Late 1930s–1950s early days
The term seems first to have appeared in the late 1930s in southern California, where people would race their modified cars on the vast, empty dry lake beds northeast of Los Angeles under the rules of the Southern California Timing Association (SCTA). The activity increased in popularity after World War II, particularly in California because many returning soldiers had been given technical training in the service. Many were prepared by Bootleggers in response to Prohibition to enable them to avoid revenue agents (“Revenooers”); some police vehicles were also modified in response.
The first hot rods were old cars (most often Fords, typically Model Ts, 1928–31 Model As, or 1932-34 Model Bs), modified to reduce weight. Typical modifications were removal of convertible tops, hoods, bumpers, windshields, and/or fenders; channeling the body; and modifying the engine by tuning and/or replacing with a more powerful type. Speedster was a common name for the modified car. Wheels and tires were changed for improved traction and handling. “Hot rod” was sometimes a term used in the 1950s as a derogatory term for any car that did not fit into the mainstream. Hot rodders’ modifications were considered to improve the appearance as well, leading to show cars in the 1960s replicating these same modifications along with a distinctive paint job.
Engine swaps often involved fitting the Ford flathead engine, or “flatty”, in a different chassis; the “60 horse” in a Jeep was a popular choice in the ’40s. After the appearance of the 255 cu in (4.2 l) V8, because of interchangeability, installing the longer-stroke Mercury crank in the 239 was a popular upgrade among hot rodders, much as the 400 cu in (6.6 l) crank in small-blocks would become. In fact, in the 1950s, the flathead block was often fitted with crankshafts of up to 4.125 in (104.8 mm) stroke, sometimes more. In addition, rodders in the 1950s routinely bored them out by 0.1875 in (4.76 mm) (to 3.375 in (85.7 mm);due to the tendency of blocks to crack as a result of overheating, a perennial problem, this is no longer recommended. In the ’50s and ’60s, the flatty was supplanted by the early hemi. By the 1970s, the small-block Chevy was the most common option, and since the ’80s, the 350 cu in (5.7 l) Chevy has been almost ubiquitous.
You know how this started? The boys’ from WWII had their gal as nose art on the plane so when they got home, he made damn sure she was all over that car!
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The very first Volvo car, the ÖV4 (later nicknamed Jakob) was built-in 1927. Hot Rod maker Leif Tufvesson documented the original in detail before building his personal interpretation of the ÖV4, which became Hot Rod Jakob. The body of the classic vehicle has been built by hand from raw aluminium panels that were bent into their final shape using a hammer and English wheel, as it was done in the prototype workshop back in the 1920s. Leif Tufvesson has already won awards such as “Hot Rod of the Year” and “Most Innovative Car” in the U.S. After being unveiled at the Volvo Museum in Göteborg in February 2008.
Video uploaded by U Tube user VolvoCarsNews
The Way It Was
Hot rods are typically American cars with large engines modified for linear speed. The origin of the term “hot rod” is unclear. One explanation is that the term is a contraction of “hot roadster,” meaning a roadster that was modified for speed. Another possible origin includes modifications to or replacement of the camshaft, sometimes known as a “stick” or “rod”. A camshaft designed to produce more power is sometimes call a “hot stick” or, “hot rod”. Roadsters were the cars of choice because they were light. The term became commonplace in the 1930s or 1940s as the name of a car that had been “hopped up” by modifying the engine in various ways to achieve higher performance.
Video uploaded by U Tube user HOTRODDREAMER
Great Hot Rods and Rock N’ Roll. Lead vocal by: Wild Will Strickland.
Lead Guitar: Rick Fisk
Music by Norman Fisk & Will Strickland.
Video uploaded by U Tube user atpilot