Hydraulics have been a defining feature of low rider car culture since its inception in the 1940s. The use of hydraulics in low riders allows for the cars to be raised or lowered at the touch of a button, creating a distinct bouncing motion that has become synonymous with the low rider car culture.
Hydraulics were first introduced to low riders in the 1950s and 1960s, when hydraulic suspension systems were used to lower the cars for better handling and a more aggressive look. However, it wasn’t until the 1970s that the bouncing and hopping motion became a prominent feature of low riders.
The use of hydraulics in low riders was popularized in the Los Angeles area, where low rider car clubs like the Imperials and the Dukes began competing in hopping contests. These contests involved bouncing low riders as high as possible, often to the point of the car’s body slamming against the ground.
The hydraulics used in low riders are typically aftermarket kits that are installed by custom car shops. The kits consist of hydraulic pumps, valves, and cylinders, which are used to control the car’s suspension system. By adjusting the pressure in the hydraulic system, the car can be raised or lowered, and the bouncing motion can be created.
The bouncing motion is created by rapidly changing the pressure in the hydraulic system, causing the car to jump up and down. The height and intensity of the bouncing motion can be controlled by adjusting the pressure in the system, as well as the timing of the hydraulic valves.
While the bouncing motion is a key feature of low rider car culture, it’s important to note that it can be dangerous and is often illegal. Bouncing a car on public roads can cause damage to the vehicle and create a hazard for other drivers. In many areas, it’s illegal to modify a car’s suspension system in a way that allows for excessive bouncing or hopping.
Despite the risks and legal issues, the use of hydraulics in low riders remains a defining feature of the culture. Low riders with hydraulics are often seen at car shows and cruising events, where they’re admired for their unique style and the skill required to operate the hydraulic system.
In conclusion, hydraulics have played a significant role in the development of low rider car culture, creating a distinctive bouncing motion that has become synonymous with the culture. While the use of hydraulics can be dangerous and illegal, it remains a beloved feature of low rider car culture, attracting enthusiasts from around the world.