Lowrider: Dave's Dream

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An elaborately painted lowrider car bounces dramatically as its modified hydraulics lift first the front end, then the back, up and down. American Encounters, Dave’s Dream, Altura Films, 1993 




Visual Description

“Dave’s Dream,” a customized car, is displayed surrounded by a short railing. A pinstripe of words runs along the railing. In English and Spanish it reads: Dave Jaramillo converted this 1969 Ford LTD into a lowrider—with elaborate styling and a hydraulic system that lowers the chassis—as a way of expressing cultural pride.  
The two-door car is eighteen feet long and lower to the ground than a standard car.  
The base body color is black with silver flecks.  
The roof above the windows is covered with red velvet inset with black velvet diamonds. The top of the car behind the side window is emblazoned with a red scroll with silver letters reading “Dave’s Dream.”  
The long side of the car has two wide gold and yellow bands with painted starbursts. On the front fender just in front of the door, there’s a small pink butterfly. On the door and rear fender, a painted pink ribbon curls around the gold and yellow bands. And above the rear wheel, there’s a portrait of the Jaramillo family: Dave, with a slight beard; Irene, with curly hair; and Dave, Jr., about six years old wearing a blue shirt. In the background is an airbrushed painting of the mountains in their hometown of Española, New Mexico. 
A long chrome step runs between the wheel wells. The wheels have chrome wire spokes with whitewall tires. Inside the car, the doors, seats, even the dashboard are covered in quilted red velvet. The steering wheel is made of welded chain links. 
“Dave’s Dream” was completed by Dave’s family following his death in 1978. Its elaborate styling is a celebration of Mexican American and Chicano artistic traditions.