They are all standing around Jim's Mazda. There are about eight or nine of them, all white guys in their mid 20's. It looks like they just did something else to Jim's late 80's Mazda truck. One of them stands a few feet away with a remote control box, as he pushes the button, the bed of the truck raises up in the air. I never saw that before, so I will have to assume it is a new trick. Although I see a new trick almost every day from these guys.
I live directly across the street from a lowrider shop. The guys who own the shop live right next door to it. They work very long hours. But it seems that they spend more time working on their own cars than they do on their customers. Every day I see something new out my front window, how these guys afford these magic cars I will never know. But somehow they do.
Parked on the lawn of the shop is a 1983 Oldsmobile Cutlass. It is for sale, but it has been for sale for a long time. This isn't a normal Cutlass. This is a jumping monster. I have looked at it up close several times. Opening the trunk you are greeted with almost a dozen batteries and a myriad of hydraulics equipment. Looking underneath you can see the hours and hours of custom suspension work. This car can do magic tricks. I have seen the front end of it jump 3 feet off the ground. Once I saw the boys jump the whole car a foot in the air. They can press a few buttons and lift any of the 4 wheels a foot or 2 in the air, this is actually how they usually leave it parked. The sign on the window asks $4200, the custom wheels and hydraulic equipment alone would cost more than that. But there have been no takers. It seems that no one who would want that kind of car actually has the money to buy it. So it sits there, day after day, week after week.
On any given day there will be 3 or 4 Mazda trucks on the side parking lot. Usually partially dissasembled. Some of them can do magic also, but not like the lonely Cutlass. None of these trucks ever appear to be anywhere near finished, no matter how many times I see them rolled into the shop.
Jay has the nicest vehicle out of the 20 or so guys who hang around the shop. It is an early 50's Chevy truck. Black primer on a perfect body in classic 1950's kustom style. The 18" wheels that he has tucked under the fenders probably cost over $3000 all by themselves. Jay doesn't look a day over 20, so once again I wonder how he can afford this toy. Jay's truck can do a little magic also, his can't jump around like the others, but it can move up and down slowly. He has what is called an air bag suspension. There is a little compressor in the back of the bed. This allows the ride height to be adjusted by about 4 inches or so, which allows him to actually pick the truck up just enough so he can turn those huge wheels. This is the only vehicle any of the shop guys own that is truly valuable to anyone other than themselves.
Everyday without fail there will be one rice boy or another hanging around the shop. These guys are not part of the normal shop crowd. They are just their to get the latest in drop spindles and fat wheels. The guys at the shop always laugh at these guys when they pull away, because apparently, they don't get it.
I never bother to say more than hello to the shop guys. They are always friendly. But they scare me all the same. I am afraid of getting sucked into their world of spending $3000 on a set of wheels, only to replace them a year later when they go out of style. I don't need a new obsession to suck up all of my waking hours. The shop closed 4 hours ago, yet everyone is still at work, and they just pulled another car into the bay to be worked on. I already have one obsession, I don't need another. But I still can't help but watch them toss their money away with a kind of morbid fascination. I am just glad it isn't me. I guess none of them ever realize that most of their magical cars will end up like that lonely Cutlass that no one wants.