Feature: Car culture: What’s the broader perspective?

We were all young once surrounded by friends in our school years chatting about cars, whether you were playing top trumps, micro machines or Matchbox and Hot Wheels cars being exchanged during lunchtime breaks. While you were in your youth the bad stigma attached to certain cars you aspire to one day own wasn’t there, naivety meant that while you didn’t know it all you would happily discuss Nissan Skyline R33 GTRs amongst Ford Escort Mk3s. The world we now live in means that we’re flooded with information about the latest crazes from Japan to America, to a small Hot Rod meet in a village in the UK.

There have been various car cultures established as early as the 1940s, where the early days of Hot Rodding established itself along with Rat Rods, which has now transformed into the ‘Rat Look’ where individuality plus the flavour of fun and hints back to well known days. The cultures soon developed and saw the development of roof chopping in the 1970s and 80s, Vannin, Jack up Kits, Gassers and Customs. Given my youth I missed many of those well known trends, and we’re now surrounded by the likes of ‘Slamming’, the ‘Euro look’ and ‘Stancing Movement’, and many more.

A more traditional Jack up Kit Custom Ford Cortina

A brief background of the ‘Euro look’, is taken a European cars of sorts and then shaving the body moulds with an added retro touches such as wheels. The US and Europe do their own interpretations, as an example a US Euro look would be taking a European import and converting it to European Spec. Sticker Bombing originates from skateboarding, but I’ll save that for another day. Whereas the ‘Rat Look’ is seen more laid back where personal flair and the touch of rust of bonnets harps back to the original Rods. Slamming is another scene with VW connections and usually sees the likes of classic Beetles lowered to the ground as much as possible.  The Stancing Movement is a close relation, but tends to focus on negative camber and a lowering.

De-seemed and Sebring look MGB GT

These cultures all have their own world, community and forums as when you had your matchbox cars. There is, one difference that these current times see compared to the days of old, an almost disrespectful attitude towards others cultures. As social media becomes more prominent, some enthusiasts from their own respected culture feel the need to pick holes in others to the extent you almost feel unwelcome within the wider automotive community. So next time you see an enthusiast with car from a different culture, appreciate his choice as much you expect yours to be.

Nissan powered Ford Escort Mk1

That’s my rant over.


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