OVERVIEW
Low Rider magazine was started by three San Jose State students - Larry Gonzalez, Sonny Madrid and David Nunez. The three founders were actively involved in the Chicano movement at the university. They sought to establish a strong voice in their Bay Area community as their Mexican-American pride grew in the 1960s and early 1970s.

Mr. Madrid came up with the idea of publishing a magazine when he was promoting dances in San Jose. The leaflets showed pictures of lowrider cars, and this generated strong interest. He borrowed $4,000 from his mother to launch the magazine, and his partners kicked in about $1,500 each. The magazine covered cultural and political issues as well as cars, music and fashion. It was initally sold door-to-door in East San Jose, and sales outlets included grocery and liquor stores. The team also sold the magazine during car shows and community events. Titled as Low Rider with two words, it is the forerunner to Lowrider that began in 1988.

The first operations were done at 282 W. Willow, San Jose. The early issues do not include the publisher's name, but within the first year it was listed as ATM Communications at 203 Terrace in Capitola, California. By 1980, the main office was at 444 E. William in San Jose. Mr. Madrid was the named editor and publisher, Mr. Gonzalez handled distribution and circulation, and Mr. Nunez was responsible for advertising sales.

Madrid and associates established branch offices and hired distribution representatives in key cities: Los Angeles and San Diego, California; San Antonio, Texas; and Phoenix, Arizona. Madrid traveled extensively for three years and often used a fully customized lowrider as advertisement. The magazine also sponsored large lowrider shows in Los Angeles, Albuquerque, and Phoenix. The first large sponsored event was the 1979 SuperShow in Los Angeles that had 20,000 attendees.

As the magazine grew in the 1980s, the core staff still handled distribution, often spending 25% of their time on this task. This approach reduced content and coverage, and it killed productivity. Competitors such as Q-Vo and Firme: Chicano Life contributed to increasing financial challenges. Mr. Madrid was eventually in debt to the point that he had to forfeit the entire operation to the magazine's printer, TechnoWeb, in 1984. TechnoWeb continued the operation, and it appears it operated as Aztlan Communications. The new editor added lifestyle and advice columns, but production eventually ceased with the December, 1985 issue.

Much has been written about the huge impact of this magazine. The founders created a platform that ultimately spread the lowrider culture globally. It also helped build a strong multi-cultural and multi-generational community centered around lowrider cars and Chicano culture.

But this impact did not end in 1985. Original founder Larry Gonzalez, along with publisher Alberto Lopez and managing editor Dina Loya, bought the rights to the magazine and formed Park Avenue Publishing. Re-located to Southern California in Fullerton, the first issue of Lowrider was launched in June, 1988 with an initial print run of 20,000. It continued through 2019 when print production ceased.

The table of contents can be seen by clicking on the  icon.

PUBLICATION DATA:
The publisher did NOT provide net paid circulation data to N.W. Ayer.

CONTENT COMPLETENESS:
A total of 94 issues was printed from January, 1977 through December, 1985. Magazine cover images are complete for this title except for the following: 5/83 and 10/83.

Jan 1977
Jan '77 Vol 1 No 1
Feb/Mar 1977
Feb/Mar '77 Vol 1 No 2
1977 Nbr 3
Vol 1 No 3
1977 Nbr 4
Vol 1 No 4
1977 Nbr 5
Vol 1 No 5
1977 Nbr 6
Vol 1 No 6
1977 Nbr 7
Vol 1 No 7
1977/8 Nbr 8
Vol 1 No 8
1978 Nbr 9
Vol 1 No 9
Jul 1978
Jul '78 Vol 1 No 10
Aug 1978
Aug '78 Vol 1 No 11
Sept 1978
Sept '78 Vol 1 No 12
Oct 1978
Oct '78 Vol 2 No 1
Dec 1978
Dec '78 Vol 2 No 2
Jan 1979
Jan '79 Vol 2 No 3
Feb 1979
Feb '79 Vol 2 No 4
Mar 1979
Mar '79 Vol 2 No 5
Apr 1979
Apr '79 Vol 2 No 6
May 1979
May '79 Vol 2 No 7
June 1979
June '79 Vol 2 No 8
July 1979
July '79 Vol 2 No 9
Aug 1979
Aug '79 Vol 2 No 10
Sept 1979
Sept '79 Vol 2 No 11
Oct 1979
Oct '79 Vol 2 No 12
Nov 1979
Nov '79 Vol 3 No 1
Dec 1979
Dec '79 Vol 3 No 2
Jan 1980
Jan '80 Vol 3 No 3
Feb 1980
Feb '80 Vol 3 No 4
Mar 1980
Mar '80 Vol 3 No 5
Apr 1980
Apr '80 Vol 3 No 6
May 1980
May '80 Vol 3 No 7
June 1980
June '80 Vol 3 No 8
July 1980
July '80 Vol 3 No 9
Aug 1980
Aug '80 Vol 3 No 10
Sept 1980
Sept '80 Vol 3 No 11
Oct 1980
Oct '80 Vol 3 No 12
Nov 1980
Nov '80 Vol 4 No 1
Dec 1980
Dec '80 Vol 4 No 2
Jan 1981
Jan '81 Vol 4 No 3
Feb 1981
Feb '81 Vol 4 No 4
Mar 1981
Mar '81 Vol 4 No 5
Apr 1981
Apr '81 Vol 4 No 6
May 1981
May '81 Vol 4 No 7
June 1981
June '81 Vol 4 No 8
July 1981
July '81 Vol 4 No 9
Aug 1981
Aug '81 Vol 4 No 10
Sept 1981
Sept '81 Vol 4 No 11
Oct 1981
Oct '81 Vol 4 No 12
Nov 1981
Nov '81 Vol 5 No 1
Dec/Jan 1982
Dec/Jan '82 Vol 5 No 2
Feb 1982
Feb '82 Vol 5 No 3
Mar 1982
Mar '82 Vol 5 No 4
Apr/May 1982
Apr/May '82 Vol 5 No 5
June 1982
June '82 Vol 5 No 6
July/Aug 1982
Jul/Aug '82 Vol 5 No 7
Sept 1982
Sept '82
Oct 1982
Oct '82
Nov 1982
Nov '82
Dec 1982
Dec '82
January 1983
Jan '83
February 1983
Feb '83
March 1983
Mar '83
April 1983
Apr '83
May '83
June July 1983
Jun/Jul '83
August 1983
Aug '83
September 1983
Sept '83
Oct '83
November 1983
Nov '83
December 1983
Dec '83
January 1984
Jan '84
February 1984
Feb '84
March April 1984
Mar/Apr '84
May 1984
May '84
June 1984
Jun '84
July 1984
Jul '84
August 1984
Aug '84
September 1984
Sept '84
October 1984
Oct '84
November 1984
Nov '84
December 1984
Dec '84
January 1985
Jan '85
February 1985
Feb '85
March 1985
Mar '85
April 1985
Apr '85
May 1985
May '85
June 1985
Jun '85
July 1985
Jul '85
August 1985
Aug '85
September 1985
Sept '85
October 1985
Oct '85
November 1985
Nov '85
December 1985
Dec '85
Last Issue