As longtime contributors to Lowrider Magazine, Stephanie and I have had the pleasure to see a lot of places and meet a ton of great people while covering car shows and shooting features. Over the years, we thought we had seen and done it all, but this latest assignment excited us because it took us to a place we hadn’t yet had the chance to visit. This past year, we were invited to the Imperial Valley area of California. As lifelong residents of California, we had never been to this area of the state. The invitation was a chance to cover the 18th annual La Gente Super Show on Saturday and then shoot a car club feature on La Gente car club. Stephanie and I gladly accepted and made our way to the area with high expectations for a great experience.
Upon our arrival, we were immediately welcomed with open arms by Antonio Camacho and the rest of La Gente car club. Their hospitality was more than gracious, and the entire club was very accommodating the whole weekend. Needless to say, we left the Imperial Valley with a new appreciation for the region and the people that call this area home.
When we got the call to return to the region we jumped on it. The initial phase of this shoot had us up and at ‘em before the sun was up on Saturday morning in October of 2011 to attend the 19th annual La Gente Super Show. As we headed East on Interstate 10 en route to the Imperial Valley, we could not wait to arrive and see everyone we had met last year and spend the day with them at the show. When we arrived at the Imperial Valley Expo, Antonio Camacho from La Gente was once again there to meet us at the gate and set us up with our credentials and a secure parking space. We grabbed our gear and started to walk the show.
The show was set up with both indoor and outdoor areas at the fairgrounds. One building had San Diego’s The Crowd car club set up with a number of rides. Masa and the club always show up with a large number of club cars at every show they attend, and this one was no exception. The next building had Cesar Rodriguez from Oldies car club, who brought both of his beautiful Lowrider Magazine-featured Chevy Bombs, “El Patron” and “El Tequilero,” to lead the Oldies car club line up. Groupe car club had an impressive lineup as well in the indoor area. Speedy, from High Class, brought out his “Expensive Taste” Cadillac which was featured in the December 2011 issue of Lowrider Magazine. Traffic, Latin Bombas, Del Valle, and Uniques were also on display in this building. In another building was Jose Romero from Str8Clowin car club, with his January 2012 cover car, “Suavacito 55,” set up and on full display with another Lowrider Magazine feature car; Armando Medina’s ‘59 Impala from Individuals San Diego. This building also had pedal cars and Lowrider bicycles from Prestige, Viejitos, Mi Vida, and Desert Dreams.
The outside area of the fairgrounds was set up with vendors and car clubs. Rollerz Only had a great mixture of rides, including Orlando’s “Game Over” Cadillac, and Ben’s “Y-Que” El Camino. Delegation had a lineup of brightly colored club cars and their own deejay. Street Kingz, Pachuco, and City Cruisers were also on display outdoors.
Entertainment and sponsors were also on hand to appease the large crowd. The Cholo DJ, a usual show staple, was set up selling his music and entertaining the crowd like he usually does at many events. Hi Power Entertainment was on hand as well, selling music from the many artists on their talented roster. La Gente was selling tee shirts commemorating the show, while a number of other vendors were selling clothing, hats and car parts. As with any car show, there were also plenty of food vendors. Because the mercury was hitting close to 100 degrees, the vendors selling shaved ice and sno cones were doing brisk business. Shaded areas were also prime real estate, as tired show patrons looked to keep cool under the Imperial Valley heat.
Just like the show’s previous year, the arena area was set up with a stage and an area off to the side of the stage for the car hop. Although many hoppers were expected again this year, only a couple showed up to collect the cash and bragging rights La Gente was offering. The hop turned out to be a battle between Maniacos Car Club and Uniques Car Club. Both cars and switch men put on a great show, but the crowd awarded the win to the Maniacos Car Club. The stage area played host to a live band and deejays throughout the day. B-Real from Cypress Hill was this year’s headline act. Not only did he perform a few tracks from the Cypress Hill catalog, he also performed a deejay set that had the crowd singing along with his musical selections.
After a long day in the sun, it was time for us to head back to Los Angeles. Again, this year we left the Imperial Valley with great memories and an appreciation for the efforts of Antonio and La Gente Car Club to produce such a memorable event. As usual, all proceeds from this show will go to support local youth organizations. I may be repeating myself, but if you have never attended this show, I highly recommend that you do. Not only will you see some great Lowriders, you will make some new friends!