San Diego--The Fleet Science Center partners with Via International and members of the San Diego lowrider community to present The Science and Engineering of Lowriders, on Sunday, March 12, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Chicano Park in Barrio Logan.

The family-friendly event will feature a history of lowrider culture, the evolution of engineering and technology that goes into these mobile art pieces and a historical tour of the famous murals of Chicano Park, ending with a lowrider demonstration. The event is part of the Fleet Science Center's 52 Weeks of Science program in Barrio Logan.

Lowriders emerged in the late 1940's and early 1950's as part of Mexican-American culture. Sandbags were put in the trunks of customized cars in order to weigh them down and create a lowered effect. The aim of the lowriders was to cruise as slowly as possible. It was a statement against the prevailing mainstream use of an automobile as a means to get someplace fast. "Low and Slow" was the motto of the lowrider. 

In 1958 an enactment to the California Vehicle Code made it illegal to operate any car modified so that the body was lower than the bottoms of its wheel rims. In response, customizers developed ways of bypassing the law by using hydraulic pumps and valves to change the height of the vehicle at the flick of a switch. Between 1960 and 1975, customizers adapted and refined automobile frames, hydraulics and airbrushing techniques to create the modern lowrider style.

An incredible amount of science goes into the creation of each lowrider. Much of the technology was developed by self-taught "backyard engineers" who created the mechanisms and style of lowriders on their own. A lowrider engineer needs to understand hydraulics, weight distribution, air pressure, car electronics and more. 

The lowriders presented at the event will be from the personal collections of two experienced "backyard engineers" with decades of experience each: Rigo Reyes of the Amigos Car Club and Steve "Masa" Wade of Masa Hydraulics.  

The event begins at 11 a.m. with a tour of the Chicano Park murals. At 1 p.m. Rigo Reyes will give a talk about the history and cultural significance of lowriders. Steve "Masa" Wade will present a demonstration of lowrider engineering and technology. Food from San Diego Taco Company will be available for purchase.

The Science and Engineering of Lowriders takes place on Sunday, March 12, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Chicano Park in Barrio Logan. For more information visit:

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To cover the event or schedule an interview with a representative from the Fleet Science Center or Via International, please contact Fleet Science Center Public Relations Manager Nathan Young at 619-685-5743 or or Via International at (619) 432-5086 or

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About Via International

Via International provides paths to self-reliance for an interdependent world. We integrate community development initiatives with education and voluntourism to build leadership and self-reliance in under-served communities. We believe that linking the resources and knowledge of students with the wisdom and ingenuity of the community creates a cultural exchange capable of raising awareness across the socioeconomic spectrum. We believe the reciprocal impact of these experiences results in lifelong transformation and value creation at all community levels. For more info on Via International please visit:

About 52 Weeks of Science

52 Weeks of Science is a year-long celebration of science right here in Barrio Logan and Logan Heights. More than 56 organizations have come together in the neighborhood to bring you a year full of discovery through fun science events and opportunities every week. Each event is free and open to all. From astronomy to zoology and everything in between, 52 Weeks of Science is happening here. More information can be found at: