East Coast Style

The Kustom Kills show returns to Brooklyn. You got a problem with that?

East Coast

Let’s face it, California is hot-rod nirvana. Between the weather, the history, the builders & the money, the shows and the culture, there is probably nowhere else on earth more accommodating to lovers of the old steel. But don’t be fooled into thinking there’s no scene on the east coast. There is. It’s got deep roots and the cars are like the drivers – tough as hell.

Rumblers CC
Owning and driving a traditional hot-rod or custom in New York City is almost impossible. Snow, hurricanes, ridiculous rent, pot-holes that eat cars, road-salt, traffic, psycho cab-drivers….you get the idea. But this didn’t stop a group of punk-rock hard-guys, artists, and deviants from starting the Rumblers Car Club back in the ’90s. Founded by Roger Miret (from legendary NY hardcore band Agnostic Front) and some friends, the Rumblers quickly established a presence and in 2000 put on a car show under the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway in then still gritty Williamsburg, Brooklyn.

Kustom Kills and Hot Rod Thrills 2018
Under the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway.

Over the years word got around about the greasy, nothing-else-like-it show under the BQE and soon folks were coming from all over the coast and Canada. By 2011 it reached maximum capacity with cars and people spilling out into the nearby neighborhoods. Not everyone was so excited about the endless burn-outs, bike crashes and altercations with motorcycle clubs and the following year the city declined to issue permits for the show.
Rumblers Under the BQE
Rumblers.

For the next few years the show moved to Coney Island, with cars on display right in front of the Freak Show and the Cyclone. It was a great event but was never intended to compete with the magic of the original.
Chevy Girl
Finally, this September, the Rumblers were able to secure a permit and quietly brought the show back home. This time there were no vendors, street-musicians or on-site barbers. No pre-registration or beer-tent. Just a bunch of friends meeting under the BQE, catching up, sharing a beer and a slice and a few stories about days gone by.
Bullshit session
Bullshit session.

With nothing but a Facebook post and good ol’ word-of-mouth, huge crowds weren’t expected but attendance was heavy. Several car-clubs came out in force and many cars from out-of-state. There were a few unexpected visitors like one of the three original Barris-built Munsters cars and Rob Ida’s phenomenal Gene Winfield roadster.
Barris Munster Car
Barris Munster car.

Rob Ida and Russ Monte
Rob Ida and Russ Monte jumped in the blown-Ardun Winfield/Ida roadster and blasted over the Verrazano bridge to the show.

Gene Winfield Roadster
Gene Winfield used to jam around the streets of Modesto in this roadster.

Blown Ardun
Blown Ardun flathead.

Rob Ida
Rob went home with the Best Hotrod trophy.

East Coast style has traditionally been about deep-channel, unchopped hot-rods and wild customs, and there was plenty of that under the BQE. But also dirty, driven, loud and mean should be words used when describing these machines – and their owners. There’s a great community of car-people out east – and they don’t give a fuck how we do it in California!
Chevy Pizza Party
Chevy pizza party.

Paul Varley 32 Ford
Paul the Kid’s 32 Ford 3-window.

Beatniks Cars
Flames for days.

Hotrod Sedan
Mean sedan.

Slammed 60 Cadillac
Slammed 1960 Cadillac.

Chrysler Imperial Hemi Six Pack
Six pack on a Chrysler Imperial hemi.

Gasser Under the BQE
More than a couple gassers showed up.

Rumblers Kustom Kills
This guy is a repeat offender. Flyer from the 2008 show sealed in the column drop.

57 Olds Kustom
Ray’s super clean custom 57 Olds.

Willie Gee Nailhead
Willie’s nailhead.

Model A Coupe
Cool Model A coupe on 32 rails running a 59AB flathead.

Young and Old
  • Ricks 32 Pickup
    Rick's 32 pickup.

T under the BQE
T under the BQE.


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