Car Information

Lowrider Cars

A fascinating automotive phenomenon, lowrider cars have gravitated from West coast urban streets to mainstream consciousness. Creative ingenuity and Latin-flavored urban flair have come together to create sleekly designed and often uniquely artistic cars.

Lowriders are most often created from classic cars, with Chevrolets being an early favorite. The suspension and frequently the body of the car are altered to bring the car as low to the ground as possible, hence the name lowrider. Among important features are the hydraulic air shocks, commonly controlled by a switch on the dash that allows the driver to raise and lower the car at will, often quite rapidly, resulting in a hopping effect.

The distinct urban feel, having roots in Latino street culture, is heightened by a variety of stylistic touches. These include white wall tires, gleaming chrome rims – often with spinners – darkly tinted windows, a low, laid back drivers seat, and bass booming stereo system.

What moves these cars, however, from being merely ghetto-fabulous into the realm of urban art is the paint. Coat after coat is applied, and while there are many that make use of the more typical accents, such as pinstripes and the like, lowriders in the classic style are more well known for their beautiful airbrushed paintings.

Many of these paintings are religious in nature, portraying the Virgin of Guadalupe and other icons. Still others reflect aspects of the rich Chicano-Latino cultural heritage, some make socio-political statements.

The lowrider – a creation of the urban poor — was born of a practical necessity. The older classic cars were easier to repair, with parts being available from junkyards. Enhanced by skill and pride, the lowrider emerged as the beautiful expression of culture that it is.

A West coast gift to the automotive world, the lowrider brings together the some of the most powerful elements of urban Chicano-Latino culture. More than just another fashionable car, the well done lowrider is a work of art.

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