The Drive - Custom Cars and Their Builders

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Jesse Valadez' iconic Gypsy Rose is featured in the story "The Original Low & Slow." Photo courtesy of Gestalten.
"All Hail the King" is dedicated to California custom pioneer George Barris. Photo courtesy of Gestalten.
Artist Jeff Decker writes about his memories of Ed "Big Daddy" Roth. Photo courtesy of Gestalten.
Estevan Oriol has contributed a photo essay about the Los Angeles lowrider subculture. Photo courtesy of Gestalten.
"Reinventing Custom Styles" tells the colorful story of Japanese customizer Junichi Shimodaira. Photo courtesy of Gestalten.
Rod Emory and some of the custom Porsche's he builds at Emory Motorsports are featured in the book. Photo courtesy of Gestalten.
Chris Runge is another Porsche customizer featured in the book. Photo courtesy of Gestalten.

"Many people think you can just buy a car and own it. But some people know the truth - the best car is the one you make yourself. Custom cars are about freedom and expression."

The Drive - Custom Cars and Their Builders is a 400-page coffee table book by Maximilian Funk and Robert Klanten about the Custom Car Culture and the people behind it. With the book, Funk and Klanten want to bring custom car fans from around the world together for one big, loud show!

The art of customizing cars is as old as the automobile industry itself, and as long as cars have been built, they have also been rebuilt, restyled, customized, tuned and completely redesigned! Written by custom car owners and lovers for custom car owners and lovers, The Drive also takes on the task of introducing the art of customizing to "new" readers, and Funk and Klanten use bold photos, beautiful layout and smart writing to break down the barriers between different custom car scenes from around the world. From traditional hot rods and custom cars, to lowriders, muscle cars, European sports cars and Japanese tuner cars.

The Drive features essays, photography, and exclusive material from a wide range of contributors. Joey Ukrop of The Rodder's Journal gives us an introduction to the Hot Rod movement, while Kustomrama founder Sondre Kvipt takes us trough the evolution of the Traditional Custom Car. Howard Gribble, an original who captured the lowrider culture in the 1960s, tells tales from the scene's low and slow history, while Estevan Oriol contributes a photo essay about the recent years of the Los Angeles lowrider subculture. Mike Burroughs, founder of the automotive blog StanceWorks, writes as an ambassador of the "new school" generation. Dino Dalle Carbonare of Speedhunters shares his years of expertise on Japan's street culture, while Roland Heiler, a designer for Porsche, shares his insights, and artist Jeff Decker writes about his memories of Ed "Big Daddy" Roth.

When it comes to traditional custom car and hot rod builders and shops, The Drive has chapters dedicated to Gene Winfield, George Barris, The Alexander Brothers, Paradise Road, Cole Foster, Hollywood Hot Rods, and Old Crow Speed Shop. The list of traditionally restyled cars includes builds such as John D'Agostino's 1940 Cadillac Coupe, Keith Charvonia's 1951 Kaiser, Henry Gong's 1956 Chevrolet Nomad, Jack Kiely's 1940 Mercury Coupe, the Dodge Deora and Coby Gewertz' 1963 Ford Econoline.

Gestalten is known for publishing books on art, architecture, design, photography and typography. They are unique in the industry, as all books are edited and designed by designers. The Drive is a high quality book. It is not a dedicated Traditional Custom Car book at all, but Funk and Klanten have done a great job showcasing and representing our part of the culture. Get yourself a copy and see for yourself, you will not regret it!

Published by Gestalten, the book was released June 25, 2016.

Order the Book Online

Click here to order the book from


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