Theme Tuesdays: Lowriders & The Canadian International Auto Show


Media Day at The Canadian International Auto Show has been my escape from winter for nearly a decade now. If I’m to be completely honest it’s not the new model releases, or concept unveils that keep me returning year after year. It’s the special interest rooms.

In years previous these rooms have hosted muscle cars, exotics, vintage manufacturer concepts, motorcycles and hot rods. This year the show opened it’s doors to an unlikely niche, lowriders.

To be clear, I love lowriders, but they’re not a genre that has a lot of universal appeal. In general the culture is quite a bit misunderstood. That’s why it was awesome to see lowriding promoted on a stage like this.

Most people in Toronto don’t know there’s a thriving lowrider culture here, so some widespread exposure certainly can’t hurt.

Given the record foot traffic the auto show receives I think it’s safe to assume that at least one child leaving the show is no infatuated with the art of building a low rider.

One of the cars I was most excited to see back out dippin’ was the Chilango ’64. The car was in for a bit of refurbishing these past few years and has returned better than ever.

Can’t wait to see it back out at shows this summer, and perhaps even out doing a bit of cruising. 

The main feature vehicles of the elaborate lowrider display came from Los Angeles care of the Del Alba family and the Petersen Automotive Museum.

Petersen brought six cars to the show in total, three of which were lowriders.

I’ve had the pleasure of enjoying some really well built lowriders while operating this site, but these three were truly next level.

The car above, a ’36 Chevrolet Master Deluxe known as El Padrote, was “bomb” of the year in 2011. With bombs being fairly rare in Ontario you’ll have to forgive me for giving this car a little bit of extra camera time.

There wasn’t a panel or curve on this car that wasn’t heavily detailed in some way, and it was quite difficult not to get lost in the work.

The other two cars on display, The Legacy, and El Rey proved to be a bit of a challenge to shoot. Their positioning, the surrounding hall, and people didn’t allow for the best overall photos.

However the beauty of shooting a lowrider is that it’s totally appropriate to get lost in the details. So I adapted and shot what I could to capture the beauty of El Rey in particular.

I still may try to return to the show to see if I can do these cars better justice. If any cars are deserving of a revisit, it’s these two.

El Rey has been lowrider of the year twice. It’s a stunning example of just how detailed an Impala build can be.

Truly a countless number of hours have gone into painting, striping, engraving and airbrushing every inch of this car.

I’m sure, even with these top-teir examples on display, there’s still quite a few show goers who don’t “get it”. But that’s ok if they’ve at least learned to appreciate them for the works of art that they are.

More general coverage of the Canadian International Auto Show will be up later this week.

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