From an outsider’s perspective, lowriding is a dialect of car culture that involves the use of hydraulics, chrome, intricate paint jobs and wire wheels. In its simplest form, lowriding is often referred to as “the cars that go up and down,” but at the heart of it all, is a lifestyle built on tradition, camaraderie and above everything else the relationships we forge.

From our club brothers and sisters, to the artists and craftsmen who help us along the way, each of our cars embody the grit and grind of working class folks who come together to help bring our dreams to fruition, and in the end our cars are a collective effort of passionate individuals who cherish passion over profit—and that becomes clearly evident when one sees how much money is poured into cars that at times are only worth a few thousand dollars. But we don’t do this for trade in value, and we’re not one day dreaming of making a small fortune, we do this because it’s a part of our culture, and a tradition that has been passed from one generation to the next. In short, we are carriers of the torch.

For as long as I’ve been in lowriding, I can look back and tell you that this is part of our DNA. This is what we do, and we share each of our latest builds like newborns. We’re proud parents to each of the cars we create but along the way I’ve come to respect not only the laborers who help us build and create these automotive feats, but also the people who respect the lifestyle enough to support it.

In retrospect, it’s one thing to do what you love, but there’s a vital component to the growth of our lifestyle and that’s the media. Media outlets such as Lowrider Magazine (LRM) is what spread our cultural awareness and without a sparked interest from future generations, we would have no future, and none of this would be possible without educating, entertaining and enticing them about our lowrider lifestyle.

With that said, those who support our magazine are as important as those who build the cars. Without their support, our reach would be slim, and our ability to spread awareness would only be a stone throw away. The financial support of these larger corporations is what allows us to spread our wings and in recent years LRM has been available to develop programs tailored specifically for our culture and among those program launches are those such as the Roll Models series and MeatUp events. Both were designed for the community and those expansions would not be possible without an infusion of financial support.

As many of you already know, the Roll Models series sheds light on the dynamic personalities behind the car, while the MeatUp events bring back the traditions of meeting up at the park and BBQing—the original social media—but if you think we’re done, well, guess again because we’re not. Yet before we divulge our future plans, we have to thank companies such as Shell and Quaker State. These companies are an integral part of our growth—both current and future—and with as many media outlets they have to choose from, we’re honored that they recognize the lowrider culture as one that should not only be preserved but pushed forward.

Partnering with them has been nothing short of an incredible experience because they have a genuine interest in the culture. They take a grassroots approach to understanding what we represent and it comes from all levels of hierarchy. As both Rudy Rivas (the General Manager of Lowrider) and I have experienced, the brand’s interest has been so genuine that we’ve been taken back by the level of personal attention they take and it shows that they too cherish passion over profit.

In light of all this, we have been through great discussions about how we can elevate our partnership further and we are excited about the future. Furthermore, we are excited to announce that we will be launching new programs in 2020, and these projects will further expand our opportunities to give back to the community. While we do not want to release too much too soon, we do want to share that the launch of this program will be spearheaded in conjunction with Shell and Quaker State to bring a charitable program to life.

In closing, I just want to thank everyone for their continued support and stay tuned because our next program launch is something I’m sure we can all appreciate, because in the end, our cars may be the face of our culture, but our pride, camaraderie and respect for others is what truly makes the culture shine.

J. Ray