The photograph that accompanies this entry didn’t come from southern California, the pages of Rod & Custom, or from the early 1960s. It was taken right during our lifetimes, featuring traditional customized American cars, that great advance in backyard automotive restyling whose creations were usually anything but amateurish, and which launched a galaxy of angel-hair car show displays, glue-and-putty models, well-thumbed magazines and dreams that refused to be buried. A lot of those dreams are still vivid, and sometimes come from other countries. That’s because the customs you’re looking at originated in Scandinavia, where the fervor for traditionalist American automotive culture burns white hot.
The biggest showing of old-school customs outside the United States arguably takes place in Sweden, where the Norway-based website Kustomrama has teamed up with Gasoline magazine to present the Kustomrama Invitational, which drew 20 tried-and-true rocker-draggers last year despite the global upending that COVID caused. The date for the 2022 edition has been set for this coming July 23rd in Grangesburg, Sweden, about the only time of the year when you can hold such an event in those climes. The Swedes, Norwegians, et al are wonderfully affectionate of and respectful toward American automotive culture of all sorts, as a whirl through one of Kustomland’s emailed newsletters makes clear. You ought to check it out. Let the folks in Norway know that we sent you.