Monday, May 28, 2012

SoCal Rockabilly in the City of Glass

Vancouver's a funny place when it comes to car culture. One one hand, we've got a downtown core that's switching over to highly affluent residential living, similarly well-heeled Western regions and, carved into the hillsides of West Vancouver, a community that rates its own "Real Housewives Of…" unreality show.

Fuelled by wealth swirling off the Pacific Rim, there're a lot of high-status automobiles on the streets: throw a rock at random and you'll likely hit a Supercharged Range Rover, but only after a bounce off two 911s and a Ferrari California. I've seen more curbed dubs, beat-up Vantages and hack-job 'tuner' M3s than I care to remember. I even recall seeing an RS4 with doilies on the headrests.

Still, to each his own, and for the residents of East Vancouver that means a backlash against conspic-consump buggies and an affinity for hot-rodding. Quick, hand me a ballpoint before somebody notices I don't have a neck tattoo.

Loud. That might well be the theme of this year's East Van Show and Shine. A four-piece band just finished hooking the crowd with Back in Black and have moved into their own set list which is considerably uptempo. Cars are rolling in and out, this chopped n' channelled rod's lumpy idle sounding like Rodimus Prime falling down a flight of stairs.

Naturally, no show could be considered complete until somebody shows up in a Studebaker Avanti with straight-pipes and has a rev-off with a chopper-bike. (The Stude takes the win, if you're interested.)

The heterogeneity of the crowd might well be summed up by this particular eyesore. Sure, the two Ray-Ban'd young persons checkin' it out might be just back from a photo-shoot for hawking underpants or cologne, but there's all sorts here. Also, a Corel Word Perfect sticker? Seriously?

Bike culture is big in Vancouver, and, like other West Coast cities, much of it could be described as anti-car. Not these two harmonious lead-sleds – make welds not war.

Not a commuter-car then. Gas flipped to a buck-fifty per litre this weekend (past the $6-a-gallon mark), which should mean we all run out and buy Velosters for high-style low-impact motoring. Alternatively, run this thing and rob banks.

Bikes are a big part of the outlaw identity of those pushed East by developers, but cubes don't necessarily count.

There's a whole range of two-wheelers here, and I kinda dig the sharpie-scrawl on this next one…

On a Husqvarna no less!

Categories? This ain't that kinda show. with a single block set aside for angle-parking, it's the wide mix you get that makes things interesting. A pink Isetta just makes sense.

And not everything is weird or ratty. Plain black t-shirt with jeans and green Chucks = still a badass.

D'ye loike dags? Funny how there's a pack of mutts here and not a single dalmatian: no Sublime fans?

Just shot down Snoopy.

More evidence of the Grand National Problem: every Firechicken a Burt, every Gran Torino a Starsky.

The old. An empty lot, a ratty Olds, a decrepit VW bus, body-shops, brickwork and bars on the windows.

The new. Splinters of glass-front hammered into the East as the real-estate bubble swells outward. This cherry cherry Caddy lasted. It won't.

Gas is expensive. The car is a dinosaur. Efficiency is king. Gridlock strangles horsepower. Regulations clamp down fun. The public is falling out of love with the automobile.

Rock n' Roll is dead. Except, of course, that it isn't.

EVSS21 - Picture Courtesy Brendan McAleer EVSS20 - Picture Courtesy Brendan McAleer EVSS19 - Picture Courtesy Brendan McAleer EVSS18 - Picture Courtesy Brendan McAleer EVSS17 - Picture Courtesy Brendan McAleer EVSS16 - Picture Courtesy Brendan McAleer EVSS15 EVSS14 EVSS13 - Picture Courtesy Brendan McAleer EVSS12 - Picture Courtesy Brendan McAleer EVSS11 - Picture Courtesy Brendan McAleer EVSS10 - Picture Courtesy Brendan McAleer EVSS9 EVSS8 EVSS7 - Picture Courtesy Brendan McAleer EVSS6 - Picture Courtesy Brendan McAleer EVSS5 EVSS4 - Picture Courtesy Brendan McAleer EVSS3 - Picture Courtesy Brendan McAleer EVSS2 - Picture Courtesy Brendan McAleer EVSS1 - Picture Courtesy Brendan McAleer EVSS22 - Picture Courtesy Brendan McAleer

from The Truth About Cars

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