In typical fashion we kicked off the 2019 show season at the Arizona Super Stadium, but this is no ordinary show. In fact, our Arizona show has become known as the largest indoor-outdoor car show in the nation, and this is the breakout show for contenders to showcase all the custom work they’ve managed to squeeze in during the winter.

Yet much like the lowriders we build, there’s plenty of heartache and chaos that works its way into the process, and the Arizona Super Show is no different. That said, here’s a fun fact: It takes the promoter and his staff an entire year of logistical planning and targeted promotions to create this show. It also comes as no surprise that many of the super shows are taken for granted. One of the misconceptions is that it takes big money to rent these stadiums, so the owner should have plenty of money (and no worries), but that’s far from the truth. Throwing a car show of this magnitude is much like gambling. It’s like a throw of the dice and the headaches, worries, and fears that come along with it are enough to break a grown adult. It’s also the same reason you don’t see an abundance of shows being thrown, and it’s with good reason. The return on one’s money might be decent, but I can tell you there are hundreds of less-stressful ways to make a similar amount of money—and I’m talking legal.

It’s also no surprise that shows—much like our builds—are under a constant eye of scrutiny and while a lot of critics want to tell us what to do or how we should have done it, I’m pretty sure that we’re already our own worst critic. In the end, we’re always striving for something greater—and it’s no different with our shows. From the efficiency of the roll-in to venue selection and customer service, we’re always striving to be better, which includes issues with our judging process and selection. But as we continue to improve upon what we’ve built, we thank you for your support, but just understand that the process only gets better with time and with your input.

On that note, Lowrider would like to welcome back Richard and Danny Ochoa, Texas Ed, and the whole Motorsport Showcase crew on their special return to handle the judging and move-in duties for our upcoming Lowrider tour stop events. The Lowrider judging rules have continued to evolve so there are changes and new categories to report on, but if you’d like to see a full breakdown of the changes visit us online, and, as always, if you have any questions or concerns feel free to shoot me an email.

In closing all I want to do is spread awareness and encourage people to view shows and custom cars in a different light. Let’s look beyond what we see at face value and find out what it took to get there. You see, it’s easy to get lost in the patterns and chrome, the flakes and the pearls, but ask the owners about the headaches they’ve endured during the buildup and you may just find an even deeper level of appreciation that is reserved for those in the know. In short, let’s all engage in deeper conversation and promote the traditions and culture that will be upheld by the next generation. In the same breath, some say together we stand but divided we fall, but it’s up to us to pass on our culture with purity while also giving them a different perspective and deeper understanding to not only understand the build process but the trials and tribulations it took to get there.

Together we rise,

J. Ray

Rules to Live By … A Historical Perspective

By Richard Ochoa

The lowrider car show scene started off as “Lowrider Happenings” in the mid ’70s. Eventually, Lowrider decided to produce its own shows, and Happenings transitioned into lowrider competitions for our classic cruisers, which gave the owners a sense of accomplishment in building a car. But it wasn’t a perfect science. Dependent on what judge and show, it wasn’t a consistent level playing field.

In 1989, Lowrider magazine agreed to sanction its first out-of-state car show in Mesa, Arizona. The Mesa Car Show, which I produced with Society Car Club, was no stranger to Lowrider. Years before that, in 1983, staffer Johnny Lozoya featured it in Lowrider and later helped with the show for a few years. Lowrider then invited me to the 1989 L.A. Super Show to help judge the Best of Show categories, and the following year my brother Danny was hired as well. During those years I was a judge for the International Show Car Association (ISCA), judging the World of Wheels Car Show in Phoenix. They issued me an ISCA rule book, which provided guidelines in determining classes, scores, and categories. And that’s what our industry needed. An official rule book for our Lowrider shows to help create standards and competitive uniformity.

The goal was to craft written rules to cover the Lowrider shows with competitive consistency and fairness. The very first rules manual kicked off the 1991 Lowrider Southwest Tour, featuring stops in Mesa; Pomona, California; Albuquerque, New Mexico; San Diego; Houston; and Los Angeles. The written rules were instantly an argument diffuser, and though some interpretations were vague, it gave us a baseline to start guidelines and rules that now in their 28th year edition have helped create the standards used throughout the industry. The rules have changed and have been adjusted throughout the years, in some cases to help stabilize and justify the lowrider building trends and styles. And though there are some traditionalists who don’t want change, we can’t stay in the past if we want to be here in the future.

A few examples have been illustrated in this year’s revision. Our rule book once heavily favored the radical builders in the industry. There is nothing wrong with cutting and modifying, but our core roots come from a different perspective. Lowrider builders strive to change a “Body by Fisher” to personalizing the build to a higher and more individual liking.

One can grace the pages of Lowrider and see some of the industry’s most tricked-out creations or some of the most meticulous original and traditional vehicles built from the ground up, but you can also see the true lowrider cruisers who keep the motorsport alive and well on the boulevards.

As long as our builders have an imagination and eye for engineering, we will continue to grow and mature as an industry. What was once the norm of an engine swap going from a 283 to a 350 now has LS motors filling in the engine compartments. So as our customary measures continue to move forward to improve our rolling art the bar continues to rise. The once left alone chassis frames and firewalls have been smoothed out to perfection, not to erase the factory welds, but to streamline the personal touch of each builder’s imagination of making it their own.

Joining the caliber of the Lowrider Excellence award for 2019 is our new Classic Lowrider Award. This is a step up from the newly updated Traditional Lowrider award that now will allow engine upgrades, minor body modifications, and partial candies, pearls, and flake paint. The new Classic Lowrider award allows moderate, full-custom paint and interior, and allows minor mods, including shaving and also the popular sunroofs but no other major body modifications. With the new Bomb Master and Bomb Master Truck awards we will recognize the Bombs that started it all for us.

Please don’t hesitate to ask us any questions. We ask that all of our exhibitors take the time to review the newly updated rules for 2019.

On a final note, on behalf of head judge Danny Ochoa, move-in coordinator Eddie “Texas Ed” Zamarron, our entire team, and myself, we look forward to working once again as the Lowrider magazine (Lowrider events) car show staff. Previously, our Motorsport Showcase team worked close to three decades with Lowrider and retired. But two years of recharging our batteries did us good. Though we continued to stay relevant in working car shows and producing a few of our own, we thought the timing was right to get back to the brand that we helped build and helped build us.