Neo Rod Culture
Sometimes as a European, it’s hard to empathise with what turns people on about classic hot rods. The history of rise and rise of the stripped down DIY form is so essentially American, you get the feeling to be turned on by home made American vehicles is a weird bit of cultural theft.
Some things, though, are universal. We might not have experienced the cataclysmic youth culture explosion in the late forties, as hundreds of thousands of super fit, skilled up conquerers of the world came home to an unprecedented American economic boom; there might not have been bits and pieces of scrapped military surplus metal, engines and clothing lying around to make our own; there may not have been the wide-open spaces of the mid west and the deserts and Salt Lakes of the far west to stretch the legs of our V8s: but we in Europe certainly admired the possibility these vehicles evoked.
These contemporary shots of a classic low slung bucket ‘rod goes some way in explaining the appeal of wide open, straight-ahead, simply transferred power. From the rear three-quarter and the side-perspective you can see that this is a real home spun supercar.
And we’re not sure wether or not there are any statistics on this, but it seems to us that the popularity of the Hot Rod thing is going through the roof. Events like the recent Hayride are getting bigger and bigger. And events like this are springing up all over the planet: this weekend saw the annual Rat Day in Sydney, too. And it’s not just Europeans that can dig into the most American of automotive subcults. They’re mad for the Hot Rod scene in Japan too. Just check out the most excellent Yokohama Custom Show.
These events are not only more popular than ever, but seem to be drwing in a young hipster crowd in the way they never did. It’s almost like the youth oriented worlds of surf, skate and rock n roll have articulated with the nostalgic way of the greasey rag to create something new and dynamic.
We’re all for it, whatever the whys and wherefores.
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