By approaching the road as a contact zone, I develop novel insights into the turbulent multiculture of a northern mill town in England. Through a montage of encounters with taxis and `flash'cars on the streets of Keighley,West Yorkshire, I illustrate how social differentiation is performed on theroad as human difference is sorted and judged through assemblages of flesh, metal, and road. I developrecent debates on the social construction of race, arguing for a perspective that foregrounds what race doesin social interaction. And so I offer a reconsideration of race as a technology of differentiation at work ininteraction that is allied to what I call the `racism of assemblages', which traces how loose racialsummaries distributed across bodies, things, and spaces become the basis for perception, judgment,and action. In the process, I also assemble perspectives on multiculture from below, which disrupt talkof segregation and `parallel lives' in northern mill towns, and question arguments that more interaction andcommunity cohesion are the answer to living with difference.