Tucked away in a corner of the V 4&Rotary Nationals at ASB Showgrounds on January 24 was a curious automotive display — the hall of hopping, ground-scraping vehicles that was the Air Ride and Lowrider Nationals was totally contrary to the 4&Rotary vibe, but managed to fit in perfectly.
One of the most noticeable things in the hall was the awesome banner spanning across one and a half walls. Covered in street art that looked like it had been plucked straight from the mean streets of South Central Los Angeles, it fit the bill perfectly and made for a perfect backdrop for these low, menacing machines.
Now, aside from a ground-scraping ride height, little wheels (preferably 13-inch wire wheels), and whitewall tyres, the paintwork is one of the most important ingredients in a lowrider. Justin Ferris’s ’67 Impala coupe had some spectacular work in this department. Unfortunately you can’t really see much in the photo, but the detail work in this paint must have taken hours upon hours, and looked absolutely stunning.
It’s not just the exterior aesthetics that make a lowrider, though — check out the amount of work that’s gone into the interior of this car. The seats, carpet, doorcards, steering wheel; none of it may be to your taste, but it’s great seeing people put this much effort into their rides.
Just as a side note, you can’t see it in the photo, but this thing’s even got a painted and detailed ceiling with a light fitting hanging down.
This is where all the magic happens. Take a bit of time, if you can, to look at all the detail that has gone into this boot; all the etching, engraving, and chrome plating, as well as the hours of engineering work that must surely have gone into making it all work. Then there’s all of that detail in the paint and spare wheel — mind blowing!
Something a little left of centre, even for a lowrider, was this Camaro. With its appropriate ‘Vato’ number plate, little wheels, tidy paint, and pin-striping, it was definitely one of the more noticeable vehicles on display — that’s saying something when you’ve got cars with paint jobs, detail work, and just sheer presence that should, theoretically, steal the show.
It wasn’t just cars, either — some very fitting two wheelers also helped make up the ranks here.
Being the Air Ride and Lowrider Nationals, the hall was also open to mini trucks, and any other vehicles on air suspension. That meant there were a few very low mini trucks huddled in a corner of the hall, like this rotary-powered Hilux.
While this style of vehicle might not appeal to everyone, and even rubs some up the wrong way, it was great seeing such diversity in vehicle personalization at the V 4&Rotary Nationals. Long live automotive culture, and long live crazy car customization!