Nice explanation for why a gun is called a rod, but do not see the correlation to hot rod cars. As told to me by a very old newspaper editor, the term hot rod was coined like Gray said, from hot roadsters. The reason for the shortening of the word was to help with fitting the verbiage in the headline, roadsters was just too long, such as HOT ROD YOUTHS CRASH! Just a journalistic trick to get the type to fit. Gow Job and Hop Up are what all the old timers out here said they used.