How two men changed the lowrider culture.
Back in the 70's when Detroit was pumping out performance model after performance model, L.A. was moving on from the speed culture which they had created. With a large influence from the hispanic or latino market they were moving onto the next wave of car culture. Sure the big three weren't finished with their muscle cars, but California partially was.
During this time two men from the area began working on their first mainstream movie, which was about to change the perception on two things. One being the high use of "Mary Jane" during the 70's and the other was the introduction of that wonderful 64' Impala, the "Love Machine". With this car Cheech and Chong would foreever change the perception of term low rider.
It's now hard to believe how one rusted up car from a stoner movie could make such an influence, but really it did. From then on it seemed that the very car culture which they were showing off, took off and with good cause. But again this was California, a state which has given us the hot rod and the import tuner scenes.
But the "Love Machine" wasn't the only great car to ever grace our clouded screens, as Cheech and Chong went on to introduce us to the ultimate upholstery repair van. No this wasn't an amazing van, but it did bring to light the illegal importation of marijuana into the U.S. As before most Americans were not totally aware about this happening. Sure it made for a great part in the movie as Cheech and Chong did get a crowd and a police officer high along the way. But again this specific vehicle did help change the aftermarket industry as some people did go onto to custom M.J. designs on their vehicles.
As the 70's went on the gas crisis hit America and with it came another great moment for Cheech and Chong. We all remember how the gas crisis hit the American market, but do you remember how Cheech and Chong filled a drum full of gas and decided to light one up in a 55' Thunderbird. Sure that made for some great humour, but it did bring to light the affects the gas crisis was having on the U.S. You may think that it was only intended as a joke, but those two guys did bring up a good point about how that little crisis really did affect everyone. And it also brought to the light the affects of smoking while covered in gas. Sure it's funny when you see it on a movie, but don't try that at home.
As the years have passed and the use of marijuana has changed, it seems that the lowrider culture is still alive with what Cheech and Chong have helped create. But it seems that going green is not only for the lowrider culture as most recently Elon Musk was caught smoking up on the Joe Rogan show. Sure we all know that he may have done this back in the day, but it seems that everyone has gone way overboard after he smoked one up on a live podcast. As he is the founder of a green automotive brand it just seems funny to us. This is funny as the term green automobile was partially used to describe a stoner car, but now it may also be used to describe a Musk era Tesla. But whatever the outcome, we all know that Elon did what he wanted to do just as Cheech and Chong did back in the 70's.
It's funny how when it was happening you really didn't take notice, but as we look back now we would like to thank Cheech and Chong for not only giving us great movies, but giving us some great car culture as well. And as you go out today my fellow Canadians, to bask in the glory of legal weed, remember that its still not safe to toke and drive, no matter how funny it was in "Up in Smoke".
Stay green my friends
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