HomeCar CultureIconic Lowriders Take Center Stage at Petersen Automotive Museum

Iconic Lowriders Take Center Stage at Petersen Automotive Museum

"Best in Low: Lowrider Icons of the Street and Show” will be the largest lowrider exhibition in the museum’s history


The Petersen Automotive Museum will celebrate the artistry, culture and history of lowriders with its largest and most comprehensive lowrider exhibit, set to open on May 11. “Best in Low: Lowrider Icons of the Street and Show” will showcase some of the most significant lowriders in history, as well as incredible custom motorcycles, bicycles and art.

Located in the Mullin Grand Salon, the exhibit will celebrate the creativity and unique identity of lowrider culture by highlighting the intricate and labor-intensive craftsmanship that goes into creating these mobile masterpieces. The display will showcase the techniques that have become a hallmark of the lowrider scene, including custom paint, engraving, gravity-defying suspension and plush upholstery. The exhibit will also feature artwork and photography from some of the most influential artists from the Chicano lowrider art scene today.  

Vehicles on display will include one of the world’s most famous lowriders, the 1964 Chevrolet Impala known as “Gypsy Rose.” The iconic ride earned its initial notoriety in the 1970s television sitcom “Chico and the Man.” In 2017, Gypsy Rose became the first lowrider to be inducted into the National Historic Vehicle Registry.

Other notable lowriders include the 1958 Chevrolet Impala convertible “Final Score” and 1957 Chevrolet Bel Air “Double Trouble,” both three-time Lowrider magazine Lowrider of the Year award winners, as well as the 1958 Chevrolet Impala “Dead Presidents,” built by Albert De Alba Sr. and Albert De Alba Jr., who are among the most established and respected craftsmen in the lowrider community. The exhibit will also feature the 1954 Chevrolet 210 Sedan “Sphinx,” an influential car in the Japanese lowriding community, and the “Twisted Toy” bicycle, a three-time Lowrider Bicycle of the Year, plus numerous other iconic and award-winning lowrider cars, motorcycles, bicycles and more.

Lowriders emerged onto the Southern California automotive scene in the post-war era as unique symbols of personal creativity and cultural identity. While hot rodders concentrated on going fast, lowriders focused on cruising low and slow. Lowriders evolved into an expression of cultural pride in Southern California’s various Chicano communities by the late 1960s.

As the popularity of lowrider culture has grown both within the United States and beyond, this exhibition is a new chapter focused on the artistry and craftsmanship of lowrider cars and the impact of this culture on the customization scene. Los Angeles is often called the center of lowriding, and the city continues to be the dominant image of the culture both nationally and internationally. Though Chicanos/Latinos are often cited as the generators of the culture, African Americans, Asians, and members of other cultural groups participate in the lowriding scene, and all have contributed important innovations. Today, lowrider communities can be found across the United States from the West Coast to the Southwest, and even in Chicago, Kansas City and New York City. Internationally, there are lowrider communities in Japan, Brazil, Thailand and even France.

“The lowrider displays are always a fan favorite, and we are excited to open the most comprehensive lowrider exhibit in the museum’s history,” said Petersen Automotive Museum Executive Director Terry L. Karges. “This exhibit celebrates the rich history of lowriders and will give visitors the opportunity to learn about their impact on the automotive world, the culture at large and the history of car customization.”

“Best in Low: Lowrider Icons of the Street and Show” opens on May 11 and will be on display through April 2025. To purchase tickets or for more information about the Petersen Automotive Museum, please visit



  1. Automotive art, simply awesome. These folks embrace car culture whole heartedly, and I have seen some low riders that could sit without question in the halls of MOMA. And if you haven’t seen the cruise drop, where the magnesium strip under the rear frame drags and creates a trail of sparks, your car experience is incomplete.

  2. I am a “Car guy”.. don’t watch sports on TV (not my thing).. what I do is follow the car hobby, I have traveled this great World and have been fortionate enough to own several Iconic brands. I live in Southern California and while so many complain about the negative things about So CA, you can’t beat the weather for a “car guy”. Like so many of us car guys I respect any car that is unique and done right, the lowriders have been on the forefront of innovation in the hobby for years. The lowriders have evolved over the years, early on they were considered outlaws and villains, to the extent that many institutions would not work with them. I remember a large Insurance Co. owner said he would never sell them insurance, today that same company sponsors events. I have met some of the top builders in the Lowrider world such as the Tovars and I must say they are on the same level of Foose design (who I also have met), unfortunately as of now they do not share the financial success. I see a future where things are changing, a wise man once said “follow the money”.. and lets face it as drag strips across USA continue to close up, and we see more and more 32’s on the market from aging out seniors.. the Lowriders are growing in numbers.. They will be spending more money on cars in the future then any other segment and hence car companies will start catering to them. I will predict you will see more TV reality series staring low riders as the leads (not just the painter)… I predict you will see more and more commercials targeting automotive parts and accessories for lowriders.. more and more advertising dollars will be spent trying to capture this segment.


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