Beginner's Guide to Rods, Customs, Muscle Cars and Just About Everything Else. How many times have you been talking about your hot rod with some of your friends who aren't fans of gears just to have them look back at you with empty expressions? Maybe a friendly stranger at the gas station praised your five-window choppy Deuce as an attractive Model A or a cool roadster. Could your brother-in-law point to the caps of the hat or the fictitious stains on your nose and your covered lead sled? Hot Rod culture, like any culture, 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've tried to keep things simple. That means we run the risk of leaving things out or not being as precise as we could be, or even giving definitions that you don't agree with. We'll come back later to talk about body modification and paint terms, engine and suspension jargon, and hot rodding slang words that have made their way into common use and some that have worked but need to come back.
For now, here are some general definitions of popular types of hot rods, or whatever you call them. 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.
This term 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 hot rod 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. Possibly first coined by Gray Baskerville of HOT ROD magazine, it refers to rods 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. Used to describe a hot rod 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.
Unlike a street bar, a car 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. In the late 1950s, customs also referred to unique show cars such as those created by Dean Jeffries, George Barris and Ed Roth. Also abbreviated as RPU, is any early roadster with a pickup bed.
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. Identifiable by an extended front end, rounded aerodynamic track nose and oval grille opening. It is often confused with a roadster, a convertible or a cabrio, a car with a cloth cover and roller windows.
A primitive car (usually a roadster) from the 1920s or 30s with the fenders and running boards removed and the body mounted in the original position on top of the frame rails. A fendless hot rod modified to lower the body onto the frame rails. The process is known as channeling. Among street drivers and enthusiasts of customs, it refers to a Ford from 1949 to 1951 and describes the square body style of the car with integral fenders.
The word also applies to Chevys Tri-Five. The 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. In early roadsters, the word refers to a removable cover made of metal or fiberglass.
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. Refers to a hot rod built from a 1949 and later car (especially muscle cars). One of the most popular vehicles in hot rodding is the Model A coupe.
These cars turned 90 this year, and the program had a special presentation of previous and innovative versions. This is a completely restored version of a Model A in stock. Over the decades, there have been several ways to create a rod, including the ability to form one from a fiberglass kit. These days, to be considered legit, you must start with a real steel body.
South City Rod and Custom used an original '34 Ford as the basis for their latest build. In the 1960s, customizers had some distinctive styles, such as pleated interiors and pin stripes. Since it's rare to find an older custom from that time period, 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 the concept vehicles of the time. During this era, automakers looked back at traditional hot rods for inspiration. Vehicles such as the Chevy SSR and Plymouth Prowler were derived from this thinking. Although street bars are still pleasing to the eye, they are losing popularity, but they are not old enough to feel nostalgic.
The 5 Best Ford V8 Engines of All Time The 5 Best Ford V6s of All Time. Okay, who actually talks like that? Probably no one, though hot rodding comes with so many unique words and slang terms that it's almost impossible to think of them all. We tried it anyway, and we even had the big and small ones to call this the “ultimate hot rod glossary”. Judge for yourself and tell us what we missed.
The Model B was an iconic addition to the Ford line, and it's a great rod. It is so popular that the body has been remade with fiberglass and steel replicas. Choose Model B 1932 for a coupe or sedan ready for some major upgrades. Classic proportions, a small frame and an iconic roofless look make the Roadster another 1932 favorite.
Place a V8 on your Roadster, paint and add an aftermarket suspension system to lead the pack. Unlike classic car enthusiasts, rodders shouldn't feel bad about selecting non-Ford parts for a personalized market experience. That's right, Willys made more than just military vehicles. The 1933 Coupé is a natural choice for a hot rod thanks to its convenient maintenance and spacious design.
Related to the 1949 Ford, known as the Shoebox, the Eight has a sledge appearance that draws attention wherever you sail. Get to work under the hood and consider modifying the grill to get a custom rod for your next trip around the block. Some Rodders prefer classic cars from the 1930s, but the 1950 Mercury Hardtop has made many reconsider. The Hardtop looks like an updated version of the Zephyr.
It retains that sledge look, but has a altered front and finish. A hot rod can be just about anything: a 1932 Ford Roadster or a '49 Mercury, a 50s Dodge pickup truck, or a Chevy Camaro. What they all have in common are modifications that give them great style, a great engine and a bigger attitude. Hot Rod Hotline is the place to look for these pre-1976 vehicles.
Are you looking for a Ford T-Bucket with a flat head engine, an improved Bel Air or a wooden wagon? How about that perfect small-block Chevy or Ford F100? Whether you're looking for the perfect project car, a street bar or rat bar, a classic truck or a muscle cars, Hot Rod Hotline has a wide list to help you find the car of your dreams. This 1948 example was prepared by Keith Street Rods, based in the USA. In the US, and it's what most fans imagine it looks like. The Mercury Eight effortlessly enters the list of the best hot rods thanks to its sleek body and spacious engine compartment.
Economically built and maintained, the rear-engined design makes Type 1 an easy choice for any gearbox entering the hot rod scene. This Mercury model is newer and more were manufactured, making it an affordable alternative to the excellent hot rods of the 30s. The lightweight body made it popular for high-octane racing, and some riders compare it favorably to the Coupe. You can't go wrong with a Ford for your hot rod, so don't be surprised, as you see many other models from this manufacturer on the list.
The Hot Rod scene is more popular than ever, and it's not just about big horsepower figures, but also the broad individualism that sets it apart from the modern modding scene, where anyone can put on a body kit. Hot rodders drove to long stretches of black, dry lake beds to test their performance improvements in head-to-head drag races, and moonshine racers climbed into cars to outperform cops. . .