Where did hot rod come from?

Hot rods first appeared in the late 1930s in Southern California, where people competed with modified cars on dry lake beds northeast of Los Angeles, under the rules of the Southern California Timing Association (SCTA), among other groups. The hot rod is a staple of American history.

Where did hot rod come from?

Hot rods first appeared in the late 1930s in Southern California, where people competed with modified cars on dry lake beds northeast of Los Angeles, under the rules of the Southern California Timing Association (SCTA), among other groups. The hot rod is a staple of American history. Often called a street rod, a Hot Rod is a classic American car with an oversized engine modified for speed. It is this powerful engine that gave the hot rod its name.

The term “connecting rod” comes from the connecting rods of the high-powered or “hot” engine. And so, the name of hot rod stayed. Hot Rod cartoonist Tom Medley, who fought in the Battle of the Bulge, would say that Veda was “the glue that held hot rodding together during the war years. The ability to spend money on a sleek car wasn't the only way to achieve status; you could create a hot rod and customize it with both hands to provide even more superior power and performance.

Serving in the South Pacific in a squadron of high-speed PT ships, he fantasized about going even faster when hostilities ceased, but he knew that a square-rigged Ford roadster had its aerodynamic limitations. In the 70s, hot rodders made an effort to change their reputation to earn respect for their customization of high-performance cars. When the sleek Vern Luce Coupe appeared in 1981, it was everything a high-end, tailor-made, handmade hot rod could be. Using a larger 385-gallon tank, the intrepid duo built their first Lakester (a fendless high-speed car with a homemade body that wasn't from a car manufacturer), set many records, and influenced other early hot rod stars.

He later wrote critically acclaimed books about Ferrari, Porsche and racing pioneer Briggs Cunningham, along with the definitive story, The American Hot Rod, completed the night before his death. After soups gained notoriety after the Great Depression, hot rod popularity skyrocketed in California. A few years later, Parks went on to form the National Hot Rod Association (NHRA), and Petersen, building on the momentum of the mega-successful Hot Rod magazine, built a magazine publishing empire. Hot rod culture branched out into several subcultures, including street bars for illegal street racing, dragsters for drag racing, and custom cars with elaborate cosmetic upgrades.

After the war, he became the first person to write a hot rod book, publishing Hot Rod Pictorial and Dry Lakes Pictorial. Hot rodding began as a cult movement in the 1920s, and flourished in Los Angeles first with illegal street racing, then moved north and west of the city to the endless Mojave Desert, with devotees competing in dusty beds of dry alkali-based lakes such as El Mirage and Muroc. The Chet Herbert Competition Chambers were created, along with a succession of record-setting “Beasts” that used their hot camshaft designs. Across the wide world of hot rodding and customization, it was difficult to classify Ed Roth because he always followed his own path.

The hot rod was a major attraction during such terrible times when car lovers had almost no money to spare. At the higher end of the spectrum, specialty street bars with elaborate customizations can cost thousands of dollars.