Monday, January 7, 2013

How Low Can You Go?

This question was answered by five automobiles in what the publicity for the San Diego International Auto Show called a "must-see" exhibit.

It was a group of "lowriders," and other than what I could see before me, I had little exposure to this type of auto.
"Lowriders are a type of car customization where the goal of the customization is not increased performance. Instead, lowriders try to make their cars as sleek, stylish and sexy as possible, usually by dramatically lowering the car's suspension, adding body work like fender skirts, lowering the roof line and applying a flashy coat of paint.
"Inside, lowriders are all about comfort, with plush seats and banging sound systems" (

1961 Chevrolet Impala

"A lowrider refers to a specific style of custom vehicle. The lowrider was created and made popular in the late 1960s. Born in the West Coast of the United States, the lowrider has expanded and spread to all parts of the world. The lowered stance and the addition of hydraulic cylinders and air bags to raise and lower the vehicle created a lucrative industry worldwide.
1964 Chevrolet Impala

"While nearly any vehicle can be turned into a lowrider, the vehicle of choice is typically an early 1960s automobile. The long lines and wide stance of these cars lend themselves to the look. Paint schemes, interior treatment as well as stereo and exhaust systems are also customized on these vehicles. Often, the paint job on one of these cars cost as much or more than the cost of a new vehicle" (
"Painted glitter pink with light blues in a size-disguising overlay graphic, its raspberry metallic wheels are wrapped with signature, thin whitewalls ready for hydraulic hopping" (
"Chrome plating and even 24-karat gold plating has found its way onto these vehicles. Candy paint, metal or even gold-flake paint is the finish of choice for many lowrider owners and creators. Murals and pin striping are fixtures seen on most of the vehicles.
1998 Two Door Lincoln Town Car

"Many owners and builders even go as far as naming their lowrider. In many cases, the vehicle becomes a rolling tribute or monument to a fallen family member or friend, or some other important part of life" (

Which brings us to "Christine."

This 1949 Hudson Brougham just knocked me out, so I had to find out more about this intriguing vehicle.

"Marisa Rosales inherited the car after her boyfriend passed away in 1999. He had purchased the car some time before from his friend, Gaspar, who has also passed away. As Marisa recalls, Gaspar had purchased the car from the widow of the original owner.
"So, undeniably every man who has owned this classic cruiser is now resting in peace. Coming up with the name for this beautiful [but deadly] ride was easy for Marisa. Christine, a 1983 John Carpenter movie based on a novel by Stephen King, tells the story of an old red car that seems to be possessed and very dangerous on its own. 'Christine' was perfect" (
Y'know some of these "senior citizen" cars have it all over the newbies.

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