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car or truck which has had its suspension system modified (sometimes with hydraulic suspension) so that it rides as low to the ground as possible. Lowriders often have user controlled height adjustable suspension. Lowriders are very often classic cars from the 1950s which rode low to begin with, although large numbers of 1940s and 1960s cars are also modified, and to a lesser degree newer vehicles. The word is also used to refer to those who drive or own such cars. A lowrider will traditionally have as many factory offered accessories / options as possible and often many after-market accessories added.
A lowrider's internal parts are likely to take damage from any form of an obstruction or imperfection in the road surface. The reverse automobile trait is people who drive raised trucks, expressing the ability to ignore such problems no matter how damaged the road is or whether they are on the road or not.
Lowriders were originally unique to Mexican-American/Chicano culture, then became part of Latino culture as a whole, but since the early 1990s, they have become common in urban youth culture in general, primarily in West Coast hip hop. Today the lowriding scene is diverse with many different cultures, vehicle makes and visual styles, however, it remains an important part of the Chicano community. 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.
Inches Above the Road and in the Man’s Face
Photograph courtesy of the Petersen Automotive Museum
LOWRIDERS are riding high. For instance, the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles has just opened an exhibition entitled “La Vida Lowrider: Cruising the City of Angels.” It includes 21 cars, several bicycles, pedal cars, scale models, photographs and other images from the lowrider culture of Los Angeles.
This is not the museum’s first exploration of the subject. In 2000, it held a show called “Arte y Estilo: The Lowriding Tradition.”
“We always thought about revisiting the subject,” said Denise M. Sandoval, the guest curator for both shows and an assistant professor of Latino studies at California State University, Northridge. “We wanted to tell a cohesive story. This show is a way to teach kids the early history of L.A.,” or at least the mid-20th-century part of it.
The new show, which runs through June 8, emphasizes the social side of lowriding in Los Angeles. Things have changed in the city since the Petersen’s last lowrider show. The city has a mayor with Hispanic roots, for one thing. Also, the image of lowriding is no longer that of outlaws, and Professor Sandoval’s emphasis in the exhibition is on ethnic, neighborhood and family pride. She said car clubs provided an alternative to criminal gangs, a cause for community spirit and an avenue for family bonding.
Almost forgotten is the rebellion in which lowriding was born. Lowering cars as close to the pavement as possible was a symbol of defiance, as irritating to authorities as drag-racing souped up Model A’s or installing very loud sound systems in Honda Civics.
Most lowriders were teenage toys, swaggering, snarling, sulking symbols of youth.
But with age, American culture absorbs the rebel; he does well at the box office. If Bob Dylan can help to promote Cadillac in commercials, it’s no surprise that lowriders can feel at home in a museum.
“These cars are in some cases family heirlooms,” Professor Sandoval said. “They are sometimes passed down for three generations.” Sometimes cars have been rebuilt several times by families or clubs.
Lowering the bodies of old, cheap cars by cutting their springs began in the late 1940’s, but that was only part of how the customizers, who were usually Mexican-American, changed the cars. They also painted the bodies candy-bright colors, adding chrome and creating elaborate new interiors. The late Julio Ruelas, a founder of the Dukes Car Club, once said that the colors of the cars harked back to the bright colors of feathers in an Aztec headdress.
The Ruelas brothers, Julio, Fernando and Ernie, arrived from Tijuana with their mother in the mid-1950s. In 1962, they formed their own car club, the Dukes, as an alternative to the neighborhood gang and have presided as venerated elder statesmen of the lowriding world.
Riding low and slow was a style in contrast to driving fast in highboy Fords, the essence of the hot rod culture that was the center of the automotive world in Southern California in the 1940s and ’50s.
There are many local variations of low riding. Espanola, N.M., is renowned for its lowriders, many of them recorded in pictures taken from behind the wheel by the photographer Alex Harris.
Professor Sandoval emphasizes the upbeat side of the culture. For her, even the pinup-style women draped across lowrider hoods, often in bathing suits of a color to match the car’s paint, are simply reflections of a wider culture. “Lowrider culture is a very male cultural space,” she said. “The bodies of cars are presented like the bodies of women.”
The first lowriders were rounded models from the 1930s and ’40s. Chevrolets were favorites of lowriders for their low cost, and for a time cars of the 1950s and ’60s were used. Later cars called Euros were import models, and despite the name, included Hondas and Toyotas.
The state of today’s lowrider art is suggested by the stars of the current show. One of them, the Beauty Mark, is a candy-violet 1979 Lincoln Continental Mark V with pinstriping. The car was on the cover of the June 2007 issue of Lowrider magazine (lowridermagazine.com). Professor Sandoval dated the critical innovation of using hydraulics to raise and lower cars to 1958. In that year, according to an essay she wrote for the show’s brochure, Ron Aguirre of Los Angeles installed a hydraulic system in a 1957 Chevrolet Corvette. “The setup allowed his car to be lowered or raised with a flip of a switch,” she wrote.
Hydraulics were borrowed from old fighter airplanes. Today’s lowrider shows include hydraulic contests. Sometimes the equipment that makes the cars leap and dance is pushed beyond its limits and a hose bursts, spraying hot black oil.
The Petersen show emphasizes decoration over engineering. There are golden oldie cars, notably Gypsy Rose, a 1964 Chevrolet Impala painted with 150 roses by Jesse Valadez. The car appeared in the 1970s television series “Chico and the Man.”
Another virtuoso job of painting is found on a truck. Ry Cooder, the rock and blues guitarist, dreamed up the idea of using a 1953 Chevy ice cream truck to promote his album, “Chavez Ravine,” released in 2005. He hired an artist, Vincent Valdez, to decorate it with the story of the destruction of the Mexican-American community in Chavez Ravine, near downtown Los Angeles. Bulldozed for a promised public housing development, the area was instead offered as a stadium site for the Los Angeles Dodgers baseball team when it moved from Brooklyn. Dodger Stadium opened there in 1962.
Although lowriding was grounded in defiant self-expression in the Mexican-American community, Professor Sandoval wrote that there was also a strong African-American element, with neighborhoods forming lowriding clubs.
Lowriding was literally a crime: California traffic laws forbade vehicles that were set too close to the pavement. Eventually, the police cracked down. To authorities, lowriders were punks and delinquents. Lowering a car was the automotive equivalent of a zoot suit, with its oversized shoulders and legs, and cuffs that scraped the sidewalk. Like zoot suits, lowriders were a mark of defiance and provocation. (Zoot suits lent their name to Los Angeles’s ethnic riots in 1943, when off-duty servicemen rampaged, attacking Mexican-Americans.)
Lowriding and zoot suits have their equivalent today in the saggy trousers worn by some young men, exposing their underwear. Some communities have moved to make the fashion illegal.
In America, rebellion and ethnic defiance often end up in mainstream culture. Lowrider magazine was founded in 1977, and soon there were huge lowrider shows at the convention center in Los Angeles. Today, the magazine sponsors a national tour of shows. Lowriding has become widely enough known to have appeared in the cult film “Napoleon Dynamite” in 2004.
“In Japan they are mad-crazy for lowriding,” Professor Sandoval said. Mister Cartoon, an automotive muralist and tattoo artist whose work is displayed in the Petersen show, has been hired to do promotion for Toyota and Nike. He also helped supply the graffiti for the video game Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas.
- lów • rìder
1 車高を低くした改造車, 「シャコタン（車高短）」.2 1を乗り回す若者.
- [動](自)1 いばって［ふんぞり返って］歩く The boxer swaggered around the ring.ボクサーはリングを誇らしげに回った.2 ((古風))（…について）大声で自...
- swagger stick
- [形]肩で風を切って歩く；自慢する, いばっている, ほらをふく.swag・ger・ing・ly[副]
- 発音記号[prɑ`vəkéiʃən | prɔ`v-]
1 [U]憤慨させること, 挑発, 刺激
on ［at］ the slightest provocation
2 憤慨させるもの, 挑発［刺激］するもの, 誘因.
adjective (ALSO oversized) MAINLY US
bigger than usual; too big:
My daughter loves to wear oversize clothes.
noun [C] plural tattoos 刺青
a permanent image, pattern or word on the skin which is created by using needles to put colours under the skin
verb [T] tattooed, tattooed
〔tætú:/tæ-, tə-〕━━ n. （pl. 〜s）, vi. 帰営らっぱ（を吹く）, 帰営太鼓（をたたく）; （野外）軍楽パレード; こつこつたたく（音）.
The mus. of bugles and drums, recalling soldiers to their barracks at night. In the Brit. Army it begins with the First Post, lasts about 30 minutes, and ends with the Last Post. Another meaning is a display by the army, involving mock battles, etc., as at the Aldershot Tattoo.
(1) （服・ワイシャツの）そで口, カフス；（長手袋の）腕回り.
(1) （服・ワイシャツの）そで口, カフス；（長手袋の）腕回り.
Definition of cuff
verb[with object] informal
Origin:late Middle English (denoting a glove or mitten): of unknown origin
off the cuff即興で；準備なしで.
on the cuffつけで；後払いで.
out at the cuff(1) そで口がすり切れて.
2 …に手錠をかける.3 …をつけにする.
Translate bind | into French | into German | into Italian | into Spanish
Definition of bind
verb (past and past participle bound /baʊnd/)[with object]
- 3 Musicanother term for tie.
- 4another term for bine.
- see hand.
Origin:Old English bindan, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch and German binden, from an Indo-European root shared by Sanskrit bandh