It’s fair to say that lowriders, the Hispanic automotive subculture devoted to lowering the suspension of, and generally tricking out, big ol’ vintage cars, have something of an image problem. Pretty much every time you see a lowrider in a TV show or movie, gangsters and gunfire won’t be far behind.
Lowrider, TEN: The Enthusiast Network’s enthusiast publication celebrating the subculture, is working to dispel these misconceptions with a new program, “Lowrider Roll Models” (get it?), including a video series with short segments profiling lowrider community leaders.
With subjects including doctors and community activists, the series aims to demonstrate that lowrider enthusiasts, characterized above all by pride, technical proficiency and a sense of community, are a far cry from their stereotyped depictions in popular culture.
Lowrider general manager Rudy Rivas stated: “The culture of lowriding continues to be judged on the basis of false or dated information, so the lowrider community, through programs such as Lowrider Roll Models, is going to change that perception.”
The video series is directed by Kico Velarde, who served as supervising producer for the popular Web series "Jay Leno’s Garage," and are sponsored by Shell Lubricant, featuring Quaker State Motor Oils, a Shell brand.
Lowrider magazine itself has been polishing its image recently.
Last year, TEN announced that it would no longer feature female models as part of its automotive photography, in favor of a new identity that celebrates Hispanic American culture and a greater focus on related interests and social equality.