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Traveling Car Show Brings Fancy Low Rider Uniqueness to West Texas

By Frances Gonzalez-Boyd



There is a beauty in the art of restoring old cars when individuals take pride in their hobby as they enjoy turning something old into something brand new. It is even more exciting when they can show off their finished work of art, and compete with others.{{more}} Many of these proud car owners rode into Abilene in their shiny, bright colored, restored cars, trucks, and motorcycles to compete at the car show which was held at the Civic Center recently. The show tours from city to city and sometimes from state to state. It is an opportunity for local individuals who take pride in their vehicles to compete against others and win trophies for their hard work. Music was played by DJ’s from Radio 98, and also live performers sang on stage like Patrick Thomas, 20, rapper from Houston, TX. Hot dogs, popcorn, Coca-cola and other refreshments were served at the concession stands, and people who took an interest came to see what all the excitement was about. It was interesting to see how some cars artistically stood out from the other cars. Personalities of all kinds blended in with the show that included car club and even unique car names that had meaning as they communicated something to the attending crowd. The traveling car show was promoted by Terry Wilburn, 40, who is from Houston. He claims that his interest in car shows started as a hobby, and partially because of his father. Terry stated “I always liked entertaining. I grew up in it from the time I was a kid. My dad also grew up in it. I have been promoting car shows for the last ten years.” While he competed, he won sixty trophies especially for Sound Competition. “I was placed fifth in the nation for SPL ” he said. Wilburn is a husband to his wife Carol, and they have four children; Ann, 20, Terrance, 16, Terra Lynn, 13, Terrace, 12. As people walked in to the Civic Center, the first car displayed was a purple, shiny 1989 Nissan Sentra, “Sabor A Mi” that was restored two times; once in San Bernadino, California According to owner Cruz Perez, 33. It also won best Euro low rider of the LasVegas car show in the years 2001, 2002, and 2003. It has been just these last two summers that Perez’s car has been showing in Texas. It won first place for Best Euro Low Rider in Abilene, and then later in Victoria, Texas. Cruz Perez of Lamesa, Texas is the head over his car club, the Angelitos. Perez shares, that the car club was started three years ago and that this July it will be holding their second car show in Lamesa. What does it take to become an owner of one of these metallic, shiny cars? For many individuals it starts out with following in their father’s footsteps like Wilburn, and a desire that takes dedication and time. Sometimes it also means giving up something to gain more in life like the pride of winning. “When I was growing up I had always wanted a low rider, but I was always involved in gangs. You never move forward. Once I got out of the gangs, I got this hobby of low riding and I dedicated myself. My dad got me into low riders”, said Sonny Rodiguez, Down II, Clown Car Club member from Dallas. Rodriquez claims that the car club got its name just as it sounds; meaning they join the car shows for the fun of it in a more humorous term. The clubs’ cars were parked outside. One was a Lincoln Towncar paying tribute to Maria Bautista, a bereaved mother of a few club members. It does not matter what generation car owners come from, what is important is they own a vehicle that buys their way into the car show, and some of them are classic cars that even date back to the thirties like Pete Davila, 69, who owns a “White 39 Oldsmobile and a “39 Gray and White Chrysler, and a “63 Silver Chevy Impala. Davila who sported a sharp Al Pacino style all dressed in white is from Pleasant Grove in Dallas. He proudly shows his cars and even his wife, Ruth, 70, who he takes along with him on the car tours. Pete and Ruth have been married for fifty-six years. The couple has four children; Janie, 58, Silva, 55, Pete Jr., 49, and Elizabeth, 41. Davila is a roofer and remodels houses for a living. The Davilas’ are originally from Abilene and moved to Dallas in 1968 for better job opportunities. “This is the first time I have been in Abilene for a car show. I have been in San Antonio, Houston, and Dallas.” Davila shares, that the white car has won 3 trophies, the gray and black Chrysler; 8 trophies, and the “63 Impala which is all original title has won fifty-six trophies. He has had the car for twenty years and is also willing to sell it for $70,000. The motorcycles were all lined up on one side of the cars, and Zane Barnes, 34, single father of daughter, Trinity, 5, from Winters, Texas won 2nd place for his 2005 Honda 1000 RR Repsol Edition. The name of his motorcycle club is Disturbing the Peace. One might think the name of his club might sound a bit peculiar, yet Barnes nickname is “Choo-Choo” has more of a bit of humor to it. He shares that he was given the name because he became the leader of his club. Zane’s Black Rose 81″ Z 28 has also won 2nd best of show in Abilene from 2000-2002. Barnes is the manager of security at Blue Cross Blue Shield. There are many leaders of car clubs and then there are some fans of the car shows who are the followers that travel for the fun it with the tour. Some have their own unique stories of how they end up in these car shows, and it is not just for their love of cars. One of these fans, Larry Jarrod, 57, traveled from Ft. Worth to see the show did a good deed and brought a family with him. Jarrod is husband to wife Susan, 52, and has two children, Timothy carshows are a way to enjoy life since he is a Katrina storm survivor having moved from his birth city of New Orleans, LA., to Ft. Worth, Texas after losing his home and his job as an airplane fueler from Louis Armstrong International Airport. “I have been away for four years. It changed my life tremendously. It made me really think that there is a God.” Jarrod shared. He comments about the show. “I think it is very interesting. There are a lot of beautiful cars that I have never seen before. Jarrod found his favorite car, a “78 Metallic Bright Green/Purple Monte Carlo, belonging to owner Kevin Hodges and member of the Rollin Z car club who also won a trophy. Some of the truck owners who won trophies were #37, Larry Gonzalez for the best 70’s truck. Best “98 truck owner, Josh Pronto number #77 won first place. For the 90’s cars, Louie Vallegas won 1st place, and Rick Trevino won 2nd place; for 2000 cars, Justin Barber won 1st place. With the evening drawing near, another car show came to its end, and judges decided on the best ones that fit the ticket. Although, every car did not get a trophy, they had a purpose for being a part of the show. The owners enter for the love of the hobby. They will continue on with the tour not giving up displaying dedication and good sportsmanship while sharing their unique work of art.

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