by Michael Kitchens
In 1995, Jay V. became an Outsider…one of Hawaii’s oldest lowrider clubs. Founded by Bill Akiona in 1993, the Outsiders have been hopping lowriders for almost twenty years. Car clubs can be fickle communities as members come and go, lives and outlooks change with loyalty being a key factor in keeping things together. Jay has nothing but loyalty for the Outsiders. “Plenty guys come and go but I’ve been with Bill from the start and I’ll be with him till the end. We’re family.”
Jay has owned over thirty different cars related to the lowrider scene. His first ride was a 1980′s Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme. “You get one car, sometimes the next day you have another…you swap, sell it, buy it.” As time goes on while cars get rarer and harder to come by, Jay is resolved to hang onto his current line-up.
Bill & Jay have put a ton of work into this 1995 Lincoln Towncar. Keep in mind, this isn’t a show car per say…it’s a competition car meant to wow the crowd with super-high hops and dare-devil gas hops. That being said it’s still a gorgeous ride and probably one of the nicest comp cars on the island. “We built that car to hop, not to show. It’s gotta perform.” Combined with a vivid paint job custom-painted by Bill, the car is a vibrant canvas of green and white. It’s dazzling to look at once you factor in all of the shiny bits plus the fact that the car is prepped from top to bottom, including the frame and wheel wells.
The Outsiders do all of their own fabrication at Bill’s house…that includes paint and any other custom work. Known as Bill’s Chop Shop, they’ve pounded out tons of lowriders over the years including this cherry Lincoln. “Bill is the master fabricator…we build them, we don’t buy ‘em.” As far as the Outsiders are concerned, “Duplication is imitation…this is fabrication.”
This classic hops on a custom-fabricated hydraulics system and drops on the pavement on classic 13″ knock-offs. One look at the hydraulics setup along with the impressive suspension work and you can appreciate the amount of hardcore work that allows a car to pull off such amazing hops. For the uninformed, a hop-off is where the car uses its hydraulics to lift the front half of the car off the ground in an attempt to get the most height possible. In addition, a gas-hop is a rolling hop punctuated by flooring the gas pedal at the maximum height of its jump. It’s awesome to watch.
What sets competition cars apart is the amount of work put into the hydraulics and framework. Combined, these two elements can produce huge amounts of lift to raise the front end high-into-the-sky. “We took the body off the frame, welded plates to reduce flex, and worked the hydraulics.” One of the more impressive features is the fact that this car runs a single pump with no pistons as opposed to the more popular double-pump & piston setups. In other words, this car does more with less.
The lowrider community is a very competitive community with a large variety of different clubs all fighting for bragging rights. Jay and the Outsiders prefer to put on a show every time they come out but one thing remains paramount…the family. To finish up…”It’s not what you’re rolling in, it’s who you’re rolling with – The Outsiders”.