Monday, September 3, 2012

2012 Greaserama: Heaven in hell

Greaserama.  This is the Devil’s car show.   Hundreds of rusty, crusty cars crammed door-to-door in a sea of tepid muddy water.  Dangerous-looking people listening to loud, grungy, angry music while they suck down copious quantities of Pabst Blue Ribbon.  How do you want to die—by rubbing up against a car and contracting tetanus, or getting stabbed because the owner saw you get too close?

And yet, every year, I’m drawn to this annual Freakfest.  Everybody seems to have fun here.  I have fun here.  The pinup girls posing for pictures and the kids on the old playground equipment in front of the big movie screen have an innocence that contrasts nicely with the hard edge you find elsewhere.  Creativity trumps perfection.  Fun trumps anxiety.  It’s a place where people can forget the troubles of normal life and perform in a theatre of like-minded actors.

And make no mistake, when it comes to cars, there are some diamonds in this mine.  Take this ’62 Chrysler Newport Town and Country station wagon.  First of all, when was the last time you saw one of these?  That hardtop station wagon is wonderfully unusual, and this car was very original overall.  I’d be happy to take a car like this anywhere.

They also had a bona fide celebrity vehicle in their midst.  This 1970 Chevy long bed pickup is one of the most talked about vehicles on the Internet.  And for good reason.  Beneath the beat-up farm truck exterior is a brutal drag racing legend.  Don’t let the looks fool you.  This thing’ll run 10s on the strip and better than 125 miles per hour.  You haven’t lived until you’ve seen a truck like this pick its front wheels three feet off the ground.  It was also featured on the show Pinks All Out on SPEED.

I could imagine having a lot of fun with this little ’51 Chevy coupe.  It looked like it was purchased straight off a used car lot in about 1958.  It even had the old used car dealer style plaid seat covers.  It was just a simple little car with yellowed white walls, old paint, and no outside mirror.  It just looked really good sitting there.

Of course, if you like rat rods, this was the place to be.  Now some of them were—how can I put this delicately—God awful.  Just because you have a welding torch doesn’t mean you should use it.  But some of them were actually well put together and kind of cool.  Of course, I guess they’re like any type of folk art, the beauty is in the eye of the beholder.  Sometimes I try to judge them with the same criteria that I would use on normal cars, and that really doesn’t apply here.

And honestly, trying to compare this event to a regular car show doesn’t apply either.  This is a party.  This is an event.  This is a social gathering.  Sure, you have to go there in an old car, but it is not a car show.  Come to have a good time, or don’t come at all.  The Los Punk Rods Car Club knows what they're doing at the Boulevard Drive-In.
But  you know me; I’m still into the cars.  And to that end, I am including a slideshow with 579 pictures, which you can either look at below, or by clicking this link.  Open your mind, check them out, and above all, have fun.


  1. Craig,

    You are wayyyyyyyy too funny !
    I'm still laughing.......Great write up !

    Don- Basehor

  2. Hope you didn't take B-Ho...
    Went to one of these type gatherings - once. Being surrounded by obese, tattoo laden, beer swilling slobs with scraggly facial hair [and that was just the girls] far outweighed any potential enjoyment of the cars. And the cars were junk too - with no offence to junk intended. However, it looks like there were actually a few pretty neat cars here. Still hope you had a tetanus booster...

  3. Ha--yeah, this show can seem pretty intimidating at first. Everyone that I encountered was nice to me at least, and I know the organizers put a lot of effort into this. I actually do like it, though, just because it's something a little different than what I normally go to. Plus, my old truck actually fits in here, which is a plus!

  4. I was planning to attend, but the rain kept me away. For the non-believers, this photo says it all.