Lowriding has introduced auto enthusiasts to many revolutionary ideas in the arena of car customization, and one of the most unique and exciting has been the advent of personal hydraulic systems. These ingenious modifications are used to magically levitate entire automobiles off of the ground. Naturally, this idea has blossomed into a phenomenon in which car builders compete to see which car can get up the highest, and which car can shimmy the hardest. This competition has become known as the hop and dance competition, and it remains one of the most anticipated events at every LRM car show. This year’s competition held four categories, as well as strict criteria for those looking to qualify, ensuring that only the elite of the elite were showcased in the hop pit as special guests and competitors.
Announcer Kid Jay’s voice echoed throughout the blacktop, as he introduced the line of contestants who were ready to tear up the asphalt for the big crowd on hand. After the introduction, the first competitors to enter the hop pit were from the Double Pump Class. The first to hit the switches was Black Magic Hydraulics’ very own Ron Eggers, who hit a whopping 76 inches in his custom built ’87 Cutlass. This would be enough to take home the bragging rights, while runner-up in the class went to John Valdez’s white ’64 Impala, which hit a respectable 60 inches on its highest hop.
As the double pump cars were escorted out of the hop pit, Car Dancer Juan Chavoya took center stage with his custom painted ’87 Cutlass, and tore it up for the crowd with his singular car dance exhibition. The louder the crowd cheered, the harder Juan would hit the switches, making the car hop front, back, side to side, The crowd went even crazier as Juan got the Cutlass around the world two times. For a grand finale, he pancaked the car close to 6 feet in the air, with all four tires out of the gown, fully extended.
Next up, the Single Pump Class saw the return of Ron Eggers, who almost missed the chance to compete, as he had a problem with his rear cylinders. Ever the competitor, Ron fixed them in less than a minute and was ready to go. Feeding off the energy from this near catastrophe, he hit the switch on the ’87 Mazda, and hopped an amazing 83 inches despite the technical difficulties. Ariel Avila took on the challenge and got the best of Ron, blasting his ’88 Mazda up 89 inches, and taking home first place in the Single Pump category.
The final category for the day was the Radical Hop, in which five competitors went head to head. After a coin toss and a small game of Rock, Paper, Scissors, Alfred Carr went first in the pit. Alfred, known as “Big Al,” dazzled the crowd by sending his ’85 El Camino up 94 inches with a few hits to the switch. Though Big Al had set the bar high, Timothy Flores’ daughter stepped in unfazed, and sent her Black ’63 Impala soaring for a respectable 89 inches. Ron Eggers ’88 Monte Carlo peaked at only 72 inches, before it was quickly crippled, suffering a blown-out front tire after landing hard on the asphalt. Michel Moreno’s ’60 Impala cop car hit for a little bit over 80 inches, before he switched cars, trying again in his ’85 Mazda, that unfortunately broke down after a few hops.
After the dust settled and the smoke cleared, Kid Jay announced the winner, and crowned Alfred Carr the victor in the Radical Hop. Big Al accepted a last-minute, head-to-head hop off with Ron Eggars, and bested him with his El Camino, proving to the crowd that he rightly deserved his crown. After watching this year’s hop competition, it’s easy to see why this part of the LRM Show draws in so many fans. If you missed the San Bernardino hop this year, make sure you mark your calendars to catch the frame crushing action at the next LRM Show.