The Sport Of Car Hopping
While the numbers of people involved have diminished dramatically since the 1970s, the low rider car culture is alive and well in Southern California and around the country. Every weekend, you can find dozens of organized low rider shows, which include specialty car hopping competitions.
Car hoppers spend as much as $100,000 to customize cars with elaborate paint jobs, fancy wheel rims, and the sophisticated hydraulics used to make the cars hop. We're talking two to three tons of metal made to stand on end and bounce up to ten feet off the ground. Enthusiasts like Ray, who goes by the name "RL Evil Brainiac", competes as often as he can. Ray has four cars. He's spent at least $80,000 on one of his cars, the one he says can hop more than ten feet off the ground. He is part of a car club - 50 Cars Strong - which is known for expensive engravings on the metal that jazz up the cars even more.
These cars aren't cheap and the sport isn't for the one-time fan. Some of the cars take as much as ten years to build.