Among the hardest core of American automotive enthusiasts there always exists a desire to press styling and performance a step beyond the showroom floor -- to truly craft an automobile of one's own. This photographic and cultural history examines the evolution of American custom cars from the 1930s to present, covering touchstone trends, influential builders (Barris, Roth, Coddington et al), custom shows, enthusiast magazines and regional styles. An expensive collection of rare period photography and exclusive modern shots help illustrate how Detroit informed the styling of customs (and vice versa), the explosion of the custom car scene after World War II and the factors that led to the custom's near-death in the 1960s and its resurgence in the '80s. But most of all, this chronicle is a showcase of the great cars and people who influenced the movement through the years.
This first-ever encyclopedia of the Midwest seeks to embrace this large and diverse area, to give it voice, and help define its distinctive character. Organized by topic, it encourages readers to reflect upon the region as a whole. Each section moves from the general to the specific, covering broad themes in longer introductory essays, filling in the details in the shorter entries that follow. There are portraits of each of the region's twelve states, followed by entries on society and culture, community and social life, economy and technology, and public life. The book offers a wealth of information about the region's surprising ethnic diversity -- a vast array of foods, languages, styles, religions, and customs -- plus well-informed essays on the region's history, culture and values, and conflicts. A site of ideas and innovations, reforms and revivals, and social and physical extremes, the Midwest emerges as a place of great complexity, signal importance, and continual fascination.
Soon after the first automobiles were introduced in the United States, auto racing became a reality. Since that time, motorsports have expanded to include drag racing, open wheel racing, rallying, demolition derbies, stock car racing, and more. Motorsports have grown to such an extent that NASCAR is now the second most watched professional sport in America, behind only football. But motorsports are about much more than going fast and finishing first. These events also reflect our culture, our society, our values, and our history. In Motorsports and American Culture: From Demolition Derbies to NASCAR, Mark D. Howell and John D. Miller bring together essays that examine the relevancy of motorsports to American culture and history, from the late nineteenth century to the present. Addressing a wide spectrum of motorsports—such as stock car racing, demolition derbies, land speed record pursuits, and even staged train wrecks—the essays highlight the social and cultural implications of contemporary and historical moments in these sports. Topics covered include gender roles in motorsports, hot rods and the creation of fan and participant identities, the appeal of demolition derbies, the globalization of motorsports, the role of moonshine in stock car history, the economic relationship between NASCAR and its corporate sponsors, and more. Offering the most thorough study of motorsports to date from a diverse pool of disciplines and subjects, Motorsports and American Culture will appeal to motorsports and automobile enthusiasts, as well as those interested in American history, popular culture, sports history, and gender studies.
Since the mass production of Henry Ford’s Model T, car enthusiasts have been redesigning, rebuilding, and reengineering their vehicles for increased speed and technical efficiency. They purchase aftermarket parts, reconstruct engines, and enhance body designs, all in an effort to personalize and improve their vehicles. Why do these car enthusiasts modify their cars and where do they get their aftermarket parts? Here, David N. Lucsko provides the first scholarly history of America’s hot rod business. Lucsko examines the evolution of performance tuning through the lens of the $34-billion speed equipment industry that supports it. As early as 1910, dozens of small shops across the United States designed, manufactured, and sold add-on parts to consumers eager to employ new technologies as they tinkered with their cars. Operating for much of the twentieth century in the shadow of the Big Three automobile manufacturers—General Motors, Ford, and Chrysler—these businesses grew at an impressive rate, supplying young and old hot rodders with thousands of performance-boosting gadgets. Lucsko offers a rich and heretofore untold account of the culture and technology of the high-performance automotive aftermarket in the United States, offering a fresh perspective on the history of the automobile in America.
Though American Motors never approached the size of Detroit’s Big Three, it produced a long series of successful cars that were distinctive, often innovative and in many cases influential. This history examines AMC’s cars from the company’s formation in 1954 through its absorption by Chrysler in 1987. The Gremlin, Pacer and Eagle vehicles are examined in detail, as are the AMC custom cars of George Barris and Carl Green. The text details AMC’s 1980s involvement with the French firm Renault and the design legacy of that joint venture, which includes the Hummer. The evolution of Jeep is covered from the 1960s through the 2000s. Features include some 225 photographs; a listing of AMC / Rambler clubs, organizations and business entities, with contact details; tables of detailed specifications and performance data; data on technical devices, trim packages and all model variations; a comprehensive account of AMC / Rambler appearances in film, television and cartoons.
Critics hailed previous editions of Visionary Film as the most complete work written on the exciting, often puzzling, and always controversial genre of American avant-garde film. This book has remained the standard text on American avant-garde film since the publication of its first edition in 1974. Now P. Adams Sitney has once again revised and updated this classic work, restoring a chapter on the films of Gregory J. Markopoulos and bringing his discussion of the principal genres and major filmmakers up to the year 2000.
Aesthetics and Politics of Mexican American Custom Cars
Author: Ben Chappell
Publisher: University of Texas Press
Category: Social Science
Aren’t lowriders always gangbangers? And, don’t they always hold high status in their neighborhoods? Contrary to both stereotypes, the people who build and drive lowrider cars perform diverse roles while mobilizing a distinctive aesthetic that is sometimes an act of resistance and sometimes of belonging. A fresh application of critical ethnographic methods, Lowrider Space looks beyond media portrayals, high-profile show cars, and famous cruising scenes to bring readers a realistic tour of the “ordinary” lowriders who turn streetscapes into stages on which dynamic identities can be performed. Drawing on firsthand participation in everyday practices of car clubs and cruising in Austin, Texas, Ben Chappell challenges histories of erasure, containment, and class immobility to emphasize the politics of presence evidenced in lowrider custom car style. Sketching out a partially personal map of the lowrider presence in Texas’s capital city, Chappell also explores the interior and exterior adornment of the cars (including the use of images of women’s bodies) and the intersecting production of personal and social space. As he moves through a second-hand economy to procure parts necessary for his own lowrider vehicle, on “service sector” wages, themes of materiality and physical labor intersect with questions of identity, ultimately demonstrating how spaces get made in the process of customizing one’s self.
Histories of revolutions often focus on military, political, or economic upheavals but sometimes neglect to connect these larger events to the daily lives of "ordinary" people. Yet the peoples' perception that "things are worse than before" can topple revolutionary governments, as shown by the recent defeat of the Sandinista regime in Nicaragua and the governments of Eastern Europe. Providing the kind of prosaic, revealing details that more formal histories have excluded, My Car in Managua offers an objective, often humorous description of the great difficulties and occasional pleasures of life in Nicaragua during the Sandinista revolution. During a year's work (1985-1986) at the Instituto Centroamericano de Administración de Empresas (INCAE), Forrest Colburn purchased a dilapidated car—and with it an introduction to everyday life in Nicaragua. His discoveries of the length of time required to register the car (approximately six weeks), the impossibility of finding spare parts (except when U.S. dollars were applied to the search), and the fact that "anyone getting into a car in Managua can be charged a small fee [for car watching] by anyone else" all suggest the difficulties most Nicaraguans faced living in a devastated economy. Drawing on experiences from visits throughout the revolutionary period (1979-1989), Colburn also sheds light on how the Revolution affected social customs and language, gender roles and family relationships, equality and authority, the availability of goods and services, the status of ethnic minorities, and governmental and other institutions. Illustrations by Nicaragua's celebrated political cartoonist Róger Sánchez Flores enliven the lucid text.