Topics: Chevrolet Impala, Automobile, Lowrider Pages: 5 (1587 words) Published: May 15, 2013
A lowrider is a car originated by Mexican-Americans in California. It was a part of the zoot-suit fashion that bloomed heavily through Los Angeles during the 1930s. Many lowriders have hydraulic suspension systems (modified suspension) so that their ride can change height at the flip of a switch. Lowriders are commonly classic cars from the 1950s (when lowriding began). However, large numbers of 1940s to 2000s model cars are also modified; to an uncommon degree newer vehicles are also modified. The word is also used to refer to those who drive or own such cars. A lowrider will traditionally have many factory-offered accessories or options and often many after-market accessories added.Contents [hide] 1 Description of the subculture

2 Description of vehicles
2.1 Exterior
2.2 Hydraulics
2.3 Interior
3 See also
4 References
5 External links

Description of the subculture [edit]

During the post-war prosperity of the '50s. Initially, some youths would place sandbags in the trunk of their customized cars in order to create a lowered effect.[citation needed] This method was replaced by lowering blocks, cut spring coils, z’ed frames and drop spindles. The aim of the lowriders is to cruise as slowly as possible, "Low and Slow" ("Bajito y Suavecito") being their motto. By redesigning these cars in ways that go against their intended purposes and in painting their cars so that they reflect and hold meanings from Mexican culture, lowriders create cultural and political statements that go against the more prevalent Anglo culture. [1] The design of the cars encouraged a "bi-focal perspective-they are made to be watched but only after adjustments have been made to provide ironic and playful commentary on prevailing standard of automobile design." [2] However, this resulted in a backlash: the enactment of Section 24008 of the California Vehicle Code in January 1, 1958, which made it illegal to operate any car modified so that any part was lower than the bottoms of its wheel rims.

In 1959, a customizer named Ron Aguirre developed a way of bypassing the law with the use of hydraulic Pesco[disambiguation needed] pumps and valves (scavenged from a surplus B-52 bomber) that allowed him to change ride height at the flick of a switch. 1958 saw the emergence of the Chevy Impala which featured an X-shaped frame that was perfectly suited for lowering and modification with hydraulics. Between 1960 and 1975, customizers adapted and refined GM X-frames, hydraulics, and airbrushing techniques to create the modern lowrider style. The oldest car cruising strip is located on Whittier Boulevard in East Los Angeles. Cruising on this strip became a popular pastime with the lowriding community during the 1940s before spreading to surrounding neighborhoods in the 1950s.[3][4]

Today, the lowriding scene is diverse with many different cultures, vehicle makes and visual styles, however, it remains an important part of history. Essentially all the options available to today's custom automobile creator are also available to the lowrider builder, and lowrider style varies greatly from region to region.[5]

Summer is the most popular season for lowriders, as the weather often encourages being outside either in or nearby the vehicle. Some lowrider clubs have weekly gatherings in the summer where owners of lowriders and friends will have a barbecue followed by cruising a popular drag (or strip) after dark. Aside from local drags and their parking lots, lowriders are most commonly seen at privately organized lowrider car shows that often feature a variety of different vehicular and non-vehicular events, the most popular of which are the wet T-shirt/bikini contests and the hop and dance hydraulic competitions where competitors compete against each other to see who can hop the highest or complete a list of moves within a time limit (dancing). There are several magazines devoted to presenting, preserving, and chronicling lowrider culture, the best...
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