There are two big shows in Florida that lowrider fans look forward to each year. The first is the season opener, the Miami show in January. Many drivers, after working on their cars all through the previous year, choose this show to debut their latest creation. If your ride wasn’t quite ready in January, however, you didn’t have to wait long for the second big event, the Tampa show in April. Both bring out large numbers of the gente, all excited about participating in the event, meeting old friends, and getting new ideas from the huge collection of vehicles.
This year, the Florida State Fairgrounds saw an amazing collection of quality cars, trucks and bicycles, along with an excited crowd of spectators enjoying the fun, thanks to Tour sponsors Quaker State, Nitto Tires, Black Magic, Player Wire Wheels, Exide Orbital Batteries, CCE Hydraulics and Limited Alloy Wheels. They got a chance to see quality vehicles in all categories, like the pair of Bomb Sweepstakes winners from Rosie and Frank Requena. True veterans of the lowrider circuit and easily among the most dedicated competitors, the Requenas arrived in Tampa, setting up their display at 5 a.m. Sunday, having just competed in Phoenix, Arizona, the weekend before. Fans crowded around their amazingly detailed Chevy convertible and Chevy pickup. When it came time for the award ceremony, the Requenas knew that the long trip was worth the effort, taking First Place in both the Bomb Car and Bomb Truck categories.
But that was just the beginning. Eddie Gordy, Jr. also had some special surprises for lowrider fans with his radical ’87 Mazda pickup called “Scandalous.” Traveling south to Tampa from North Carolina, Eddie needed the full resources of his car trailer at the end of the show just to get all of his awards home! He made a clean sweep, capturing a Sweepstakes Win, Class Win, Best Interior, Best Undercarriage, Best Hydraulics, Best Display, Best Engine, Best Candy Paint and finally, a special award of four Orbital batteries. Eddie believes in making it tough on the competition and the crowd loved it.
There were so many beautiful automotive creations at Tampa that the judges had their hands full picking the winners. Sergio Palafox emerged as the Car Sweepstakes winner with his “98 Mercury Grand Marquis, while Anthony Gravu gravitated to the top spot in the Euro/Sports Car Sweepstakes thanks to his ‘90 Honda Accord. Luis Reyes went home with the Traditional Lowrider trophy in his ’63 Buick, while Jerry Mullins did the same in the Original ’69 & Below Sweepstakes class. Isidro Juarez and Alex Quinonez came out on top in the Bike and Trike classes, respectively.
There is always more to the show than just high-quality vehicles however. After spending several hours looking at the fabulous collection of automotive art, the crowd began finding seats for the next phase of entertainment, the Hop. Talented switchmen from throughout the Southeast showed up, eager to display their talents and collect their share of the fat prize money. Entertainment of a different sort occurred after the Hop, with Angel from the Cover Girls taking the stage, followed by Comedian KJ and Florida’s favorite homeboy, DJ Laz. The show in traditional style with the Bikini and Male Hardbody contests, ensuring that there was something for everyone in the audience.
Once the entertainment portion of the show ended, the real excitement began for the hundreds of competitors as they awaited news of who would be taking home some lowrider gold. Rows of trophies were awarded including a special recognition for one of Florida’s most active clubs, Rollin’ C.C. They took the trophy for the Most Car Club Members. If you would like to be part of the nonstop fun, check out the schedule listed in every issue of Lowrider Magazine for a Legends Tour stop near you.