One of the young men who returned from World War II was former editor of SCTA Racing News, Wally Parks. In 1948, Robert Petersen launched Hot Rod magazine and Parks became the editor. The term Hot Rod became popular in the 1940s. But the first examples called gow jobs or soups were built during the Depression by enthusiastic young people, usually with little or no money, who were eager to play with what was then still a new piece of machinery.
While the hot rod phenomenon was an opportunity for enthusiasts to be creative, fashion was not without its low points. Petersen broke away from Hot Rod (which still exists) to form Petersen Publications, an automotive magazine empire. Thanks to them, hot rodding and customization (albeit with a 90s costume) survive today and even flourish. These were the pioneering days of the Hot Rod, but perhaps the Gow Jobs should get the credit for starting the Hot Rod fashion.
I was captured for the March 1950 cover of HOT ROD, although the story didn't appear until July 1950. California, especially the dry lake region in the southern part of the state, is generally considered the birthplace of hot rods. The National Hot Rod Association was founded in 1951 to take drag racing off the streets and into controlled environments. Victims gave rise to the brand of hot rods as a social threat that required restrictions or, in some cases, elimination.
Many hot rods would upgrade brakes from mechanical to hydraulic (juice) and headlights from bulb to sealed beam. The common theme is that heat is related to heating a car, which means modifying it for greater performance. Ernie Nagamatsu bought it and restored it to a higher level than it was on the cover of HOT ROD in March 1949.When the war ended, in 1945, the “hot rod” exploded in public consciousness, becoming one of the strongest fashions in the new post-war United States. This includes a new generation of builders, artists and traditional hot rod styles, as well as classic-style car clubs.
In the 1950s, hot rods became part of pop culture, and HOT ROD editor Wally Parks sought Hollywood attention as a way to legitimize the hobby. When the car was shown on HOT ROD, it was owned by Willet Brown (misspelled as Willit in the magazine), manager of radio stations for the Los Angeles area, including KHJ, who later co-founded the Mutual Broadcasting System. A channeled roadster, something typical of the time, has received improvements over the years that make it more unique and also make you look twice to see that it is the same car that appeared in the June 1958 edition.