10 Things Most Gearheads Don’t Know About Lowriders

California is home to a plethora of trends. Over the past few decades, gearheads have been lucky or unlucky to witness some of the best and worst trends to ever come out of a store. Everyone remembers the SoCal JDM trend which was largely inspired by Japanese tuners. It’s definitely something to remember. On the brighter side, other trends such as lowrider culture have transcended time.

RELATED: 12 Of The Sickest Lowriders (& 4 That Make No Sense)

Being a very multicultural state, California was at the center of what were then considered subcultural movements. Cultural differences can be expressed in several ways. Automotive cultures often come from different socio-economic backgrounds. Lowriders are an integral part of Latino culture in the United States. They have become so prevalent over time that the cars that make the coolest lowriders are well known in the community.

ten New world order

African American WW2 Cropped
via theconversation.com

World War II had a huge impact on the world today. In fact, the conflict has completely redefined the way we live our lives. Preceded by a two-year pandemic and the worst economic collapse of the 20th century, the pre-World War II world was bleaker than it had ever been. When war broke out, people from all over the world took part in the conflict, whether around Europe or in the Pacific.

Latinos in World War II
via nps.gov

Some of the deadliest aircraft ever used by the United States Air Force were flown by separate units such as the Tuskegee Airmen. African Americans weren’t the only ones fighting for a nation that didn’t see them as citizens. Asian Americans and Latinos found themselves in a similar situation. While they fought for their country, they did not receive a warm welcome once the war was over and returned home.

9 land of the free

Dry Lakes Hot Rod
On patganahl.com

During the war, civilian-turned-military personnel learned a wide variety of skills applicable to everyday life. Those who worked on machines became or honed their ability to repair vehicles with whatever was available. Therefore, when the war ended and the soldiers returned home, they were equipped with a set of skills that would allow them to create new things.

RELATED: These Classics Make The Sickest Hot Rods

Dry Lakes Hot Rod 2 Cropped
On jalopyjournal.com

When the troupes returned from Europe and Asia, they had plenty of time and income available to immerse themselves in a new hobby. Caucasian gearheads were big in hot rods. The trend has captivated a slew of young gearheads ready to turn an old Ford into a beast capable of hitting decent speeds. Unfortunately, the hot rod was extremely ethnically homogeneous.

8 Counter-culture

Ron Aguirre Low Low 2 Cropped
On remezcla.com

It is well known that America was still very segregated after World War II. Though they served and died for their country, racial minorities face the very issues they fought abroad. Concentrated in specific areas, these minorities have done everything to create a sense of belonging. This led to several trends, including lowriders.

Ron Aguirre Low Stocking Cropped
On corvetteforum.com

While most Caucasians were busy racing California’s dry lakes, Latinos were tricking their cars into using whatever seemed appropriate. The most distinctive sign was the lowered rear, achieved by adding weight to the rear of the car. Things got complicated when a law was passed to ban stock lowriders. Ron Aguirre and the first hydraulic car, his 1957 X-Sonic, completely revolutionized culture.

seven Genesis

East LA cropped
via nbcnews.com

Los Angeles is the birthplace of a variety of items and movements that are now popular around the world. The telecopter was first introduced to viewers by KTLA. Gangsta rap began on the mean streets of Compton in the 80s. It’s well known that Southern California helped solidify the Golden State’s reputation. For Los Angelenos, there’s more to Southern California than Barbie and Eazy-E.

Is LA 2 cropped
via latimes.com

Although lowriders are a real thing in Los Angeles, the real roots of bouncing cars are in East LA. While East LA has changed a lot since the 1940s, lowrider culture remains. It’s possible to walk down Whittier Boulevard and see a car go up and down like it’s going out of style. These days, lowriders are all over Los Angeles County.

6 Icons

Lowrider Dave's Dream Social Movement Cropped
Via si.edu

Icons emerge organically in every culture. They often perfectly represent the main characteristics of a given culture. Legends all have one thing in common: they accomplish something that the rest of their community is proud of and that other communities respect and admire. There are many icons in Latino culture who have had a huge impact on the conditions of Latinos nationwide.

RELATED: 10 Of The Most Famous Lowriders In TV And Film

Daves Dream short
On meridelrubenstein.com

Dave’s Dream is David Jaramillo’s project, started in the 70’s. Based on a 1969 Ford LTD, Dave’s Dream is the representation of lowrider culture. David died in 1978 and left behind a widow and a son. What makes this lowrider really special is the fact that it is the very first lowrider ever sent to a museum. Although the car has deteriorated since the 1970s, it is still on display at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC.

5 Latin American folklore

Lowrider in cropped crop
Via Pinterest

There are several characteristics unique to Latino culture. Lowriders aren’t just an automotive trend, they’re an art form.

Lowrider in crop 2 cropped
Via toolkit.covid19.ca.gov

Plus, lowriders aren’t just driven by individuals to look like they’re straight out of the movie. blood in blood. Pachuca fashion style and lowriders are not mutually exclusive. In fact, they tend to go together. Overall, lowriders are both a way of life and an art form that is deeply rooted in Latino culture.

4 Cinco de Mayo

Cinco De Mayo Lowrider 2 Cropped
Via sfexaminer.com

For the vast majority of people, Cinco de Mayo is the one time of year when wearing a sombrero hat and waving maracas isn’t culturally insensitive. Nicknamed “Cinco De Drinko” by the average frat boy, Cinco de Mayo is a holiday as big as the 4th of July. In the lowrider community, Cinco de Mayo is a great day to sail and show off hydraulics.

Cinco De Mayo Lowrider Shorts
Via sfgate.com

Although Tequila shots and hard-shelled tacos are for sale at Cinco de Mayo, that’s not the point of the celebration. Cinco de Mayo celebrates Mexico’s victory over the French in the Franco-Mexican War of 1862. Cinco de Mayo represents Mexican culture and heritage, which includes classic cars modified on hydraulics. Therefore, Cinco de Mayo is a great place to watch some of the sickest lowriders.

3 gangsta 4 life

Via Pinterest

It’s fair to say that lowriders are cool. They are based on some of the finest classic cars. Their candy paint never fails to turn heads, there are chrome rims with 100 spokes, the 16 switches for the hydraulic system. There are so many things that make a lowrider a must-have. Naturally, members of other communities have embraced the lowrider lifestyle with a slight twist.

Hip Hop Stockings Short Stockings
Through amazon.com

It’s fair to say that old-school rappers knew the cars that make perfect lowriders. When you watch some of the old rap music videos, it’s common to see Dr. Dre or Snoop Dogg racing down Crenshaw Boulevard or Compton Avenue in lowriders. African Americans in urban areas have been in close contact with Latin American communities and have therefore adopted some of their cultural traits.

2 Queen of the Lowriders

1964 Chevy Impala SS cropped
via mecum.com

In muscle car culture, it’s no secret that the 1967 Chevy Corvette L88 is the Corvette of all Corvettes. JDM fans would love to get their hands on a twin-turbocharged Toyota Supra MK4 with a manual transmission. It gets a bit trickier for European car fans, but it’s fair to say that most of them would love to have a Bugatti Chiron Super Sport or a Ferrari 488 parked in their driveway.

RELATED: 15 Sickest Chevrolet Impala Lowriders Ever

1964 Chevy Impala SS 2 cropped
via mecum.com

There are several reasons the 1964 Chevy Impala was so cool. It’s a beautiful classic car that has aged like fine wine. It’s important to keep in mind that Chevrolet didn’t have a dealership in South Los Angeles in the 1960s, which made it difficult for urban communities to get their hands on an Impala. The ’64 Impala never lost its appeal.

1 Export

Lowrider Japan Cropped
Via sandiegouniontribune.com

The national sport in the Philippines is basketball. It’s common to walk into a store and see people cheering for the Golden State Warriors. In Australia, where the muscle car scene is alive and well, there are several muscle car shows featuring only imported classic American cars. In some European countries, hip hop has become the most popular music, surpassing even native music.

Lowrider Japan 2 Cropped
By YouTube

Imagine you’re walking around Tokyo when all of a sudden you hear a bang followed by the creaking hydraulics usually do. The lowrider culture was successfully exported to Japan. In fact, some Japanese have taken a liking to the culture that surrounds the lowrider lifestyle. The only thing that differentiates them from all the people who cruise lowriders back home is the fact that they are in Japan.

These are the coolest Lowriders we’ve ever seen

Love ’em or hate ’em, lowriders deserve their place in automotive history thanks to the time, money and effort put into them.

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