The coolest car on the UK lowrider scene? Straight outta Lay ‘N’ Play, it ’s a Honda Civic of all things. And would you believe it’s a 10-year-old kid hitting the switches…?
Lowriders – they’re all Impalas and Coupe De Villes, aren’t they? No, far from it… let Pete Blackhurst clear it up for you: “In lowriding, the margins between cool and bad taste are carefully managed by individuality and creativity,” he says, “so in effect it doesn’t really matter what people think, there’s no real prerequisites, your ride is an expression of you.” So is it cool to run a 1980s Honda Civic in the lowrider scene? Hell yeah, it is – particularly when we tell you that this particular Civic is owned by a cool-as-a-cucumber 10-year-old dude named Sol.
Given that Sol’s running a very busy schedule of planning world domination and climbing trees and stuff, we’re talking to his old man Pete about the car, and it turns out that all of this brightly coloured and hydraulic-powered whimsy is genetic. It stems right back to Pete’s own childhood.
“As a kid I worked at my dad’s shop on Saturdays,” he recalls, “and he’d send me to the local newsagents to buy magazines and Hot Wheels along with a bag of chips and curry sauce for lunch. I always liked hot rods, customs and classic Fords; my neighbours had a Mk1 Mexico and a 105E, and when I finally passed my driving test at 18 my parents bought me a Mk3 Fiesta – which wasn’t so cool back then. I quickly swapped that for a Mk2 Cortina 1300 Deluxe – a rusty piece of crap that was delivered to my house with a dodgy MoT, it was a huge mistake but it almost lasted a year before falling to bits!”
Undeterred, Pete bought another Cortina, threw on some rims and graphics, and took it to his first show, Run to the Sun in Newquay – a mere 300 miles from home. This was where he saw his first UK lowrider up close, and at this point everything changed: the Vauxhall Viva owned by Sideshow Bob of Lo-Rdz Lowrider CC drove past on three wheels, and from that moment he knew he was hooked.
“The next step was research,” says Pete. “I was around 19 when I found the internet forums and chatrooms of Unity and Lo-Rdz; the great rivalry and amazing cars that came out of those early days saw me joining up with Unity and planning my first lowrider build. The Cortina was replaced with a 1979 Oldsmobile Cutlass, and with the help of fellow club member Stevie D, wire wheels and juice came quick and I headed out to every show, meet and gathering I could find. The Cutlass was a coming of age for me, meeting up with the guys I saw at shows and making friends, it’s only now fifteen years later I realise what effect it had on me and some of my lowrider bros.”
Not long after joining Unity, Pete, Stevie D and another friend Little Gray set up Tru-Rydaz, a UK-based club that now has members worldwide, and its influence is spreading relentlessly. In the…