“All of the Beatniks share a love for tattoos and tattoo art. There are a lot of people who are into old hot rods and customs who are not tattooed and don’t have any desire to get any. For us, it’s just always been part of the whole lifestyle — it’s a little different for us. With most of us as artists, that talent shows in our kars, in our kustoms and hot rods as well.” — Jack Rudy
As you walk a show as big as The Grand National Roadster Show in Pomona, California (GNRS), it is very easy to distinguish the difference between original and Kustom. Restored vehicles are those that are brought back to original factory showroom condition. On the other hand, to build a Kustom is like getting an original tattoo, where you are the first and only to have it. You are “O.G”. Some would take it in disrespect, others see it as a compliment when their Original Style is often attempted by another artist or Kustom owner.
Among those O.G.s, you have legends in the Kustom car world that are known for candy paint, flawless metalwork, plush interior and hot motors. And then there’s the Beatniks. A brotherhood known for their F.B.B.F. (Forever Beatnik-Beatnik Forever), Kustom kars, multi-talented artists, and those purple coats. Closing in on 24 years, the Beatniks have marked their territory in the car scene around the world, and for the better part of the 20th century, Beatniks President Jack Rudy has made a name for himself in the Land of Tattoos.