Tailgating tradition: 'The Tech Cruiser' - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

Tailgating tradition: 'The Tech Cruiser'

Source: Ashlyn Tubbs Source: Ashlyn Tubbs

Walter Riggs is a former Texas Tech Red Raider who lives in Amarillo but refuses to miss a home game at Jones AT&T Stadium.

"This is our tenth year to be 'Tech Cruising' on the campus," Riggs said

He thought of his signature "Tech Cruiser", a Texas Tech themed SUV, when his school spirit began to rise.

"In the middle stages of Mike Leach's tenure, I realized that Tech was going to be good every year," Riggs said, "so I wanted to do something to commemorate our greatness...so I thought, 'I need to find an early model SUV.' So it took me about three months, but I found this in Las Vegas, Nevada, and the restoration began on April Fools Day, 2007."

Riggs wanted to make sure this SUV would catch fans' attention.

"I went and had it painted this flat black," Riggs said, "and the Texas Tech diamonds? That's a replica of the way he end zones looks in the mid 60's."

Then, Riggs' friend began to suggest ways to make the SUV even better with a beer tap in the side.

"I called my friends at Budweiser distributing," Riggs said, "and they said, 'Bring it out here' and they [installed] that tap for me."

Riggs and his friends even figured out a way to afford the Tech Cruiser.

"We got a tip gun," he said, "which helps find our expenses."

But that is not what attracts a crowd of hundreds to see the Tech Cruiser during each home game tailgate.

"They have these horns that hook up to a key fob," he said, "and I've got it hooked up onto the grill on the battery, and you just press this button and the fight song horn plays. So when the opponents fans are walking by, I've been known to blare it at them a little bit. No offense, but you have to show your school spirit."

Rick Boyd keeps the Tech Cruiser in Lubbock so Riggs does not have to haul it back and forth.

"Every year it gets bigger and better," Boyd said, "because we invite a lot of people and then everybody keeps coming back."

Riggs has not missed a single home game since he developed the Tech Cruiser as he parks it near the student entrance each season.

"You meet people, it's old friends show up, college fraternity brothers," he said. "It's a lot of work, but it's fun. The three hours we spend out here tailgating is really a special time for me and my partners."

Even though Riggs enjoys the Tech Cruiser, he said he may sell it after this season. To contact him visit the Friends of the Tech Cruiser Facebook page.

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