I've been asking myself this question more regularly these past few months. Since leisurely cruises are a rarity, I take them when I can and drive past the old stops I used to frequent back in my late teens and early twenties. But unlike the late '90s, fixed up cars aren't rolling as deep as they used to and I struggle to notice any beyond the basics of lowering and wheels. Which really begs the question: where the hell are they? I know car culture isn't dead because I see plenty of cool stuff at the car shows, but have they been regulated by their owners to simply become trophy pieces, not to be enjoyed for their true purpose: to drive?
I don't know - maybe it's Los Angeles. Only the brave dare to drive knowing full well that the potential of being nailed with a fix-it ticket is all too common. But is it that bad? Recently, the Govenator (Arnold Schwarzenegger to you Terminator fans) nixed funding for California's state referee program, which is a good and bad thing for people looking to modify their cars. In one regard, if you've built your car by the book, you can't get it legalized the legitimate way. But, if you're popped for having that engine swap, you can go to a regular smog station to clear the paperwork - definitely a good thing, at least until funding goes back online with Skynet. This I could see as solid reasoning for not wanting to drive a modified car in California, but what about the rest of you? What's it like in your part of the country? I'd like to believe the streets elsewhere are thriving.
Or what about this: has this car culture hit its own cult status like the domestics of yesteryear where it is ok to leave a car parked at home, only to be taken out on weekends to keep the engine from seizing and the battery alive? Could be a silly thought, but then again totally plausible since I don't see any cars until the shows come to town. But I say, "screw that" dust off those babies and really try to get them out on the road. It's what they were made to do.
Enjoy the ride.