By Phil Patton
Reblogged from: http://wheels.blogs.nytimes.com
What do you call the powerful concoction of imagery formed by tattoo art, surf culture, cartoons and hot rods? You call it Kustom Kulture. Fashioned from the tastes and stylistic innovations of ’50s greasers and ’60s hot rodders, Kustom Kulture has continued to evolve, receiving input from other fringe groups along the way: lowriders, punks, bikers, scooterboys and so on.
The Laguna Art Museum hosted a now-famous Kustom Kulture show in 1993, and 20 years later, the name and the theme have reappeared at the Huntington Beach Art Center as Kustom Kulture II. Naturally, one of the key pieces on display is the George Barris Munster Koach – the crazy custom car from the 1960s television sitcom, “The Munsters.”
By Crystal Morey
Sooooo… I was hoping to interview Bunshin Saikian Horimasa while racing through the Nagano mountains in his Porsche 996. He and 69 other Hemi enthusiasts have formed a “touring” club that meets once a month and just drives fast. The 69 Brothers. I was hoping for footage of me screaming obscenities and wishing I had a helmet but on the day we went it was raining. And there were police. With cameras. It was the weirdest thing… We would pull into a truck stop and the police would follow us, one would eventually come over and say how much he liked the cars and asked where were we going, while another car came around the back of us and took photos.
I’m from Texas, when cops are taking your picture on the sly it is NOT good. Back in the car I asked Horimasa if he was concerned and he laughed and said we were fine, that we weren’t ‘bōsōzoku’ (teenage gangs identified by their obscenely festooned motorcycles and cars that they race through the city causing as much noise and mayhem as possible) and we weren’t doing anything illegal. Except doubling the speed limit. He maintained that he and his crew were adults and responsible drivers therefore it was not a problem. We did slow down whenever a cop caught up, and the guys in the back quickly texted the guys in the front to let them know, but no one was pulled over or issued even a warning and, as there are no speed cameras in the tunnels, we did get a fair bit of racing in. We drove for eight hours and is seemed like three, with stops off here and there to see the Shunen no Ishi – the rock of regret*, and eat soba on the peak… (more…)