A Lil’ Lower

Santa Rosa Lowriders keep the culture rolling

Ramon Contreras’ 1984 Coup de Ville is a cobalt-blue exhibition on wheels. The Caddy’s flawless candy-colored paint job and custom-chrome trim shimmer in the afternoon sun. Proudly displayed in the rear window is a plaque reading “Santa Rosa Style,” framed by wispy pinstripe graphics. His personalized license plate tops it all off: 707AREA.

As Santa Rosa Style car club president and founder, Contreras has been revamping lowrider cars since his first ride at the age of 16. He’s now passing on to his son this American tradition of craftsmanship, rich in pride and dedication. “Lowriding has always been a family affair. We bring in the younger generations; it’s part of our culture,” says Jeff Gonsalves, de facto club mentor and Lowrider OG.

Established in 1995, Santa Rosa Style was one of only a few founding lowrider clubs in Santa Rosa; over two decades, that number’s jumped to almost a dozen. Check out the pristine rides at Santa Rosa Style’s third annual car show and picnic hosted by DJ Rob Cervantes, with Santa Rosa rapper Doc Holiday and special guests, on Saturday, June 16, at Youth Community Park. 1275 Fulton Road, Santa Rosa. Noon–5pm. Free.—Jacquelynne Ocaña

Sonoma County Library