Low & Slow In SoCal

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.

Sara Ryan
Instagram: pockowokosara



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Awesome. I'd love to see a time-lapse of how they create those amazing paint schemes.


A large part of me makes me want to do a lace and stripe roof on a car but I lack anything worth doing that on at the moment. I need to see some more lowriders in person one day! Nothing to the caliber like in the article around here locally.


"It's art, you wouldn't get it" Pedro exclaims, as he proceeds to lose $5000 in chrome and polish from his front bumper as he clips the massive obstacle that is an average sized speed bump.
Lamante, in his deep blue Monte Carlo outfitted with beadlocks and a 400 cu, quizzically looks on at Pedro and his "coozins"
wondering why they put eons of time and mortgage-sized heaps of non-sequential $20 bills into making their cars slower, uglier, and unusable for things that are generally associated with cars---such as driving.

Pedro laughs at Lamante's drag rocket, knowing that his car has no mirror-finish chrome, hydraulic suspension, or gaudy alligator leather interior, clearly he is not a fly-@$$ hombre. He prioritizes foolish and aimless concepts like performance and drivability, all in the name of something as silly as being the fastest in his racing class and shattering records.
Pedro knows, you see. Pedro knows that Lamante is a man of no class or hella dripp. Lamante makes slow cars faster.
Pedro makes slow cars, slower, but faster. They are simply not the same.
Our fine hombre friend stares into the skid row sunset with a glimmer in his dilated eyes, as he takes a sip from his gentleman's drink, a sun-baked Heineken can.
A day's work is done for our hero, even if that means..... scraping the frame off his body-on-frame.

Thank you for coming to my TED Talk.


And funny.
Kudos, no judgment.


if your car isn’t a 2006 Prius it’s worse at driving than it should be, so let’s jettison the premise that our preferred car hobbies make us better than anyone else. and maybe don’t quit your day job to write fiction, bro.


we get it, you hate lowriders, don't need to announce your lack of tolerance to the world. Savage tuner? More like savagely a dumbass.


Is Pedro the only Spanish word you know? Try another. Can you say pendejo (pen DAY ho)?


pedro is a name. People's names don't change. You seem pretty simple, mind if I hit this ranch?


This is one of those moments you really shouldn't dig your heels in and pretend that everyone reading this isn't able to see what you were doing with your initial comment.


Ya se que Pedro es un nombre, pendejo...


What amazing cars. The attention to detail and craftsmanship is incredible.