Lowriding is widely regarded as a predominantly male culture, however, women have always played a very big, and underrated role in the culture's growth. Some face the difficult task of supporting their Lowrider-obssessed husbands, forced to put up with their better half spending thousands of family dollars and countless hours in the garage to pursue their dreams of Lowrider perfection. Others have actually taken on the sport head-on, building their own amazing Lowriders, often as good as, or better than their male counterparts. We found the perfect example of both, in Pearl Hernandez-Seiler. Pearl has been a loving and supportive wife to her husband for years, spending many of her afternoons riding in his Master Deluxe. Now that she has a '51 Chevy truck to call her own, Pearl can serve as a role model for all the aspiring female Lowriders out there, while also competing with and gaining respect from her male counterparts. We caught up with Pearl, as she told us about her quest to build the perfect '51, and what being a true Lowrider means to her. Here is Pearl's story, in her own words.
Ever since I can remember, I wanted to be one of the first Phoeniquera females to own a classic bomb in Arizona. [I wanted] to dominate the Lowriding scene in the prominently male world of Lowriding. Now the time has finally arrived! Being a member and the secretary of Phoeniquera Classics, I am now the proud owner of a fully-restored, 1951 Chevy truck, which I am proud to say my husband, Cory, built for me. For many years, riding shotgun in his '39 Chevy Master Deluxe was just not enough for me. I wanted my own [Lowrider], so I (we) decided to purchase a '51 Chevy truck for $3000 in 2005.
After adding a little bit of TLC, it was pretty much ready to roll on the streets as a daily cruiser, but we took it to another level. My husband decided to build me the best truck anyone has ever seen. He took it down to the frame, and at that point, there was no turning back! Three years and fourteen thousand dollars later, along with hard work, commitment, and dedication, I now have one of the best fully restored original '51 trucks in the Valley of the Sun. My husband, Cory, did all of the work himself, so labor is not even calculated in the fourteen grand! My contribution, I am proud to say, was assisting in various stages of assembly. I had no problem getting my hands dirty or breaking a nail. I did everything I could to help him, like holding a fender here, getting a tool or bolt there, bagging and tagging old parts, and purchasing and picking up supplies and parts as needed. I helped at every step, whether that meant taking doors and fenders to get sandblasted, or dropping off the inner fender wells to get powder coated. I have to add that all of this work was done while my husband worked two jobs, and I worked my supervisor job at the bank. It was all very well worth it!
I would like to give a special thank you to Mario and Frank at AJ's Auto, Dominick at Arrowhead Truck Shop, E-Dawg (the master painter) and Cory for painting my sweet ride, Robert at the Chrome Shop, and I'd like to send an extra thank you to all the guys at Arizona Powder coating for all their contributions toward making this project a success! Thanks to all for being patient with me, while teaching me a lot about the ins and outs of building a truck. I have always had respect for anyone who has built their own ride, but even more so now, having gone through it myself with my husband. I also want to send an extra special thank you to my loving husband, without whom my dream could not have been a reality. I now have one sweet '51, and it's the envy of all the females and males who see it on the boulevard, at the park, or at the shows!