When it comes to locations you’d imagine lowriding to be popular, I am going to go ahead and assume Canada is not on the list. But, if I’m here to do anything, it’s to show that this North American country has as much car culture as anywhere else in the world.
Even if our toys spend half the year locked away in the garage.
Admittedly, prior to a few years ago my own exposure to lowriders was limited to music videos like Dr. Dre’s Still D.R.E. and movies like Training Day.
That all changed when I was introduced to Jeff Forgione of Switches & Thangs. Jeff’s a staple of the Canadian lowrider community, and every year the Majestics, the club he’s a part of, throws a barbecue in Toronto for anyone who wants to roll through.
Jeff invited me to the event years ago, and I’ve gone every year since without fail. I return for two reasons: when food is involved I need not be asked twice, but more importantly lowriders are something I simply can’t get enough of.The Allure Of Wire Wheels & Chrome
As an automotive niche where style, not speed, reigns supreme, I’m sure some of you might be wondering why lowriders pop up on Speedhunters every now and then. Yesterday, Dino even showed us some from Japan.
Sure, most are not built for speed, but for what they lack in that department they make up for in the other main focus of this site, culture.
Lap times, dyno sheets, and dollars spent can be saved for other communities. Does it start, drive and cruise? Have you put your best effort in, and does the end result bring a smile to your face? Then you’re welcome to bring it out, lay it out, and enjoy yourself.
As a niche community, the entire culture is built around self support. While there’s definitely friendly rivalries among the various clubs, friendship, family, and respect are pillars of the community.
Built to turn heads, the owners are fairly used to people pointing lenses at their cars and are always down to open a door or pop a hood for a closer look.
I’ve also never seen a lowrider drive past a child without giving them a little show.
You’d be surprised how quickly a flick of a switch can put a smile on the face of those young, or young at heart.The Details That Captivate
I’ve invited a few people to lowrider events, and most – even if they admit they’d never build one – end up coming back.
Still a skeptic? Trust me, in person it’s a community that is hard to hate.
Tired of seeing cars that have had corners cut for the sake of instant gratification and social media likes? Then take a close and careful look at a lowrider. These cars somehow come off the highway cleaner than some cars come off the trailer.
Even areas built to take damage, like bumperettes, are customized and detailed.
As for undercarriages, those are tidied up and painted at a minimum.
Etching, pinstriping, chrome, gold leaf, metal flake – the ways these cars are personalized is nearly endless. Refreshingly, there’s also no ask for acceptance here. If you don’t like it, well…
But seriously, when it comes to accessorizing I’d argue that lowrider car owners are only rivaled by the most serious of VIP car enthusiasts.
Did you know Chevrolet offered auto high beams and a compass a factory option in 1951? I didn’t before I took a peek inside of the Bel Air above and asked the owner what I was looking at.
Next time you see a lowrider at an event, or on the street, I encourage you to take a long look. You just might like what you see, and you might gain a new appreciation for the style.
There are years of dedication and commitment in these cars and the passion the owners have is impossible to ignore.
But if you still don’t like them and think they are a poor use of classic cars, don’t hate the player, hate the game.