By Amy Silverman
By Olivia LaVecchia
By Monica Alonzo and Stephen Lemons
By Chris Parker
By Michael Lacey
By Weston Phippen
"I drive it on the street everywhere," Don says. "Best number was 10.5 seconds at 130 mph. It's a 300-horse engine with a nitrous on it. I've had it for a couple of years sitting around, and finally decided to throw it together real quick. I own a transmission shop in north Phoenix, and we like to come out here pretty often and whip up on the Hondas."
After a few more words with Don, we perambulate over to the area where all the show cars reside, either tricked-out imports or domestics with vertical doors, spoilers, wild decals, woofers as large as midgets in their trunks, and all kinds of electronics and flat-screen TVs throughout the interiors. I'm feelin' what I'm peepin', but Pachinko keeps grumblin' about "effin' rice burners." Seems Pachinko is a purist when it comes to racing and looks down on the too tricked-out imports. Or domestics, for that matter. So I let Jett and Pachinko wander around and score more pics, while I conversate with some of the dudes with the pimped-out rides.
I choose a sweet lil' number that's sportin' my favorite colors, orange and green, and then strike up a confabulation with owner Matt Garcia, 20, from Scottsdale. The trophies out in front signify that Garcia's won big-time in the past for his whip's looks, and he's justifiably proud.
"It's a 2003 Chevy Cavalier," states Garcia, breakin' down the specs. "It's got a Razzi Body Kit on it, and custom paint from House of Kolor. It's tangelo-pearl orange on top, and lime-time green on bottom with a silver pinstripe. It's my everyday drive car, but I show it all the time. The trophies are ones I've won in the past for best paint."
"I see you're here with all your buds." I nod at them.
"Yeah, we're all in the same car club together -- Team Wolf Pack," he says.
"So are you in school or do you work?"
"I work full time at Bill Heard Chevrolet in Scottsdale," he answers. "I'm also in the Marine reserves."
"Have you had to go over to Iraq?"
"I've been in for a year and a half now, but I haven't had to go over there yet," he says.
"Well, let's hope you don't have to, mon," I comment, patting him on the back. Nearby is another orange-ish ride I want to gander at closer, so I start headin' in that direction, when a gaggle of fly young Latinas parades by me. They're all easy on the eyes, especially Celine and Viri, at whom I decide to try spittin' some game.
"Why are you lovely preciosasout on this fine evening?" I inquire.
"Just for fun," replies Celine. "We came out from Carefree."
"I love your Sundial," I smirk. "So, you honeys lookin' for something in particular?"
"We're lookin' for some men," exclaims Viri, bobbin' her head as she responds. "Me, I want a cute man with a tight car."
"How 'bout me, am I cute enough for you?" I ask.
"You are fine," she states, batting her long black lashes at me.
"Too bad he came here in a hooptie," Jett breaks in, Pachinko by her side, the two of them ruinin' my steelo with the squalies, as Celine and Viri walk on by. "Hey, Kreme, they're gonna start the bikini contest soon."
"Put your libido on lock for, like, five seconds," I snap. "I want to talk to this guy with this Mustang over here. He won Best in Show tonight."
Soon I'm speaking with Yoseph Azizi from Phoenix, who's toting a huge trophy signifying his victory for the best-looking ride of the event, while others won for speed, and so forth. His 2000 'Stang is painted a glorious sunburst orange with gold flake, and he's got it up on 22-inch Forte rims. Pretty enough to eat, fender-flared and lowered. But Azizi says it's the electronics in the car that won over the judges.
"I've got a 37-inch plasma in the back, a 15-inch flip-down, an integrated laptop 19-inch in the dash, in-dash DVD, and a PlayStation 2," he breaks it down. "I've spent a bright shiny penny on it, and a lot of time, but it's what I enjoy doing."
"C'mon, Kreme, the bikini contest is starting now," insists my switch-hittin' sidekick, eager to see all that bare skin.
"By God's gonads, girl, you'd think you're gonna be in it, the way you talk," I crack.
"I'd like to jump up there and compete," she admits, sheepishly. "But I'm not wearing any undies."
I cackle at the thought. "And, like, when has that ever stopped you before?"