One of the strongest components of the car hobby is the hot rod.
The lines get a little blurred when it comes to the definition of a hot rod in today’s car world where wires get crossed between hot rods, rat rods and customs.


‘In fact I found an email in my spam filter in which a reader gave me his interpretation of a hot rod and a somewhat condescending lesson in the subject of hot rod definitions.’





I had to look around in the MyStarCollectorCar search feature to find the article I wrote about hot rods that prompted the guy to contact me. Fortunately our new search engine (the little magnifying glass just below the Twitter, Facebook etc. icons on the top of the front page on MSCC) connected me very quickly to the article in question.




I read my article and discovered one crucial factor: the guy had not read it. He had simply glanced at the headline-maybe a few photos- and then he decided to school me on this element of the car hobby. I wish I was a bigger person about this situation but I contacted the guy and advised him to actually read the piece and discover I had covered the topic in the article.




I discussed how hot rods do come in various forms, depending upon one’s personal interpretation of what makes a hot rod a hot rod. My reference point for hot rods extends from my childhood when I was just a kid in grade school and viewed hot rods as pre-war rides with a whole lot of cool and extra horsepower applied to them.




Most of my hot rod kiddie imagination rides had big tires on the back and smaller tires on the front. They could be coupes or sedans and they typically ran without a hood or the hood cowlings (or both) covering the transplanted flathead V-8 or OHV small block.




I got most of my influences from magazines like Hot Rod, TV shows like ‘The Munsters’, and scale models from AMT. The point was pretty simple; a hot rod was a huge part of my vision of the car hobby as a kid and I believe the hot rod is still a king pin of the car hobby.




A hot rod is a personal statement ride. Whatever pieces you add to (or subtract from) the vehicle puts your personal stamp on it. It may have been built in Detroit many decades ago, but the car guy or girl who builds a hot rod has a lot to say about the new direction for his or her ride.




There will always be something very cool about a hot rod because these rides are a timeless and integral part of the car hobby. They define the rebellious past of the hot rod culture when young car guys put their time and talents into a road rocket with an attitude.




A classic hot rod glides down a street and commands attention everywhere it goes. Hot rods were the trailblazers in the early days of the car hobby and have led the parade ever since the first one took a brand new bad attitude onto the street so many years ago.




Hot rods will always matter in the car hobby.
Jim Sutherland


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