Car culture is far more rich and interesting than cars as mere objects — far more than materialism. It's broader and deeper than the car as an art object (altho' the car as art is pivotal).

The emergent car culture is like performance art, on a very grand and culture-encompassing scale. And nothing represents this drama as thoroughly — as insistently like an assertive teenager — as American hot rods and custom cars performing in the cruisin' scene.