The formula behind the Culture — Backstreet Car Meet event is remarkably simple. So simple, in fact, that were it to be organized and run by anyone other than the team behind it, there is a great chance that it would class itself as one of many less memorable events on the local calendar by default. Fortunately, that is far from the case here. 

The event is the manifestation of a vision had by organizers Kenny Harrison and Nick Priday-Smith of the Carnales, presenting a laid-back automotive gathering at the beginning of summer, with an emphasis on ‘cool’ above any particular type of automotive pigeonhole. The entire reasoning behind it, in fact, stems from its roots in the local low-rider scene — almost a scene unto its own, with cars that never quite fit into either the traditional V8 or import scenes. Culture — Backstreet Car Meet breaks down the boundaries and opens up a show environment to both the traditional and the slightly left of centre. 

Of course, those low-rider roots showed in an extremely strong presence. From ’60s cruisers on hydraulics right up to ’90s big-bodies, and a sprinkling of always-impressive bombs expected thanks to the scene’s representation predominantly by the Carnales and Old Skool Rydz car clubs. 

With a show like this, diversity is key, and it’s pretty hard to categorize a show that transcends traditional boundaries within the automotive scene. It isn’t at any old event that you can have an impeccable Mazda RX-2 parked beside a slammed Impala, and the owners and enthusiasts of each style of vehicle appreciating cars outside their normal sphere of interest. 

And there’s the usual suspects — ’60s American muscle cars, a handful of wicked hot rods, Aussie street machines, and even a handful of ’80s Japanese cars. 

This was reflected in the show awards, handed out later in the afternoon. With awards for Best Hot Rod, Best Lowrider, Best Muscle Car, Best European, Best Japanese, and Best Bike, you can see how thoroughly the bases were ticked off. 

To see even more, just have a browse of the gallery below, or make sure you grab a copy of NZV8 Issue No. 153 for the full event report.