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- Hero image from The GoodGuys Nashville Nationals taken by Chris Breeden. All other pictures, video, text & errors by: Chris Breeden

KNOW YOUR CARS! CUSTOMS

***Editors Note***

Check out the bottom of this article for links to the entire KYC! series!

Now back to business...

BUILT TO SUIT:

The customization of mass produced automobiles has been around since the first time someone painted the wheels of their Model T Ford a different color than they came from the factory with. The spirit of changing your car to fit your tastes has never went away. It's just that some are willing to take it to the extreme.

ALWAYS AROUND:

The Custom Car craze reached its height in the '50's & early '60's. Some of the most iconic custom cars were created during this time period. If you've been following the Custom & Hot Rod Life tribe or the Shoebox Ford '49-'51 tribe you've read a few stories on these wild cars! When Muscle Cars arrived on the scene in 1964, Customs and Hot Rods lost popularity, but they never died. Mainly because you can't stop a good thing!

A '49-'51 Mercury Coupe. Radical top chop, Oldsmobile frenched headlights & shaved door handles are just a few mods on this slick Custom. From the 2008 Bunny Run in Jackson, TN.

THE REBIRTH:

Just like Hot Rods, Customs would come back to popularity during the Mailasie years. Characterized by their low stance, multiple sheet metal alterations, headlight, taillight & side trim swaps, Customs are some of the wildest cars around.

A '49-'51 Mercury 2-door Sedan. This Custom includes a hard top conversion. From Ink-N-Iron Nashville 2015.

BIRTH OF THE KUSTOM CULTURE MOVEMENT:

Along with increased interest in the cars of the '50's & early '60's, there has been a general interest in all cultural aspects of this time period, recently. When Kustom Cars are mixed with Rockabilly music & period dress you are witnessing the Kustom Culture Movement.

A chopped top, 1937 Ford coupe. From the Redneck Rumble 2014.

BEATERS(RAT RODS) + KUSTOMS = A MATCH MADE IN CANDY COLORED, METAL FLAKE HEAVEN:

The current Kustom Culture movement has found a odd ally in the Automotive world: Beaters or Rat Rods. This seems weird at first, because Kustom's are still as slick as ever, while Beaters, tend to distance themselves from refinement. It's an odd thing to witness, at first.

COMMONALITY:

It's weird until you figure out the thing that both movements have in common. You see both groups tend to build their own cars. The DIY ethos is prevalent throughout both scenes. Respect is extended to those that are able to do the most with the least amount of resources.

This 1949 Ford Coupe isn't chopped, but it does have Buick side trim and frenched headlights. From The GoodGuys Nashville Nationals 2015.

EXTENDING THE AGE RANGE... BACKWARDS.

While '50's cars tend to be the most popular candidates for receiving the Custom touch '30's and '40's cars can be customs. A few other characteristic of Customs are: flashy paint jobs, fresh chrome, wide white wall tires, and steel wheels with full hubcaps.

A 1940 Ford Coupe, with a chopped top & ribbed bumpers. From the 2010 NSRA Southern Nationals in Knoxville, TN.

IT'S A HAPPENING SCENE:

The DIY attitude is the thing that attracts most people to these types of cars. Shows specific to customs happen all over the U.S. I will be attending a Custom/Beater show later this year that has expanded every year for the last 10 years I've attended. You are going to want to look for that extensive coverage later this year. Don't worry, I'll remind you about it as the date gets closer. I hope you have enjoyed this DIY post about Custom cars on DRIVETRIBE the DIY automotive website! Now if you'll excuse me, I've got to Keep on Cruisin'!

GOT A QUESTION, THEN ASK AWAY IN THE *COMMENTS* SECTION!

Don't forget...

Art by: Chris Breeden

Links to the rest of the series:

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Thanks for readin'!

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