Hot Rod Photographer Reveals The People Behind The Cars

George Brainard’s book “All Tore Up: Texas Hot Rod Portraits” looks into the culture of car lovers.

By Alain StephensMarch 11, 2015 8:28 pm

When you see that candy apple red 1957 Chevy Bellaire roll down the street, how many times have your torn your gaze away and looked up at the person driving it?

Well that’s exactly what photographer George Brainard did in his new book All Tore Up: Texas Hot Rod Portraits.

“There is a tremendous amount of style in these people,” Brainard says. His book is a feature, a collection of portraits taken from the Lone Star Rod and Kustom Roundup. It’s an annual collection of classically retuned cars that meet in Austin.

While the portraits show a variety of people there, Brainard says it’s the cars and the old school vibe that ties them all together.

“A lot of these people do have an affinity for the 50’s or earlier,” Brainard says.

Brainard says the appeal of the custom-culture stems from an increasingly digitized age, where people are searching for tangibility.

“I think that people now have gotten so far away from things that are real…cars that run and make noise, I think that sort reversion to an analogue culture is tied up in this.”