Lowriders are cultural masterpieces. The emergence of lowriders came from SoCal Mexican communities as counter cultural expression against the traditional use of mainstream vehicles. First seen on the streets of California in the 1950’s, lowriders became popularized later in the decade and well into the 1960’s. Since then, the cultural adaptation of lowriders became a worldwide trend.
These cars have always been devices of expression and community engagement. Their artistic statement is proudly presented through the craftsmanship and patience invested in their build. Joining this community of artisanal mechanics allows you to connect with other enthusiasts through craft. Some people will purchase a car with the intent to build their dream lowrider. But, buying a prebuilt model isn’t uncommon.
Purchasing a used lowrider is just as smart for your time and wallet as taking an online traffic school is when you get a speeding ticket. Buying used should be done with caution. There’s plenty to look out for when you purchase a used lowrider – especially if you’ve never purchased one before.
The hydraulic pumps and suspension are the most iconic feature of lowriders. They allow lowriders to elevate its height and, in some cases, bounce. Before you purchase your lowrider, you should know the hydraulic pump and suspension conditions.
The pumps and suspension will be in a varying condition based on how often they were used by the previous owner. You’ll inevitably sink money into renovations. This is because lowriders have a shorter lifespan than most cars. However, they’re down for driving the speed limit so you wouldn’t have to worry about how much is a speeding ticket in California. The hydraulics are great at elevating the vehicle, but they also cause internal damage. Knowing the condition of the pumps and suspension will save you unexpected expenses, and help you budget accordingly.
Wiring and Battery Problems
Lowriders rely on wiring and batteries more than other vehicles. This is because you have the ability to change your car’s height at the flick of a switch. Not having proper connection or wiring will cause your car to stick at one height, potentially defeating the purpose of hydraulic pumps.
This will also be illegal to drive in certain parts of the country. California’s vehicle code section 24008 instigated a specific height limit for the body of the vehicle. This code was created to deter the lowrider usage and could be associated with the ability to change the car’s height.
Ensuring that your vehicle has a properly installed battery and wiring helps you use the lowrider to the full potential. You can test the wiring by taking the vehicle for a test drive. Also, be sure to test the electric current and the condition of the wires before you purchase the car.
Rim Diameter Size
The rims of the lowrider are artistically important. Depending on how you intend to use the vehicle, you should carefully consider the rims. The best rim diameter for lowriders is between 13” and 20.” You’ll find the most traction and control will be 15” or higher rims.
You should also consider the design of the rims themselves. The tires of the lowrider pose artistic opportunity for those who intend to show off their purchase. Having perfect rims will be hard to find and could use monetary investment.
Body Frame Condition
There’s a reason why you see similar lowrider body frames. Certain frames are easier to swap out if they experience deterioration or damage from driving. This makes them an economic choice for long term investment in your lowrider. If your lowrider were to experience bodily damage, you could replace the body without causing structural displacement to the entire vehicle.
Cadillacs, Lincolns, Monte Carlos, and Cutlasses are associated with the lowrider body type. They are the easiest to replace when the body becomes bent. If you invest in another body type, know that it could be challenging to replace later in the vehicle’s life.
Interior Seats and Exterior Art
Artistically speaking, the interior of the vehicle goes hand in hand with the exterior. The vehicle interior should complement and expand the style of your lowrider. Therefore, ensuring the cabin of your lowrider meets your vision and standards is vital.
The very least, when you purchase a used lowrider, check the potential of the interior. With the right budget you could renovate it to your needs. The appeal of your lowrider is built on its style. That’s why having a strong visual interior and complimentary exterior will help you turn heads. Always critically assess the condition of your lowrider’s interior.