Over a decade ago we thought we were alone in our taste for primitive hot rods and wild kustoms that looked like a hobo's version of what we admired in decades-old hot rod mags. Our punk rock and artist peers didn't understand 'cause cars, to them, were the realm of jocks and rednecks; and the car show community had become an exclusive, money-spending contest- they really did not know what to think of some freaky lookin' twenty-somethin' having the audacity to want to show or drive an unfinished ride that looked like some greasy hoodlum's from before they cared to remember. Formulas were the norm; 'same car, different color'. It had to be a Camaro, Chevelle, Tri-Five or Deuce. It was just 'keeping up with the Joneses'.
Growing up, we had our interests in different but surprisingly interconnected scenes, entertainment, and lifestyles. Kool machines and underground culture. Music: primitive rockabilly, garage bands, punk rock. As well as the art: Rip Off comix, Heavy Metal comix, Drag Cartoons, etc...Big Daddy Roth, Robert Williams, the Von Dutch inspired Rick Griffin, and people like Gilbert Sheldon who created Rip Off Press, the Freak Bros. Comix, worked with Roth, and many hot rod mags, even as editor of Speed and Custom and Custom Rodder.
The music we liked was self-produced underground: indie label or self-published. The art and comix you had to chase down in weird little shops. Watching old B-movies you could only find mail-order in some cheap, nerdy fanzines you found in that weird shop. So, of course, we're gonna be drivin' the machine-equivalent D.I.Y. Everything. We try to illustrate these interconnected cultural influences and interests by having a loose theme in our show imagery and entertainment. Trip out on some Sci-Fi Hot Rod Art in the Gallery, rock out to some spooky, spacey surf at the Stage, and freak out on our way-way out animated cult films.
This mix of influences is what your host club, the Punk Rods (whose name is taken from an obscure wardrobe detail in the 60's TV show with the coolest Hollywood cars ever: Barris' 'Drag-u-la' & 'Munster's Coach') is all about. When we were first seeking out a few others of like-mind, throwing little Sunday BBQ- in-the-park shindigs 10-12 years ago, we were tickled to just see a few people into the same neat old stuff we were. We never expected it to grow (well, I kinda did) to quite the scale, almost of trendiness, to a show with over 1000 vehicles on display; a show that is now a tradition itself, and a 'target date' show for a lot of these hot rodders whom we admire...