New Mexico Lowriders & Classic Cars - Low Riders at the Low 'n Slow
"Dale gas, 'ese," to experience the smooth, chrome lifestyle that is low riding.
If the Santuario de Chimayo is the Lourdes of America, so Chimayo is the Lourdes of lowriders, the unique, contemporary of the Hispanic car culture of Chimayo and Northern New Mexico.
Low and slow refers to the cruising style of a custom automobile whose body hovers only inches from the ground. There's no objective, no destination, nowhere to be in lowriding. Being seen, displaying feats of acrobatics- some hydraulic equipped cars can jump 10 feet or more- and liv'n large are the reasons to cruise. It's not unusual to see entire extended families piled into a lowrider making a leisurely drive through the streets of Chimayo
Lowriding means faith, family and creativity, expressed in distinctive custom cars. Lowrider artists like Randy Martinez of Chimayo, spend thousands of hours giving their classic cars their personalities: La Bomba, Royal Elegance, Stitches. The name makes the car whole, and is a point of pride among these mechanical artisans who lovingly assemble diamond-tuck upholstery, chrome hubcaps, chain steering wheels on the chassis and airbrushed religious iconography onto glossy hoods and tricked out suspensions.
One of the best examples of lowrider style and artistry, and the depth of feeling infused into every vehicle that bears the name, is on permanent exhibit at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History. This '69 Ford LTD with family portrait of the Jaramillo family on the doors, called Dave's Dream, commemorates the life and faith of David Jaramillo, and was completed after his death. Over 500 well-wishers witnessed the blessing of the car by a priest at the Santuario de Chimayo before it was transported to Washington, D.C.
Lowlow's Lowrider Art Place, a gallery near the Santuario, displays and sells works by Chimayo artists LowLow and Joan Medina. Their paintings, murals, handmade jewelry, culinary products, and other items also exemplify the artistry every lowrider puts into his car.
- "Low 'n slow: Lowriding in New Mexico" Jack Parsons & Carmella Padilla
- "Lowrider: History, Pride, Culture" Paige Penland
- "Lowriders" Robert Genat