The lowriders that are saving lives
Top Gear meets LA ex-gang members seeking redemption through cars…
Posted: 16 Oct 2013
So-Lo Riderz Car Club member Freddy Ramos owns a Cadillac de Ville overwrought with eye-snagging decoration - money-green metalflake paint, strippers airbrushed on the boot, gold-plated spare wheel holder... this is not a car that subscribes to hidden meaning. We meet in the extravagantly warm Valleys area, located approximately three-quarters of a mile away from the sun, with members of his club, as well as One Bad Creation and Resurrection.
"If you're not hitting switches, or laying it real low, you're not really lowriding. And you've got to have thirteens. Some clubs just don't let you in if you have anything bigger - it's tradition. Most of the local cops leave us alone, though, even though we're in a bit of a grey area.
"I think it's because we bring a lot to the community. Some lowrider clubs work with the police department. Not as informants, but linking kids with cars, and looking out for people in the neighbourhood that could wind up in trouble. We do a lot of charity work, too - Easter basket drives and Christmas toy drives for underprivileged kids. People see bald heads, lowriders and tattoos and think we're bad, but the homies do all that good stuff, too."