The annual October crowning of each year's Lowrider Super Show Champions in Vegas is a very special moment. For most, it sums up the thousands of hours of dedicated effort and hard work that competitors see through the long road they've travelled in building their perfect creation. For one particular person, who has been building bikes and trikes for over 10 years, it also illustrates what pursuing a dream is all about. Tony Ortega, of Tombstone, Arizona, finally received something he had been seeking for over a decade; top honors in being crowned the 2010 Trike of the Year Champion. The road to success can be a long one, and no one understands and appreciates that journey more than Tony. For years, this dedicated builder has put in countless hours in building his two and three-wheel beauties, for his quest to compete in car shows throughout the southwest.
Tony's success in bike building actually began with his first car project. While entering a car show in Duncan, Arizona, Tony fell in love with the 2-wheel version of Lowriding and quickly took an interest in Lowrider bicycles for their style and beauty. Curious, he felt his own creative talents might make for a good transition into this new world of bike building. When Tony commits to something, he has no trouble in staying on task, a trait that would be very valuable to him within the bike building arena. Looking to get a better perspective into the bike building phenomenon, he did what any young American would do; he got on the World Wide Web and began researching this exciting subculture. Before long, he found Finest Creations Bike Club, which opened his eyes to the sport even more. He established a dialog with the bike club, and since he was in Tombstone, a town known more for horses and wagons than candy paint and chrome, he was forced to embark on this ten year journey on-line. Tony made the best of his long distance relationship with the sport, and eventually he physically joined Finest Creations Bike Club. One thing Tombstone did have was Lowrider Magazine. Coupled with what he was learning online; these two resources gave Tony a great foundation within the two-wheel world. Because his interest was so genuine and he was so isolated from other builders, this local from Tombstone started his journey without prejudice or bias.
When Tony finally connected with someone to learn from, he learned from one of the best, as Tony's mentor was the four-time Bike Champion, Mike Lopez. Tony gives him full credit for opening his eyes to many of the creative ideas or concepts that rule the bike world; many of which became realized through Tony's ambitious builds. He also created his bikes by taking the Lowrider Rule Book into consideration. He mastered each point category, that way that maximum points allowable could be reached. As you see here with the 2010 Champion "Lunch Money," paying attention to detail is certainly worth a lot more than the lunch money we took to school! The name comes from the fact that while Tony invested small amounts of money at a time in this build, the end result was a priceless champion.