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Petersen Automotive Museum is raising the bar for the world’s most iconic lowriders

Home to some of the world’s rarest custom, classic and collector cars, the Petersen Automotive Museum is now opening the largest lowrider exhibit in its history, highlighting the artistry and craftsmanship of this global cultural phenomenon.

No other car culture showcases a mobile masterclass in art, family, and religion quite like a lowrider community. Sure, the cars are brash, often outrageous, entirely impractical, and financially ruinous, but for that Friday evening, when the sun’s low and the curb feelers are lower, the faint sound of a Dr Dre beat thumping in the distance, and hundreds of onlooker’s jaws collectively dropping as you roll by, makes every penny worth its weight in iced-out gold. 

Ever the truffle-pickers of the automotive world’s unique subcultures and concepts, California’s Petersen Automotive Museum has put together the largest and most comprehensive lowrider exhibit, known as “Best in Low: Lowrider Icons of the Street and Show,” which is now open in the Mullin Grand Salon. This all-new exhibition features more than 30 lowrider vehicles, ranging from cars, bicycles, and motorcycles, all surrounded by custom art and memorabilia from decades gone by. 

Paying particular attention to the unique identity and creativity of lowrider culture, as well as the craftsmanship that goes into creating these canvases on white wall tyres. As the decades tick by, the ethos of lowriding as remained almost entirely the same as its origins, where the speed of your custom vehicles plays no part in earning respect, it’s all in the custom paint, engraving, and gravity-defying suspension that can send your passengers airborne out of the expertly upholstered seats. 

The vehicles included in the exhibition have been carefully curated from all corners of the world, with one of the world’s most famous lowriders, the 1964 Chevrolet Impala known as "Gypsy Rose” taking centre stage.  This tricked-out car gained its initial notoriety in the 1970s US TV sitcom “Chico and the Man”, and later in became the first lowrider to be inducted into the National Historic Vehicle Registry. Elsewhere, the hall is jammed with a sea of chrome and candy paint, even showcasing the ever-popular Japanese lowriding community and their standout Chevrolet 210 Sedan know as “Sphinx”. 

Whether you’re a life-long hydraulics lover or seeing these unique machines for the very first time, “Best in Low: Lowrider Icons of the Street and Show” is an absolute must to discover more about this subculture. The exhibition will be on display until April 2025.