California Rekindles its Love for Cruising: ‘Low and Slow’ is Back!

California recently legalized cruising after a 40-year ban on the activity in the state. The “low and slow” culture is back on the West Coast.

Lowriders are legally allowed to drive on California streets once again. The lowrider term refers to vehicles with tons of incredible chrome and shiny metal that also have complicated hydraulic suspension systems to ride super low and close to the pavement while also lifting up high to hop about. These cars are identified mostly with the Latin culture, with many drivers of Latin origin showing off their pride and tradition with cars that are ready to ride “low and slow.”

Cruising can be defined many ways

Cruising is known as a fun activity for young drivers who enjoy parading their vehicles around a popular circuit in their towns on the weekend. This activity has been passed down through the years, with many drivers enjoying the fun of socializing through their cars. Some cruises start in parking lots and drive down the town’s main street or shopping center, while others parade past popular shops and stores. The idea is to show off your ride, regardless of condition, and come back each week after making some changes until the car is perfect.

It’s a celebration of cars

If you want to find the epitome of automotive posturing, you’ll want to spend some time in California cruising down the streets, watching the amazing cars go by. This is a great activity to celebrate car culture by showing off a cool lowrider, some of which can ride with two wheels up and two down along the road to show what the hydraulic suspension can do. Taking a car ride through a popular area to show off the car is a lot of fun, but some people will only come out and watch as spectators.

The state where cruising began banned it

Cruising began sometime in the 1940s in Southern California, but the state eventually banned the practice throughout the entire state in 1982. This ban wasn’t only meant to keep drivers from congregating and cruising to show off their low-riding vehicles but also penalize those drivers who altered their rides for the near-zero ground clearance. Unfortunately, when the ban began, it was a huge challenge against the Latino community, with too many drivers stereotyped as being associated with gang-related criminal activity. Thankfully, this unfair practice has finally come to an end.

Gavin Newsom changes the rules

The current Governor of California, Gavin Newsom, reversed the nearly 40-year ban on cruising in the state. The ban on vehicles with altered suspension systems was also lifted as of October 13, making it legal for these cars to enjoy time out on California roadways once again. The state adopted a clearer definition of cruising and now allows drivers to enjoy the fun of taking their cars out on the road to ride low and slow. The low-riding suspension systems have a few additional rules, but at least things are moving forward.

Will California receive the same notoriety as Woodward Avenue?

One of the biggest and best car shows held every year is actually a cruise. This cruise takes place as many vehicles from various eras take to Woodward Avenue in Detroit, Michigan, for the Woodward Dream Cruise. This famous event is held every summer in the Motor City and is a must-see event for car lovers from all over the country. Swarms of people flock to this street and enjoy the sights as the cars drive slowly down the street, showing off the amazing looks and customization that’s been done to each car.

Why would California lift a 40-year ban?

Cruising can be considered a bit of a nuisance in some areas. Several towns still ban cruising on the weekends. Cruising along the California streets is something different. This state has the most classic car collectors, with many owners that have one special car they’ve worked on, loved, and created from the ground up. The ability to drive these amazing creations up and down the streets is a huge part of the fun of cruising. It was a bit of a blow to the classic car scene in California when this activity was banned, but now it’s back.

Soon, we should begin to see some amazing cruise videos and images as events pop up around the state to make California cruising a popular activity once again. Will you join in the fun and be one of the drivers going “low and slow” down the California coast?

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