Let me turn the key, so to speak, to start off this exclusive all-LS engine series December issue of Lowrider magazine. Every Lowrider owner is sold into this automotive industry lifestyle the first day they get inside a lowrider and go for a spin. Once you actually get to drive one, you just might even sell your soul for another cruise; just ask anyone from a car club and they’ll agree. When you join the religion of lowriding, you enjoy the ride and places you take your ride to—almost as much as when you park it and lay it on the ground for display. This high will never leave your system. We become so obsessed that we’ll often take these cars apart to paint them a different color over and over again, simply because we can’t trade them in for a new one; damn Detroit stopped making lowrider-style cars back in the ’80s! No matter how much we modify our rides, even if we customize them to the point that we can’t drive or enjoy them because they become “china dolls,” we still crave the drive!

The need for functionality in a lowrider has driven many of us to go back to our roots and build another form of lowrider called a “street driver,” but we all know where that rides headed—back to the shop for a competitive enhancement! The new trend noticed a lot today is the “Best of Both Worlds” type of lowrider known as “The LOWDRIVER.” The LS Series, or family of engines like the Corvette/SUV/Truck type motors you have as your daily drivers, are being installed with the greatest of ease in these types of lowriders, and can modify your favorite styles and types of rides in all years, makes and models. These powerful, everlasting, and dependable motors are being chromed out and fitted into ’58-’64 models all the time now. And the cars exteriors are candy painted just like the undercarriages, complete with leather-style hot rod upholstery. The only difference is that these rides can come off of jack stands in a car show in Vegas and drive all the way back to New York if needed.

Performance Technology is so advanced that we are comparing apples to saucers here—flying saucers to be exact! LS Engines are dependable from the start, they have power to get you to the next lane quicker, and they can get you up to 250,000 miles without a rebuild, compared to your older original motors that needed a rebuild at 60,000 miles! If you don’t believe me, read your SUV or truck odometer miles. When you’re in a newer vehicle today, don’t you wish your ride felt, sounded, and performed the same way? I know that all the featured show cars in this special issue do, plus they all look like they came out of a car show somewhere this past weekend.

Let’s compare our early traditional ride performance qualities up against today’s engineering. We now know that suspensions are way different when it comes to handling, disc brakes are quicker to stop your ride without skidding down a couple of blocks, transmissions like the 700R are more reliable to get your gear ratio to match the power from the engine underhood, and the Currie Rear Ends support the power elite from the rear. All of this simply adds up to money that you can save from not needing to have your car’s engine and suspension worked on all the time, which can be used to get you another paintjob instead! Plus, you can go visit and represent on any boulevard across the lowrider States. I found and bought a twenty-thousand-mile, Lincoln Mark V Designer Series that was the most luxurious car money could buy in its prime. The car floated and still floats with the Big 460 in it, and it was garaged for 25 years. I’m a proud individual who likes his certain makes or styles of cars just like you guys, after a quick tune up I drove this yacht around and it brought back old memories of good times past. I remember when I had a brand-new one and the subject of fond memories and older styles of cars often comes up in the friendly, beer-fueled garage conversations we all have. We all talk about “the good old days” with cars like these and the fact is that while looks may have changed for the worse, the technology of today is lights-out compared to then. This badass or I should say, “nice” Lincoln I have now won’t compare to the technology and mechanics you’ll find in a ’14 Silverado, Suburban, and, OK, even an Escalade today; and they have more room and are bigger and better at the pump with that engine. Ask your wives who take the kids to school what they think? Are they afraid it won’t start, or that it might overheat? Do they sit and think about when’s the last time you had it serviced? No, and your lady will tell you that her Tahoe ain’t your ’59 in the garage! Technology can certainly be a good thing sometimes, and even some of us “traditional” guys have to agree.

The cars in this issue’s pages are on average 50 years old, but they’ll run with the best of them! In fact, they look better too! Check them out, read their stories, and find out for yourself that an LS engine and a little performance will get you a long way—even another 50 years! This LS Performance-featured issue was put together to show you that “Low Show” can also be “All Go.” The best and only way to enjoy your ride is to wax it and drive it. Take the car show to the streets, where not just ten thousand people at some show see it; drive it so that tens of thousands can see it! Don’t let people come to the show; take the show to the people, with your plaque up, of course. That’s what these Lowdrivers do, so follow their caravan across the boulevard known as the USA. Just ’cause they don’t make new cars for our fancy doesn’t mean we can’t drive one!

Until the Next Trip,

Joe Ray