July‘s Issue of Lowrider brings us into the Best of Both Worlds when it comes to car show coverage, as we visited the 62nd Annual Grand National Roadster Show early this year at the Pomona Fairplex. Lowriders were invited to the show, and you better believe that they made their presence felt once again. This traditional event becomes a family favorite because the atmosphere encompasses a variety of different car cultures, all brought together under one roof for the sole purpose of rejoicing in the shared passion of automobile customization. There are so many things to learn from other car genres too, as some styles can easily adapt to other types of car builds. If your ride is at home, torn down in a garage, driveway, or stranded at a body shop somewhere, you need to be present at this type of show with camera in hand and notepad at your side. There’s so much you can learn, you’ll want to document it for your own future reference. There are always “state of the art” or “on the edge” vehicle ideas displayed throughout the ten halls every year. This past show had a variety of vehicles on hand, in addition to the ever-popular Rods and Lowriders. Also on display were many full customs or full restorations of vans, motorcycles, trucks, and muscle cars. Some of the legendary and present car customizers were all on hand too, including George Barris, Steve Stanford, Gene Winfield, and Bill Carter; all of whom have made such an impact on car culture, they practically own it.
If you’re into the hobby and sport of building cars, this is the one show where you will always witness hundreds of ideas and trends spread throughout the inside and outside of the venue. Though we all feel that Lowriders are the baddest of all car industries, we do take a back seat to the Hot Rod world because, other than paint and maybe interior designs, they are more innovative in performance and cosmetics. Yes, it pains me to say that, but Lowrider trends and styles need to adapt and evolve a whole lot more to catch and pass their world up! We as Lowriders need to study other automotive industry ideas, take from them, and change them to make them even better ideas and styles when we apply them to our style. We need to incorporate and mix up all types of designs to progress our culture and move forward with the latest trends for Lowrider fashion and technology. Take for instance, the chain steering wheel. True, we’ve replaced it with a sportier, billet-design steering wheel today, but we can still improve on it. Gone are the twisted wrought iron front grills that have been replaced by billet or tube grills, but what have we done lately about that? The best part of customizing a car is that it doesn’t belong to General Motors any more, once we modify it. The identity is changed and once you redesign it; it’s yours. Your new style becomes you! That’s the guts that separated the early Lowriders from the other car styles. Shaving emblems and door handles will lower your car’s value, but not if it is done tastefully, especially on certain years and models. All Lowriders are rebellious in nature anyway, so we can’t hesitate to adapt and incorporate new styles from the old ones. Lowriders are hobbyists too! We will never grow as customizers if we don’t accept other competitive challenges. Before Lowriders were Lowriders, they were called Customs. I’m just saying we have to back it up. We have to take on the “Us and Them” mentality in a creative way! Hot Rodders, well let’s say some of them; they don’t even recognize us. So we should visit shows like these so that we can learn as students and come out as teachers.
Every car club has a member that is a trend setting car builder, and we kind of all follow these guys around with their ideas and styles, but we need more guys and builders out there to demonstrate and become more innovative as designers so we can progress! Names like the Tovars, John from Bowtie, Epstein, Chris Roark, the DeAlbas, Tim Rodriguez and Anthony Fuentes just to name a few, along with Lowriders of the Year, have all demonstrated their talents with their car builds. These guys are too few and far between, and are simply not followed enough as examples of prime craftsmanship in the way that I believe they should be. When you ask any of those guys what the purpose is behind any of their builds, they will tell you that they didn’t build their cars to be the baddest Lowriders; they built them to be the baddest cars around! They each have the “Us and Them” attitude, and they represent us well, but we need to take it to another level. In the ‘60s and ‘70s guys would cut their bumpers to show more grill, change their round lights to square lights, or sink in and French their tail lights, just to get away from the average look that everyone had. I know that not everyone out there can go full custom or street custom on their cars, but it’s cool to try to do the best that you can, even if you’re just dreaming about doing it. Lowriding is a sport too. I’ll bet you that those top builders visit this show to see the other competition also, just to stay one step ahead of the game.
Lowrider Magazine would like everyone to join us in congratulating the long time veterans of the legendary Car Club out of Oxnard, CA., known as La Gente! Visit with them and take notes on their claim to fame in this issue’s Car Club segment as they have grown and included other chapters.
The one and only Original that is “Fonzy” displays his colorful legacy in our Original section. Grab a match stick and light it in respect to this well known artist, who has his own style, and not just on canvas.
And before I get too far away from that HotRod intro, check out that “Purpled Out” ‘64 Impala on our cover, which truly shows off why Lowriders can’t be matched by any other industry when it comes to custom paint!
Please don’t forget those famous last words at the bottom page as you scroll through every feature in the magazine that says “for more of this Lowrider Feature, cruise on over to www.lowridermagazine.com.” Remember, when we display photos from a photo shoot on three to four pages in this mag, you will find the other five or six pages on our website!
Things are worldwide there too!
As long as we build and drive them, it will always be “us and them.”