The Lowrider scene, a subculture that emanated from the Mexican- American Barrios of Los Angles, California in the 1940 and 50s has seen its visual styles and culture transverse the Pacific to find a growing popularity on our shores and in amongst our automotive community. From the vibrant custom Kandy paint schemes and air brush illustrations to the ground hugging aesthetics of classic rides covering the chrome bumper era of the automotive industry thanks to extensive suspension modifications rolling on predominantly 13 inch wire wheels, these kings of cool are a visual art form in themselves, capturing the attention and imagination of both the young and old automotive enthusiast.
55 Alive was a road safety campaign designed to help the aging baby boomers in America to stay safe on their roads by helping them better understand the changes in road safety since they first received their ticket to drive back in the fifties and sixties.
For a guy like Rohan who has six 1955 Chevs in his garage, it’s bound to have a completely different meaning. To Rohan, 55 Alive could well be his slogan and the reason he rolls back his garage door every weekend! Rohan has always loved the look of the initial Tri-five Chevs. “I’ve had plenty of sixties Impalas and the odd 57 Chev but I’ve always loved the fifty fives. They just look tough.”
Old drag racers never die, they just reminisce. They don’t just reminisce while rocking back and forwards in a rocking chair on the front porch, they reminisce by recreating the highlights of their drag racing youth generally in the form of a street version of their former glory racers.
When your job involves hauling down the highway overnight, a blokes’ eyes are on the black top ahead of him but his mind has time to tick over on other matters, creating dreams and aspirations that eventually turn into bold plans and how to execute them.
When is a custom car a stock car? When that stock car is built as a custom. Confused? Allow me to elaborate. Around the middle of last century, Ford brought out the single spinner, noted by the single bullet head dividing the chrome grill. The company then brought out the twin spinner, noted by two bullet heads evenly dividing the grill and badged it as a custom due to the numerous extras on car such as chrome moulding around the front and rear screens, on the rear quarter panels and the twin spinner style tail light lens. The sloping style of these 50s classics has caught the eye of many customizers seeing the potential in both the business coupe and the Tudor.
When it comes to popular hot rodding, some cars of the past rate highly and some don’t rate much at all while some invoke a like it or hate it point of view and one such classic car is the Willys Americar! Personally, I love them but I’ve got mates who just don’t get them!
From 1912 through to 1918, Willys was the second largest producer of automobiles in America after Ford thanks to its founding father, John Willys. In 1937, Willys decided to redesign its 4 cylinder vehicles with a style ahead of its time. The newly styled streamlined body incorporated a slanted windscreen, moulded headlights in the guards and a one piece bonnet hinged at the rear. 1939 saw the mechanicals receive an upgrade to Bendix hydraulic brakes and an increase in power from 48 hp to a massive 61hp but the company was still languishing in its sales.
Rolling off the production line for the first time in Dearborn, Michigan, the impact the 1932 Ford V8 would create on a subculture known as hot rodding in California would not be fully recognised until decades later as it spawned a billion dollar industry for aftermarket speed parts. Companies such as American hot rod, Outlaw Speed, Fast lane speed shop and So-Cal just to name a few have looked favourably upon the 32 coupe as their bread and butter when it comes to sales of aftermarket parts.
Eighty three years on, there’s probably more 1932 Fords on this globe than were ever originally produced yet every one of them that has received the hot rod treatment is as unique as its owner and can be looked upon as an extension of their personality.
Finding good vintage metal these days is becoming harder and harder to locate, especially locally built vintage metal! We’ve all poked our heads through cracks in barns dreaming of a classic barn-find or strained our necks on those country drives trying to decipher what’s buried in amongst the scrub in the paddocks or sticking up out of old creek beds as we roar along the country roads with family in tow vowing to go back and check the site out properly at a later date. We rarely do though.
I was asked to go to Chopped and find something interesting that caught my eye, something that stood out! If you’re not familiar with Chopped, it’s a weekend event that attracts all your wild crazy customs, bikes and rods with a period setting of pre sixty five! Thanks for the challenge, Gav! As I perused the outspread camping grounds of tents and tow vehicles blending with custom rides and camp fires, I spotted this wild stance on a rough looking rod and went to investigate further.
This thing had no radiator, no front brakes, barely no front wheels either, no tread and no bling and gee she looked wild! Locating the owner, he informed me it’s known as a drag rod!
What’s a drag-rod I hear you ask? Read More →
I came across this artistic creation on a recent trip to the States. The story is the owner, who had spent most of his life building elite show cars and all the high detail that goes along with that scene decided he wanted to do something fun! He let his imagination loose and came up with this cool looking pick up and teardrop trailer! The more you walk around it the more you see and make you chuckle! Read More →