Car Shows and Culture
by Larry Erickson & David Boulé Foreword by Billy F Gibbons
There was time – not long ago – when cars were much more than transportation. Part function, part fashion, part id, cars were the largest thing you could wear. Every American teenager dreamed of having their own car because it promised joy, freedom and self-expression. This was the era – beginning in the 1950s and extending into the ‘90s – when a car was a teenager’s avatar, when members of this booming generation defined much of their public persona around cars.
Cars influenced art and entertainment, and a rapidly growing number of hot rod and custom car shows fed these appetites and fantasies. During this era, Bob Larivee was the undisputed ringmaster of the greatest show on Earth – the indoor hot rod and custom car show. Driven by pure enthusiasm, and possessing a natural gift of knowing what would draw people, Larivee built an empire that showcased style, color, chrome, horsepower, pop culture and fantasy.
Hot Rod Dreams - Car Shows and Culture celebrates the people and stories of this not-so-long-ago – and still evolving – world. From the earliest days of Ed “Big Daddy” Roth through the golden era of car-crazy TV, Hot Rod Dreams celebrates what it was really like to buy an “Outlaw”, employ Playboy Playmates, and make sure Dale Earnhardt got home in time for dinner – while also exploring how popular culture inspires our concepts of personal identity.