The last big Southern California show of the season once again happened in Bakersfield when J.M. Production put on the 2001 Lowrider Nationals car show last August. The show was a huge success with more than 500 smokin’-hot entries coming out to show their stuff. The Sunday show at the Kern County Fairgrounds was sponsored by Supreme Wire Wheels, More Bounce Hydraulics, Budweiser and Squirt soft drink. With some 65 vendors in the house, there were more than enough goodies to keep the 9,000 in attendance busy.
Vehicles from all over California–as well as from as far away as Las Vegas, Nevada, and Phoenix, Arizona–came out to compete for the $2,000 cash prize, gold ring and trophy that go along with a “National” title. Once the dust had settled, the Lowrider National Champion title went to Wayne Dickey for his “Violet Rose” ’66 Chevy Impala. Other Division winners at the show included Freddie Mendez of Hacienda Heights, California, whose ’98 Ford Expedition won the Truck class.
In the Euro field, Angel Edwards of Uso C.C. emerged on top with his “Ghost of Pearls” ’89 Honda Accord. Danny Dominguez of Old Memories C.C. wrapped up the Bomb Car class with his ’37 Plymouth, while Gerardo Yanez of Classic Memories C.C. did the same in the Bomb Truck class with his “Blvd. Bomb” ’48 Chevy. The Most Members award or Lowrider Cup was won by Uso C.C., who had 14 entries on display. Among the many bikes in the house was Mike Lopez’ “Casino Dreamin’.”
With almost 30 hoppers and dancers turning out, the hydraulics competition kept the people glued to their seats and judge Gary May busy in the 100-degree heat. In the Single-Pump Car class, four-time champion Rudy Del Toro of Gilroy, California, retained his title when his ’63 Impala hit an amazing 67 inches. Texan “Shorty” Villareal set a Single-Pump Truck record of 75 inches after nailing the back bumper of his ’92 Ford Ranger.
The Double-Pump Car class was a winner-take-all affair as Hugo Rodriguez of Santa Fe Springs, California, beat the competition when his ’64 Impala hopped 68 inches. Shorty Villareal returned to dominate the Double-Pump Truck class with his “Skyscraper” ’86 Mazda hittin’ 105 inches. Since the truck stood in a stand-still position and it exceeded the measuring stick, a tape measure was brought out to record the height. The Luxury class was won by Raul Jimenez of Watsonville, California, who hopped 63 inches with his Buick Regal.
In the wake of the San Diego, California, Lowrider Tour show two top car dancing competitors have emerged–local John Markiewitz and Ron Eggers from Las Vegas. At San Diego they both flipped their trucks and scored perfect 30s. Since then, they hadn’t competed against each other, so Bakersfield was the rematch and both dancers were going to try to flip their rides. When all was said and done, John’s “Raisin’ Hell” had technical difficulties and couldn’t meet the time requirement. The pressure was then on Ron, who came through and finished his time limit, but not before rolling his ’94 Pathfinder and scoring a close to perfect 29 points.
The Lowrider Nationals proved to be the perfect lowrider haven as Bakersfield was inundated with hundreds of lowrider enthusiasts. A strict zero tolerance policy by the Bakersfield Police Department kept everybody feeling safe; good job, Bakersfield P.D. We hope to be invited back to cover this great event again this year.