This may come as somewhat of a surprise, but no car comes from the factory as a low-rider. Weird, huh? That means every low-rider was once a humble family sedan, sporty coupe, or work truck, changed forever by an owner with vision. If you’re in the market to make one yourself, here’s the most sought after cars and trucks to help you get your scrape on.
1985 – 97 Nissan Hardbody
Sure, these days most laid-out minitrucks are S-10s, Tacomas, Rangers, or some compact import. That’s not old-school though. The Nissan Hardbody (and the Mazda B2200) started it all. The Nissan had tough, modern looks in the mid ‘80s, was simple to work on, and offered plenty of reliability. Get yours before they appreciate. While we don’t need to step up to the bed spinning shenanigans of the past, if you do get a Hardbody, be sure to throw some Daytons on it. Gold, of course.
From the start, the 300 looked rebellious and demanded modification. The big sedan took well to large wheels, tiny rubber, and a drop. Very quickly, the big rear-wheel drive MOPAR was slammed an on the cover of every magazine on Earth. Used, they are cheap to buy, and accept a surprising amount of mods without complaint. 20’s used to be controversial and drive like stink, but they look take on the 300 and it drives fine. Bonus points if you get a 300 C and work over the Hemi. Or chop the roof off. Sick either way.
2002+ Cadillac Escalade
Why 2002+? Because no one wants a Suburban with a Caddy grille. The ‘02s offered refreshing style and presence, something few SUVs can muster today. While the Escalade started with embarrassingly small 16” wheels, the aftermarket quickly fixed that problem, and now there is a lot of variety and style in the 24”+ market. While custom is still best, that’s not the rout for everyone, and there are multiple kits out there for a slammed-to-the-ground look, while still running giant wheels.
Chevy Caprice, any
The El Cheapo of any low-rider show, the Caprice does deserve some respect just for the numbers, if not the quality. These older estate sedans are popular today, as they wore the top of the line Chevy available back in the day. Everyone wanted to eventually work their way up to a Caprice, the working man’s realistic budget Cadillac. Today, the boxes offer bold, distinctive styling, plenty of room for customization, a super cheap starting price, and a supportive online community. If you’re looking to get into the game, there’s no better place to start.
1964 Chevy Impala
Well, that surprised absolutely no one. The big Imp is huge on style with pre-muscle car, but still athletic lines. It has swagger and cachet, even before the stance is fixed. It was also made in massive numbers, so a lot of survivors keep their prices affordable today. The enormous trunk can hold as many tanks as you need, and the massive fender wells accept all kinds of suspension mods, and the V8 sounds great with just a little work. Plus it’ll haul all your cheap buddies.