To say that lowriding is back only means they left, and the truth is lowriding has always been here – the only difference now is that lowriding is spreading its market reach and getting the recognition they’ve always deserved. For many, lowriding remains an art form in itself. It’s just about the only form of car customization that stays true to its roots and the only part of custom car culture that still revolves around their staple 13 or 14-inch wheels. Whereas hot rodding and 4×4’s have seen their wheels get bigger and bigger, lowriding still holds true to it’s historical roots and that’s pretty damn impressive.
In the same breath, lowriding is still about candy and chrome, they don’t “wrap” their vehicles, they don’t do the funky matte paint jobs and when it comes to hydraulics…well there really is no substitute when it comes to a purist mentality. In short, lowriding has stuck with their roots, but fine-tuned their builds, and much like tattoos, the art has only gotten better and much more refined. Muck akin to tattoo culture, they take their art seriously while never forgetting to pay homage to the pioneers who have paved the way for what we enjoy today. If you do your homework, you’ll also realize that tattoos and lowriding have lived parallel lives. They’ve both been victims of bad media and cultural stigmas, they’ve both become a lot more socially acceptable (although tattoos seem to have taken a lead), and when it comes to drama, well it’s safe to say that both markets have more than enough queens. Then again, what flourishing industry doesn’t have a bunch of people throwing salt in the game?
From Europe to Asia, the lowriding scene is strong and it’s only going to get bigger. With classic cars becoming more and more scarce, it’s not uncommon to see six figure lowrider builds and it’s a game which is no longer reserved for the “underground.” Here today is a new breed of lowrider owners who can’t be judged. Decades ago, you could pretty much tell who owned the lowrider parked outside, but here today (and it’s actually been like this for a while) is a new breed of consumers and patrons which is made up of a spectrum of people who come from various socioeconomic backgrounds. From blue color workers to millionaires, the new lowrider is all about diversity. I know of a few doctors with lowriders, the CFO of Casears Palace has his own and I could go on and on.
The one thing you have to respect about this lowriding game is the sacrifice it takes to build one. Again, much like tattoos, you can’t build a lowrider in a few weeks, just like you can’t get a body suit in a few days. The sacrifice, the patience, the headaches, the pain and the struggle are all part of the process and it’s a lengthy one at that. The art of lowriding is about education, dedication and resilience and that’s what makes it an art form which has commanded and never demanded respect. In all, tattoos and lowriding share a common bond, and that bond is the spirit of camaraderie and the family unit. Furthermore, both cultures contain the zest of an evolutionary spirit which is centered around creativity, and it’s the stories and memories they create which will be passed on from one generation to the next.
In closing all I can say is this. Lowriding, tattoos and watches have long been a fascination of mine. I’m intrigued by their intricacies, captivated by their ability to inspire but if I were to give up one it would have to be watches. Why? It’s simple. If you were to collect watches you’d run out of money far before you ran out of space, but with cars and tattoos you’ll run out of room long before you run out of money.