A Schwinn Little Tiger that is the Voice of a Child

Delivering a message and representing autism on two wheels has never looked this good.

Looking back at his past, Jose Madrigal knew that his passion for lowriding was going to become a family affair. He knew from early on that he was eventually going to have kids, but he was adamant that they too become a part of the family tradition of lowriding.

Fast forward decades later, and his eldest son was already wheeling around in a custom-built vintage bike. Not wanting to leave his youngest son out of the mix, he decided it was time to build him one as well and that’s when he sourced a 12-inch frame on eBay and he stripped it down and painted the frame green. He set the frame aside while he gathered parts.

Soon after he started to realize that his youngest son was acting a bit different. “It was right after Andrew’s 3rd birthday that we noticed he acted different than the kids his age.” Jose further adds. “He had a speech delay, never made eye contact, so we took him to get tested,” says the proud father. In the ensuing weeks a diagnosis came back that Andrew had moderate autism. The turmoil was one that affected not only Andrew but also Jose and his wife. “This [diagnosis] didn’t affect our love for Andrew but we did question if we had done something wrong. It took us a while to come to terms with it but we did.”

Not wanting to be judged by strangers, Jose admits that at first they cut back on attending car shows, but they soon realized that there was a new reason to attend them. That reason was Andrew, so they decided that it was best that they increase autism awareness by building out Andrew’s bike and having him attend shows with them. So along with the help of many friends, family, and industry colleagues, they assembled a masterpiece of a bicycle just in time for the LOWRIDER Super Show in Las Vegas, and the results were spectacular.

When asked about the audience’s reception to the build he replied, “The amount of love people showed for the bike was so meaningful and amazing. We built this bike for Andrew. We wanted it to become his voice within the scene and it worked. It worked to help bring awareness and acceptance to autistic children and adults, and this bike here is the voice of our non-verbal autistic son, Andrew. He is our superhero!”

In closing, all I can say is that this build has affected so many lives, and we’re proud to say that Andrew has also become a superhero to the staff over here at LOWRIDER. This incredible build is the voice of reason, education, and awareness and we salute not only Andrew but the entire Madrigal family for taking their mission to educate to higher levels.

1974 Schwinn Little Tiger

Vehicle Nickname

Lion Pride – My Autism Story

Owner

Andrew Madrigal

City/State

Salinas, CA

Club

Valley Cruisers

Body/Paint

With the help of Milo from Master Auto Body, Jose painted the bike with a House of Kolor kandy organic green over a galaxy gray. Adolfo Arias painted the puzzle pieces and Alan Signs added the striping. Hilario Lugo and Johnny Rendon added the engraving while Moreno’s Metal Polishing and Chrome in Fresno, CA, dipped them in chrome.

Interior

Coco at Renew Upholstery in King City, CA, did the seat in a green, white, and gray vinyl.

Wheels/Tires

12.5×2.25 green and white spoke wheel with Nylon fat whitewall tire