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Let Nevada have Vegas, let California have L.A., let New Mexico have Tucumcari. Easily one of the state’s hidden gems and a must-stop on any Route 66 road trip worth its salt, Tucumcari is a living wonder of mid-century Americana and the recent scene of New Mexico’s newest and biggest rockabilly weekender – Rockabilly on the Route. It might also be the best weekender, but we are admittedly biased, and for good cause, because as a co-producer of the event with Vive le Rock Productions, at the end of the day, La Loca Magazine had a lot to be proud of. A pride we hope to have shared with a great many people, including Albuquerque car clubs the Voodoo Creeps and the Straightrazors, who presented the classic car show,
the sequined starlets of Gilded Cage Burlesk and Varieté, who dazzled audiences with their tassel twirling hijinx, our swarm of selfless volunteers, vivacious venues, New Mexico Route 66 Museum, townspeople, and of course the bands – Wanda Jackson, the Chop Tops, Whiskey Kiss, The Shadow Men, Danger Cakes, Mr. Right and the Leftovers, Fabulous Minx, Rockabilly Strangers – all of which without whom the show could not have gone on. In seeing a town, such as Tucumcari, which was once a Route 66 boomtown at the height of success, fallen slowly by the wayside of American gentrification and a shit house economy, rise out of the ashes to host a monumental
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event in the resurrection of New Mexico’s Route 66 heritage, was, for me, an historic moment. It was proof of the power of community, whether the community of rockabilly or the community of Quay County, to build something worthwhile and beneficial to everyone without selling out or compromising the integrity of the community and what makes it valuable. Like La Loca Magazine, Rockabilly on the Route paid homage to that which makes New Mexico unlike any state in the union. We are culturally diverse, yes, but in being as such, we New Mexicans are a cultural enigma, one worthy of celebration – and nobody knows how to celebrate like a New Mexican! Rockabilly on the Route was a three-day celebration of
not just rockabilly, but of state pride, pride of self and pride of ancestry. It was a place to come and remember that as New Mexicans, we have been rockabilly since before Rockabilly was a genre. For those of us raised by grandparents who fixed their hair with Tres Flores, had aunties who curled their eye lashes with spoons, mommas who danced with us to Richie Valens and brothers who’ve always had a project car out back, this is in our blood. See you gatos next year!
xoxo, Ungelbah Davila editor
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1620 East Route 66 Tucumcari, NM 575-461-1212 www.rte66motel.com
CIRCA ESPRESSO BAR at the Historic Route 66 Motel
H o m e o f th e o s s e r p s E c i m Ato “This ain’t your daddy’s cup of Joe.”
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Where can you find twinkling stars, movies and
popcorn all in one place? Believe it or not there are a few drive-in movie theatres left in New Mexico. Although there were as many as 50 of these outside theatres in the late 1950s, residents can still catch a flick at one of the two drive-in movie theatres still located within the Land of Enchantment. So why not snuggle up next to your sweetie pie with your feet propped up on the dashboard and a piping hot bag of popcorn underneath the night sky at a drive-in movie theatre this summer?
Fiesta Drive-In Theatre, Carlsbad It had gone dark for two decades, but in the 1990s the Fiesta Drive-In Theatre in Carlsbad dusted off its reels and once again opened its gates to movie lovers. The drive in, located at 401 West Fiesta Drive, offers moviegoers three screens to enjoy their favorite flicks, seven days a week. Filmgoers can enjoy a single feature film from Sunday through Thursday or a double-feature night Fridays and Saturdays over the theatre’s own FM radio broadcast. Movie tickets for those over the ages of 13 are $8, which includes admission to both of the movies shown on double-feature nights. Tickets for children ages 5 to 12 are $5, and those under the age of 4 are free. Arrive early to showings as the box office opens at 7:45 p.m., and tickets can’t be purchased in advance or online. Stock up with delicious snacks at the theatre’s concession stand, which offers yummy edibles such as chile
dogs, corn dogs, cheeseburgers, chicken wings, taquitos, cheese stix, chile cheese fries, popcorn and pickles. For more information about the Fiesta Drive-In Theatre, call 505-885-4126 or visit their website at www.fiestadrivein.com.
Fort Union Drive-In, Las Vegas, N.M. If the Carlsbad drive-in is too far of a journey, don’t fret. The Fort Union Drive-In in Las Vegas, N.M., offers movie addicts a healthy dose of two entertaining movies paired with delicious movie snacks offered at the concession stand. The Fort Union, located at 3300 7th St., displays double features on their solo screen every weekend, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, from May through September. Films are displayed from a vintage carbon arc projector system - the original equipment used when the theatre was first opened in 1948. Movies come to life through the theatre’s own FM radio station, but for those who want to travel back in time there are a few drive-in window speakers available. The box office opens at 7 p.m. and movies begin showing films at dusk, or around 8:15 p.m. The drive in, which has a capacity of 340 cars, charges $15 per carload. If you’re stomach starts growling, satisfy that hunger with one of the many choices from the concession stand, such as pizza and nachos. For more information about the Fort Union Drive-In in Las Vegas, call 505-425-9934.
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Retro Handmade Aprons
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Don't you just love seeing them fellas with the most
perfectly greased pompadour? It’s like staring at perfection. They make it look so easy to do. But what about us ladies? Yes we always manage to look our best and we always make those victory rolls look flawless, but it is not always as easy as it looks. Sometimes those stubborn fly-away hairs will not stay put and we end up looking like we stuck our finger in a light socket. But fret not I have three solutions to this problem. Here is a list of the top three hair products that will keep our hairs in place and will not burn a whole in your pocket:
Product #1: G2B "Glued" Styling Spiking Glue. This product is great for styling, holding and spiking. It comes in a 6 oz. bottle and will only run you about $5. Product #2: Moco De Gorila (yes folks that means a
gorilla’s boogers) Strong Hold Molding Gel. This can be found at any local drug store and will cost you between $3 and $4.
722 East Route 66 Tucumcari, NM 88401 (575) 461-1048 www.themotelsafari.com
Product #3: When all else fails, always go for the Tres
Flores (Three Flowers) hair grease. This product is a little less sticky than the other two and smells like you just stepped out of a garden full of flowers, and not only will it work well but it will leave you smelling like any other chola in Albuquerque. You can find this product at any local drugstore or flea market. A jar of this costs about $2.50.
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Nestled on the outskirts of Albuquerque’s city
limits, along the dusty trail of the historic Route 66, lays a little place called Enchanted Trails RV Park. This park is host to travelers and campers from all around, just like any other, but there is one thing that makes this campsite uniquely special. Enchanted Trails offers seven different vintage RVs and campers, dating from 1950 to 1974, available for nightly stays. With rates as cheap as $66 a night, this is an affordable alternative to staying at big name hotel chains and guarantees an experience that will be rich with character. The classic campers are arranged beautifully around a patch of grass and a picnic table, perfect for socializ-
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ing, and complete with pink flamingo lawn decorations. The only way this summertime sanctuary could get any better is if it had a pool. Well hang on to your vintage swim suits folks because it has one of those, too. If you are seeking an all-American camping experience, then the Enchanted Trails offers will be irresistible. For any vintage collector, having seven gorgeous classic campers to decorate is like a dream come true. And for owner Vickie Ashcraft, that’s exactly what it was. After working for the RV park for over 20 years, Ashcraft decided to purchase the park in 2000. Since then she has customized each vintage camper from top to bottom with authentic mid-century Americana décor. Even the gorgeous kitchenware provided for use in each camper is a throwback to a simpler time.
An original 1940s adobe trading post building serves as the office for the park and is a reminder of the historical value that the site holds. This kitche camping experience combined with the gorgeous desert views and legendary New Mexican sunsets make for the ingredients of one
amazing summertime memory. This stop is a must see when passing through New Mexico, a perfect overnight getaway for locals, and even a great venue to host an event such as a family reunion. Immerse yourself in vintage fantasy with this truly classic camping experience.
1956 Yellowstone “Geneva” 1959 Spartan “Flossie” 1963 Winnebago “Dot” 1974 Silver Streak “Della” 1954 Vakashunette: hitched to a 1950 Hudson Commodore “Evelyn” 1969 Airstream “Josephine” 1956 Teardrop “Alva”
Opposite Page: Top and center 1959 Spartan; Bottom 1956 Yellowstone This page: Top 1954 Vakashunette; Center 1959 Spartan; Bottom 1963 Winnebago Photos by Krissy Bencomo Models: Liz O’Reilly, Aaron Anglin
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All too often at the local summer shows I see cars pullin’ in, or in some cases being towed in, with drivers frantically trying to park and shut down their rides because they are about to, or are already, overheating. It seems that more and more people are neglecting the importance of a well maintained cooling system. No matter how slick your sled, bad ass your gasser, loco your low low, or rockin’ your rat maybe, pullin’ in and spewing green guts all over the pavement like a drunken sailor on his first night at port, singing that old familiar tune of overheating from the overflow, makes your ride’s impressive look fall short. Stressing about long red lights, stalls in busy intersections, blowing hoses and carb boil-over after parking maybe “part of owning an old ride” to some of you out there, but it definitely doesn’t have to be. Following some of these simple, and cheap, tips should get you riding with more reassurance, pride, better gas use,
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and best of all more power. If the idea of cheap ways to get a little more power doesn’t get your pan handle hot, then you fella (or ma’am) are no true car lover. A good place to start would be: leaks, old weak water pumps, stuck thermostat, and rusty old coolant. They can be sneaky heat building bastards sometimes. Leaks hiding at the back of a manifold, creeping out of a water pump weep hole or a loose clamp on a bottom hose causing annoying coolant “disappearances” can cause headaches down the road. Even a small head gasket coolant leak can cause major overheating issues. Also, look for poor coolant flow caused by loose or corroded pump impellers, stuck thermostats and clogged passageways from rust. While not the easiest to fix at times, this is easily the most important thing to fix before trying any other tips covered in this column. You could try all the tips and tricks you could possibly fathom, but none will be as effective or useful at all if you don’t cover your ass and have your cooling system’s basic functions met.
Another must to beat summer overheating issues is a proper tune on your engine. Improper timing, incorrect plug gaps, vacuum leaks and wonky carb adjustments can all plague your ride with overheating issues. If you wanna know the hows and whys, then Google that shit, the info is readily available for those who want to do a little Interwebs diggin’. Just know that improper tuning causes excessive heat by making your engine’s internals and electronics work harder than they have to. Do yourself a favor and make sure your machine is in proper working order, it will make these tips much more worth your time. Something to make a considerable difference in your summer drivability is ditching that mechanical fuel pump for an electric fuel pump. Or if you just have to keep the mechanical pump for that nostalgic look, add a low PSI electric pump to help feed the mechanical on hot days. There are ways to plum your fuel system with a simple bypass and check valve if you’d like to only run the electronic pump on hot days or for that added pressure at the strip or track. A good placement for the electric pump is closer to the tank with an extra filter. Just don’t place it near your exhaust! Also, shielding your underhood fuel lines from headers and other heat radiating parts will decrease your chance of vapor lock. Some other quick fixes that are often over-
looked, that can be done on a tight budget in a short timeframe, are simply adding a fan shroud or a cheap electric fan, wrapping your headers, adding heat shields, and installing carburetor heat insulator gaskets, especially if you have some serious performance between the frame rails. You wouldn’t believe the difference in drivability that adding all of these tips together actually makes! In any case, hopefully these tips will help some of you beat the heat and keep your car (and yourself) reputable. Most of you have probably done a few of these simple mods and tips already, but for those of you who haven’t from the steam, pools of antifreeze and rusty water creepin’ from under your rides at the shows, you should. Whelp, I hope all this you-already-knew-that-information gets you out of the garage and out on the road, enjoying your ride with better drivability and crooked smiles on your faces. If not, I’m sure I’ll see you and “Old Faithful” spewing right on cue at the next show. (Redstripe is the founder of Redstripe’s Perspective and Visual Arts. With an associate degree in Automotive Technology, history in the automotive industry, and strong mechanical/artistic abilities, his passion for rebellious vehicular kustomizing runs deep.)
photo by Redstripe
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The history of Café Racers began among the British
motorcyclists and “rockers” of the 1950s and early ‘60s, when young, rebellious and high on rock ‘n’ roll studs made it their goal to reach speeds of 100 mph – “the ton” – on their bikes. They raced from a café to a destination and back again before a song’s end on the jukebox. Popular songs of the time, such as two-minute Eddie Cochran tunes, made completing a three-mile round trip a true need for speed. These youth gone wild would race from café to café, such as London’s Ace Café built in 1938 on the North Circuit Road and a popular teenage hangout in the ‘50s and ‘60s, along the newly built motorways in Britain’s towns and cities. Known as the birthplace for the growing fad, the Ace was the place for young people to meet, listen to music and wait for a fast bike to make a challenge. When the racers went back to the café, often loaded with truck drivers who would tell them, "You’re not a real racer, you’re just a Café Racer!" To which they’d respond, “Your damn right I’m a Café Racer!” before speeding off to the next location. And so the term “Café Racer” was born. One signature trait of the Café Racers was their bikes had low, narrow handlebars, which offered better control
Photos by Abigail R. Ortiz
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and helped the riders tuck in and reduce wind resistance. These handlebars were referred to as "ace bars," "clubman’s," or "clip-ons," depending on if they were one-piece or two-piece bars. These bikes were built for speed rather than comfort, and they were known for being custom built, distinctive, stripped down, personalized, fast and raw. But, by the mid 1970s manufactures such as BMW, Derbi, Benelli and Bultaco began to take notice of the demand for Café Racer bikes and started to produce factory Café Racer models, which had had square, narrow, fiberglass tanks instead of the unpainted aluminum gas tanks. Legendary fans of Rockabilly and American music, the image of these daredevil riders is now firmly implanted in today's Rockabilly culture, and have recently made quite a comeback around the world, including right here in the 505.
Albuquerque’s Duke City Rockers
are well known for riding around town in their custom-built Café Racers. These radical rebels have been around since 2008, and held their first bike rally in 2010 where they were featured in Scoot! Magazine. Being that DCR is an independent bike club, they decided not to follow any specific look or style and instead opted to be a loose confederation of folks with a common interest. “Like most of us outsiders, I've always had an affection for the custom culture of hot rods, bobbers and cafe racers,” says DCR
member Thaison Garcis. “So naturally I met up with a few guys that had the same appreciation for everything vintage. The great thing about the club is that it's more about the riding and wrenching than about the clothes or attitude.” With between 12 and 13 regulars who ride with DCR, each person’s bike has a very distinct, personal look, ranging from rustic to customized with paint jobs and pin stripes. DCR will be holding their fourth annual Damn October event the first weekend of October. This event will include a kickoff with a dinner, poker run, rally and bike rides throughout Albuquerque and the East Mountains. Trophies will be awarded for Best of Show and Best Scooter, among others. For more informaton on how to join DCR or Damn October, contact the group on their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/dukecityrockers.
“Get your shopping fix on Route 66! ”
s p U n i 66 P
521 Central Ave. NW, Suite H 505-766-PNUP www.66pin-ups.com
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The Rockabilly on the Route I revisited issue.