Asian Americans and Lowered Cars

When I was in high school, all I wanted for Christmas was a lowered Honda Civic or Acura Integra. The ones that hug the ground so closely you have to drive sideways over a speed bump. The ones that have the fancy rims, the big exhaust pipe, and the tinted windows. I know, I know… An Asian American guy driving a lowered “Asian” car is very stereotypical, but I didn’t care!

I begged my parents to buy me one. I thought all the Asian kids at my school who had one were cooler, hotter, and more gangster than me… especially the girls! I thought my coolness/hotness/gangster level would increase exponentially if I had one. And I was super frustrated because it seemed everyone at my school had one but me! (To be fair, I HAD a car and should have been thankful for even having one but why lie, I wasn’t.)

Fret not, dear readers, I did eventually get one to call my own. A red 2 door lowered Honda Civic with tinted windows. I named it Bernie. I had the car through college until I was about 30. I realized around my 30th birthday that I was too old for such a car. I exchanged it for a more sensible gray Toyota Yaris named Bernie II, “The Revenge.”

Anyway, I bring this all up now because when I drive around, I don’t see as many lowered Hondas/Acuras. And when I do see them, they aren’t being driving by Asian/Asian Americans.

I guess what I’m wondering is whether Asian/Asian American kids still drive those cars. If you do or know someone that does, send me a picture and let me know if it’s okay to post it.

One final thought. If the stereotype of the Asian/Asian American driving a lowered car is no longer valid. Is there a new stereotype that replaced it? May I suggest, Asian/Asian American guys with a gray Toyota Yaris? Now that’s gangsta!

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Author: Koji Steven Sakai

Writer/Producer Koji Steven Sakai is the founder of Little Nalu Pictures LLC and the CEO of CHOPSO (www.CHOPSO.com), the first Asian English streaming video service. He has written five feature films that have been produced, including the indie hit, The People I’ve Slept With. He also produced three feature films, a one hour comedy special currently on Netflix, and Comedy InvAsian, a live and filmed series featuring the nation’s top Asian American comedians. Koji’s debut novel, Romeo & Juliet Vs. Zombies, was released in paperback in 2015 and in audiobook in 2016 and his graphic novel, 442, was released in 2017. In addition, he is currently an adjunct professor in screenwriting at International Technological University in San Jose.