The front wheels of a hydraulic-packed 1983 Buick Regal leap 12 inches off the floor of the Kansas Expocentre's Landon Arena as its owner, Logan Headley, of Independence, Mo., competes at the Loud & Low Lowrider/Custom Car Super Show.


A trumpet player with Los Capi, a band from the northern Mexico state of Durango, plays the 11-member group's blend of cumbia and hip- hop Sunday. Los Capi will perform from 7 to 9 p.m. Tuesday on the opening night of Fiesta Mexicana.

By Bill Blankenship


The music was loud and the cars were low Sunday at the Loud & Low Lowrider/Custom Car Super Show at the Kansas Expocentre.

The event, part of Fiesta Mexicana 2003, drew 70 vehicles from the area to compete in a sport that traces its roots back 70 years to Southern California and the merging of "California car culture and Mexican cultura," according to a history of lowriding on the Web site of Lowrider Magazine, which had a photographer at the Topeka show.

There were a couple of those classic Chevys in the show --- but with triple-dipped chrome and gold plating, elaborate candy and metalflake paint jobs and custom-spoked wire rims complete with spinners, nearly any vehicle can be transformed into a lowrider.

Army Spc. Miguel Navedo started with a 1999 Honda Civic right off the car dealer's lot and after "I don't how much time, but a lot" and maybe around $10,000 of customizing, the Fort Riley-based soldier has quite a ride even if he gets stuck in traffic.

The dash-mounted screen of a Sony Playstation 2 allows Navedo and a passenger to play video games or view a film on DVD. And the trunk full of amplifiers and speakers definitely will surround with sound anyone in the passenger compartment or anywhere else in a block's radius.

A team of judges from Topeka's Latino Dreams Car Club, the show's host group, spent several minutes closely examining Navedo's car and the other pickup trucks, sport utility vehicles and compact to luxury- model cars. Even lowrider bicycles competed.

While some lowriders were decked out for show, others were equipped for go with trunks filled with hydraulic pumps and the rows of car batteries needed to power them. Two cars competed in a hopping contest, with Logan Headley, of Independence, Mo., getting the front wheels of his 1983 Buick Regal a foot off the Landon Arena floor before one of his pumps burned out with a spray of sparks and a cloud of smoke.

Soon after, it was people hopping --- make that hip-hopping --- to the sounds of Los Capi, an 11-member band from the northern Mexico state of Durango. Los Capi plays a fusion of cumbia and rap, complete with a horn section that had young people out on the dance floor in droves.

Copyright 2003
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