How We Roll: Naptown | Throwback Thursday

Some cities are well known for their car culture. Miami does Donks, L.A. has low-lows. But what about everyone in between? What about cities like Indianapolis, Indiana? how do they roll? RIDES went to “Naptown” to find out. Best Buckle ya seat belts.

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  • rides magazine throwback thursday how we roll naptown indianapolis indiana donk custom old school bubble chevy chevrolet box
    THURSDAY, 11:46PM WEST SIDE. We arrive at a gravel driveway off West 10th Street cluttered with old-schools, some ready for the camera, others better suited for the demolition derby. This is the home of Luke’s Custom Wheels and More, a shop known for putting more sets of plus-size spinners on the street than anyone in the Circle City. Among the varied whips on display, one common thread becomes immediately apparent: airbags and big rims. With the flip of a switch, Luke shows us how his Box on 26s can raise up its nose and drop the ass. This is how Indy rolls.
  • rides magazine throwback thursday how we roll naptown indianapolis indiana donk custom old school bubble chevy chevrolet box
    FRIDAY, 9:32 AMDOWNTOWN. Arriving at the first location, Bad Boyz Toy Shop, a ’57 Mercedes SL (yeah, the one with the gull-wing doors) and an Aston Martin Vanquish await perched on the sidewalk. LB, the general manager, gives us the grand tour of the facility, where they wrench on everything from twin-turbo Mustangs to F1 racecars.
  • rides magazine throwback thursday how we roll naptown indianapolis indiana donk custom old school bubble chevy chevrolet box
    The all-original ’69 Camaro, carbon fibered–out BMW and Caddy on 26s not only prove to be honest representations of their clientele base but of Indianapolis as a city.
  • rides magazine throwback thursday how we roll naptown indianapolis indiana donk custom old school bubble chevy chevrolet box
    FRIDAY, 1:33PMDOWNTOWN. From the skyline-dominating Lucas Oil Stadium, home of the Indianapolis Colts, the city appears to be in a period of rejuvenation, making clear initiatives of revitalizing the old and decrepit—perfect for plenty of photo ops. After spending a few hours shooting top-secret future features, we follow Luke and his girlfriend, Chelsea, stuntin’ down Washington Avenue toward the East Side in their Box/Bubble duo. We hit 38th Street, which not only acts as the city’s main interchange between the east and west sides of town but as the official cruising strip on weekends.
  • rides magazine throwback thursday how we roll naptown indianapolis indiana donk custom old school bubble chevy chevrolet box
    Rollin’ down Washington Ave.
  • rides magazine throwback thursday how we roll naptown indianapolis indiana donk custom old school bubble chevy chevrolet box
    FRIDAY, 6:44PMEAST SIDE. Rolling down 38th, we spot one of Indy’s many impromptu mobile car washes, ducked off in a vacant parking lot. Among the many gettin’ fresh for the weekend, Leo’s ’71 Donk on 28-inch Floaters is posted up next to a ’67 Skylark on 26-inch spinners. As an indirect way of giving back to the hood, it’s commonplace to catch the owners of Naptown’s hottest rides patronizing a makeshift car wash such as this.
  • rides magazine throwback thursday how we roll naptown indianapolis indiana donk custom old school bubble chevy chevrolet box
    Mobile car wash action.
  • rides magazine throwback thursday how we roll naptown indianapolis indiana donk custom old school bubble chevy chevrolet box
    SATURDAY, 9:16AM NORTHWEST SIDE. Though located beyond the city limits of Naptown, Sinister Autosports’ rep is strong in Indy. Shop manager Mike has some of his customers’ whips on display, including a 300 with a Phantom front-end conversion, a two-tone Charger and a couple old-school ’Lacs—all on spinning DUBs. As we reposition for the money shot, a two-tone 300C arrives on the scene. Nothing out of the ordinary.
  • rides magazine throwback thursday how we roll naptown indianapolis indiana donk custom old school bubble chevy chevrolet box
    Sinister Autosports
  • rides magazine throwback thursday how we roll naptown indianapolis indiana donk custom old school bubble chevy chevrolet box
    Sinister Autosports
  • rides magazine throwback thursday how we roll naptown indianapolis indiana donk custom old school bubble chevy chevrolet box
    Sinister Autosports
  • rides magazine throwback thursday how we roll naptown indianapolis indiana donk custom old school bubble chevy chevrolet box
    Then, hopping out of the driver seat, we meet a model named Brandy —a pleasant surprise. Wrapping up the group shot, we escort Brandy (and the 300) to the bay for some one-on-one time while attempting to keep a set full of drooling, picture-snappin’ onlookers in check.
  • rides magazine throwback thursday how we roll naptown indianapolis indiana donk custom old school bubble chevy chevrolet box
    As a parting gift, the owner of the primered Monte Carlo, Stephanie, lays down a smoky burnout, forever scarring the pavement and absolutely amusing the crowd.
  • rides magazine throwback thursday how we roll naptown indianapolis indiana donk custom old school bubble chevy chevrolet box
    SATURDAY, 1:18 P.M. Cube would be proud of this three-wheel motion.
  • rides magazine throwback thursday how we roll naptown indianapolis indiana donk custom old school bubble chevy chevrolet box
    SATURDAY 2:39PM WEST SIDE. Knowing a downpour is imminent, we rush to arrange the cars on set—a green Benz, Superman Monte and green Cutty. Mother Nature starts hatin’ and the raindrops begin; we pack up in hopes of a break in the weather. The crew relocates to a nearby gas station for temporary refuge from the storm, as we travel down 16th Street toward what is considered to be the automotive attraction in Indy.
  • rides magazine throwback thursday how we roll naptown indianapolis indiana donk custom old school bubble chevy chevrolet box
    SATRUDAY, 4:08PM WEST SIDE. Indianapolis’ automotive popularity stems from being host to “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing,” the Indianapolis 500, as well as the Brickyard 400, the popular NASCAR event. Even when racing isn’t in session, there’s always something going down at the track. Today a Camaro-exclusive car show is taking place, at which an unreleased production 2010 model and its camouflaged mule are making guest appearances. Naptown’s car culture is rich like that—you never know what you might find rollin’ around.
  • rides magazine throwback thursday how we roll naptown indianapolis indiana donk custom old school bubble chevy chevrolet box
    Camo Camaro.
  • rides magazine throwback thursday how we roll naptown indianapolis indiana donk custom old school bubble chevy chevrolet box
    SATURDAY, 6:46PMWEST SIDE. The weather continues on its stubborn path. We corral the rides back to Luke’s garage. The first to arrive is Gordy, along with his money-green Mercedes. Far from an Autobahn-spec Benz, nothing has gone untouched with its airbrushed murals, airbags and color-matched Davins—all of which happen to be cornerstones of Naptown’s custom-car scene.
  • rides magazine throwback thursday how we roll naptown indianapolis indiana donk custom old school bubble chevy chevrolet box
    Money-green Mercedes-Benz (hood) at Luke’s Custom Wheels and More.
  • rides magazine throwback thursday how we roll naptown indianapolis indiana donk custom old school bubble chevy chevrolet box
    Luke’s Custom Wheels and More
  • rides magazine throwback thursday how we roll naptown indianapolis indiana donk custom old school bubble chevy chevrolet box
    As promised, Leo, owner of the ’71 Donk on 28-inch floaters (and 275/25 Toyos), returns to give his badass, realistic flamed paint job some time under the lights. Fuego!
  • rides magazine throwback thursday how we roll naptown indianapolis indiana donk custom old school bubble chevy chevrolet box
  • rides magazine throwback thursday how we roll naptown indianapolis indiana donk custom old school bubble chevy chevrolet box
    SUNDAY, 10:34AMWEST SIDE. Last stop: Bush Stadium, former home of Indianapolis’ AAA baseball team, the Indianapolis Indians, and preferred location of Kyle Shaffer, whose baseball-themed Impala graced the pages of RIDES May ’08.
  • rides magazine throwback thursday how we roll naptown indianapolis indiana donk custom old school bubble chevy chevrolet box
    Kyle Shaffer's Impala (interior).
  • rides magazine throwback thursday how we roll naptown indianapolis indiana donk custom old school bubble chevy chevrolet box
    Kyle Shaffer's Impala (trunk).
  • rides magazine throwback thursday how we roll naptown indianapolis indiana donk custom old school bubble chevy chevrolet box
    Not only pushin’ his Imp, Kyle unveils his devilish Expedition, said to have more than 60 hours of airbrushing incorporated into its paint job. The weathered stadium creates an appropriate backdrop for Kyle’s rides, as he aspires to one day have his Impala in the Baseball Hall of Fame.
  • rides magazine throwback thursday how we roll naptown indianapolis indiana donk custom old school bubble chevy chevrolet box
    As we depart for downtown, a shimmer of orange candy and chrome catches our eye at the intersection. We inch close enough to flash a Donk, Box & Bubble T-shirt, and owner “Stranger” pulls over to let us admire his Box Chevy.
  • rides magazine throwback thursday how we roll naptown indianapolis indiana donk custom old school bubble chevy chevrolet box
    The closer we get to the heart of the city, the more apparent it is that a Colts home game is on schedule, with the sea of blue No. 18 jerseys flooding the downtown streets. That’s our cue. Holla back, Indy.

From the DEC/JAN 2009 issue of RIDES Magazine.

Words by Evan “Evo” Yates
Photography by Andrew Link