by Michael Kitchens
Over the course of Street Pulse’s many photo shoots and story assignments, I’ve had the opportunity to get to know members of various car clubs quite well. I’ll admit that I’m relatively new to the lowrider scene, but it’s fairly obvious that a family dynamic is what drives these club members.
Gina Salvador knows this better than anyone as the “First Lady” of The Outsiders car club.
Although Gina wasn’t unfamiliar with the scene, it wasn’t until she met her husband, Jay, that she plunged headlong into the lowrider community.
“We were friends before we were dating, so I used to cruise to shows with him,” she says.
After spending some time together, things got real serious between the two. Fourteen years later, they have a club of their own, two kids in tow and another on the way. Gina, who is five months pregnant, is excited to add another baby to the couple’s growing family of car enthusiasts. This further solidifies the family aspect of The Outsiders.
Jay is the current president and with that title comes the appropriately named title for Gina. At first glance, you would assume this group to be just another club, but it goes much further than simple automobile enthusiasm. In many ways, there is a strong sense of loyalty and a loosely defined set of rules that drive the club’s interactions.
The 1985 Oldsmobile Cutlass Gina rolls in is a perfect product of this. Originally owned by Keola Martin, this vehicle was quickly built over a time period of about four weeks by The Outsiders crew. Created as a street cruiser, the car was partially reinforced, painted at Bill’s Chop Shop. Three Black Magic pumps powered by eight enormous batteries drive the custom hydraulics. This car is fully capable of performing the typical lowrider moves, including the infamous “gas hop.”
The car is dipped in a beautiful yellow paint with white pearl and set off by immaculate pinstriping by Colin of Stripes & Things. The vehicle further cements its stance with 13×7 72 cross lace wheels with P155/80 R13 Hercules Touring Radials.
Like most families, possessions can change hands many times. Cars like this are a valuable commodity in the lowrider scene. You simply don’t let just anyone have it. You keep them in the family along with their hidden secrets and fabrication mysteries. Although built for Keola, Jay was so enamored with the car, he had to have it for his wife. A trade was established and soon Gina was popping gas hops down the block.
“I like everything about (the car) — how time and dedication was put into it,” Gina says.
As the First Lady, she can appreciate what it takes to build and operate a car of this stature, and was delighted to see it come back to the family. Her future plans are a re-paint for the car.
Make no mistake, this car gets driven and driven well. Gina even has her own partner-in-crime, Janae Akiona, who double-teams the gas-hop with her.
“I’ll hit the switches and she’ll drive,” Gina tells me.
Of course, when you’re the First Lady, hitting the switches is second nature. Just ask Gina.
1985 Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme
OWNER: GINA SALVADOR
HOBBIES: Spending time with family and The Outsiders car club, and eating
COLOR: Custom Yellow with White Ice Pearls
BUILD TIME: 4 weeks
SUSPENSION: Hydraulics — 3 Black Magic pumps, 8 batteries. Setup done by Bill’s Chop Shop
EXTERIOR: Pin-striped by Colin from Stripes & Things
WHEELS/TIRES: 13×7 72 Cross Lace with P155/80 R13 Hercules Touring Radials