WE HAVE ALL SEEN THEM BEFORE – THE HOT ROD IS UNDENIABLY ONE OF THE COOLEST CARS ON THE ROAD.
WE TAKE A LOOK AT THE HISTORY, CULTURE AND THE COMEBACK OF THE AMERICAN HOT RODS.
HISTORY & CULTURE
Hot Rods are typically American cars with large engines modified for linear speed. They first appeared in the late 1930’s where kids from Southern California would race their modified cars on the vast, empty dry lakes northeast of Los Angeles. To create regulation, competitions were held under the Southern California Timing Association. The trend of Hot Rods started to really take off before and after World War II as soldiers were coming back with new skills in machining and engineering.
The original Hot Rods were most often a Ford, typically a Model T, Model A, or a 1932 to 1934 Model B. They were modified by reducing weight, this was essentially from removing the roof, hood, buyers, windshield and fenders. The engines of these Fords were normally modified by either replacing the engine or fine tuning. Wheels had also been replaced too much larger wheels to increase traction and handling.
After World War II there were many small military airports throughout the country that were either abandoned or very rarely used. This provided the perfect place for Hot Rodding enthusiast to race. During 1950, Hot Rods had seen such a craze that racing had been taken to the streets. As a result rules were implemented to bring racing from the street to the tracks – out of this the National Hot Rod Association was born. After the oil crisis in 1973 the public called on producers of automakers to prioritise fuel efficiency and safety over performance. This led to a new resurgence to Hot Rodding in America known as ‘street rodding’. Street Rodding was aimed at families and created to fit the wife and kids.
People who own Hot Rods today keep them clean and try to make them noticeable. The comeback of Hot Rods has seen different and unique Hot Rods come about including: