While we continue to battle the stereotypes associated with lowriding, there is an assembly of folks who represent our lifestyle with pride and integrity. These are the unofficial spokespersons of lowriding and the same people who shed a positive light not only on our rides, but the personalities who drive them. One such person is Griselda Arredondo, a lowriding activist who has been at the forefront of the battle.
For well over 30 years, Griselda has been a staple in the lowrider community. She grew up around the lifestyle, adopted it as a practice of her own, and just as her father served as her guiding light into lowriding, she does the same for countless others. Her father, Jose Escalante Sr., was a mechanic by trade, and soon her brother followed in their father’s footsteps by fixing up his own lowriders. During those early days, Griselda could be seen in the background. She was essentially the support vehicle and could be seen carrying out the grill, the folding chair, and all the necessary ingredients to complete their setups. At the time, she had built a 1964 Impala with her then husband, but she soon got tired of playing second fiddle and orchestrated plans to start her own build. After searching high and low she found herself a 1948 Chevy Panel. She saw it as a multipurpose vehicle that would still carry all the necessary lowrider provisions while doubling as a vehicle she could hit the boulevard with.
Shortly after finding the Panel in a Craigslist advertisement, they laid out a game plan to restore the Chevy up to family standards. While the vehicle had been previously painted, Griselda wanted to add her own flair to it, so she decided to douse the entire vehicle in a midnight black metallic, followed by the addition of silver flake and accent pink pinstriping. The tired engine was replaced with a rebuilt 235 and upgraded with a three-speed transmission, along with 12-inch glasspacks. While all the metal trim was being revamped, the interior was modified to make the bench seat sit parallel-thus allowing for additional room for the kids and supplies. With the Panel van complete, Griselda was finally ready to lead the caravan. Whereas she was once responsible for stopping traffic, she continues to do so in a different way. This time around, her vehicle stops traffic because of its unique look, and the end result is a Panel van that lives up to the standards of her family name. Now, however, it is time to pass on what she’s learned from her father and brother, Jose Jr., to the future lowrider generations, and she hopes to inspire a new legion of lowriders who will continue to keep the torch of passion and inspiration lit.
1948 Chevy Panel
1952 235 with three-speed transmission and glasspacks
Black on black with modified bench seat
Midnight metallic black with silver flake
Powdercoated original chassis
15-inch artilleries with pink powdercoated accents