Lowrider events are a very unique niche of car culture. Saturated and sparkling paint jobs, bright upholstery, custom engraving wherever possible, pavement-scraping stances and hydraulics fit for hopping. There’s nothing quite like it.
So when I spotted an ad for a show in West Covina, I was excited for the opportunity to capture the rich visuals that are associated with the Southern Californian lowrider community.
The lowrider scene started in LA back in the post-war ‘40s. At this time, American car manufacturers began to explode cars out of their factories across the country, and the founders of what would be the lowrider scene got creative.
Cars became part of the Chicano identity by the ‘70s as Mexican Americans began to embrace the empowered dialogue that the era brought.
Lowriders aren’t reserved exclusively for car shows; they are part of a core message being delivered. Car clubs often use events to help their local communities, as was the case of this one organized by the Rolling Deep 4 Charities group.
Loads of fundraisers, parades and BBQs are held. These vehicles aren’t just for sitting pretty in a parking lot.
These mobile masterpieces often highlight and incorporate the culture’s core values. Religious and family-oriented murals are elegantly featured in the paintings dotting car body panels. Sometimes they have memorial messages engraved into their bumpers, or portraits painted on their hoods.
The cars are flashy but in a tasteful and curated sense that gets their message across. Lowriding is a car culture that is just as much about the vehicles as it is about the community that makes them.