Cruise For Healing

Photo by Steven Meckler
An organized 19-mile cruise led by Tucson’s Dukes Car Club to celebrate mobility, ease, and camaraderie.

Saturday October 3 , 2020 |  5 pm

Organized cruises are a common communal ritual to mark special occasions and times of transitions like weddings, quinceañeras and funerals. But they also to draw attention to times of change and upheaval. Once outlawed in Tucson and across much of the country, the cruise represents mobility, ease, independence, and camaraderie. Lowriders themselves speak to traditions of creativity and adornment in Black and Mexican American communities, where a car is not just an ordinary vehicle but an expression of personality, performance, and care. Lowriders and old-school cars (pre-1950s Chevys) are intentional invitations to be noticed, not ignored, and are evidence of how dynamic culture is. A cultural community with ancestral claims to a presence in the US Southwest adapts an American invention — the automobile — and makes its unique imprint in American culture. One poet referred to lowriders as “butterflies with transmissions.”

This is an organized ride with traffic control provided by Tucson Police Department.

How to Participate:  To join the cruise, arrive at 4pm to Rodeo Park, 5001 S. Nogales Highway, where you can join the line up of cars. If exiting your car for any reason, please wear a mask.

How to View: Watch the cruise parade-style. Find a place along the route to set up your chair or blanket and enjoy the chrome, hydraulics, and stereo sounds of Tucson’s lowrider car community. Make a sign of celebration and encouragement to display for the cruisers (e.g. “We Got This!” or “Stay Safe and Mask up!” or “Tucson loves lowriders!”).

THE ROUTE

Driving Directions:
19 miles from start to finish.
Begin at Rodeo Park, 5001 S Nogales Highway
Start at Rodeo Park at Sixth Ave and Irvington head north on Sixth Ave to 22nd Street.
Turn right on 22nd Street to Randolph Way.
Turn left on Randolph Way to Camino Campestre.
Turn left on Camino Campestre to Country Club.
Turn right on Country Club to Speedway Blvd.
Turn left onto Speedway Blvd. to Grande Ave.
Turn left onto Grande Ave. to Congress St.
Turn left onto Congress to Sixth Ave.
Turn right onto Sixth Ave to return to Rodeo Park at Sixth and Irvington Rd.

About the Dukes: The Dukes Car Club is the oldest car club in continuous existence. Rooted in Los Angeles, the club counts over 30 chapters all over the United States and abroad.The Tucson chapter has been a long-time partner of Tucson Meet Yourself and a festival highlight since the early days. It was founded by Alfred Teran, Sr. in 1989 after Teran, Sr. saw an advertisement for the club in Lowrider Magazine. “To start a chapter, you had to be over 30, have a family and have a car anywhere between 1937 and 1954. I had those qualifications,” Teran, Sr. said. When they’re not working on their cars, Dukes members are displaying them in care shows or special events or offering community service to its members in need and local charities.

Learn more 

Low & Slow: The Duke’s Car Club Preserves a Lowrider Culture. BorderLore, April 2017.

Motorized: Cruising Culture. BorderLore, April 2014.