Are you a fan of hot rods? Do you want to learn more about the different types of hot rods and the culture that surrounds them? If so, you've come to the right place. This beginner's guide will provide you with all the information you need to know about rods, customs, muscle cars, and just about everything else related to hot rodding. Hot rodding is a culture that has its own language. What we understand perfectly may sound like moonman language to people who don't live in the hot rod world.
That's why, as a public service, we'll present a small vocabulary list of words and terms from time to time, with definitions you can use to teach your friends to speak like you. We'll start by discussing the different types of hot rods. HOT ROD magazine defined the term as one of the first American cars to be modified to improve its appearance and performance. In the early days, the term applied almost exclusively to dismantled roadsters built for acceleration.
The definition has been expanded to cover almost any type of motor vehicle so modified for the street or for racing. The term 'street rod' came about when the fans began to diverge, with rods built exclusively for racing or for driving on the street. It was a more socially acceptable term at a time when hot rods were associated with thugs and juvenile delinquents. It is sometimes used incorrectly and critically to refer to rods built strictly for appearance and comfort.
A traditional hot rod is one built following styles that were popular in the 1940s, 1950s and 1960s, using pieces from that time (or pieces that look like them). Flat-head engines, solid front axles, early-style paint colors and graphics, pleated upholstery, and thin biased ply tires are some of the identifiers of a traditional hot rod. A rat rod is a hot rod intentionally constructed in a rough, rusty style to attract attention and provoke a reaction. Often seen as a challenging response to pristine, polished, and high-priced street bars.
A modern hot rod is one built with modern style and technology that typically includes independent front and rear suspension, modern fuel-injected engines, renewed interiors, billet-style aluminum wheels and high-performance radial tires, and updated electronics. A custom car is one modified to achieve an impressive look instead of high performance. Typically, cars manufactured from the late 1940s to the early 1960s are imaginatively modified with parts from other makes and models, extensive sheet metal modifications, elaborate paint, and additional details such as spotlights. A roadster pickup (RPU) is any early roadster with a pickup bed.
A gasser is a primitive roadster without fenders, often a Model T, built as a racing car for racing oval tracks in the 40s and 50s. It also refers to roadsters built in the style of old racers. A channeled car is a fendless hot rod modified to lower the body onto the frame rails. The term 'shoebox' applies to Ford cars from 1949 to 1951 and describes the square body style of the car with integral fenders.
The word also applies to Chevys Tri-Five. A hardtop refers to a post-war body style with no B-pillar separating the side windows. With the windows down, it looks like a convertible, which was the original intention.A lowrider is a custom car with major paint modifications, undersized wheels, low ride height, and hydraulic suspension systems that can raise and lower the car quickly for display purposes. Full-size Chevys from the 60s are probably the most popular cars that are built like lowriders.Muscle cars are hot rods built from cars manufactured from 1949 onwards (especially muscle cars).
One of the most popular vehicles in hot rodding is the Model A coupe. These cars turned 90 this year, and there have been several ways to create a rod from them over the decades - including forming one from a fiberglass kit.South City Rod and Custom used an original '34 Ford as the basis for their latest build. In early roadsters, 'top' refers to a removable cover made of metal or fiberglass.In the 1960s, customizers had some distinctive styles such as pleated interiors and pin stripes - which modern builders like to add these styles to new builds. The end of the 20th century brought a new class of hot rods to the forefront - guys like Boyd Coddington and Chip Foose built a reputation for their street rods which were designed to resemble concept cars.