, only allowing the truck to hop 64 inches. That turned out to be good enough, though, when Michael’s candy red Blazer was only able to deliver 55 inches, ensuring Second Place for the local hopper. It looks like Jorge will be heading to Vegas to hop in the Truck class.
There was another battle in the Radical Hop with five guys all trying to emerge victorious. Placing Third was Cesar Castro with his ’85 Regal, which hopped 48 inches in the anything goes class. Coming in Second was Jorge Guzman with his ’86 Mazda at 58 inches. Winning this hard-fought class was Israel Vasquez with his ’79 Chevy Malibu wagon. This “grocery getter” proved that it had multiple uses by hopping 71 inches.
The Portland Hop had it all, including the first ever limo car dancer. The crowd went wild as Brandy Jenda’s Lincoln limo performed all of the required moves in the Street Car Dance. The huge “land boat” looked like it was floating on water, and scored six points out of a possible 30. The next competitor was disqualified (better luck next time), which left the door open for Troy Struzan and his ‘80 Regal. Unfortunately for Troy, he wasn’t able to beat the crowd favorite, the dancing limo, which is also for hire for those special moments.
William Villegas was the lone competitor in the Street Truck Dance, but he still had to give it his all in trying to qualify for the Super Show. William hit most of the moves with his ’84 Chevy El Camino and scored nine points; enough for a win, but not enough to qualify for Vegas. William also had the Radical Dance class all to himself. After starting off with the El Camino, his team tried its luck with an ’84 Regal. William was able to keep the car operating well through the required time period, scoring 22 points to ensure a win, but most importantly, gaining an invitation to the Super Show in Las Vegas.
This season came and went in the blink of an eye, and at the close of the Portland show we couldn’t believe that it was over already. Well, there’s still the grand finale in “Sin City” to look forward to. We’ll see who Lady Luck smiles on in Vegas.