Kustom Kulture

Kustom Kulture

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"Kustom Kulture" is an American
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 neologism used to describe the art
Art
Art is the product or process of deliberately arranging items in a way that influences and affects one or more of the senses, emotions, and intellect....

works, vehicle
Vehicle
A vehicle is a device that is designed or used to transport people or cargo. Most often vehicles are manufactured, such as bicycles, cars, motorcycles, trains, ships, boats, and aircraft....

s, hairstyle
Hairstyle
A hairstyle, hairdo, or haircut refers to the styling of hair, usually on the human head. The fashioning of hair can be considered an aspect of personal grooming, fashion, and cosmetics, although practical, cultural, and popular considerations also influence some hairstyles.-History of...

s, and fashion
Fashion
Fashion, a general term for a currently popular style or practice, especially in clothing, foot wear, or accessories. Fashion references to anything that is the current trend in look and dress up of a person...

s of those who drove and built custom car
Custom car
A custom car is a passenger vehicle that has been modified in either of the following two ways. First, a custom car may be altered to improve its performance, often by altering or replacing the engine and transmission. Second, a custom car may be a personal "styling" statement, making the car look...

s and motorcycles in the United States of America from the 1950s through today.

In the early days of hot rod
Hot rod
Hot rods are typically American cars with large engines modified for linear speed. The origin of the term "hot rod" is unclear. One explanation is that the term is a contraction of "hot roadster," meaning a roadster that was modified for speed. Another possible origin includes modifications to or...

ding, many fashions and styles developed. Over time, each of these distinct styles of customizing have blended and reshaped our everyday life. Artists such as Von Dutch (Kenny Howard)
Kenny Howard
Kenneth Robert Howard , also known as Dutch, Von Dutch, or J. L. Bachs , was a motorcycle mechanic, artist, pinstriper, metal fabricator, knifemaker and gunsmith...

, custom car builders such as Ed "Big Daddy" Roth
Ed Roth
"Big Daddy" Ed Roth was an artist, cartoonist, custom car painter, and pinstriper who created the hot-rod icon Rat Fink and other extreme characters. As a custom car builder, Roth was a key figure in Southern California's Kustom Kulture and hot-rod movement of the late 50's and 1960's...

 and Dean Jeffries
Dean Jeffries
Dean Jeffries is an American custom vehicle designer, fabricator, stuntman and stunt coordinator for motion pictures and television programs based in Los Angeles, California....

, hot rod and lowrider
Lowrider
]A lowrider is a style of car originated by Chicano communities that sits lower to the ground than most other cars. Many lowriders have their suspension systems modified so that their ride can change height at the flip of a switch...

 customizers such as the Barris Brothers (Sam and George Barris
George Barris (auto customizer)
George Barris is a designer of custom cars.-Early history:George and his brother Sam were born in Chicago in the 1920s. After the deaths of their parents, they moved to Roseville, California as children to live with relatives. Both were good students, interested in drama, music, and design...

), along with numerous tattoo
Tattoo
A tattoo is made by inserting indelible ink into the dermis layer of the skin to change the pigment. Tattoos on humans are a type of body modification, and tattoos on other animals are most commonly used for identification purposes...

 artists, automobile painters, and movies and television
Television
Television is a telecommunication medium for transmitting and receiving moving images that can be monochrome or colored, with accompanying sound...

 shows such as American Graffiti
American Graffiti
American Graffiti is a 1973 coming of age film co-written/directed by George Lucas starring Richard Dreyfuss, Ron Howard, Paul Le Mat, Charles Martin Smith, Cindy Williams, Candy Clark, Mackenzie Phillips and Harrison Ford...

, Happy Days
Happy Days
Happy Days is an American television sitcom that originally aired from January 15, 1974, to September 24, 1984, on ABC. Created by Garry Marshall, the series presents an idealized vision of life in mid-1950s to mid-1960s America....

, The Munsters
The Munsters
The Munsters is a 1960s American family television sitcom depicting the home life of a family of monsters. It starred Fred Gwynne as Herman Munster and Yvonne De Carlo as his wife, Lily Munster. The series was a satire of both traditional monster movies and popular family entertainment of the era,...

 (The Munster Koach, Drag-u-la) and The Monkees
The Monkees (TV series)
The Monkees is an American situation comedy that aired on NBC from September 1966 to March 1968. The series follows the adventures of four young men trying to make a name for themselves as rock 'n roll singers. The show introduced a number of innovative new-wave film techniques to series...

 (The Monkeemobile
Monkeemobile
The Monkeemobile is a modified Pontiac GTO that was designed and built by designer Dean Jeffries for The Monkees, a pop-rock band and television program...

) have all helped to form what is known as Kustom Kulture.

Kustom Kulture is usually identified with the greasers of the 1950s, the drag racers
Drag racing
Drag racing is a competition in which specially prepared automobiles or motorcycles compete two at a time to be the first to cross a set finish line, from a standing start, in a straight line, over a measured distance, most commonly a ¼-mile straight track....

 of the 1960s, and the lowrider
Lowrider
]A lowrider is a style of car originated by Chicano communities that sits lower to the ground than most other cars. Many lowriders have their suspension systems modified so that their ride can change height at the flip of a switch...

s of the 1970s. Other subcultures that have had an influence on Kustom Kulture are the Skinhead
Skinhead
A skinhead is a member of a subculture that originated among working class youths in the United Kingdom in the 1960s, and then spread to other parts of the world. Named for their close-cropped or shaven heads, the first skinheads were greatly influenced by West Indian rude boys and British mods,...

s, mods and rockers
Mods and Rockers
The Mods and Rockers were two conflicting British youth subcultures of the early-mid 1960s. Mods and rockers fighting in 1964 sparked a moral panic about British youths, and the two groups were seen as folk devils. The rockers were motorcyclists, wearing clothes such as black leather jackets. The...

 of the 1960s, the punk
Punk rock
Punk rock is a rock music genre that developed between 1974 and 1976 in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Australia. Rooted in garage rock and other forms of what is now known as protopunk music, punk rock bands eschewed perceived excesses of mainstream 1970s rock...

 rockers of the 1970s, the metal and rockabilly
Rockabilly
Rockabilly is one of the earliest styles of rock and roll music, dating to the early 1950s.The term rockabilly is a portmanteau of rock and hillbilly, the latter a reference to the country music that contributed strongly to the style's development...

 music, along with the scooterboy
Scooterboy
A scooterboy is a member of a subculture based on motor scooter riding, particularly Vespas and Lambrettas. Scooterboy culture originated in the late 1960s in the industrial north of England and resurfaced nationally in the United Kingdom around 1979 or 1980 at the time of the mod revival...

s of the 1980s, and psychobilly
Psychobilly
Psychobilly is a fusion genre of rock music that mixes elements of punk rock, rockabilly, and other genres. It is one of several subgenres of rockabilly which also include thrashabilly, trashabilly, punkabilly, surfabilly and gothabilly...

 of the 1990s. Each separate culture has added their own customizations to the cars, their own fashions, influenced the music, and added their own ideas of what is cool, of what is acceptable, and what is not. Everything from wild pinstriped paintjobs, to choptop Mercury
Mercury (automobile)
Mercury was an automobile marque of the Ford Motor Company launched in 1938 by Edsel Ford, son of Henry Ford, to market entry-level luxury cars slotted between Ford-branded regular models and Lincoln-branded luxury vehicles, similar to General Motors' Buick brand, and Chrysler's namesake brand...

s, to custom Harley-Davidson
Harley-Davidson
Harley-Davidson , often abbreviated H-D or Harley, is an American motorcycle manufacturer. Founded in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, during the first decade of the 20th century, it was one of two major American motorcycle manufacturers to survive the Great Depression...

 and Triumph Motorcycles, to metalflake and black primer
Primer (paint)
A primer is a preparatory coating put on materials before painting. Priming ensures better adhesion of paint to the surface, increases paint durability, and provides additional protection for the material being painted.-When primers are used:...

 paint
Paint
Paint is any liquid, liquefiable, or mastic composition which after application to a substrate in a thin layer is converted to an opaque solid film. One may also consider the digital mimicry thereof...

jobs, along with music, cartoon
Cartoon
A cartoon is a form of two-dimensional illustrated visual art. While the specific definition has changed over time, modern usage refers to a typically non-realistic or semi-realistic drawing or painting intended for satire, caricature, or humor, or to the artistic style of such works...

s, and monster movies have had an impact on what defines anyone and anything who is part of this automobile subculture.

In the 1990s and 2000s, Kustom Kulture had taken on a rebirth of American subcultures from the 50's and 60's with DIY activities. Each style is distinct, and has its roots in American automobile history. Many styles that would not have tolerated each other in the past now come together in large car shows.

The rebirth of Kustom Kulture has seen the use of the term “Kustom Graphics” to describe the style of artwork associated with the subculture when applied to posters, flyers, t-shirts and logos.

See also


  • Biker cross
    Biker Cross
    The Biker Cross is a derivative of the Iron Cross. Since it first appeared, there have been many variations of the biker cross.Bikers started to display the Iron Cross in the mid-1960s with the advent of outlaw biker gangs. Originally bikers displayed the Iron Cross as a symbol of rebellion to...

  • Custom car
    Custom car
    A custom car is a passenger vehicle that has been modified in either of the following two ways. First, a custom car may be altered to improve its performance, often by altering or replacing the engine and transmission. Second, a custom car may be a personal "styling" statement, making the car look...

  • Hot rod
    Hot rod
    Hot rods are typically American cars with large engines modified for linear speed. The origin of the term "hot rod" is unclear. One explanation is that the term is a contraction of "hot roadster," meaning a roadster that was modified for speed. Another possible origin includes modifications to or...

  • Kenny Howard
    Kenny Howard
    Kenneth Robert Howard , also known as Dutch, Von Dutch, or J. L. Bachs , was a motorcycle mechanic, artist, pinstriper, metal fabricator, knifemaker and gunsmith...

     (Von Dutch)
  • Lowbrow (art movement)
    Lowbrow (art movement)
    Lowbrow, or lowbrow art, describes an underground visual art movement that arose in the Los Angeles, California, area in the late 1970s. Lowbrow is a widespread populist art movement with origins in the underground comix world, punk music, hot-rod street culture, and other subcultures. It is also...

  • Raggare
    Raggare
    Raggare is a subculture found mostly in Sweden and parts of Norway, Finland, Denmark, Germany and Austria...

  • Ed Roth
    Ed Roth
    "Big Daddy" Ed Roth was an artist, cartoonist, custom car painter, and pinstriper who created the hot-rod icon Rat Fink and other extreme characters. As a custom car builder, Roth was a key figure in Southern California's Kustom Kulture and hot-rod movement of the late 50's and 1960's...

  • Psychobilly
    Psychobilly
    Psychobilly is a fusion genre of rock music that mixes elements of punk rock, rockabilly, and other genres. It is one of several subgenres of rockabilly which also include thrashabilly, trashabilly, punkabilly, surfabilly and gothabilly...

  • Rat Fink
    Rat Fink
    Rat Fink is one of the several hot-rod characters created by one of the originators of Kustom Kulture, Ed "Big Daddy" Roth. Roth conceived Rat Fink as an anti-hero answer to Mickey Mouse...

  • Rat rod
    Rat rod
    A rat rod is a style of hot rod or custom car that, in most cases, imitates the early hot rods of the 40s, 50s, and 60s. It is not to be confused with the somewhat closely related "traditional" hot rod, which is an accurate re-creation or period-correct restoration of a hot rod from the same...

  • Robert Williams (artist)
    Robert Williams (artist)
    Robert Williams is an American painter, cartoonist, and founder of Juxtapoz Art & Culture Magazine.Williams was part of the Zap Collective, along with other underground cartoonists such as Robert Crumb and Gilbert Shelton...

  • Hot Rod Girls Save The World
    Hot Rod Girls Save The World
    Hot Rod Girls Save The World is a 2008 B-Movie written and directed by D.A. Sebasstian.-Production:Made on a small budget, the film features hot rods, aliens and zombies...