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Old 11-07-2004, 11:02 PM   #1
kustomkoupe
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Default GOW JOB?

ok heres some stuff i got off the website http://www.oldfordstuff.com/souper/index.html
just wondering what anyone else may think about this subject..seems to make sence?

zach


The following letter appeared in the December, 2001 Street Rodder magazine:

Gow Jobs and Other Stuff

Here are the answers to your questions about the origin of terms like hop-up, gow job, soup-up, etc. The origin of these terms seems to puzzle everyone but I believe I know where they came from and what they mean.

In California in the '40s and early '50s hot rodders despised the term "hot rod" and never used it. They considered it I black eve. To the general public a hot rod was beat-up jalopy with no muffler, careening through a school zone with a juvenile delinquent at the wheel. To the newspapers they were a menace on par with Communism and ought to be stamped out by the police. To the serious .student of speed who had a lot of brains, sweat, and money tied up in a sophisticated performance car, this was nothing but an insult.

They used the terms hop-up or gow job. So where did these come from? Well, "hop" and "gow" were names for opium which were in use as far back as the late 1800s and probably came from the Chinese. In the old days they improved the performance of race horses with drugs including opium and cocaine. This was not even illegal until the early '20s and continued surreptitiously after that. Even today the performance enhancement of human athletes and horses is nor unknown.

A horse that went faster than it had any right to, was said to be 'hopped-up" or "gowed-up". From there it was a short step to apply the same names to a souped-up car. By the way, human drug users got the same names. If you read a few hard-boiled detective stories from the '30s and '40s you will soon find reference to "hopped-up punks" and "gowed-up hoodlums."

As far as "soup" goes, in the '20s, nitroglycerine was called "soup" in the under-world. It was not easy to get -- safe crackers had to extract it from dynamite. It was all illegal substance and possession was evidence of criminal intent, like burglar tools. Hence the code name. "souped-up" probably referred to a race car running on exotic fuel. I know that in the '20s it was possible to buy special racing fuel from the big oil companies. An old-time motorcycle mechanic told me of taking a can of such fuel to the races where his employer had bikes competing, then pouring the leftover fuel into the tank of his hopped-up Ford, and how fast it went on the way home.

In the '50s they began to use nitromethane, which is a close relative of nitroglycerine. Small world. By that time "souped-up" had acquired the general meaning it has today and hot fuel users coined new terms like "pop" and "nitro."

Now on "hot rod." It is important to remember that until 1955, people used "hot" the way they use "cool" today. A hot date, a hot swing band with a hot trumpet player, a hot time. The reverse -- something inferior -- was not so hot. This was appropriate for hot rods because they actually did run hotter than normal cars, literally as well as figuratively. I have heard the story of the race promoter who abbreviated "hot roadster" to "hot rod" on his posters, but this does not ring quite true. I'm withholding judgment on this one until I see more evidence.

Grant Lubben
via the Incernet
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Old 11-07-2004, 11:07 PM   #2
trey
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Default Re: GOW JOB?

so back then, if i said hot rod, its like saying rat rod now? damn.

trey
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Old 11-07-2004, 11:25 PM   #3
bedllm
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Default Re: GOW JOB?

Wow -- that's damned interesting! I've always wondered where those terms came from. I've heard a few semi-plausible explanations over the year, but they seemed more like guesses really.

This is the first that seems to make sense.

Thanks for sharing!

Dave
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Old 11-08-2004, 11:07 PM   #4
uncleAud
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Default Re: GOW JOB?

the term hot rod come from the fact that the early dry lake racers litterly melted the babbet out of the engine bearings...hence the term hot rod..I'm an old man and was taught that when I was a kid by an old man at that time that grew up racin in southern California..he told me pretty matter of factly with no reason to lie...I always took him as an expert on the subject since he had been there and done that...my 2 cents for what its worth
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Old 11-09-2004, 02:12 PM   #5
Deuce Rails
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Default Re: GOW JOB?

I like uncleAud's explanation.

What does "I black eve" mean in the description of "hot rod"?

And "gow" does rhyme with "wow", right?
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Old 11-09-2004, 05:04 PM   #6
hell_fish_65
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Default Re: GOW JOB?

[ QUOTE ]
the term hot rod come from the fact that the early dry lake racers litterly melted the babbet out of the engine bearings...hence the term hot rod..I'm an old man and was taught that when I was a kid by an old man at that time that grew up racin in southern California..he told me pretty matter of factly with no reason to lie...I always took him as an expert on the subject since he had been there and done that...my 2 cents for what its worth

[/ QUOTE ]
I always heard it was the support rods that brace the radiator shell(I can't think of the correct term at the moment) would glow red after a race at night that coined "hot rod".
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Old 11-09-2004, 06:18 PM   #7
hotrodA
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Default Re: GOW JOB?

I always liked the phrase the 6 cylinder guys used on the 4 banger guys: "4 for PLOW, 6 for GOW!"
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Old 11-10-2004, 02:55 AM   #8
wideglide74
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Default Re: GOW JOB?

gow job...
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Old 11-10-2004, 06:50 AM   #9
plmczy
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Default Re: GOW JOB?

[ QUOTE ]
I like uncleAud's explanation.

What does "I black eve" mean in the description of "hot rod"?

And "gow" does rhyme with "wow", right?

[/ QUOTE ]

I think that is supposed to say black eye




That is a cool article. I too alway's wondered where they were derived from. later plmczy
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Old 11-10-2004, 07:50 AM   #10
Dirty2
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Default Re: GOW JOB?

Thanks for the info!!! I have a hoped up rat rod !!!!
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Old 11-10-2004, 10:37 AM   #11
Enbloc
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Default Re: GOW JOB?

[ QUOTE ]
I always liked the phrase the 6 cylinder guys used on the 4 banger guys: "4 for PLOW, 6 for GOW!"

[/ QUOTE ]

I like what the 4 pot guys say about the V8's.

"4 for go, 8 for show"

Never was a truer word spoken.

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Old 11-10-2004, 01:02 PM   #12
4dFord/SC
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Default Re: GOW JOB?

Thanks for the explanations of some terms I've wondered about.
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Old 11-10-2004, 01:11 PM   #13
Satinblack
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Default Re: GOW JOB?

I like the term P.O.S.
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Old 11-10-2004, 01:42 PM   #14
52Chief
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Default Re: GOW JOB?

How about the term "door slammer"?

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Old 11-10-2004, 02:16 PM   #15
recycler
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Default Re: GOW JOB?

I think doorslammers is more of a drag racing term referring to the fact that the funny cars, dragsters and altereds were seperated from the cars with working doors- or "doorslammers" I'm guessing this term came about in the mid to late 60s when funny cars were morphing from regular cars with altered wheelbases into what they are now with the one peice bodies. Anybody else correct me if I'm wrong. Brad
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Old 11-10-2004, 02:37 PM   #16
DrJ
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Default Re: GOW JOB?

Yep, Doorslammers are just what he said. I think the "Pro-Stock" cars are at the zenith of the term.

P. O. S. = Product of Sweden = Volvo?

(I can say it, I have a Volvo 1800 in the garage, waiting it's turn. So far the puny tractor engine is out and it's got Honda CR-V alloy wheels on it, yea, they are Ford 5+ 4 1/2" bolt pattern and have "compatible" backspacing but need a spacer in the front because the wheel hole is a RCH smaller than the hub.)

What's this? it's hotrodding...

Gow = opium
Hop = opium, or it could be Hops like in beer?
Remember, the drug was only declared illegal by the government/gang shortly before Gow Jobs started to be built.
It wasn't and isn't necessarily the "bad word" like the Gang's failed "War on Drugs" would have you believe it was/is.
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Old 11-10-2004, 03:32 PM   #17
Paul
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Default Re: GOW JOB?

so a goof ball in a gow job might be hopped up on joy juice?

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