Lowriding is a cultural phenomenon that has its roots in the Chicano and Mexican immigrant neighborhoods of Los Angeles and has spread around the world. In the lowrider scene, classic cars are painted with decorations, fully restored and customized, and the chassis is lowered close to the ground. Lowrider cars also often feature hydraulic lifts, allowing them to be lowered or raised with the flip of a switch. For those who want to see lowriders up close, Los Angeles is the mecca and hosts several different shows each year.
The largest lowrider shows usually make national tours and feature hundreds of customized cars, live music, food vendors and even other activities like bikini contests. The good news for Angelenos is that many of these events begin their tour with a grand kick-off in Los Angeles itself. One example is the Hot Import Nights show (hotimportnights.com), which happens every March. The show takes place at the Los Angeles Convention Center and even features a party that includes DJs and dancing until the late hours of the night. Other large Los Angeles shows include the "Lowrider" magazine La Gente Super Show (lowridermagazine.com), which takes place in Imperial, and the Grand National Roadster Show (rodshows.com), which celebrated its 61st anniversary in 2011.
Most enthusiasts who own and maintain lowriders are members of car clubs that regularly meet and communicate, sharing tips and tricks and getting together for parties. These clubs often hold car shows throughout the Los Angeles area, where members of the public can show up, talk to the car owners, check out the cars and even pose with them for photos. In Los Angeles, some of the clubs to watch out for include the Classic Lowriders Car Club, based on the West Side, the Uniques Car Club, based in the South Bay and the Oldies Car Club, based in the San Fernando Valley. Check out the events page of "Lowrider" magazine for complete listings of club car shows.
An integral part of the communities in which they work and live, lowrider owners and aficionados also frequently hold car shows for charities all over the Los Angeles area. Cabrillo College High School in Long Beach throws an annual fundraiser for its college prep program every February that features a lowrider car show as well as live music. The Royal Image Car Show in La Puente is designed to raise money for the PTA of the local California School. Again, check the events page of "Lowrider " magazine for fundraiser car show listings.
Lowriding got started on the streets of the Los Angeles area, as proud owners cruised up and down classic strips like Whittier Boulevard. Those who want to see lowriders in their natural habitat have to go no further than the street festivals that feature lowriders. The Cinco de Mayo festival in Santa Monica includes a classic car and lowrider show, while the annual Festival De La Gente in downtown Los Angeles, which happens in late October, features lowriders and Chicano craft booths.
- Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images