KC Greaserama 2011" target="_blank">00No Billet, No Silly Modern Wheels:
KC Greaserama 2011&Body= http://www.streetsideauto.com/blog/automotive/no-billet-no-silly-modern-wheels-kc-greaserama-2011/">
Car shows come in every variety. Some are specialized for imports, trucks, hot rods, or the like. Some are mobile, like the legendary Woodward Dream Cruise in Detroit. Others, like Goodguys, are more like trophy shows, their winners often hauled in and rolled off of trailers.
But once in a while you find a car show that’s different from the rest, one that’s more concerned with the preservation of car culture than the cars themselves.
Enter Greaserama, a one-day car event held every Labor Day weekend at the Boulevard Drive-In Theatre in Kansas City. It’s strictly for rebels. “Nothing is stock. Nothing is untouched,” says Pat, one of our guys here at Streetside. Pat hasn’t missed a Greaserama in years, and always drives his ’65 Dodge Coronet 440 down to the drive-in for the “Beer-drinking, wrench-turning car show.”
Pat’s 440 isn’t the only thing driven in to Greaserama. One of the requirements of bringing your “pre ‘65 rods & kustoms, old school low riders, (modified) pre-’75 trucks, wagons…” is that they cannot be brought in on trailers. With a few key exceptions, everything must be modified. Usually participating vehicles are ratted, rusted, rubbed with kerosene, slammed, chopped, and (almost always) rodded. In other words, the Fonz or Danny Zuko, though iconic greasers, would probably be a little too mainstream, too polished for the likes of Greaserama. Replace them instead with the Ramones or James Dean (the driver, not the actor), and you’re on the right track.
If you go to Greaserama, you’re guaranteed to see something unexpected. It’s a blown Ford Anglia, complete with sun-faded paint. Or a slammed, rust-brown Beetle with whitewalls. Or a lowered ’46 Pontiac Streamliner with a skull and crossbones spray-painted on the door and a full set of dented dog-dish hubcaps. And Greaserama’s not just for cars. Bikes, homebuilt customs, bobbers, and café racers frequent the grounds.
Greaserama is a cavalcade of matte finish and faded flames, a mecca for all things pomade and leather. So it’s not only about cars. Local rock bands play under a tent. Gritty, fuel-washed movies like Heavy Metal and Mad Max flicker on the big screen. It’s the ideal annual stop for punk-rodders and rebel rockers.
What Greaserama really defends is not the preservation of cars, but of car culture. Modding is a huge aspect of car culture, whatever the generation. Look, for example, at modern ricers. Try to find a 1992 Acura Integra in stock form. All of them have been modified (to varying degrees of success and attractiveness).
Greasers in the ‘50s were not restoring Model Ts. They were paying their soda-jerk wages to dig them out of junk yards, drop massive big blocks between their frame rails, and drag race them down the strip. And that bears preserving just as well as any numbers-matching garage queen.