Culture

Lowriders in Louisiana – Siknic 2015

We here at FeaturedGarage strive to provide content from all walks of automotive culture and in doing so we took a 4-hour step outside our usual coverage to take a look at something that rarely crossed our minds in the past.  Siknik 2015 in Gonzales, LA was full of minitrucks, lowriders, hotrods, and all manner of killer builds. I’m going to try and shed some light on this corner of the automotive world from the perspective that I had before this trip.

Lowered. Doored. Slammed. All of these words are easy to wrap your head around when you’re thinking about cars that you see at your local meetups and shows, but they take on an entirely new meaning when you walk through the gates at the Lamar Dixon Expo Center for this event. Before getting up close and personal with all these amazing trucks I had a bias against people lowering their cars for the sake of low. I can see the advantages of a lower center of gravity in a racecar, but even that is modest compared to the normal here. After spending a few minutes walking around trying to decide if we’d made the right decision attending this weekend long event I stumbled upon a truck that really drove it home for me (no pun intended). There vehicles weren’t meant to be useful, although many are, instead they were purely an expression of the builders ideas taken to the extreme.

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What really set all of this apart from the shows I am used to attending was the way in which no holds were barred on every aspect of the build. Static drops and nice wheels were not the end goal here.  Many of the trucks that sat poised around the parking lot were not only there to look good, they were also someones tow vehicle to get another in-progress build to the show. This dichotomy of form and function is what I had overlooked until my mind got changed by these works of art. Not only were they low, with flashy wheels in most cases, they also had completely custom fabrication and exquisite paint work that allowed for a complete package that I had never seen in such quantities before.

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Even the ones that seemed like nothing more than a show queen typically had something up their sleeve. This Ford F-100 would never have caught your attention in the sea of custom trucks it was parked in, we quickly learned that everything deserved a closer look though. What kind of insane mastermind decided to throw a brand new Coyote motor in this thing?

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With such extreme modifications you would think that an unnatural look would be unavoidable. Trucks with tires taking up most of the engine bay were not uncommon, even with notched hood reinforcements for clearance, and it more often than not looked like it could have come that way from the factory. The best word to describe the trucks and cars we saw would have to be finished. Whether they had miles of pin-striping or bubbles of rust there was a sense of coherency carried throughout the build and an attention to detail that is unparalleled.

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Nothing in this culture is bought off a shelf. The welding, painting, modifying, and style is never the same between two examples. Personal touches prevailed and you could spend hours looking one truck over and just keep finding more and more angles that it looked great from and the details that you had missed the previous time. I think all other types of automotive culture could learn something from these people and their commitment to what they love.

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This truck was a prime example of no detail left behind. The owner whom I had a short chat with gave a little bit of back story to some of the more extreme choices made and it only made the truck that much more attractive.  This thing had a Cummins 6BT in it, dualies in the back, and some suicide doors because why not? While that would have been more than enough to make the customization something to marvel at there was one more detail that got carried over from another of the owner’s passions.

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Rear-wheel steering, let that sink in. This diesel-powered, air-bagged, dually-converted beast also has rear-wheel steering. This carry over from the owners involvement in rock crawling was truly the cherry on top. This brings me to another realization I had while walking the ranks of cars and trucks nonchalantly competing for my attention. This was a place where all different styles were looked upon with an open mind. The diversity was almost as staggering as the quality.

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This pair of Impala’s were impossible to miss when walking the indoors part of the show. I kept coming back to them but I’m sure I didn’t even see half of the details they had hidden away in their paintwork.

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Impressive metal-work was not hard to find during the weekend and while it was easy to see the impressive welding and frame modification on show in almost every lowered truck there, the ornate detail this Impala displayed was the much appreciated opposite to the structural artwork all around it.

The unconditional appreciation for all things automotive brought together very diverse builds under the same roof. Not once did I hear anyone talk bad about the way another car was executed all weekend. Not more than 20 feet from the two Impala’s that would look completely natural in a music video from my childhood there were cars that looked like they should be featured in a completely different era of rap videos.

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I could talk all day about the builds we spent two days poring over but the real thing that I took away from the show was an understanding of what these people seem to have known from the beginning. All these cars and trucks were here because someone has dedicated a portion of their life to making a vision a reality. Their visions can only be described as complete. Every detail, every angle, perfectly executed. The next time I see a minitruck somewhere I’m not going to walk by it without a second glance, I’m going to try and see what makes that one special.

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I guess you could say that this adventure into the unknown was a much needed breathe of fresh air. Another thing we hope to accomplish here at FeaturedGarage is to show people sides of automotive culture not only as a glimpse into another sect but also to foster inspiration that can cross those lines. If you get the chance, go out and talk some shop, check out some rides, and get some ideas and maybe even a bit more understanding from any automotive event that is happening. Especially if it’s not something you would usually attend.

Without Words:

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For more photos from the event, check out the full gallery here.