Intricate airbrush strokes, metal flake details and the whine and thump of air pumps bouncing wheels and suspension parts have been a signature of the lowrider culture for decades. So have scantily clad women, lounging seductively against the fenders of these lavishly decorated cars.
But now, a group of Chicanas — most wearing the baggy clothes and matching collared shirts favored by their male counterparts — are getting in on the fun. They're building their own lowriders, cruising bajito y suavecito through the streets of San Antonio.
Delia "Dee" Ramirez, who drives a rat rodded old Chevy pickup with small, shiny red wheels, started the club last year. Her daughter, who goes by "Little Dee," said that when she was growing up, she wanted to be a mechanic so she wouldn't have to depend on a man to fix her car.
Unlike the hombres, these lowrider ladies aren't as much into the tackle that makes a car slam to the ground, jack up its front end, and hop like an exotic bird engaged in a mating dance. The mujeres are more into flowers, mirrors, colored beads, champagne glasses, and things that make their cars sparkle — the lowrider version of snips 'n' snails 'n' puppy dog tails versus sugar and spice and everything nice, really.
Mostly, they seem to be in it for the camaraderie, because women found at lowrider events tend to be found in passenger seats and on the covers of lowrider magazines.