Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Guest Post: Custom Car Revival

Indianapolis, IN played host to the 3rd annual Custom Car Revival on Saturday June 13, 2015. Our good friend, Wesley Wren, offered to take some photos and write about the show for us. You might be seeing more from him in the future, and we are really happy to have him lend us a hand. Take it away, Wes!

Hey Atomic Age Alchemy faithfuls. I’m Wesley, you might remember me from the awesome pictures that Nick took on his trip through my wonderful state. I’m a new staff member/intern/nepotism coordinator at AAA. I like flowers and hashtags.

Anyway, this is actually about something near and dear to my heart—Custom Cars. I recently attended my third Custom Car Revival. A car show dedicated solely to the dying art of customizing full sized cars. The criteria for attendance was that the vehicle had to be newer than 1934 and older than 1964 and needed to have at least three modifications. Note that this eliminates all of the popular hot rod bodies. That is by design. There are 0 hotrods allowed at this event. This stems from the problem that lead sled fans have had over the past few years. Even events that were designed to cater to customs (KKOA and KOA events) would only have spatters of customs in a sea of hot rodded early fords. Which is pleasant and fine in its own right—but it isn’t a custom show.

The show was limited to 200 entries, which it hit this year. This isn’t really even a problem, as there is a lot across the street that will eventually be a show in its own right. The gloomy clouds hanging overhead didn’t deter anyone from rolling their prized possessions out to the Edward’s Drive-in parking lot. The quality of cars was through the roof. This event is basically a museum showroom that has been placed in the parking lot of a small Midwestern diner. My favorite car of the weekend was The Golden Indian, 1960 Pontiac, built by the world famous Alexander Brothers of Detroit Michigan. The car was restored by Old Stillwater Garage of New Jersey, and was presented by Lou Calasibetta himself. Though, that wasn’t the only car of prestige there. The Johnny Zaro Mercury was present, with its current caretaker Kurt McCormick. Though, the cars may have been amazing, the best part of show was the people. Smiling faces from both coasts came together to see old friends and make new ones.

If you’re thinking about coming next year—do it! Even if you don’t have a custom car, you’re very welcome to join the reindeer games. The best part of this gig is that all of the proceeds go to an Alzheimer’s Association to help with research. I’m sure in sixty years, this little parking lot car show will be looked at with the same nostalgia that we fondly gaze at pictures of football field and parking lot car shows of the 1950s.

-Wesley Wren 

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