The San Antonio Hop is well anticipated because it’s the last chance that competitors have to show that they have what it takes to compete at the Las Vegas, Nevada, Super Show. With that thought in mind, the competitors came to San Antonio ready to put on a really hot show. Before the clock struck noon, the bleachers of the Alamodome started to fill up with hydraulics-happy enthusiasts. The crowd yelled as the competitors and their crews walked into the pit ready to rumble for the top prizes and the chance to make it to the finals.
The announcer called the first competitors to their cars and the Truck Hop was underway. Gabriel Chaves started the war with his ’89 Mitsubishi truck and he made it hop to 37 inches. Next up was Gilbert Gasca hitting 39 inches with his ’86 Chevy Blazer. Ernie Lopez’ ’86 Ford Ranger took home Second Place with 64 inches. The highlight of this class, however, came when Shorty Villareal broke a Tour record with his ’92 Ranger by hitting a whopping 84 inches!
The competitors in the Single-Pump Hop moved into their cars and headed for the pit area. Here the Baeza brothers took Second with their ’63 Chevy Impala by hitting 47 inches. When Shorty brought out his baby blue ’64 Impala the crowd got louder and started pumping him up. From the energy that the crowd was giving him, Shorty managed to break another Tour record by making his car soar to 50 inches taking home First Place again.
In the Luxury Hop, Jose Martinez hit 23 inches with his ’84 Olds Cutlass and took home Second. But this class belonged to the ladies because Selena Hernandez’ ’94 Lincoln Town Car hit 40 inches and took home the cash. The only competitor in the Double-Pump Hop was Carlos Martinez and he hit 25 inches with his ’63 Impala. In the Radical Hop, Juan Galvan’s ’85 Buick LeSabre reached 58 inches to take Third. Second Place was taken by Zefe Carrizales with his ‘90 Mazda at 72 inches. Shorty Villareal was back in First Place when he hit 94 inches with his sparkly ’86 Mazda.
The most anticipated part of the Hop is the Dance competition, which is where all of the rules of gravity are broken and anything goes. In the Street Dance, Ted Quintero gave it all that he had with his “Natural Born Killer” ’87 Chevy Monte Carlo and fired it up to a 20-point finish, which gave him Third Place. USA Hydrosports slammed, twisted and turned their CCE-equipped ’86 Cutlass to a 23 point finish to take home Second. But the Street Dance also belonged to Shorty Villareal. Shorty schooled the competitors and finished with 29 points to take First with his mean green ’85 Cutlass.
There was a treat for everyone in the Street Truck Dance when a pink ice cream truck moved slowly to the music and made the crowd go wild. But in this class, USA Hydrosports took the glory with a total of 23 points with their ’88 Mazda truck. Second Place was earned by Juan Galvan who shook his ’85 Blazer to a 21-point finish. In the last competition of the show, the Radical Dance, the gold was taken by Silverio Rosa, who moved his Pro Hopper-equipped car to a 15-point finish. In Second was Jerry Cano’s air equipped ’85 Blazer, which practically made a couple of the judges deaf because of the boom caused by the air ride suspension.
To sum it all up, the big winners in San Antonio were Shorty Villareal, who took home the right to brag by breaking two Legends Tour Records, and the crowd, who enjoyed some of the hottest hydro action yet seen by anyone. Of course, it was just a taste of what’s to come at the Las Vegas Super Show Hydraulics World Championship.