Shake Rattle and Roll: what you might see at a cruise in

Classic - A classic car is one that is made to look like it just rolled off of the showroom floor. No matter what decade a ‘Classic’ style car is, the idea is to travel through time and paint a picture of what cars once were. Often times those that emulate the Classic style go for authenticity when the price allows. ‘Repops’ or new parts made to be old, are sometimes frowned upon but are can be necessary to complete a classic build. Classic cars can be projects that have undergone complete restoration or sometimes a discovered gem that just needs some polishing. From the wheels to paint color- everything is frozen in a pristine image of time.

Rat Rod - on the flip side of the Classic coin is the Rat Rod. These builds are often started with a chassis that was discovered in disrepair somewhere behind a barn or half buried in the ground. These builders pride their builds on a tough and unfinished look. Telltale signs of a Rat Rod are rusty or flat colors, pieced together from makeshift parts (sometimes including empty alcohol containers) and unfinished edges. The seats might be cracked, the grill might emulate a gaping jaw and additional features such as horns and sheet metal might be added to contribute to the grunge feel.

Kustom - No one takes pride in their cars like Kustom builders. They are oftenthe creative head of the design process from start to finish. The purpose of Kustoms is to build a dream car. This might include adding features to the body shape or simplifying the lines. The key to a good Kustom is finding the perfect blank canvas to create a masterpiece. Kustom builds can be cheap or extravagant depending on the desired look. No Kustom is complete without a distinct paint scheme; here the boundaries are limitless to the artist. Some Kustoms are unassuming and simple while others scream for attention- all that matters is that the designer is kontent.

Low rider - Not as common as the previous categories, a low rider is often a stage halfway between Kustoms and Classics. The body of the car often is unaltered, keeping the shape and color. What makes a low rider special however, is explanatory in the name. The suspension has been tampered with and often the body of the car sits extremely low. Due to the modifications to the suspension, low riders can be deceptively high up on their frame or change elevation as the mood sees fit. This category is known for ‘dancing’ where the tail of the car is lowered and the nose is raised. They then can bounce up and down or cruise to the music. Their motto is ‘Low and Slow”

Gasser - Integrating racing into the mix, gassers are all about the attention. These builders take a nondescript car chassis like a Henry J orBritish stock and make it snarl. Gassers are often propped up on skinny little tires in the front and thick rubber in the back. The purpose of a gasser is not only to be the loudest and the proudest, but to win every drag race that dares drive their way. Engines and fuel are beefed up to create a more intimidating growl. These cars also are known to enter what are commonly referred to as ‘cacklefests’ where the drivers line up and go head to head revving their engines to see who has the loudest and hardiest roar.

These are only a few of many different and amazing vehicles you might see at a cruise in. Styles and trends are constantly being tested and shown. The only way to find out is to experience it in person.