by Clint Burgess & r & Columbus rocked the paradigms of flat-earthers everywhere, proving that the Earth is round and that all things are not necessarily as they seem. For example, low riders are not sub-par mechanical vehicles owned only by gang members and delinquents. For a piece of enlightenment, check out Lowcos Customs right here in Spokane.

Situated just west of Freya at 3342 E. Trent Ave., Lowcos Customs is an unassuming low rider shop. There isn't a lot of fanfare or any big bright signs, but the shop does have energy. Owner and head mechanic Ian Lovely is the driving force behind this unusual garage. Lowcos specializes in putting the low in low riders. They do pretty much everything when it comes to slamming rides and getting them ready to hop. Lovely realized the melding of his enthusiasm for low riders and his strong work ethic nearly 10 years ago. He came to Spokane from Missoula after he worked on friends' cars and started to get requests for his work in the area.

Lowcos has customized cars that have been featured in nationally distributed low rider videos as well as rides that have been in the famed Low Rider magazine. "We've worked on a lot of different cars here," says Lovely. "Sometimes you can't tell by just driving around, but there are some really nice cars here that people have put a lot of money into." While the preconception that low riders are less than desirable citizens has some relevance, the bad seeds only represent a small portion of low-riding culture. "I think a lot of people don't understand what goes into these cars," says Lovely. He understands the hard work, time and energy that it takes to get a car into show-quality shape.

Some of the creations that have been the beneficiaries of Lovely's ingenuity have come from all over the Northwest as well as Canada. The tight-knit low rider community takes note of good work, and word travels fast about mechanics with vision and know-how. Lowcos gives a car the full body treatment when installing a hydraulics system or when doing other bodywork. A car can be made to hop or roll up on three wheels pretty easily; it's the resulting frame damage that usually leads low rider owners to Lovely's shop. "There is a lot of shoddy work done in this business," explains Lovely. But when a car is done right and the attention to detail is there, it can turn out to be a showstopper. "We've got that Cadillac Fleetwood out there that has been measured at shows doing a hop of 60 inches," adds Lovely.

It is abundantly clear that Lovely takes his profession seriously. His right-hand man, Jeremy Link (aka "Tooth") is right there helping to make Lowcos the place to get your ride chopped. "We also sell a lot of accessories," Link says. "We want to provide the things people want to those individuals who might not know what kind of a good deal we can get them here." It's true: With low overhead, Lowcos can beat the prices of larger shops on items such as custom wheels and accessories. Even if low riders aren't your thing, Lowcos is worth checking out. Stop in and see what they can do for you.

Summer Parkways @ South Hill

June 14-20
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