Spend any amount of time in Houston and you’re sure to see one of the most unique car cultures in America: Houston’s slab scene is mesmerizing. The tricked-out, bright and shiny boatlike cars are almost exclusively American heavy-built classics like Buicks and Cadillacs. They often feature outsize sound systems, fake wheels mounted on the trunk like a fin, and personalized neon writing. Some say slab is an acronym for “slow, loud, and bangin’.”
But it’s the swanga that sets the slab apart. Swangas are protruding hubcaps that resemble the scythes that once attached to ancient, wartime chariots.
Slab culture has close ties to the city’s hip-hop scene. Artists like Slim Thug and Paul Wall have featured the vehicles in their music videos. While filming Anthony Bourdain’s Houston episode, photographer David Scott Holloway got an up-close-and-personal look into the scene that’s turning heads in the American South. Here’s what he saw.