kustom shakedown #1

What a weekend! Whodathunk that an indoor car show can be so much fun? Maybe it was so good because it was the first time they did it? And in a few years everyone's gonna complain that the show grew too big and it all sucks because there are too many people and not enough portapotties and the beer is too warm and too expensive and the food is too greasy? Well, I don't care right now. We had a killer weekend and it all began on a Friday night.

Actually it all began a couple of months ago when several European car clubs received an invitation to bring their cars to the Kustom Shakedown, a new indoor car show. It seems like a lot of them liked the idea and so this past Friday they brought their rides to the little village that is Roggwil, Switzerland.

Friday afternoon, car after car showed up at the gates. Hot rods, mild kustoms, wild kustoms, choppers and bobbers got directed to their spots in the old industrial building and it soon turned into some kind of familiy reunion since we met so many familiar faces.

The old buildings together with some tricky lighting made for a great looking backdrop. But it also gave the photographers a hard time all weekend long since it still was quite dark. So, in case you were wondering about all the weird camera angles I chose... now you know why.

The Kustom Shakedown was a true car club gathering. You could see cars and bikes from the Aces, the Crazy Cruisers, the Draggers, the Flakers, the Fisters, the Lake Cruisers, the Road Devils, the Rumblers, the Shoplifters, and many more.

The Draggers from Munich, Germany, showed up with a whole bunch of killer rides.

Jacek from the Rumblers Ruhrpott chapter brought his unchopped model A coupe, driven by his girl Alex all the way from Germany... 500 miles one way, at night in the pouring rain and with no wipers!

Frank got the Best Of Show award for his super clean and super black deuce roadster.

Schrothi from the german ACES chapter brought his beautiful 1927 t roadster.

And here we got Klaus' bike next to his Chevy Coupe hot rod.

Another one of my favorites was this '63 Buick Le Sabre with a funky paintjob masterfully applied by its owner Oli of the Flakers. Wanna see more? Click here, please.


out now: LOWTECH – The California Issue #1

Now I can admit it: When I started LOWTECH seven years ago, it was supposed to become a printed magazine. The idea with the blog only was to have an easily manageable public platform so I could share my observations and obsessions with traditional hot rods and kustoms. So, it rather was – and still is – some kind of experimental laboratory for my photography and my writing.

Seven years later and after having spent one year in Southern California, I just knew I had to do it. Let's get this shit on paper. Because even though stuff tends to live longer on the interweb, paper still gives you the feel like its made to last. Not forever but at least to last until it ends up on the stack next to your toilet bowl or on your greasy workbench where your buddies spill beer and WD40 over it.

Now I'm holding the first copy in my hands. And just staring at the photos on paper kinda makes them come to life, instead of being only colored pixels on a computer screen. Paper fucking rules. So, now I have to come up with some clever marketing copy in order to get this thing going. But honestly, even if I'm gonna sell a gazillion copies I'll hardly make any profit. I just think it would be neat if people see what I saw while spending 12 months among Southern California car culture.

Okay let's see: It's not a magazine but it's not a book either. I wanted it to have a soft cover so it doesn't look and feel like your aunt's shutterfly album from her last trip to Tuscany. It has 106 pages, to be exact, they're in full color and there's not much written. Well, there are a few words, but they're more some sort of thoughts, rather than accurate descriptions of what's happening. Some of the stories are like a best of selection from my blog posts. Some stories and a lot of photos haven't ever been published before. And there's a lot of stuff that I just put in because I felt it had to be in there.

But there's also a whole lotta stuff that didn't fit in, for the simple reason that it would have gotten too expensive. I know, it's still expensive the way it is. But since there are no ads in the magazine – magazine, there I said it! – and since I wanted to have overall control on the creative process, I decided to publish it via blurb.com. Lame, I know. But this was the only way I could do everything by myself and don't have to take care of packing and shipping and all that shit involved. So, if you like what you see on LOWTECH, chances are you'll like what you see in LOWTECH – The California Issue #1. I'm gonna post some previews the next couple of weeks. You already find a little preview here where you also can order a copy: http://www.blurb.com/b/4662193-lowtech. And let me know what you think when you got yours.


palos verdes (part 1)

Yes, I know, it's been quiet around here lately. The move back from Southern California to Switzerland took most of my time and every free minute I was busy working on the first printed edition of... Hold on – this has to wait for later. –– Okay, where have we been. Right: California! Now imagine, on my very last day in California, I got the chance to experience nothing less than hot rod heaven.

Hot rod heaven is also known as the Palos Verdes Hot Rod Cruise #2. And it's called "cruise" on purpose. Simply because it's all about driving. The wild cliffs and breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean make for the perfect backdrop and add up to the overall experience. The driving forces behind the cruise are Coco Shinomiya and Lynn Bird.

By the time we arrived, the driveway of the meeting point already was packed. It was great to see many familiar faces and meet new ones.

The hour that was left before the caravan would take off went by way too fast.

Then it was time to leave for the first section of the cruise. Coco enjoyed driving her freshly finished 1927 Model T Roadster on deuce rails, built by Kyle Phillips of Oceanside.

Albeit with a focus on traditional hot rods, some customs and classics joined the festivities, too.

Dreamy driveway.

We were heading for the Palos Verdes peninsula, the perfect cruising habitat, and according to wikipedia, also known for distinguished schools, extensive horse trails, and high home prices.

Great looking mildly modfied Ford wagon.

Killer stance on this 1940 Ford Tudor Sedan.

And that's it for now, so stay tuned for part 2 of the Palos Verdes Hot Rod Cruise #2!


coming soon: LOWTECH – The California Issue #1

Coming soon: LOWTECH – The California Issue #1. One year of Southern California Car Culture on 100 pages. Stay tuned!