Lowrider Pimps

Images: Jaymz Eberly / Ian Young
Interview: Ian Young..

.Every once in a while there is a perfect day. The birds are chirping, the air is sweet and clean, the tubes are playing and all is right in the world. One of those days where you could have sworn you just woke up in a dream. Then, all of the sudden out of no where along comes a booming screech of tires spinning smoke and the stench of burnt rubber shaking you from your peace of mind. These are only a few of the extreme highs and gut wrenching lows experienced when cruising along Newport Beach in what has been described by many as a "Monster Mercury". This mean green machine, otherwise known as "Scrape" is a lowrider's dream.

Scrape is the car other lowriders want to be when they grow up. It's the car they dream about out in the garage at night. This interviewer had the ride of his life and can only describe it in one word, "unfuckingbelieveable". The above all greatest part is the expression on the faces of people riding next to us and walking on the street when we passed in this green menace. It was either hate or love. Like , "hey dude, that car is awesome!!" or angry looks of jealous discust. Especially when Rocky, the cars owner, turns to me and says "and it's fast too" and burns a 20 foot long set of screech marks in the freshly paved office parking lot going zero to sixty for a good two seconds.

Oh, yeah .... Scrape has earned it's name. And the security guard who wanted to write us up after our dragracing shinadigans will agree.

Lowrider Pimps: Today we're here with "Rocky" and his light green '50 Mercury and man, this is sweet. It's damn near on the ground. First off, whats lowriding to you?

Rocky: I dont know if I would call this a true lowrider. Its a street rod that scrapes the ground.

Lowrider Pimps: yeah..

Rocky: In my circle you cant be too low or have too much horse power.

Lowrider Pimps: What do you get out of lowrider or cruising?

Rocky: I like the thumbs the up driving down the road, the pointing. It's just all about it.

Lowrider Pimps: How'd you get started?

R: I have had hot rods all my life and I always wanted a '50 Merc but never could afford to put one together, saved a few duckets and made this.

LP: When did you start.

R: Shit I had hair when I started. 25 years or so.

LP: Thats awesome ... so in your opinion, what makes a good car?

R: A good car is crafted well, safe to drive. I dont want no trailer queen.

LP: Yeah, you dont want something that will die on you out there.

R: Well its not even that, I've seen cars put together with perpintext and a prayer, I told people to keep that shit away from car, I dont want you bumping into me when your breaks go.

LP: yeah, yeah...

R: I've seen some of these rat rods and I look at them and it's like they built it in thier garage, well so did I, why dont you make somehing thats at least safe to drive.

LP: Right, instead of wasting your time.

R: Yeah spinning there wheels and they chance hurting someone or themselves.

LP: Ok, tell me about your car, what makes it special?

R: That's the thing about lowriding, everybody can set there thing up, I know you guys've (lowrider pimps) have seen a 1,000 cars and no 2 are the same. You know, you sign your own check. The paint is custom made that ppg made for me. We call it atomic swamp water.

LP: Yeah I see that glitter flake in there...

R: It's a candy with a pearl which is a bit unusual.

LP: I love that pin striping on it.

R: It's done by this pinsriper named Mike who is 74 years old (in 2007). He's the only pinstriper I've ever known who has been thru 12 , 12 step programs.

LP: How long have you been working on this car?

R: About 4 years.

LP: You can see the care you put in it.

R: It's been running for about a year, I dont do that trailer shit.

LP: Where do you see lowriding as a culture going?

R: It's very siclecle, you go thru the beatnicks style. The lowrider has evolved into something completley different, they've gone away from the hopping and the gang bangers and into the mainstream.

LP: I was just about to ask you about that. You know the politics involved with the lowriders, how the lowriders are always assoiciated with gangs or crime.

R: Yeah, thats too bad too because you miss out on a lot of stuff. I have hung out with a few car clubs, they get a bad rap. Most of them , they look like they are gonna kick your ass but you meet with them one on one and they are nice guys with a family. You know ... you can't be a fool building a car and be out there doing crime. Your out to show off with what you did, as you see here with my Physique. I aint no body builder, some people get off on working out, some get off on motorcycles or how nice my house is and all kinds of stuff.

LP: Yeah, you get off on your car.

R: ... I get off on my car.

LP: So do you got a crazy story or something like that about the Mercury?

R: Haha how much time you have?

LP: How 'bout just one of them...

R: Um, let's see ... a crazy story, my car has a "Fat Man" frame underneath it which is a company in arkansas who built it. when I put mine together I was the first one to have a mercury frame. The fools built it 180 out, they built it upside down on the computer cad. So I welded the thing in and when I started bolting the thing together, nothin fits. I called the guy up and told him everytime I bolt something on, its goes on upside down..and he goes "what?"

LP: (laughing)

R: Don't make me fly down there to whip some ass. I'm a nice guy but I'm 300 pounds of bad-ass you start screwing with car. Then we figrued out in there cad program they had the schematics reversed when they welded it together, if that makes sense... well I tell the guy did he hit his head, did he roll a fatty before he hit the button ... before he starting hitting the buttons.

LP: (laughing) He wasnt paying attention, or what?

R: Yeah he was not, was he brain dead..is he wacked.

LP: What did you do?

R: Well we had to cut the frame back off and re-weld it. Man, give me a reason to kick someone's ass.

LP: (laughing) I love it, (laughing) alright... So what are your views on the imbalance between hot rodding and lowriding as far as acceptance and overall mass appeal?

R: Well thats the beauty of mine. I do both, I can go to any hot rod meeting and get the oooh ahh and I go to the lowriding meets and get the same thing... its kinda like a cross over. When they see the motor it's hot rod, when they see the interior, its pure street rod. When you see the body its straight up lowrider.

LP: Sort of a best of both worlds?

R: Actually best of all 3, I can do hot rods, street rod and lowrider all in one easy package.

LP: You got any shout outs you want to send to anyone out there?

R: Yeah, to the two guys who really helped me, they call one "Horse-Shoe Joe" Van Burse, he's a horseshoer by trade but he's a fabicating fool. And the other is "Big Block" Chris Bamsy, we don't build motors in the garage unless they are rats. They just do big blocks.

LP: Alright, shout-out to "Horseshoe and Big Block". Well, It was a pleasure to and interview you and shoot your car. I'm sure we'll see around the block with "Scrape" ... in fact, I know we will cuz of your shit stands out man.

R: Well thank you.

LP: Alright man ... see you on the boulevard...

Editor's Note: As we moved from one spot to another rocky asked Ian If he wanted to ride, with a smile he did not turn it down, me, I was like damn lucky bastard. Then as we pulled in the next spot, as I was getting the equip. I hear a thunder peal out and jumping to look - watching smoke come from his tires I was even more distraught by me missing out on the ride and to top it all off, I did not get a picture, but watching that was great ! wish you guys could of seen it.