Haven’t placed in the hop or dance for Vegas? Unfortunately Portland was your last hope-a place you come to for that final chance to hop or dance in Vegas. The hoppers and dancers in Portland were there to either make it or make sure they didn’t get bumped out of contention for Vegas. What ensued was a flurry of car parts, fried solenoids, and a couple of smashed dreams.
The Street Class caters to local hoppers who want to compete for cash and bragging rights in the ‘hood. It’s a “come with what ya brung” class and a “smashing back bumper until it bleeds” event. Viela Guay took the switch from his ’63 Impala and proceeded to bang out 59 inches, winning out over three G-body cars, a pair of Regals, and a Cutlass. For this bumper-bumping feat, he received $250 and the satisfaction of knowing that on this day, in this arena, he was the Lowrider magazine street-hopping champ in Portland.
The Single Pump category consisted of seven participants, an almost all G-body sweep, with a lone Caprice thrown in for good measure. The heights ranged from 9 to 54 inches with just 2 inches separating Second and Third Place. Mike Lane and his ’87 Cutlass took home $200 and Third Place with a 37-inch final measurement, Gerardo Aguilar took his ’84 Cutlass 2 inches higher for Second Place, and Shayne Atterton and the Black Magic Cutlass smashed the bumper, ending up with 54 inches. Shayne’s continual improvement on his car didn’t go unnoticed, however, and he was rewarded with a First Place finish.
Apparently in the Double Pump competition there wasn’t really a need for anyone to qualify for Vegas, and for that reason, Martin Perez got to go home with an uncontested $750. Black Magic Hydraulics holds the current record of 79 inches for this class, 52 inches above Martin’s best hit.
The Truck Hop had only one contestant better with Shane Larson and Mike Gartner only competing against each other. Shane Larson’s tall stature contrasted the 26 inches his Candy Red ’79 El Camino topped off at. Mike Gartner fared better with 56 clicks on the stick and $750 to show for his First Place swing. That number is still some 37 inches off the current tour record of 93 inches, held by Shorty of Shorty’s Hydraulics.
Are you ready for the most hotly contested category of the year? The Radical Class proved to be where all the action was this year, with a number of rule changes making for some serious battles. The one change that knocked out two cars in Portland was the “no standing on the back bumper” rule: If a vehicle gets stuck, the highest hop that the vehicle came back down from by gravity will be the scored hop. Manuel Vasquez’s ’79 Malibu wagon was a casualty of this rule while Todd Land and the Street Life crew pushed two cars into the finals, which brings a total of three cars for the Radical Hop in Vegas. Rob Robertson, last year’s Radical champ, was bumped out of the finals.
The Street Dance saw its fare share of drama, and when all the dust cleared it was Marco Lujan taking First and Jerry Lamm taking Second. Marco will finally make his way to Vegas after four years of trying to qualify in Portland for the Super Show. The Radical Dance saw Ron and the Black Magic crew as the lone Pathfinder, scoring 27 points. So, the battle in Vegas will be all the fireworks that one could ask for.
In the meantime, we know people will be making changes and doing a lot of fine-tuning to their setups. All around the country the competitors will be hastily preparing for the Super Show. Best of luck to all of them and we’ll let you know how it all shakes out in the next issue.
Here is the list of competitors for the Super Show: