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Hot Rods What is a "real" hotrod?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by JimSibley, Jun 6, 2015.

  1. JimSibley
    Joined: Jan 21, 2004
    Posts: 3,373


    I'm at work and a guy comes in to look at the 68 camaro I'm working on. He says its a really cool hot rod. Gets me thinking, what is a hot rod? To me it's a pre-35 car with 4 gears, 3 pedals, 2 doors and no fenders. What's a hot rod to you?
    knucklenutz, Model T1, bct and 3 others like this.
  2. bykerlad
    Joined: Mar 14, 2009
    Posts: 260

    from australia

    I'm with you brother
  3. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 49,308


    To quote myself, from the internet, about ten years ago,

    "a hot rod is whatever you say a hot rod is....and you won't find two people who will agree on every possible distinction."

    I can't really think of anything new to add.
  4. Kiwi 4d
    Joined: Sep 16, 2006
    Posts: 3,098

    Kiwi 4d

    To the converted there is no argument but to the great unwashed anything they don't see in the supermarket every day could be a hot rod.

  5. jcmarz
    Joined: Jan 10, 2010
    Posts: 4,633

    from Chino, Ca

    I have a third leg that I call a "hot rod"
  6. arkiehotrods
    Joined: Mar 9, 2006
    Posts: 6,466


    John Force calls his funny car a hot rod. I'm not gonna argue with him!
    afaulk, wedjim, Montana1 and 3 others like this.
  7. chessterd5
    Joined: May 26, 2013
    Posts: 643

    from u.s.a.

    Maybe its better to say what its not. A hot rod does not have cobwebs made out of rebar welded to the cowl. It does not have a cow skull bayling wired to it. It does not have FAKE RUST, & it is not a perfectly good car cut up for a joke! On the other end of the spectrum, it does not need billet EVERYTHING to be cool. It does not need a monochromatic paint job or a tweed interior. I'm pretty sure there are also plenty exceptions too, but if you are a reasonable person you know what I'm saying already.
    Deucedreamer, lukey, afaulk and 13 others like this.
  8. My brother's 61 Morris is definitely not considered a hotrod here on the HAMB. Has a 406 smallblock, powerglide and runs 10.30s at the to the local burger joint on weekends.
    We built a lot of it in his teeny unheated garage with one hanging lightbulb....had to turn it off to run the 110 volt wire-feed welder. Has run 140 at Bonneville before spinning out...not aero-friendly at all but we ran it!
    I's a fun car and all but as a foreign based, car, I suppose it doesn't fit the traditional idea of a hot rod. scottysmorisB\'ville.jpg scottysmorrisrear.jpg
  9. JimSibley
    Joined: Jan 21, 2004
    Posts: 3,373


    That car may or may not be a hot rod. That car is 100% badass!
    LKR, knucklenutz, 26 roadster and 3 others like this.
  10. Atwater Mike
    Joined: May 31, 2002
    Posts: 10,654

    Atwater Mike

    Camaros are not hot rods. Bruce Jenner's not a woman.
    Some things are, most are not. Some things 'wannabe', some guys do, too.
    There are lawyers riding Harley Davidsons on weekends. They call themselves 'bikers'.
    I wish things would stop 'progressing'. Hamsters are rodents.
    HAMBsters are hot rodders. (well, some are.)
  11. Torana68
    Joined: Jan 28, 2008
    Posts: 1,259

    from Australia

    nothing after WW2 should be considered, not fussed how many doors, guards or gears (or who made it from new). The definition can be quite wide from a mostly stock A with guards removed and a droped axle to car thats been chopped , channelled , different chassis OHV V8 etc...... but if it get around via a trailer its a race car or something else I probably don't have much interest in.
    aussie57wag likes this.
  12. I think it was Hot Rod magazine that started calling 'Camaros, hot rods.

    When I got bitten by the hot rod sickness, it was the late 70s.
    A Hot Rod back then, was a modified, pre 1949 vehicle, with a bigger engine, than original.
    I know this must be true, cause it said so in my school dictionary!
    That was some time ago, and now there's trad hot rods, street machines, rat rods, resto rods customs, kustoms, pro street, pro touring, street rods, hop ups, hell, where dose it end, and who invented these terms?
    You all did! So for me, as a guy from outside the US, I'm not going to even try and tell anyone what a hot rod is.
    Things have changed so much, that now younger generations think putting a car together must be all same brand parts.
    Ford in a Ford, etc, but not going back that far, would see more of a use what you can get mentality, and have fun.
    When I first became interested, people didn't get it, and I was fine with that. It was my own special interest, but now its trendy, lots more people involved, and there's to much going on.
    So I don't give a toss about labels no more, I'm having fun, driving my version of a hot rod, most every day.
    Whoever turned my chosen hobby into a pissing contest, didn't understand.
    Oh, I forgot gassers. :D:):cool:
  13. gas & guns
    Joined: Feb 6, 2014
    Posts: 370

    gas & guns

    I was born in 1960, my dad 1930. I had a 70 camaro in high school that I thought was a hot rod. In 1955 my dad had a 55 Chevy, my camaro never impressed him.
    Right now I'm thrashing to paint my 71 camaro so I can roll it out and bring in my 41 ford.
    The 71 will have a 355 SBC with a bottle. It will be a hot rod.
    The 41 will have sbc with camel back heads and be more traditional 1960s hot rod. It will be a hot rod.
    So to me Detroit steel before no lead and 5 mile an hour bumpers is what is a hotrod.
    Not rice burners with turbos and loud pipes. Not 20 inch wheels. Not billet bullshit. Not dark tinted glass and thumpn woofers.
    Others will disagree.
    daddylama, modeltford and volvobrynk like this.
  14. HOTFR8
    Joined: Nov 30, 2010
    Posts: 2,075


    One thing for a start it should be Pre 1948 or if it is 1948 and and the body style was carried over until the year it finished is OK. Well that is what I always went on. Rocky does your brother still have that Morris ? I recall it as a wild ride.
  15. My 6 yr old thinks every old car is a Hot Rod too . Personally I don't consider Muscle cars to be Hot Rods, just like I don't think an original restored Vintage car is either. For me nothing after 1940 really conjures an idea of a Hot Rod. I think it's as much a period in time as it is the shape and style of the car.

    Anything you can take the fenders off, has a 3 window model, and a hopped up engine?
  16. AndersF
    Joined: Feb 16, 2013
    Posts: 777


    I go with pre 49 with a souped up engine to call it a hotrod.
  17. B.A.KING
    Joined: Apr 6, 2005
    Posts: 3,761


  18. bucketmouth
    Joined: Apr 7, 2006
    Posts: 139

    from Australia

    The way I'm hearing it anything with more than a wheel nut change is a hotrod.:rolleyes:
  19. slammed
    Joined: Jun 10, 2004
    Posts: 8,151


    Nope ANY 4 tired ride is a hot rod when someone claims it to be. Its PC world & you WILL NOT offend ANYONE. Otherwise you are 'hate'. 'Phobia'. Country is doomed, you cannot embrace the filth , corruption, ego & vanity without paying a very heavy price. Look at ancient Rome.
  20. clem
    Joined: Dec 20, 2006
    Posts: 3,408


    I think you summed it up in one post. -
    I also
    didn't think any one would be able to add to this comment, but somehow they did......
  21. volvobrynk
    Joined: Jan 30, 2011
    Posts: 3,587

    from Denmark

    Hot rodding is a way of thinking, and you can apply it to most anything! But it does NOT make it a Hot Rod , a 55 Chevy can be a Hot rod, to me, but the very definition is a thirties cars, adapted to live in another era, that means faster, lighter, lower, and upgraded in every aspect! But not every single part has to be modified.
    To me running a almost stock Model A with 16" wheels and twin updraft carbs is a hot rod, abliged its a mild rod.

    But any improvement that makes it handle better, go faster and in any way possible more useable makes it a hot rod to me.
    A 1930 Chevy sedan running a 261 and a three speed is a hot rod also.

    But the over all concept of hot rodding is don't make it slower, and not to should be identical, so there for there is no rules to how it most look, only very few about it can't look.

    It a feeling, if you look at a car, and get a tinkle feeling inside, that is good enough for me!!

    But opinions is like asshole, and this is mine.
    gas & guns and Dick Stevens like this.
  22. To my thinking a Hot Rod is through 1948. A street machine is from 1949 and upward.

    A Thunderbird is not a hot rod. A GTO will never be a hot rod. A modified 31 Cadillac can be called a hot rod, same with a hi boy Model A.
    Martin Harris likes this.
  23. Because I'm bored, plus this thread needs pictures....

    Hot Rods






    Not Hot Rods






    Deucedreamer, clem, Model T1 and 5 others like this.
  24. oj
    Joined: Jul 27, 2008
    Posts: 6,257


    A real hot rod is old tin, too loud, you can see the front tires, door handles don't work right, people stop to watch you drive by and you never have to apologize to the passenger for being uncomfortable.
    It ain't about being fast.
  25. 2002p51
    Joined: Oct 27, 2004
    Posts: 1,362


    The NSRA says a hot rod is a pre-1949 vehicle . . . oh, wait.

    Hmm, how about whatever is in the pages of "Hot Rod" magazine? Those must be hot rods. . . oh, wait.
    lothiandon1940 and Atwater Mike like this.
  26. 3wLarry
    Joined: Mar 11, 2005
    Posts: 12,804

    Member Emeritus
    from Owasso, Ok

    a hot rod is a racecar with a license plate
  27. Doodlrodz
    Joined: Feb 6, 2006
    Posts: 1,439

    Member Emeritus

    A hot rod is anything you can post on here that doesn't get trashed haha.
  28. young'n'poor
    Joined: Jan 26, 2006
    Posts: 1,280

    from Anoka. MN

    A hot rod is a pre '48 two door Car built for performance using parts from the era covered here. Narrow definition I know, but it's true. There is a reason the boss chose to use this site to cover a time period up until the muscle car killed the original Hot Rod movement (1965).

    I know people don't like to hear it, but that definition isn't intended to offend or alienate anyone, it is factually how the term hot rod was first used. Later through popular usage it came to be more of a descriptive word. People began to "hot rod" things.

    This is all my opinion of course, but a hot rod is a car built with parts from the traditional era in the traditional style. Street rods to ms came about in the late 60's or early 70's and are pre '48 just like hot rods, but use some parts from after the 64/65ish time when the factory built cars began taking over the scene. Nothing wrong with a street rod at all in my mind. A street rod doesn't have to be billet or Easter egg colored etc. think about the low lucky roadster or lil john buttera's car, they can be understated and tasteful just like the early hot rods.

    I think a lot of the confusion comes from the fact that hot rod magazine started covering customs and race cars and post '48 cars that were hopped up for street duty. Cool cars and built during our traditional period, but not the same as the first hot rods.

    Sorry for the novel haha
  29. Alex D.
    Joined: Jun 9, 2009
    Posts: 313

    Alex D.
    from Hydes, MD.

    I have always considered my 52 Plymouth a Hot Rod. Has a DeSoto Hemi, 3 dedals, 411 gears and is obnoxiously lould.
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2015
  30. I guess it is different things for different people. For me it needs 3 pedals.:cool: Other than that I own two in my opinion. Not that anyone cares but me.
    Coleman Coupe 2 001.JPG

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