We kick off our April 2013 Lowrider Magazine issue with an incredible, hand-built ‘56 Chevrolet Bel Air. While “hand-built” is often referenced in terms of how the Rolls Royce automobiles are made, this fifty-six year old 1956 Chevrolet is also hand built from the ground up to the ragtop. South Side car club lays claim to this latest example of their club’s elegance with this craftsmanship build. Any time they exhibit any of their relics; you’d swear these classic rebuilds came with a 100,000-mile warranty! Trust me, anyone who has ever toured their display area at any given car show can attest to the club’s building prowess. They seem to set a standard in quality builds, especially for cars from the years ‘56 through ‘64. This car is no different, and it seems to have every possible accessory you can find mounted on it, just like their other rides. When there are outsiders or other automotive industries out there who bash or make fun of some of our Lowrider builds, you can always point them in the direction of their club as an example of what Lowrider greatness is. No arguments from anyone there!

The Las Vegas Super Show once again lived up to its hype and tradition. Just when you think you’ve been to the Super Show of all Super Shows, the bar is raised once again, as every year this show gets better. A large spectator attendance and quantity of car exhibits (750) is always guaranteed to stay the same, but when it comes to imagination, caliber, and quality in car builds; the Vegas Show is never the same as its previous years. ‘65s and ‘69s are beginning to rule when it comes to turntable cars. Even though the now two-time Lowrider of the year, “El Rey,” held its own once again, car builders displayed their latest build plans, innovations, and inspirations in the main hall. You can see so many ideas meshed in to one build these days, which it’s amazing. Poor economy! Please! I once built a Lowrider of the Year for about 80 large; to build a car like that now, with all the performance and suspension technology being used in today’s heavy hitter builds―it would cost three times that amount! Metal interiors, fiberglass molding, and Corvette motors are the norm now. Anyone who showed a year, make, or model car knew from this last Super Show that there was another model in another aisle in the hall, on hand to give them a run for their money or send them back home to draw up some new blueprints. This is a good thing, because the Lowrider factory of car builds keeps on building at a swing shift. This last Vegas show will prove what I’m saying is true, as you’ll see for yourself as you go through our latest coverage of the show. Get out last year’s issue and the years before and compare the caliber and detail of the builds; you can’t. We are going in the right direction for builds and we all know it. Custom, traditional, and Bomb builds are painstaking; require loans, and tons of sacrifice, but the most important thing about building a Lowrider is that we earn our builds―no matter who’s president or what the economy is. In the corner of every Lowrider’s garage somewhere, there is a calendar up on a wall and the only holiday that is circled in red is not Valentine’s day, Christmas Day, or New Year’s Day; it’s the second week of October. Long live the Las Vegas Super Show!

Builders; the phrase “exclusively photographed for Lowrider Magazine” has always meant that since our early days in the 1970s, we would not shoot anybody’s car that was already scheduled or in the process of scheduling with another magazine. If we crossed those lines, it would probably hold up your car from being a feature in Lowrider. Though I know that it is always been a dream to build your car, show it, win a few trophies or wall plaques, and then have it featured in Lowrider, you could only do the latter if you hadn’t shot for a previous magazine―end of story. We think twice about rehashing features that have already been seen in some other, boat, airplane, or car magazine; just using examples, as we want our magazine to continue to focus on Lowriding in its purest form. All I want to say is that next time you choose which magazine to have your vehicle photographed first in―don’t pick the one that feels like, “because business is bad, and there is a poor economy, we all of a sudden accept and love Lowriders.” They aren’t true to our culture; never will be.

There is only one Lowrider.

Thank you, respectfully and in my own opinion.

Joe Ray