Hot rods are typically old, classic, or modern American cars that have been rebuilt or modified with large engines modified for more speed and acceleration.One definition is: "a car that's been stripped down, souped up and made to go much faster." However, there is no definition of the term that is universally accepted and the term is attached to a wide range of vehicles. Most often they are individually designed and constructed using components from many makes of old or new cars are most prevalent in the United States and Canada. Many are intended for exhibition rather than for racing or everyday driving.
The origin of the term "hot rod" is unclear. For example, some say that the term "hot" refers to the vehicle's being stolen. Other origin stories include replacing the engine's camshaft or "rod" with a higher performance version. According to the Hot Rod Industry Alliance (HRIA) the term changes in meaning over the years, but "hot rodding has less to do with the vehicle and more to do with an attitude and lifestyle."For example, hot rods were favorites for greasers.
The term has broadened to apply to other items that are modified for a particular purpose, such as "hot-rodded amplifier".
There are various theories about the origin of the term "hot rod". The common theme is that "hot" related to "hotting up" a car, which means modifying it for greater performance. One theory is that "rod" means roadster,a lightweight 2-door car which was often used as the basis for early hot rods. Another theory is that "rod" refers to camshaft, a part of the engine which was often upgraded in order to increase power output.
In the early days, a car modified for increased performance was called a "gow job". This term morphed into the hot rod in the early to middle 1950s.
The term "hot rod" has had various uses in relation to performance cars. For example, the Ontario Ministry of the Environment in its vehicle emissions regulations refers to a hot rod as any motorized vehicle that has a replacement engine differing from the factory original.
The predecessors to the hotrod were the modified cars used in the Prohibition era by bootleggers to evade revenue agents and other law enforcement.
Hot rods first appeared in the late 1930s in southern California, where people raced modified cars on dry lake beds northeast of Los Angeles, under the rules of the Southern California Timing Association (SCTA), among other groups. This gained popularity after World War II, particularly in California, because many returning soldiers had received technical training. [ citation needed ] in the 1940s of installing the "60 horse" version into a Jeep chassis.The first hot rods were old cars (most often Fords, typically 1910s-1920s Model Ts, 1928–31 Model As, or 1932-34 Model Bs), modified to reduce weight. Engine swaps often involved fitting the Ford flathead V8 engine (known as the "flatty") into a different car, for example, the common practice
Typical modifications were removal of convertible tops, hoods, bumpers, windshields, and/or fenders; channeling the body; and modifying the engine by tuning and/or replacing with a more powerful type. Wheels and tires were changed for improved traction and handling. Hot rods built before 1945 commonly used '35 Ford wire-spoke wheels.
After World War II, many small military airports throughout the country were either abandoned or rarely used, allowing hot rodders across the country to race on marked courses. Originally, drag racing had tracks as long as 1 mi (1.6 km) or more, and included up to four lanes of racing simultaneously. As some hot rodders also raced on the street, a need arose for an organization to promote safety, and to provide venues for safe racing. The National Hot Rod Association was founded in 1951, to take drag racing off the streets and into controlled environments.
In the '50s and '60s, the Ford flathead V8 was supplanted by the Chrysler FirePower engine (known as the "early hemi"). Many hot rods would upgrade the brakes from mechanical to hydraulic ("juice") and headlights from bulb to sealed-beam.A typical mid-1950s to early 1960s custom Deuce was fenderless and steeply chopped, powered by a Ford or Mercury flathead, with an Edelbrock intake manifold, Harman and Collins magneto, and Halibrand quick-change differential. Front suspension hairpins were adapted from sprint cars, such as the Kurtis Krafts.
As hot rodding became more popular, magazines and associations catering to hot rodders were started, such as the magazine Hot Rod, founded in 1948.
As automobiles offered by the major automakers began increasing performance, the lure of hot rods began to wane.With the advent of the muscle car, it was now possible to purchase a high-performance car straight from the showroom.
However, the 1973 Oil Crisis caused car manufacturers to focus on fuel efficiency over performance, which led to a resurgence of interest in hot rodding.As the focus shifted away from racing, the modified cars became known as "street rods". The National Street Rod Association (NSRA) was formed and began hosting events.
By the 1970s, the 350 cu in (5.7 l) small-block Chevy V8 was the most common choice of engine for hot rods. Another popular engine choice is the Ford Windsor engine. During the 1980s, many car manufacturers were reducing the displacements of their engines, thus making it harder for hot rod builders to obtain large displacement engines. Instead, engine builders had to modify the smaller engines (such as using non-standard crankshafts and pistons) to obtain larger displacement. While current production V8s tended to be the most frequent candidates, this also applied to others. In the mid-1980s, as stock engine sizes diminished, rodders discovered the 215 cu in (3.5 L) aluminum-block Buick or Oldsmobile V8 could be modified for substantially greater displacement, with mainly wrecking yard parts. This trend was not limited to American cars; Volkswagen enthusiasts similarly stretched stock 1600cc engines to over two liters.
There is still a vibrant hot rod culture worldwide, especially in Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia and Sweden.[ citation needed ] The hot rod community has now been subdivided into two main groups: street rodders and hot rodders.
This section needs additional citations for verification . (June 2018) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)
There is a contemporary movement of traditional hot rod builders, car clubs and artists who have returned to the roots of hot rodding as a lifestyle. This includes a new breed of traditional hot rod builders, artists, and styles, as well as classic style car clubs. Events like GreaseOrama feature traditional hot rods and the greaser lifestyle. Magazines like Ol' Skool Rodz , Gears and Gals , and Rat-Rods and Rust Queens cover events and people.
This section needs additional citations for verification . (June 2018) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)
Author Tom Wolfe was one of the first to recognize the importance of hot rodding in popular culture and brought it to mainstream attention in his book The Kandy-Kolored Tangerine-Flake Streamline Baby .[ citation needed ]
There are magazines that feature traditional hot rods, including Hot Rod, Car Craft , Rod and Custom, and Popular Hot Rodding . There are also television shows such as My Classic Car , Horsepower TV , American Hot Rod , Fast and Loud , and Chop Cut Rebuild .
Particularly during the early 1960s, a genre of "hot rod music" rose to mainstream popularity. Hot rod music was largely a product of a number of surf music groups running out of ideas for new surfing songs and simultaneously shifting their lyrical focus toward hot rods. Hot rod music would prove to be the second phase in a progression known as the California Sound, which would mature into more complex topics as the decade passed.
Locals in these countries, influenced by American culture, have created a local hot rod culture which is vibrant in Sweden and Finland where enthusiasts gather at meetings such as Power Big Meet and clubs like Wheels and Wings in Varberg, Sweden have established themselves in Hot Rod culture. Since there is very little "vintage tin" the hot rods in Sweden are generally made with a home made chassis (usually a Model T or A replica), with a Jaguar (or Volvo 240) rear axle, a small-block V8, and fiberglass tub, but some have been built using for instance a Volvo Duett chassis. Because the Swedish regulations required a crash test even for custom-built passenger cars between 1969 and 1982, the Duett option was preferred, since it was considered a rebodied Duett rather than a new vehicle.Some 1950s and 1960s cars are also hot rodded, like Morris Minor, Ford Anglia, Volvo Amazon, Ford Cortina, '57 Chevy, to name but a few. These are known as custom cars (sometimes spelled Kustom).
Certain linguistic conventions are common among rodders:[ citation needed ]
Some terms have an additional, different meaning among customizers than among rodders: NOS, for instance, is a reference to new old stock, rather than nitrous oxide.
Drag racing is a type of motor racing in which automobiles or motorcycles compete, usually two at a time, to be first to cross a set finish line. The race follows a short, straight course from a standing start over a measured distance, most commonly 1⁄4 mi, with a shorter distance becoming increasingly popular, as it has become the standard for Top Fuel dragsters and funny cars, where some major bracket races and other sanctioning bodies have adopted it as the standard. The 1⁄8 mi is also popular in some circles. Electronic timing and speed sensing systems have been used to record race results since the 1960s.
Stock car racing is a form of automobile racing found mainly and most prominently in the United States and Canada, with New Zealand, Australia, Mexico, the United Kingdom and Brazil also having forms of stock car auto racing. Traditionally, races are run on oval tracks measuring approximately 0.25 to 2.66 miles. The world's largest governing body for stock car racing is the American NASCAR, and its NASCAR Cup Series is the premier top-level series of professional stock car racing. Top-level races typically range between 200 and 600 miles in length. The cars were originally production models ("stock") but are now highly modified.
Donald Glenn Garlits is an American race car driver and automotive engineer. Considered the father of drag racing, he is known as "Big Daddy" to drag racing fans around the world. A pioneer in the field of drag racing, he perfected the rear-engine Top Fuel dragster, an innovation motivated by the loss of part of his foot in a dragster accident. This design was notably safer since it put most of the fuel processing and rotating parts of the dragster behind the driver. The driver was placed in front of nearly all the mechanical components, thus protecting him and allowing him to activate a variety of safety equipment in the event of catastrophic mechanical failure or a fire. Garlits was an early promoter of the full-body, fire-resistant Nomex driving suit, complete with socks, gloves, and balaclava.
Funny Car is a type of drag racing vehicle and a specific racing class in organized drag racing. Funny cars are characterized by having tilt-up fiberglass or carbon fiber automotive bodies over a custom-fabricated chassis, giving them an appearance vaguely approximating manufacturers' showroom models. They also have the engine placed in front of the driver, as opposed to dragsters, which place it behind the driver.
Ford produced three cars between 1932 and 1934: the Model B, the Model 18, and the Model 46. These succeeded the Model A. The Model B had an updated four cylinder and was available from 1932 to 1934. The V8 was available in the Model 18 in 1932, and in the Model 46 in 1933 & 1934. The 18 was the first Ford fitted with the flathead V-8. The company also replaced the Model AA truck with the Model BB, available with either the four- or eight-cylinder engine.
The Ford FE engine is a Ford V8 engine used in vehicles sold in the North American market between 1958 and 1976. The FE was introduced to replace the short-lived Ford Y-block engine, which American cars and trucks were outgrowing. It was designed with room to be significantly expanded, and manufactured both as a top-oiler and side-oiler, and in displacements between 332 cu in (5.4 L) and 428 cu in (7.0 L).
A replacement automobile engine is an engine or a major part of one that is sold individually without any other parts required to make a functional car. These engines are produced either as aftermarket parts or as reproductions of an engine that has gone out of production.
The Dodge Challenger is the name of three different generations of automobiles produced by American automobile manufacturer Dodge. However, the first use of the Challenger name by Dodge was in 1959 for marketing a "value version" of the full-sized Coronet Silver Challenger.
The Coronet is an automobile that was marketed by Dodge in seven generations. Introduced as a full-size car in 1949, it was the division's highest trim line and moved to the lowest level starting in 1955 through 1959. The name was reintroduced on intermediate-sized models from the 1965 to 1976 model years. Muscle car versions were available starting in 1965 with the 440 cu in Chrysler RB engine, followed in 1966 by the powerful 426 cu in Chrysler Hemi. Other performance models included the "Superbee", and featured, the 383 cu in Magnum, among other engine options.
Pro Stock is a class of drag racing featuring "factory hot rods". The class is often described as "all motor", due to the cars not using any form of forced induction such as turbocharging or supercharging, or other enhancements, like nitrous oxide, along with regulations governing the modifications allowed to the engines and the types of bodies used.
The modern definition of a rat rod is a custom car with a deliberately worn-down, unfinished appearance, typically lacking paint, showing rust, and made from cheap or cast-off parts. These parts can include non-automotive items that have been repurposed, such as using a rifle as a gear shifter, wrenches as door handles, and old saws as sun visors. A rat rod may or may not have extraneous decorations, but will always exude a great deal of personality due to the imagination required of the builder.
The Chrysler Hemi engines, known by the trademark Hemi, are a series of American I6 and V8 gasoline engines built by Chrysler with hemispherical combustion chambers. Three different types of Hemi engines have been built by Chrysler for automobiles: the first from 1951 to 1958, the second from 1964 to 1971, and the third beginning in 2003. Although Chrysler is most identified with the use of "Hemi" as a marketing term, many other auto manufacturers have incorporated similar designs.
A custom car is a passenger vehicle that has been either substantially altered to improve its performance, often by altering or replacing the engine and transmission; made into a personal "styling" statement, using paint work and aftermarket accessories to make the car look unlike any car as delivered from the factory; or some combination of both. A desire among some automotive enthusiasts in the United States is to push "styling and performance a step beyond the showroom floor - to truly craft an automobile of one's own." A custom car in British according to Collins English Dictionary is built to the buyer's own specifications.
The 1957 Chevrolet is a car that was introduced by Chevrolet in September 1956 for the 1957 model year. It was available in three series models: the upscale Bel Air, the mid-range Two-Ten, and the One-Fifty. A two-door station wagon, the Nomad, was produced as a Bel Air model. An upscale trim option called the Delray was available for Two-Ten 2-door sedans. It is a popular and sought after classic car. These vehicles are often restored to their original condition and sometimes modified. The car's image has been frequently used in toys, graphics, music, movies, and television. The '57 Chevy, as it is often known, is an auto icon.
Pro Modified, also known as Pro Mod, is a class or division in the sport of drag racing used in the NHRA and FIA (quarter-mile) and the Professional Drag Racers Association (PDRA) (eighth-mile). It is similar to the Top Doorslammer class as defined by the ANDRA.
The Boss 429 Mustang is a high performance Ford Mustang variant that was offered by Ford in 1969 and 1970.
William Tyler Jenkins, nicknamed "Grumpy" or "The Grump", was an engine builder and drag racer. Between 1965 and 1975, he won a total of thirteen NHRA events. Most of these wins were won with a four-speed manual transmission. In 1972 he recorded 250 straight passes without missing a shift.
A gasser is a type of hot rod originating on the dragstrips of the United States in the late 1950s and continued until the early 1970s. In the days before Pro Stock, the A/Gas cars were the fastest stock-appearing racers around.
The Ford Fairlane Thunderbolt is a limited production, factory experimental, drag racing version of the Ford Fairlane produced during the 1964 model year only. A total of 100 units were produced; forty-nine 4-speeds and fifty-one automatics, enough to secure the 1964 NHRA Super Stock championship for Ford.
Ala Kart is a custom car, a customized 1929 Ford Model A roadster pickup, built by George Barris, Richard Peters, and Mike "Blackie" Gejeian in 1957. Originally owned by Peters, it is a two-time winner of the Grand National Roadster Show "America's Most Beautiful Roadster" (AMBR) trophy and Hot Rod cover car in October 1958. Featured in hundreds of car shows, Ala Kart has won more than 200 trophies. It has also made numerous appearances in movies, usually in the background of drive-in shots, and dozens of magazine articles since. It is considered by many to be "one of the most iconic hot rods ever built."
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Hot rods .|