Welcome to the celebration of a periodical automotive publication containing photography, articles, and illustrations in the interest of showcasing an automotive style and flair now known as the tradition of Lowrider culture.
The year was 1977 when Apple 11 Computers went on sale for the first time, and snow fell on Miami; also for the first time ever. The movie Star Wars hit the cinemas and Elvis Presley left the building for the last time. Happy Days’ Fonzie jumped the shark, the BeeGee’s released their soundtrack to “Saturday Night Fever,” and Led Zeppelin played their last concert in the U.S. The mini-series “Roots” premiered on ABC TV, while Chico and the Man’s Freddie Prinze passed away, shocking fans and viewers. Also that year, Sonny Madrid and his Band of Brothers in San Jose, California would publish the first ever magazine for Lowriders, called Lowrider Magazine.
Most of us can still remember the local mom and pop stores that probably still stand today around the old neighborhood; the ones that began selling the first Lowrider magazines from atop their counters. Back in those days, rent was $240 a month, gas was 65 cents, and Lowrider’s brand new issues were on sale for a dollar. I remember to this day when I bought mine. The owner of that liquor store in Montebello told me, “You sure you want to buy this? There are three left and if they don’t sell by the end of the day, I won’t have these here taking up space.” So after work that day, I went back to see if they were gone, and as I came up on the empty counter where they sat earlier, I thought to myself, “the stack of three magazines were either returned, or put away somewhere else.” When I asked about them, the old man and lady behind the counter told me that they finally contacted the guy who delivered the magazines and asked him to bring back more. Excited as I was, I walked to my car in the parking lot and thought, “wait till this San Jose publication captures the Lowrider scene here in the surrounding areas of Boyle Heights, E.L.A., Montebello and Pico Rivera; it’s going to blow up!” Little did any one of us in any town, city, or state know that Lowriders even existed past our respective areas. If not for the magazine’s continued popularity, we would have believed that the Lowrider world was flat and the edge was San Fernando! But before we knew it, Lowrider not only proved that there was life in San Jose, Fresno, and Bakersfield; we also found out that it was alive and spreading because of promotional car shows being held from the Santa Clara Fairgrounds down to Odessa, Texas.