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Low Rider

July 11, 2017

It’s summer, the perfect season for driving “low and slow”.

Lowriding originated in East LA in the 1940s as young Chicano men turned cars into vehicles for self-expression, pride in their roots, a way to impress their friends, attract attention from their female peers and, as a bonus, annoy the Anglos who ruled most of their lives.

It worked so well that the California state legislature passed a 1958 law banning lowriders. By 1959 lowrider Ron Aguirre had had enough: “All I wanted was to stop getting tickets for being too low and I was not going to raise my car to some stupid legal height”, so he invented a hydraulic lift that allowed him to raise (and lower) his car’s suspension, thereby saving lowriding culture without which we wouldn’t have War’s 1975 song of the summer, “Low Rider”.

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