Although there are plenty of classic car fans scattered all over the world, lowrider car culture takes this love one step further and into a league of its own.
If you ignore the potentially financial appeal, there’s still something special about being the proud owner of a classic car in this day and age. Unsurprisingly, it’s not just the revheads that love the iconic vehicles of yesteryear. Iconic models don’t only appeal to car lovers, but also attract those passionate about engineering, design, art and yes, history. Before cars were built for efficiency and speed, it was about the experience, style, exclusivity and ultimately, craftsmanship – making them timeless, works of art.
Within each of the classic car sub categories, automotive enthusiasts usually also have preferences as to what types of classic cars they opt for. For some people, it’s all about muscle cars, while others prefer hot rods, pony or sports models. Some collectors even have a penchant for convertibles, so a classic or vintage car’s value can also boil down to personal preference.
However, lowrider car culture is regarded as a phenomenon that has managed to blur the lines even further. As a customised vehicle with hydraulic jacks that allow the chassis to be lowered nearly to the road, lowriders are regarded as at their best when using modified classic cars – but what’s the point?
The Origins Of Modified Lowrider Cars
To some classic car fans, the concept of modifying a vehicle to this level sounds horrifying, while to others, it’s just another way to embrace car culture on a different level. Although a lowrider car serves no practical purpose as such, the aim of the game has always been to cruise as slowly as possible, with the motto being to drive “low and slow”.
The origins of lowrider car culture can be traced all the way to the mid forties, right through to the post war prosperity of the fifties. Mexican American youths in Los Angeles began to lower blocks, cut coil springs, z the frames and drop the spindles as a means to achieve this look. According to historians and auto enthusiasts alike, by redesigning these cars into lowriders in ways that went against their intended purposes, lowriders created cultural and political statements never seen before in ways that went against the more prevalent Anglo culture of the era. This was particularly relevant when considering that a lowrider was also often painted in a fashion that held special meaning to Mexican-American culture.
The rise of lowriders in California also resulted in a backlash from the authorities, primarily via the enactment of Section 24008 of the California Vehicle Code. From January 1, 1958, it was illegal to operate any car modified so that any part was lower than the bottoms of its wheel rims. However, nothing makes a car more desirable than questionable legalities, and in 1959, American car customiser Ron Aguire figured out a way to bypass these laws. By using hydraulic Pesco pumps and valves that allowed the driver to change the ride height at the flick of a switch, it soon became obvious that the humble lowrider wasn’t going anywhere.
While lowriders have greatly evolved since their early days, much of what defines them is their connection to the past. Equal parts artistry and engineering, today’s lowriders seen in film franchises such as “The Fast And The Furious” are characterised by numerous custom features. Just a handful of the more common inclusions are shiny rims, whitewall tires, candy coat paint, pinstriping, murals, old-school velour or leather interiors, and, of course, the all important hydraulics. These are the technologies that allow lowriders to bounce, go three-wheeling, and more, while still celebrating and participating in a somewhat underground car culture and community.
Getting Your Hands On A Classic Car
Meeting a fellow vintage auto enthusiast can feel a bit like finding a needle in a haystack, but rest assured that Classic’s Garage understands the thrill more than most. Having spent forty years collecting anything and everything from matchbox cars to hub caps, he’s successfully followed his passion to source, collect and stock beautiful and low mileage classic automobiles from around the world. With extensive experience in the automotive industry, it was only a matter of time before Wayne expanded on his love of vintage, iconic vehicles to share his knowledge and passion with the public.
Although his passion is for automobiles built before 1978, with a particular love for Buicks, Cadillacs, Lincolns, Oldsmobiles and even Fords, Wayne is just as passionate about the stories of the owners. Just like the cars, he has found that his fellow classic car enthusiasts all have wildly different attractions and logic behind their passion or hobby, and this often translates into how the car is presented. If it’s even remotely different, rare or just plain unusual, Wayne will overcome the relevant logistical and geographical challenges of bringing the cars to his showroom in Australia.
Classic’s Garage is a showroom conveniently located at Seventeen Mile Rocks, that specialises in the restoration and sales of vintage automobiles. In fact, he’s got a medley of fully restored models in stock right now, which can be viewed online via Wayne’s Collection. If you’re on the hunt for Brisbane classic cars – quite simply, Wayne is your man. If you would like to arrange a viewing or inspect any other of our classic vehicles, please get in touch with us today.