Auto racing goes way back to the 19th century. As these cars outperformed just about any Hot Rod, with more passenger room minus the effort of tuning the car, the lure of Hot Rods began to wane. The Hot rod is a staple of American history. The Hot Rod is a staple of American history.
Hot rodders took aerodynamic customization seriously by cutting rows of louvers, or slots, into the body, hood, and rear deck of a car to ensure efficient engine cooling and circulation when driving at a high speed. The hot rod is a staple of American history. Those young gearheads weren't thinking about starting a movement or launching a worldwide hobby and a gigantic aftermarket industry, but they did.
Why do they call cars hot rods?
Funny cars were unique in their modifications and were crafted to vaguely resemble manufacturer showroom models. One theory is that rod means roadster, a lightweight 2-door car which was often used as the basis for early hot rods. A hot rod with a loud, built-up engine may be impressive at a car show, but it might not get you home in one piece. The hot rod culture branched out into several subcultures including street rods for illegal street racing, dragsters for drag track racing, and custom cars with elaborate cosmetic upgrades.
It was at that time that the term “street rod was introduced to separate street rodding as a high-quality, family-friendly sect of the Hot rodding counterculture.