Lowriders cruise into the Petersen

Lowrider details at the Petersen21

A celebrated part of Latin culture in Los Angeles gets its own major exhibition at the Petersen Museum, gathering muscle cars, choppers and more 

Lowriders are a strong part of the motoring culture of Los Angeles and beyond. For the next year, they are the subject of a huge retrospective in the Mullin Grand Salon of the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles. To be sure, the Petersen has shown lowriders before, but never in such an extensive and wide-ranging exhibit.

Lowriders emerged in Los Angeles in the post-World War II era, paralleling the rise of Hot Rod culture. There is a certain amount of crossover between the two cultures, especially in the ‘resurrection’ of discarded Detroit iron, and the extensive decoration and creative paint jobs.

But Lowrider culture is particularly identified and more thoroughly embedded into the history of Chicano/Latin culture than Hot Rods are to other ethnic groups. Additionally, hot rods have a certain ‘outlaw’ reputation, whereas lowriders are seen as a legitimate artistic expression of Latin culture on the streets of LA.

Hot Rods are fundamentally…

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