Why does everyone love a Lowrider?

Lowrider: A motor vehicle with a custom hydraulic system that lowers the chassis close to the ground; any vehicle with a low driving position.

It’s the Oxford English DictionaryThe description of a lowrider. Quite simply, lowriders put style above all else.

Yet of all aspects of car culture, few bring me as much joy as seeing a big American car rolling three-wheeled on a set of little spoked wheels. Objectively speaking, this makes no sense. I was born and raised in London, England, and I can assure you that lowriders were never part of my local car culture.

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Lowriders just don’t work in the UK. Our roads are too small and congested, and our health and safety laws would never allow a car to skip along a major thoroughfare or trail sparks down a highway.

Let’s not forget cultural differences either. Driving through a gray, sleepy English town with your “dripping candy paint” would probably cause as much of a scene as driving to a funeral in a pink boa and Elton John’s sunglasses. You would definitely get some looks…

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In the UK, fuel is extremely expensive, the weather is bad and our salty roads can rust steel faster than a lowrider can turn heads. And yet, despite all the drawbacks, people love lowriders here.

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Lowriders are ambitious. They appeal to the part of us that wishes we were in Los Angeles, cruising down Hollywood Boulevard and turning heads in the evening heat.

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They speak to the part of us that wants to cruise carefree, listening to music at maximum volume and causing a little scene.

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The culture also seems incredibly relaxed, especially when compared to what we usually see in the UK. Lowrider meetups on social media seem to be as much about appreciating the artistry behind the cars as they are about being an opportunity to spend time in a beautiful location.

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Meanwhile, most encounters here are just a bunch of questionably modified hatchbacks and BMW M-Lites deafening locals around parking lots and generally being a nuisance.

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The scarcity of lowriders in the UK has seemingly given rise to a close-knit community of enthusiasts, who often support each other with their knowledge and go the extra mile to appear together at shows and events. The most famous local club is Lay’N’Play.


What I admire most about the lowrider community is the high level of engagement it can generate in owners and, as a result, the high level of detail in their builds.

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This Chevrolet Nomad won “Best in Show” at Retro Rides Weekender 2024, and for good reason.

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Not only was the paint impeccable, but so was the trim. This is a 1956 model; This is evident from the chrome trim pointing towards the front of the car, the top of which tucks behind the front door while the bottom extends to the rear bumper.

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This Nomad is a rare beast, being a high-end model based on the Chevrolet Bel Air and only available for three years in the body form you see before you.

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Its owner went all out with period accessories, like a real Chevrolet cooler to accompany the powder blue themed picnic set, blankets and lounge chairs.

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The interior is also stunning, reminiscent of a bygone era when the world was full of vibrant pastel colors and real metallic details.

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America was obsessed with jet planes in the 1950s. I’m not going to indulge my aviation nerd side here, but look at the details of cars from that era and it’s easy to see the influence of Jet Age.

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To answer my titular question; low riders can be nostalgic, ambitious or examples of magnificent craftsmanship. Maybe all of the above. I guess it depends on your life experience. For me, these would be the last two categories. Plus, lowriders are just plain fun.

Did I miss something? If so, let me know. I would like to know why lowriders use You.

Mario Christou
Instagram: mcwpn