The only East Coast Lowrider Tour stop of the year at Tampa’s Florida State Fairgrounds was a big success. The show sponsored by UTI and Phearless Records went off without a glitch. The show featured about 300 of the East Coast’s cleanest rides, all coming out to show and shine on that sunny Spring weekend.

It was good getting out to the East Coast, especially after an almost 12-hour trip from California. Many lowriders have had trouble of one kind or another getting out to the Tampa show in the past, but few have had as bad a time as Perry Bunker of Obsession Car Club did this year. He was telling us about a near fatal accident where someone hit the trailer that was transporting his brother’s ’77 Chevy Monte Carlo. Luckily, no one was hurt, except for the vehicle, which rolled and had to be written off as a complete loss.

With around 300 East Coast rides in the house, the people of Tampa had plenty to check out at the show. The indoor/outdoor event had people coming in from all over to display their vehicles and be a part of the event. The people lined up early Saturday morning to try to get the best placement as the two main halls were packed with custom cars. This year, most of the top cars had merged or joined a car club, making it more difficult to single out just one clean car.

The attitude was positive as the lowriders in attendance showed us that the Movement is alive and well. We met people who asked for more venues and more coverage support from LRM. Hey, we’re doing what we can. With vehicles like the ones at the show, Florida-based freelancers Phil Gordon and Tyson Robertson will be staying busy putting it down for the East Coast.

Clubs showing strong in Tampa included 25th Street Riders, Rollin’, La Poblada, Loyalty, Obsession, Low Lyfe, Lay Low, Boulevard Aces, Living It Up, Majestics, Rollerz Only and Uce. The Rollerz Only lineup caught our attention as the Rollerz had Isidro Juarez’ ’50 Chevy truck on full display, which was trying to qualify early in the year for that Lowrider of the Year title.

The main hall had several nice rides. Majestics C.C. kept it traditional with their lineup. Loyalty C.C. had Abe’s ’85 Olds Cutlass showing it all. Even though Obsession C.C. had lost that Monte on the way down to the show, the club still looked good with Art’s ’64 Chevy Impala serving as their flagship. 25th Street Riders held their own with some immaculate trunks combining hydraulics and sound systems. Uce C.C.-Florida had a few strong vehicles, including some Cadillacs and a radical Ford Ranger that battled it out for top honors in the Truck class.

There were a few rides outside that rolled in from all over Florida, especially the Miami area, to support the event with custom paint jobs and booming sound systems. There was a mixture of rides outside, including donks, trucks and lowriders. We spotted a few donks that were up to par with the lowriders. All that they needed was a set of 13- or 14-inch wire wheels to stand up against most of the West Coast lowriders.

The bike section of the show had two- and three-wheelers that were enjoyed by the kids and parents alike. The halls had a little bit for everyone, from the vendors selling their wares to the Lowrider Subscriptions booth where we were giving away complementary shirts with a renewal or the sign up of a new subscription. The Phearless Records stage featured live performances from “Hurricane Chris” and Trina.

In a nutshell, this year’s Tampa Tour stop witnessed a strong East Coast showing that demonstrated to the industry that lowriding is still alive and strong, supporting the statements of encouragement that we heard all day Saturday and Sunday. Keep up the good work and we’ll see what more we can do to support the East Coast in the future. In the meantime, we’ll catch you at the next Tour stop.

Tops In TampaBest Car of ShowFirst-Abe Lopez, ’85 Olds CutlassSecond-Augustin Cruz, ’82 Buick RegalThird-Eulio Perez, ’86 Buick Regal

Best Traditional LowriderFirst-Luis Aviles, ’69 Chevy Impala

Best Original ’69 & BelowFirst-Jesse Hopkins, ’64 Chevy ImpalaSecond-Daniel Estrada, ’50 Chevy DeluxeThird-Junior Moyeda, ’62 Chevy Impala

Best TruckFirst-Isidro Juarez, ’50 ChevySecond-Juan Gonzalez, ’89 Ford RangerThird-Arturo Fuentes, ’99 Ford

Best Custom CompactFirst-Benny Saenz, ’99 Honda CivicSecond-Manny Amader, ’02 LexusThird-Alex Egozcue, ’02 Honda

Best BicycleFirst-Mike LinvilleSecond-Dagoberto DuranThird-R.J. Cantu

Best TrikeFirst-Alex QuinonezSecond-Ryan RoachThird-Jerry Willmann

Lowrider Excellence AwardAbe Lopez, ’85 Olds Cutlass