Hemmings has entered the documentary film arena with the latest in its “The Motor Underground” YouTube limited series: “Shifters So-Cal: A Hot Rod Revolution.”
Debuting as a feature-length film last November at the oldest liquor-licensed bar in Las Vegas during the 2022 SEMA Show, “Shifters So-Cal: A Hot Rod Revolution” is not only the first film project produced by Hemmings, but the first to look at the origins of the cultural movement that took the world by storm 30 years ago. Through the origin story of the Shifters So-Cal—one of the first car clubs to make “rat rod” a household word—it’s being released as a YouTube limited video series, in partnership with Coker Tire.
“Before the Shifters, there was no hot rod culture as we know it today,” explained Hemmings Creative Director Dan Stoner, “And now, three decades later, the hot-rod revival that Gen-X kids created for themselves has turned into a global movement that’s given us American traditional tattoos, vintage denim, rockabilly music, mid-century tiki culture and, of course, post-war hot rods, all wrapped up in a complete cultural fever. And the Shifters were Patient Zero.”
Some of the most recognized names across the hot-rod scene make appearances in the limited series: ZZ Top frontman Billy F. Gibbons, celeb custom car builder Chip Foose, famed collector and philanthropist Bruce Meyer, rockabilly crooner James Intveld and preservationist and restauranteur Bobby Green are just a few.
“Every great story has a twist you never saw coming,” said Matt Boice, SVP Media at Hemmings. “It’s easy to turn on a camera and describe a car build, but it means nothing until that car becomes the literal and figurative vehicle for an adventure. This is one of those great stories. And the fact that the Shifters changed the world on Cokers turned our longstanding relationship with Coker Tire into a partnership on this project that we’re really proud of.”
Filmed over the spring and summer of 2022, “Shifters So-Cal: A Hot Rod Revolution” is the second season of Hemmings’ “The Motor Underground” series.
“We made ‘The Motor Underground’ to dig deep under the surface of car culture and bring the characters, who really made it one of America’s most valuable exports, up to the surface,” Stoner continues. “And when we realized that the story of the Shifters was now 30 years old, we knew it was time to not only celebrate that, but introduce them to an entire generation that has no idea what they did for them.”
“The Motor Underground’s” ”Shifters So-Cal: A Hot Rod Revolution” series debuts on the Hemmings YouTube channel, while the director’s cut of the feature film will hit the film festival circuit later this year.