What is a Kemp?
Kemp is a slang word used by teenagers in the late 50s and early 60s to indicate a car or a truck. When you say “Kustom Kemp,” it means a customized car or truck. So a kustom kemp can be any make, model, or year of vehicle, from 1903 to the current year. The word “kemp” gained national recognition on a famous TV show called 77 Sunset Strip, where Edd “Kookie” Byrnes used it often, and in the little 25-cent Rod and Custom magazines.
Custom "Kemps" of sweden
Per Graemer started Customs of Sweden in 1989. He went on to become the first president of the group. The primary objective was to get in touch with individuals who had an interest in American cars that were made according to historic practices and bring them together. Customs of Sweden, formerly known as Custom Kemps of Sweden (CKOS), began with only a few employees. But over the course of the first year, the club grew to include about 20 people. A good number of these devoted, old-school custom men are still active members.
In 1990, a club magazine called Lead News was started to get things going and bring people together. The magazine was influenced by the early digest magazines, and it still is. It has stories about club meetings, rides by members, and tech articles. The club also made a newsletter called Lead Letter to keep people up to date on what was going on in the custom and club scene. In the same year, CKOS held its first unplanned meet, called the Late Nite Outdoor Custom Meet, at Hallamotet in Vasters in a big parking lot. This happened the same weekend as the Power Meet. Only a few of the approximately 15 cars that arrived were customs.
This got to be a regular thing, and a few years later, there was a big change.
Hallamotet had close to 100 ships, and some of them were built so well that they could stand up to the best in the world.
The club works to keep traditional building styles alive and to make sure they don’t die out.
Nonetheless, the Custom of Sweden welcomes and supports innovative designs of traditional customs, ranging from the mid-30s Westergard-styled customs to the 1960s sculptured customs by Alexander Brothers.
Customs of Sweden doesn’t have any strict rules, but we’d like to point out that the club’s main focus is on custom cars made during this time.