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Car show rolls into town for Hispanic Heritage Month

By Ingrid Marie Rivera
La Prensa Correspondent

LORAIN: The Puerto Rican Home Club wanted to ride out the Hispanic Heritage Month with plenty of style, by hosting a car show this past Sunday. More than two dozen cars and motorcycles revved their engines and audio systems, and displayed their creative designs and custom-made electronics including their own built-in television sets.

Onlookers gather around another vehicle at the car show.

There were a total of 33 trophies handed to the best coat painting or design, loudest vehicle, and more at the Sept. 27, 2009 car show, sponsored by La Prensa.

For the average onlooker, it appeared the rear parking lot had been transformed into MTV's famous reality TV show, “Pimp My Ride,” where ordinary cars had undergone a major makeover.

But there were no ordinary vehicles in need of repair at the car show. Lined up around the parking lot were trucks, hummers, other SUVs, lowrider cars, antique vehicles and everything in between. Automobiles may have dominated the scene but  a  half of dozen  motocycle owners also made their muses shown.

Alex Quiñones, of Big Boi Toys shop, organized the event along with the Puerto Rican Home and was preparing for his store's grand opening in Lorain.

Big Boi Toys, was set to open Sept. 28, at 504 E. 28th Street. The store will sell audio and other car accessories including window tints.

“Lorain hasn't had a car show like this. This is to bring a little something different to Lorain,” Quiñones said.

Creating a new design paint, installing new rims or lighting equipment has become a great source of pride and passion for these automobile owners. Some shared they have worked on their vehicles for years.

Matthew Gabriel displayed his GMC Sierra pickup truck with a Range Rover-like front end coated with a blue “Transformers” side design.

“I did all the paint, the full customed interior, the full system,” said Gabriel, who traveled from Cleveland and who also wore a “Transformers” T-shirt.

Matthew Gabriel stands in front of his GMC Sierra Pickup truck with a blue "Transformers" design.

Siblings Vrondria Billups also known as “Brinx CapStar ENT” and Rodreck Billups also known as “Cappinrond,” both of Cleveland, displayed their 1991 Buick LeSabre that was coated with Carnage from Spider Man design. Rodreck Billups has worked on the vehicle for 5 years, including installing 80 door speakers, six television sets, and 24-inch rims.

Ronnie Brown displayed his 2006 Chevy Cobalt with an orange tint paint. Brown said he gave a complete makeover to the vehicle in just two months with the help of his friend, Marquiste DeWeaver. Now the vehicle had “For Sale” signs.

They proudly showed off the custom built lights on the driver and front passenger doors, which turn seven different colors, their two television sets and 8 speakers.

“Aint nothing original in there no more,” Brown said, as he displayed a trophy he had already won in a previous car show competition.

DeWeaver, who explained he has worked on other Chevy Caprice and Monte Carlo vehicles, said he worked on the sound system of Brown's vehicle. It has become a hobby that he greatly enjoys, DeWeaver said.

Jose Antonio Vega, displayed his 1972 Mercury Comet, with a red and white paint. Puerto Rican flags inside the vehicle covered the back seat. Vega proudly showed the spectators the creative horns built onto his car including the old fashioned horn sound and a police siren.

Nicole Rodriguez displayed her 1993 Honda Civic with a Tootsie Roll Pop candy design. She said she hoped to win a trophy for design.

The event ran smoothly except for a brief visit by two Lorain police officers who arrived because of a noise complaint, said Juan Silva, Puerto Rican Home President. But Silva said he was happy with the turnout. “We have to do something for (Hispanic Heritage Month)”, Silva had said in a previous interview. As motorcycles and vehicles are cherished among the Puerto Rican and other latino communities, the car show seemed as a perfect fit.


From Left: Marquiste DeWeaver and Ronnie Brown pose in front of the 2006 Chevy Cobalt. Brown holds a trophy from a previous car show competition.

Vrondria Billups also known as "Brinx CapStar ENT" and Rodreck Billups also known as "Cappinrond" stand next to their 1991 Buick LeSabre with a Carnage from Spider Man design.

Another creative vehicle in the car show with a "Cheetos" logo.

Milton Velazquez kneels to get a closer view.

Carlos Ramos and Jose Antonio Vega pose next to the 1972 Mercury Comet. Several Puerto Rican flags adorn the inside of Vega's vehicle.

Another vehicle displaying "Bacardi Puerto Rican Rum."







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