In 1836, The Republic of Texas and Mexico met in battle near present day LaPorte, Texas. It was a meeting that ultimately resulted in freedom for Texas and the retreat of Mexican forces south of the Rio Grande. That conflict is known as the Battle of San Jacinto. Another meeting at the same historic site took place well over a century and a half later. The outcome would also be significant however, it could not have been more contrasting.
In 2005, at the birthplace of Texas Liberty, Edward Torres and Brandon Leath had a meeting that would ultimately bring people together in fun, excitement and entertainment. At the core of this gathering were hot rods, dropped trucks, muscle cars, bikes and street customs, most of which were modded with custom air suspensions. From that day forward, the annual meeting became know as Battle Drag, one of the hottest car shows in Texas.
Within a few years, Battle Drag outgrew it’s origin at the San Jacinto Battle Grounds and all the candy painted, frame laying, wheel watching fun had to pack and head south. This time it was I-45 South to the Gulf Greyhoud Park in LaMarque, Texas, where the grounds are large enough to accomodate the crowd.
Whip Appeal caught up with Edward Torres to get the lowdown on the layed out rides and all that goes into putting on Battle Drag.
(Whip Appeal): What’s the story behind Battle Drag? How was it formed and how has it evolved over time?
(Edward Torres): In July of 2005 I attended Texas Heat Wave as I have always done since I’ve been old enough to drive. A club member of mine had run out of compressed air for his truck but luckily there was a vendor on site filling compressed air bottles. I tagged along with him and some other friends to fill his bottle. Next to the compressed air booth there was a young guy trying to talk a club member of mine into buying a slim cased dvd. That young man ended up being Brandon Leath of Weekend Celebrity Productions, formally Crime Pays Video. I struck up a conversation with the gentleman and he mentioned that they were starting a DVD company and were looking for a club to feature in the DVD. We exchanged info and his partner contacted me online later. I set something up for my club to get together at our regular meeting spot. With my club being friendly with many other people in the scene some members asked if they could invite their friends to the gathering. I had no objection. By the time the gathering took place we had about 125 vehicles involved. I was asked to host the event annually and the rest is history. Eventually we outgrew the initial venue and were asked not to return. With a new venue came new costs so it went from a practically free event to a paid event. I’m not the type of person to “half-ass” things so the show gets bigger and better each year.
(Whip Appeal): What’s the meaning behind the name Battle Drag and it’s significance to the event?
(Edward Torres): The first three years of the event were held at the San Jacinto Battlegrounds Monument. The event was for vehicles with air suspension and after the get together there was occasionally some dragging on the highway. Chris Brull of Weekend Celebrity Productions is responsible for the name Battle Drag.
(Whip Appeal): Describe the perfect Battle Drag? What does a successful event look like to yourself as well as the staff?
(Edward Torres): First off is the one thing I have no control over… the weather. A few years ago we had the best weather anyone could ever ask for. Sunny and 70 degrees. We always have wind because we are so close to the coast so that will never change. Great weather would be the best thing to happen to our event. Besides that I would just love it if everyone in the area and the people who are nice enough to travel to our event to show up early, get judged, park and have fun with old friends and make some new friends. That would make it the perfect event.
(Whip Appeal): Expand on differences between Battle Drag and other custom car, truck and bike shows? Point out Battle Drag’s strong points when compared to many other car shows.
(Edward Torres): The first difference is that I come from a background of showing my own vehicles. This isn’t my way of making a living. I do this because I love it and the scene needs more shows like mine and Lone Star Throwdown. I care about each and every vehicle that rolls through into the show grounds and every person that walks through the gates. I want everyone to leave happy and feel like they got way more than their money’s worth. I try to keep the show family friendly. I don’t allow cruising so that no one gets in any accidents and so that spectators have a chance to see all of the vehicles. I keep the prices as low as I can and still cover costs. I price control all of the vendors and any of my merchandise. For a show the size of mine I’m about $20 less for gate fees and $10 less for a t shirt. Plus I let kids, military, police, firefighters and emergency first responders in for free.
(Whip Appeal): Battle Drag has been covered by many of the industry/car culture publications, name a few of the most recognizable magazines that covered the event in the past and may potentially cover the event for 2012.
(Edward Torres): Crime Pays Video / Weekend Celebrity Productions has covered every single Battle Drag and is responsible for the event being in existence. Minitruckin Magazine was the first magazine to give us a shot and has been covering our event since 2008. We also have coverage from Surface DVD and Solo Films DVD. This year we should also add coverage from Truckin and Street Trucks Magazines.
(Whip Appeal): Battle Drag recognizes many of our nations service men and women, including first responders like the fire fighters, our military, EMT, police officers and more, explain how that came about and why it is important to Battle Drag to acknowledge them as a part of the show.
(Edward Torres): I saw an opportunity to give a little back to the people that sacrifice for us while asking for nothing in return. It’s the least I could do. My favorite moment of Battle Drag 6 was having two giant fire trucks pull into the parking lot and having an entire fire house come enjoy the show. At first I thought they were coming to shut the show down. I ran up to them as they were coming across the parking lot and they told me they were there to see the cars. After the initial shock wore off I felt like a little kid seeing the fire trucks up close.
(Whip Appeal): Would you describe Battle Drag as a family friendly event or for mature audiences and why?
Battle Drag is definitely a family friendly event but once the sun goes down then it’s time to put the kids to bed. During the show all of our events are family friendly. We have adult tricycle races, a pickle eating contest, tug-o-war, ride alongs in real drift vehicles on a closed course. The after party is another story. With your weekend pass wrist band you get free entry to the local gentlemen’s club. Lots of our attendees take full advantage of this offer and meet there to have a few alcoholic beverages and take in the sights.
(Whip Appeal): What final thoughts or comments would you like to mention that perhaps I have not covered at this point before we close out this interview?
(Edward Torres): I really hate to end the interview with speaking of a gentlemen’s club. That’s not what the show is about. Battle Drag is my obsession. From the second I wake up to when I go to sleep every free moment I have goes into making Battle Drag the best show possible for everyone who attends. If anyone has any constructive criticism about the show I am open to listen to it. I love to hear honest feedback. Like I mentioned before I’m not in this for anything except the scene. I’ll leave you by saying that I’d like to thank my amazing girlfriend for sticking by me through all the hard times that I put the both of us through because of the show and my club Damage Inc for all the hard work and dedication in the last eleven years we’ve been around.
Whip Appeal would definetly like to thank Edward for taking the time to speak to us about the event. Let me also add that like most Texans, I remember the phrase and battle cry “Remember the Alamo” from our Texas history books . I’ll venture out on a limb to say, if Edward and staff have their say, this years event will have a textbook ending and all in attendance will be remembering Battle Drag 2012 for some time to come.
Click Here To View Battle Drag Presentation: http://youtu.be/BK2x2vAxgdQ
Battle Drag 2012 takes place October 12-14 at the Gulf Greyhound Park, located at 1000 FM 2004 Rd, LaMarque, Texas 77568. To view the official flyer, video commercial or for more information visit their website at: http://www.battledrag.com/
If you have an upcoming custom car show, street rod project or offer custom products or services to the custom car community and would like to be featured in Whip Appeal, contact us today! Email D. Smith at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 713.2355.0670.
Until next time,
D. Smith/Whip Appeal Blog & Whip Creamz Car Wax Collection