August 2003 issue of Lowrider Magazine
|First issue||January 1977|
|Company||Motor Trend Group|
|Based in||Anaheim, California|
Lowrider is an American automobile magazine, focusing almost exclusively on the style known as a lowrider. It first appeared in 1977, produced out of San Jose, California, by a trio of San Jose State students. As of 2007, it is published out of Anaheim, California, and part of the Motor Trend Group.
Lowrider focuses on all aspects of lowrider culture, from cars to music and fashion. It also covers political and cultural issues related to Chicanos, and funds an annual scholarship program. The magazine has also released a series of music videos through their label, Thump Records.
Lowrider was founded in the mid-1970s by San Jose State students Larry Gonzalez, Sonny Madrid, and David Nunez, "who sought to present a voice for the Chicano community in the Bay Area." The first issue debuted in January 1977. Essentially self-distributed, the magazine struggled until the November 1979 issue, when it began pairing bikini-clad women with lowriders on the cover each issue. During this time, it also featured cartoonist David Gonzales' monthly comic strip The Adventures of Hollywood, which eventually morphed into the Homies line of toy figurines. Even so, after being taken over by its printer, Lowrider folded in December 1985.
The magazine was revived in June 1988 by original co-founder Larry Gonzalez along with brothers Alberto and Lonnie Lopez. They moved the magazine's headquarters to Fullerton, California (closer to the heart of lowrider culture), and began featuring customized trucks on the cover.
As the magazine increased readership through the late 1980s and early 90s it spun-off other titles, established a merchandising division, and began sponsoring multi-annual lowrider shows which took place all over the Western U.S.
Lowrider Publishing Group was acquired in 1997 by automotive periodicals conglomerate McMullen Argus Publishing, which was itself acquired in 1999 by Primedia. In 2007, Lowrider was taken over by Source Interlink Media, now known as TEN: The Enthusiast Network.