Greetings Cruisers! It’s hard to believe that “hot rods” date back to the early 1930s. Yes, nearly 100 years ago! Back then, they were called “Jalopies” or “Buggies”. And I’m sure that many were called “Junkers” by the adults back then.
Building Hot Rods
Hot rods were built in backyards and garages using parts found in junk yards. The used-up and not-so-old junkers were typically stripped of their fenders, running boards, and hoods – to save weight. Those old flathead Ford four-bangers were “hopped up” for more horsepower. And of course, the mufflers had to go. “Must have lots of noise!”
According to the story, the term, “hot rod” came from all the horsepower enhancements. Those connecting rods could get pretty hot (not that regular rods didn’t!) and if the engine was run too hard, a “hot connecting rod” might go through the engine block! Hence, “Hot Rods”.
In the earliest days, the cars weren’t pretty because they were built on a shoestring with found used parts from the junkyard. Looking back, you can clearly see that the first wave of Hot Rods is what inspired the modern Rat Rods. Hot Rods didn’t become “pretty” until the 1950s with the Custom Car Craze that started the whole “Car Show” concept. Continue reading “The Amazing History of Hot Rods”