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About this collection

A unique, fascinating, and distinctively American avocation which still thrives in some garages around the world found its beginnings as a small subculture movement springing up in the postwar US. In the shadow of the heyday of the great American automobile lay a generation of greasers and gearheads who, with minimal training and resources, chopped and souped these grand machines to create unique and exhilarating works of art. Early hotrodders represented a new breed of young Americans who created an entire culture of customized speed and beauty from the factory-produced excesses of the 1950s. This grassroots movement did not find an outlet for communication in mainstream print publications, or in the fledgling television community, but rather in small-format, independently produced, and often privately funded magazines. Digitization of these “little pages” is a critically important step in preserving the early history of this fascinating American pastime.

The American custom car culture in the 1950s and early „60s was made up of people who physically manipulated stock-from-factory American cars to make them faster, louder, and more stylized. The people involved in this movement were connected to their machines with great passion. The cars they drove were unique, hand-built works of art. The main mode of communication for the people interested in building cars was the small, independently-published magazine. Hot Rod magazine was a mainstream serial publication geared toward this audience, but there were many small-format, independently financed magazines known as “little pages.” These magazines represent an important component of the golden era of automotive history and American popular culture.

The need to preserve these magazines is growing as fast as the brittle paper they‟re printed on continues to disintegrate. Furthermore, cars manufactured in the „50s and „60s are a limited resource, becoming more and more scarce as they are lost to neglect, weather, and rust. There is still a vibrant international community of people who study customized cars of this period and continue to build and drive period-correct cars in this style. The information necessary to build and maintain these cars is contained within these magazines; this information largely cannot be found elsewhere. In addition to providing a window to this specific subset of American culture from the mid-20th century, digitizing the “little pages” allows access to unique technical information sought by custom car enthusiasts in the US, Europe, Japan, Scandinavia, and many other communities around the world.

 
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