The 2008 Lowrider Tour began on a positive note with a sell-out at the first show stop of the year at the Arizona State Fairgrounds. The Southwest is always a hot spot for Lowrider Magazine, especially since hydraulics are legal in these parts. The early March weather in Arizona was perfect for the indoor/outdoor event, which was sponsored by Phearless Records and UTI. This year’s Phoenix show set another attendance record with more than 20,000 spectators rolling through the gates to check out more than 500 of the sport’s top rides.

The show grounds were packed to the fullest and there was no wasted space at the venue. The cars came from all over as everyone was ready to start off the year in full force. The “big three” car clubs were in the house. Majestics C.C. rolled deep with an impressive lineup and received the Most Members recognition. Rollerz Only C.C. was doing its thing and Uce C.C. had most of its Southwest chapters representing.

Klique C.C. likewise had most of its chapters on hand to support the event, while Los Angeles C.C. made a guest appearance and brought out a few rides. Stylistics C.C. looked good inside of the hall with some of the club’s latest vehicles, while Society C.C. had a few rides on display, including a recently finished ’65 Chevy Impala convertible.

The indoor section at Phoenix featured some of this year’s top contenders. On hand were Chris Roark of Vacaville, California, who brought his custom ’58 Impala. Among the Majestics C.C. contingent was Spike’s custom Olds Cutlass hopper which received much attention throughout the day. Rollerz Only had its top dogs lined up as Gene Bare’s Chevy Bel Air, “Inferno,” kept it hot, the “Rollin’ Malo” Chevy Monte Carlo showed us why it’s a bad ride, and Orlando Ceballos’ Cadillac Coupe DeVille, “Game Over,” made it just that for the competition, taking the Best in Show trophy.

Meanwhile, Los Angeles C.C. made a strong showing at Phoenix. In fact, Javier Gomez’s ’64 Impala placed third in the Best of Show running. Stylistics C.C. showed strong and busted out a new ’65 Impala that sported design graphics by George. “Bugs” of Bugs Auto Art showed a few custom painted vehicles, including Samson Ramirez’ “Tecato ’66.” Another ’66 Impala on hand was former LRM cover car “Rug Burns,” owned by local Steve Schmitz.

The perfect weather encouraged people to come out to see the cars and stars, as well as the goods for sale. Up front on vendors row, Phearless Records was doing its thing. If you “Wanted” clothing, the Wanted booth had a few new styles for you. There were hydraulics on display at the More Bounce booth, but if you wanted to learn how to work on cars you could stop by the UTI trailer and get some information on their prestigious automotive school program.

The concert featured the Phearless Records crew, including “Big Spanky,” performing their latest jams. MC Magic and Sophia Maria also delivered for the packed house, as did Mr. Capone. Gemini opened for Lil’ Rob, who tore it up for his Phoenix fans. Rob ran through some of his classics like “Summer Nights,” “Super Bad,” “Playground” and “Bring The Freak In You” to the delight of the Arizona audience.

All in all, the Phoenix Tour stop was a good way to start off the year. From here, we head out to Tampa, Florida. We hope to see you at a 2008 Lowrider Tour stop. Remember what they say, there ain’t no party like a lowrider party.

Phoenix WinnersBest Car of ShowFirst-Orlando Ceballos, ‘80 Cadillac Coupe DeVilleSecond-Roger Chaurhry, ’79 Chevy Monte CarloThird-Javier Gomez, ’64 Chevy Impala

Best Traditional LowriderFirst-Faustino Flores, ’58 Chevy ImpalaSecond-Chris Roark, ’58 Chevy ImpalaThird-Cleto Sanchez, ’61 Chevy Impala

Best Original ’69 & BelowFirst-Rex and Naomi Weeks, ‘57 Chevy Bel AirSecond-Steve and Julia Trevino, ’60 Chevy ImpalaThird-Salvador Mendez, ’37 Cadillac

Best TruckFirst-Mark Barbee, ’63 ChevySecond-Alfred Carr, ’46 FordThird-Nasario Bastida, ’54 Chevy

Best BombFirst-Gene Bare, ’51 ChevySecond-Emmanuel Castro, ’37 PlymouthThird-Cesar Rodriguez, ’48 Chevy

Best Custom Compact First-Manny Ceja, VolkswagenSecond-Adrian Leija, ’88 Nissan Sentra

Best BicycleFirst-Sebastian PazSecond-Tomas DrausThird-Anthony Rodriguez

Best TrikeFirst-Brian StahlerSecond-Xavier RojasThird-Mark Durgin

Lowrider Excellence AwardFaustino Flores, ’58 Chevy Impala