By Len Ramirez

SAN JOSE (KPIX 5) — A magazine dedicated to cars and Latino culture is hitting the brakes after a 42-year run.

The parent company of Lowrider magazine says it will no longer publish hard copies and will instead focus on an online version.

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“It’s definitely the end of an era,” said San Jose Lowrider Council President David Polanco.

“I’m sad to see it go, but things have changed in the direction of the company,” Polanco said.

Lowrider Magazine was started by San Jose State University student Sonny Madrid, Larry Gonzales and David Nuñez, who first sold it door-to-door in East San Jose.

But it quickly gained a large and loyal following throughout the U.S. as well as in Japan, Europe and Australia.

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“It was like the airplane that took us around the world and let other people know who we were, what we were about, that we weren’t just criminals, we were kids
building cars to our liking,” said Gilbert Chavez, who was inspired to start his own magazine called “Streetlow.”

But at its heart, Lowrider was about more than the cars and curvy women that graced its covers, it was about Chicanos covering their own culture.

Back issues are now considered historical documents worthy of a collection at the San Jose Public Library’s California Room.

“There were dedications, pictures of the community, articles about social activism and different issues that were coming up in the community,” said Estella Inda, who works on collections at the California Room.

Although Lowrider magazine is coming to an end, it’s not the end of lowriding, which is seeing a resurgence in popularity.

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“It’s never going to die,” said Chavez.