Custom car culture comes to Charlottesville

By Rebecca Beirne

Some people ride horses, others collect classic guitars or vintage wines, and then there are some who are just plain partial to custom cars. Yes, it’s a cultural phenomenon that’s made its way to Charlottesville, as evidenced by the Custom Car show June 22 and 23 in the parking lot of Crutchfield’s retail store. While the majority of attendees were of the male persuasion ranging in age from 18–24, there were also 30-something couples, grandparents (I’m still trying to figure out why they were there), and even Bill Crutchfield himself, with family in tow.
While representatives from Blaupunkt, Jensen, and the like stood by, onlookers lifted hoods and ogled subs, woofers, tweeters, and pre-amps, built not only to impress the ears but the eyes as well. With DVD players mounted in dashboards and speakers in trunks, on side doors, and under hoods, these cars on display vibrated, they glowed, they resonated; they were an audiophile’s dream.
Showpieces built to sit in the parking lot of your local teen hangout and impress appropriate audiences with the magnitude of the sound and the sheer beauty of the installation, these vehicles are not intended to be mere transportation devices. They are sculptural pieces to be admired.  I heard one 20-something exclaim with a reverential tone, “Not a single wire is showing, dude. Look at how many subs they fit in the back of this Volkswagen. Wow.”
Wow is right.