In between the Santa Ynez Mountains and the Pacific Ocean, you can find the beautiful city of Santa Barbara, CA. With its Mediterranean climate and its palm tree-filled streets, this mid-coast haven is an ideal city to cruise with the top down. While the city is primarily known for its fair weather, downtown beaches, and Spanish architecture, the town’s Lowrider scene might just be the area’s hidden treasure. Santa Barbara boasts a strong Lowrider culture, kept alive in part thanks to the annual Nite Life Car Show; which took the city by storm this year, literally.

On June 5th, 2011 the Nite Life car club held this year’s 19th annual Show ‘N Style car show at Santa Barbara’s Earl Warren Showgrounds. Sitting at the brink of entering its second decade, the show attracts riders from all over California, giving them a great excuse to ride up the coastline. While a packed house is almost certain, this year’s show was the unfortunate victim of Mother Nature, who trimmed the usual attendance numbers down a bit thanks to a pesky rainstorm. While the rain may have scared off some of the attendees from showing up, it did nothing to deter the riders from showing up to display their finest vehicles. The support for the Nite Life Show ‘N Style was evident as both the indoor and outdoor areas of the show grounds were packed with nothing but high caliber cars from all over the Southern California area.

Despite the rain, I happily made my way into the gates and was instantly greeted with a dazzling display by both Connection and La Gente car clubs. Upon entering the first building, Speedy Rodriguez’ green big body from High Class car club was the first Lowrider to catch my eye. Cheto Sanchez’ convertible ’63 from One Bad Creation car club was also on hand, and this ride proved to be a crowd favorite. Another crowd favorite from One Bad Creation car club was Manuel Martinez ’76 Glasshouse. The Stylistics of Los Angeles brought out several rides including Robert Flores’ 1965 Impala named Woody ’65. Premier car club brought with them a solid line up of show cars that included past Lowrider Magazine cover cars “World Premier,” “Lemon Laid,” and “El Amo.” As I entered the second building, it was quickly evident that the Majestics car club had nearly filled up the entire building with an arsenal of convertible Impalas, G-Bodies and Cadillacs.

This amazing mid-coast show constantly attracts some of SoCal’s best Lowriders, and it is easy to see why it makes such an impact on the region. As they enter their second decade next year, I will be on hand, camera by my side, eager to capture the incredible energy that always fills this event. I’d like to thank “El Machete” Danny Trejo and the rest of the Nite Life car club for a great show, and I can’t wait to be there again next year.