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History Making Hot Rods Safe

Discussion in 'Traditional Hot Rods' started by Jive-Bomber, Jun 26, 2018.

  1. Jive-Bomber
    Joined: Aug 21, 2001
    Posts: 3,311


    Jive-Bomber submitted a new blog post:

    Making Hot Rods Safe


    Continue reading the Original Blog Post
    kidcampbell71 and chryslerfan55 like this.
  2. It has come full circle today with reports of: street racing, dangerous stunts on public roads, and deaths from high speed.
    Back in the 50's, 65 mph in a hot rod was comparable to 120 in a modern today.
    But who will be there to show them the way?
    It has to come from their peers, not the old codgers that we are.....
    chryslerfan55, HEMI32 and flynbrian48 like this.
  3. flynbrian48
    Joined: Mar 10, 2008
    Posts: 6,471


    How true! What do we know? ;) TV shows like the idiotic "Outlaw Street Racers" are a terrible, terrible reflection on the hot-rod car community, and YouTube is filled with stupid human tricks in cars and on motorcycles. In driving my newly (almost) finished '34, I completely second your comparison to speed; 45-60 is comfortable in the car, and feels natural. My wife's Chrysler 300C is as quiet and smooth as a tomb at the century mark, and doesn't feel as fast at that speed as the roadster at 50. It's more fun to drive a slow car fast than it is a fast car slow! :)
  4. flamingokid
    Joined: Jan 5, 2005
    Posts: 2,200


    This is one of my favorite episodes of Dragnet, I wish that they had expanded it.

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  5. Bandit Billy
    Joined: Sep 16, 2014
    Posts: 6,656

    Bandit Billy

    Joined: Jun 3, 2005
    Posts: 8,048


    Perfect topic for the cliche' "When sex was safe and racing was dangerous."

    I'll disagree on "Street Outlaws", but we're mainly old enough to realize 'reality TV' isn't. It spawned a whole new set of pro racers which in turn feed a market that's been struggling. It's not all bad. HOT ROD mag did the same with their "Street Car Shootout" stuff over 20 years ago.

    And I never street raced, as far as anyone knows. Hey, my story told my way...:cool:
    chevy57dude and dana barlow like this.
  7. fortynut
    Joined: Jul 16, 2008
    Posts: 902


    I hear a squeak in someone's rocking chair oil won't fix. I have well passed twenty one, the age everyone said I would never live to see. One observation I learned along way is you can't fix stupid. There are exponentially more people in the world since I was born, even factoring in Malthus proposition that the world will never be overpopulated because of wars, famine and disease. If there are more people killed from accidents that can, or could be prevented by concerns about safety being proactive, it can only be effective IF those being preached to are receptive to the message. And, from my experience very few listen, and even fewer heed. We have been living in a society where the 'Bad Boy' image has been used to Sell, Baby Sell, for so long it is an acceptable posture for all who commit crimes. Can you say, Charlie Starkweather? To sell movies. Marlon Brando on his motorcycle. And, a laundry list of others. Music. Waylon, The Man in Black, even Willie. All good men when you think twice about it, who use, or used the Bad Boy image to survive. Even the Stones. And, racing. Outlaw Sprint Cars. And, then came Rat Rods that defy even common sense, some. And, they say, "Look at Mad Max, man." The only sanity that ever came along was when Drag Racing became organized. And, with that came rules. Safety rules. Sadly when anything becomes a spectator sport, profit over fun is inevitable. No Hot Rods Allowed happens. Nice Car. Street Car Rod Association and so forth, and those who put on the endless number of car shows for the money of it. And, yet a few still maintain their integrity, only a few. BNI SCTA. And, where does that hell bent for destruction mind-set lead to? The current street gang mentality of those who take over neighborhoods to race and do do-nuts, etc. as nuaseum. Chaos reigns without rules and people who follow them, not for the fear of the man and his money grabbing machine, but because of the rewards of belonging to a larger brotherhood where excellence is recognized. Where safety is not a four letter word. "You gotta pass tech," has always had a challenge in it, to me. And, to make others feel this way, the idea of having a safe ride should become a part of this place where we all come seeking a little more knowledge than we had. If you put that in the very essence of why we're here, then you will have taken that first step towards solving a problem where it counts most with our family of HAMBers. Nuff said.
    Ned Ludd, Andamo, Hnstray and 3 others like this.
  8. dana barlow
    Joined: May 30, 2006
    Posts: 3,956

    dana barlow
    from Miami Fla.
    1. Y-blocks

    015.JPG Good read. In the 50s an 60s,I was in 3 car clubs,two had meetings, one time a month at local Police Stations ,they both let us have a room,plus would when we ask sent in a gust speaker. We also had club cards to hand out to other motorist ,when we'd stop to help along the road.
    WE actully worked a being good at helping our imadge to the rest of the world !
    This is why I for one hate the craprod trend,even the so called style of,along with the way most of them act,dose an will kill any repect hotrods make. All three of car clubs I was in had rules{not inforced super hard,but all club members that could do helped} You could not keep your car primer for more then 6 months,had to put shiny on! To that end,some didn't get a fanzy shiny as they liked right away,but did make us look more repectible. When you get a few guys in the club helpping with sanding an smoothing,it was not a big deal.
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2018
    Joined: Jun 3, 2005
    Posts: 8,048


    Regular TV sports news coverage. When do you see drag racing? When someone dies or sets and insane record. It's a peave of mine, and I truly believe it's one of those "things" that's a carryover from the old days, when street racing was a bit of a "bad boy" problem as referenced above. That dirty T-shirt persona. It's certainly not lack of $$$$$$ or interest, and whether most wish to realize/recognize or not, our whole hot rod gig emulates drag racing. The odd 4 wide wheel sports racer or occasional NASCAR tribute aside, even O/T non-HAMB stuff, all drag related for the most part.

    Truth be told, even though still a personal peave to small degree, I've become ok with it. We are what we are, what we like, and there's no 2nd place in a drag race. A winner and a loser, 1 furlong or 2, no excuses. Add to that, maybe the shadow gig that it is keeps us that much more exclusive. I know this was about safety, and those with a brain and the skill to be a real threat, well they're still around. And too as 'Dirty Harry' said, "'s gotta know his limitations."
    raven likes this.
  10. steinauge
    Joined: Feb 28, 2014
    Posts: 1,507

    from 1960

    Highlander if it wasnt for dirty T shirts I wouldnt have any T shirts at all.
  11. Gasolinefed
    Joined: Apr 17, 2018
    Posts: 105

    from OR

    But, Hot Rods are supposed to be dangerous.. There's a fine line you have to walk between responsibility toward others, not tarnishing the image so there's significant blowback and not being a safety zone douche..

    My philosophy is if I'm the only one at risk.
    Joined: Jun 3, 2005
    Posts: 8,048


    Gas, I agree and disagree. Crazy power? Big cubes? Fast? Gimme that blowproof bell housing, driveshaft loop, axle bearing retainers, and best of all B R A K E S. Harness, helmet, jacket, hey, why not if I'm going all out. Hell I'll take a roll bar too. Regular old car with a little grunt, I'm with you. No need for checking in with the late R. Lee Ermey type safety drill sarge, just be smart. And still, B R A K E S...;)
  13. robracer1
    Joined: Aug 3, 2015
    Posts: 488


    In my opinion Hot Rods are one notch above safer than motorcycles and two notches above bicyclist, bicyclist being at the bottom of the food chain
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2018
  14. hfh
    Joined: Oct 22, 2012
    Posts: 255

    from Western MA

    I think that the most risky thing about riding a bicycle is the people who are texting while driving.
    tb33anda3rd likes this.
  15. ".....circling with screaming tires.....". haha, gotta love it.
  16. jnaki
    Joined: Jan 1, 2015
    Posts: 4,648



    In the story, those association guys did make a difference. Hot rods and custom cars always had the ability to go fast, but it was the crazy guys that had the choice to do so or not. Isn’t that the same equation, today? Our version of hot rods was a Ford roadster, truck, coupe or a factory hot rod. Whatever was available to modify and make it go faster, that was the ticket.

    Today’s young hot rodders are still modifying cars to look better, perform better and actually handle better with the latest technology that we, as teenagers, did not have. A 348/280 hp 58 Impala was fast, but 209 inches in length is longer than a huge, Mazda CX-9 SUV or a Range Rover. And the weight of nearly 3700 lbs is no lightweight, equal to a big Buick Regal.

    Handling? Ha, sometimes, it was scary trying to stop that 58 Impala at the ¼ mile drags with the slowdown area allowed and that sand berm at the end. (add 400 hp and a lightweight C/Gas coupe with drum brakes, parachute anyone?)

    But, today there are a bunch of idiots still wanting to show off with their noisy “bee buzzing” Hondas/Subaru cars, just about anywhere. We all know about those internet “Idiots in Mustangs and Camaros…” Even though they are “technically”, hot rodders, too, we just don’t associate with them. They modify their cars, make loud noises, and act crazy, etc…sound familiar? That is a different faction, just like in any part of society.

    Today, with our young teens are involved in a myriad of activities, social or otherwise. Getting dirty, spending countless hours in the garage building or modifying a car, sometimes just does not fit into their lifestyles. If it starts, gets them where they want to go, and doesn’t cost much to keep it running, that is the ticket.

    For others, they are hot rodders, just in a different sense. They modify, gather at events, look for speed parts, buy a ton of stuff to make their street cars act and look like race cars…Wow, I am describing our teenage years…only in different cars and trucks. (or fanatics spending hours at car shows, events and gathering of the “faithfuls?” )


    One thing for SAFETY, the newer, so-called hot rod kids have safer, better handling and braking cars compared to our old hot rods. Everyone including the factory production, has safety and environment in mind for all drivers. But, it is those few that get the headlines, acting like…OK, here it comes for the second or millionth time… from the internet... “Idiots in a Mustang or Camaro…” As the local familiar saying goes, “The bad seeds ruin it for everybody…”

    The old guys have their culture built into their history. The new kids have theirs because it is their time as teenagers and young adults. One cannot criticize the other without sounding like an old school teacher from the 30s with a ruler in hand… pointing that skinny finger. (no, not that one.)
  17. 97
    Joined: May 18, 2005
    Posts: 1,588


    What about the cyclists who have speakers in their ears AND text while cycling?
    robracer1 likes this.
  18. Gasolinefed
    Joined: Apr 17, 2018
    Posts: 105

    from OR

    lol, highlander... yea, if it's fast enough you look like a douche if your not fully suited... but then that would be a race car..:rolleyes::D
  19. Ned Ludd
    Joined: May 15, 2009
    Posts: 4,033

    Ned Ludd

    I've read one analysis in which cool was characterized as a surplus of vitality; the ability to do all kinds of deadly crazy shit and not only survive but survive easily and abundantly. You could see the "bad boy" image that way.

    But I think an Alchian-Allen analysis of hot rod safety might tell us more. The Alchian-Allen effect basically restates the old saying about as soon hanging for a sheep as for a lamb, i.e. when a fixed cost – be that monetary or in terms of risk, effort, or pain – gets added across the board to a range of options, the more intensive options become more attractive. This can be seen all over, not least in drug laws. More onerous drug laws incentivize the development of drugs of greater effect-density: more effect for any given amount of risk. Certainly in racing more onerous tech enforcement results in more expensive, more hard-core, more professional, more exclusive, and arguably ultimately more dangerous racing.

    For some reason people are reluctant to consider the corollary. The idea that subsidized light beer might make a viable solution to a societal alcohol abuse problem is perhaps too foreign to conventional thinking around legislation. I can't think of a specific potential application of this to racing or to hot rods in general. Anyone want to give it a shot?

    A related principle I've identified but have not yet been able to demonstrate statistically is, the more exclusive (i.e. cartelized) an industry is, the greater its output (because the greater the opportunities to unsaturate artificially markets which would of themselves be amply saturated. That is, in a market with 1000 widget-makers no single widget-maker has the power to create circumstances in which people need more widgets than they already do. Their combined output is constrained by the point at which people reckon they have enough widgets. In a market with only three widget-makers running at the same initial combined output, chances are that all three will have the power to change circumstances so that people keep needing more widgets than they hitherto had. The widget-makers are therefore able to determine – and therefore postpone, they hope indefinitely – the point at which people are likely to reckon they have enough widgets. But be that as it may.) The application of this to the mainstream motor industry should be obvious, but the relevance to hot rodding becomes clear as soon as you start digging.

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