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Glossary

 

Aztlan: Legendary northern homeland of the Aztec people. The term refers to the southwestern United States (California, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, and Colorado), which belonged to Mexico until the 1830s.

 

Bomb: A lowered, usually mildly customized 1930s or ‘40s low rider.

 

Bumper kit: Rear-mounted spare tire; also known as a “continental kit.”

 

Califas: California

 

Candy: A paint finish achieved by spraying a base coat of silver, gold, or another color and then applying several coats of contrasting translucent topcoat colors.

 

Cholo: See vato.

 

Chop:To lower a car roof by removing sections of metal from the windshield posts, door pillars, and rear roof quarters.

 

Dropped spindles: Steering components on which the front wheels are placed higher than standard to bring the frame down and lower the front of a car.

 

Euro kit: Customizing package normally consisting of a front air dam, side skirts, rear spoiler, trim painted to match body color, and heavy-duty suspension.

 

Fadeaways: Custom-paint treatment with patterns that decrease in intensity or opacity along the lines of the car’s body.

 

Fat man steering wheel: A factory optional steering wheel with a secondary, smaller wheel approximately four inches less in diameter that is more easily gripped and turned by large drivers.

 

French: To recess parts such as headlights and radio antennas into other, larger portions of the body.

 

Gangster: An “O.G.” low rider who usually drives a vehicle from the 1930s or ‘40s and likes the “gangster” look (see O.G. below).

 

Glare shade: Plastic coating that takes the place of factory window tinting.

 

Lowering block: A cube-shaped metal piece placed between the axle and springs to drop the ride height of the chassis.

 

Mold: To rework adjoining body panels into a smooth, unbroken surface by filling the seams.

 

O.G.: Short for “original gangster”, a term adopted from gang parlance. Now means “original” or “old style” to low riders.

 

O.G. hydraulics: Hydraulics adapted from the landing gear of World War II aircraft.

 

Orale: Hey, right on!

 

Pull-down guards: Protective vertical rear bumper-mounted bars that can be folded down for access to a trunk. These are limited to 1930s and ‘40s bombs.

 

Pumps and dumps: Electrically actuated fluid-pressure devices and regulating devices used to inflate or deflate hydraulic suspension components.

 

Ranfla: Slang for old, fixed-up car.

 

Raza: In Spanish, “race.” Refers to the Chicano, Latino, and Hispanic peoples. “La Raza” means the people.

 

Ruca: Chick, girlfriend, homegirl.

 

Shave: To remove standard trim from body panels and fill the mounting holes to create a smooth, unbroken surface.

 

Traffic-light viewer: A dashboard-mounted concave lens that enables the driver to view a traffic light obscured by the front, external visor featured on some pre-1960 cars.

 

Vato: Dude, guy, homeboy.

 

Wrap: To reinforce a vehicle frame for greater strength by welding strong metal plates to a strategic area.

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