“Build a lowrider. It’ll be fun,” says no man who’s actually built one.

Throughout my lowriding journey, the one thing I can confidently say is that hope can mislead us but patience will get us where we need to be. I say this because building a lowrider is a journey filled with plenty of emotion, aggravation, and joy. For most custom car builders they reach a fork in the road, and whereas most will choose to go to the left or the right, we choose to go straight.

It’s a decision that pits us against painters, upholsterers, chromers, and fabricators and while we now have more options than ever before, I can also tell you that building a lowrider in the ’80s was a lot easier. Let’s talk flake paintjobs as a prime example. Even with all the advanced materials and painters available, we now have more flakes than ever—and when I say flakes, I mean painters who lag or can’t get the job done without giving you high blood pressure. Yet in the end it’s all worth it. It’s a part of the process, a piece of the struggle, and it’s what makes the end product so much more valuable.

So why do we do this? We do it out of passion. The passion we have for lowriding is what keeps us in the game. That same passion is what gives us the power and patience to deal with multiple body shops, multiple upholsterers, the list goes on. Now, don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of great artists out there, but, truth be told, a good majority of them are actually excellent at what they do but their business practices are horrid, to say the least, and they’d rather rob Peter to pay Paul than handle business correctly.

But again, this is part of the process and more reason to respect cars that have been completed. Our cover car for this month, “The Golden Rose,” is a prime example. His no-limit admiration for lowriding is incredible and it shouldn’t come as a surprise as the owner, Rosario Onorato, is also surrounded by a family of lowrider-crazed aficionados who are driven by pride and an exquisite attention to detail.

Of course, the battle of building a lowrider is what raises camaraderie. It gives us content and as we trade war stories, we soon find ourselves helping others avoid the same pitfalls. Most of these stories are shared at car shows and picnics and in the same breath our Meat Up series has become one of those platforms where it all goes down. That said, this month’s issue features coverage of the 2nd Annual Quaker State & Lowrider Meat Up. It was a day of good music, great eats, and caravans of lowriders and families looking to blow off some steam, so check out our latest chill and grill because soon enough we’ll be off to New Mexico, Redlands, Houston, and El Paso.

Other highlights in this month’s issue include our Cinco de Miami Lowrider show that went down in Miami. This always-festive super car show put on by Cuanthom Productions continues to bring on the real Miami heat. In addition, we’ve got coverage of our tour of the ARP facility. As the undisputed bolt, stud, nut, and fastener leaders, we were blown away by their manufacturing process and even more interesting was how they manage to create fasteners that exceed “aerospace” quality. It’s a great read and an article that will shed light on what has long been the world’s best fasteners and bolt kits and a must for everything you drive.

So, as I close off this editor’s letter, I couldn’t leave off without telling you to head over to the latest Roll Models Series. A product of his own environment, our latest feature is about longtime Imperials Car Club member and president, Eugene “Spanks” Hernandez. In this episode, the now L.A. Unified School District administrative superintendent talks about overcoming the obstacles in life and how remaining resilient and focused is what helped him curate the life he always dreamed of.

As I bring this editorial to a close, I hope to see everyone out there soon at an upcoming show or event, but in the meantime if anyone needs to reach out to me in regards to anything Lowrider, email me at joe_ray@motortrend.com.

As always, respectfully,
Joe Ray