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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. This question will go on forever and maybe it's partly an age thing. I'm 65 and have owned my share of cars and motorcycles over the years but in the end I subscribe to the pre '49 definition.
    Oh, and the bodies are made out of steel.
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2015
    33sporttruck and volvobrynk like this.
  2. gas & guns
    Joined: Feb 6, 2014
    Posts: 368

    gas & guns

    OK, you guys are starting to convince me on the prewar definition.
    But my first Detroit muscle I bought when I was 16. I worked at a sawmill after school part time making less than 100 bucks a week. That was in 1977. I bought it for 300 bucks. I towed it home. It had a seized 283 from a failed motor swap of the previous owner. I dropped in a 350 that I pulled out of the old mans rusty suburban. Drove it a few weeks till I wiped out a lobe on the cam. No money for new parts, I scraped up 20 bucks for an intake gasket set. My buddy who we called racin Mason helped me tear into the junk 283. We disassembled the lifters and cleaned them with rubbing alcohol and q tips. Removed the cam and stuffed it in the 350. I don't know what grind the cam was, but the 350 run strong after that. We went into town and started kicking ass. Half the time we had used tires. NEVER had any crate motors ever. Hell I've had chevys my whole life and can only remember buying 1 starter. The rest I built from junk. Built my first driveshaft cutting it with a hacksaw slipping it back together and bolting it back in place. Used the trans and rearend for centers. Zip screwed a coat hanger to the floorboard to use as dial indicator.
    So maybe I've never technically owned a true hot rod.

    But then again I'm not comfortable with the term street rod either. (Have you seen some of that shit?)
  3. blowby
    Joined: Dec 27, 2012
    Posts: 5,893

    from Nicasio Ca

    Hot - become or make more active, lively, or exciting.
    Rod - 16 feet
  4. 117harv
    Joined: Nov 12, 2009
    Posts: 6,590


    5. Was your thread something that has been covered over and over again? Try searching next time. We've had countless threads through the years on bias tires vs. radials, the definition of "traditional," and many other topics. We don't need to rehash what the bulk of us already know.

    ^^^^ From the HAMB rules .....
  5. I'm 66, born in '49 and mostly think anything before I was born and that has been modified for speed should be considered a hot rod. But that would rule out those early '50s cars that I recall dragging the highway and drive-in restaurant across the highway from my house, and I have always considered them hot rods, too. Now to the next debate: Hotrod or hot rod?

    I'm a lot more impressed by your ride if you did lots of the work yourself, or with friends with skills/equipment, and if you invented and fabricated parts than if you bought it online or through a catalog, or sent it out and pulled out the checkbook. So, whether you did it also factors into the definition.
  6. young'n'poor
    Joined: Jan 26, 2006
    Posts: 1,276


    I knew you weren't putting down anyone's build, and reading through the responses I don't believe anybody who tried to define it was knocking anyone's builds. Some people are gonna call their cars one thing, while other people wouldn't call it that.

    The Thing about language is over time common usage, even if incorrect, changes the meaning of words. What it meant at one point to a group of specific people isn't what it means now to everyone who hears it. If I don't think someone's car is a hot rod, but they think it is, doesn't make a lick of difference really.
  7. flux capacitor
    Joined: Sep 18, 2014
    Posts: 657

    flux capacitor

    I'm 43 & always thought of pre WW2 is hot rods material, what the vets hopped up & had been building or dreaming about before they come home, all the other later genres, I think if as this ....customs = body modified "post WW2 thru 1964ish, the muscle car era some 61-64 n mostly 1965 thru 1972. The modified or hot motor' transplants of post WW2 = street machine , past 1972 I really don't care. As I always say ......"everybody's normal till you get to know them." So they'll never be an answer & in the great scheme of things what difference does it make ? As long as you are happy with your ride should it matter? I've a 41 year old good pal who slaved & scrounged for years piecing together his real Henry deuce roadster & hasn't the funds to send it to magazine material status but it's his only car, he doesn't consider it s rat rod but it sure gets called that all the time & after yanking out the old 50s speed part bolt on's "b" motor, in came a later flatly with vintage pre 60 swap meet parts truly this made it to me the ultimate & a REAL hot rod. I'm stuck building our family's 53 "more door" as a mild Custom, pops 55 is a mix between street machine & more modern but traditional driveline & I have a few Muscle Cars from my adolescence I worked hard to get as a teen , a 69Z28/RS n 2 BBC early monte carlo's from my high school generation mid - late 80s. As a teen your wallet can only go so far & Ive come to the realization that most car enthusiasts hearts are drawn to that which they could afford to buy & hop up when they were in high school. You can basically subtract 15 - 20 years from when they graduated & that's their era of interest & what they could afford then. I love the many aspects of the hobby & agree as I once posted on here before I seen a deck lid on a rod that said ... "built to please me not you." As I get older & hopefully wiser I notice the pre war era is where I am drawn. As Yoda told Luke ...... Let the force be your guide. :) But I cast my vote for ...... Pre War = Hot Rod. Flux.
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2015
  8. Cowtown Speed Shop
    Joined: Sep 26, 2010
    Posts: 1,179

    Cowtown Speed Shop
    from KC

    Man th
    That is a loaded question for sure!
  9. Special Ed
    Joined: Nov 1, 2007
    Posts: 5,327

    Special Ed

    The very first (verifiable) hot rod club originated right here in southern California back in 1932. (the Outriders). Their particular definition at that time, is/was far removed from every single post on this thread. 1948? Pre-WWII for a cut-off? Yeah, how about a full TEN YEARS prior to WWII would actually be more accurate...
    Most of our modern definitions of things have eventually evolved and adapted. Same here ...
    flux capacitor and X38 like this.
  10. jcmarz
    Joined: Jan 10, 2010
    Posts: 4,636

    from Chino, Ca

    After reading all these posts, I am hungry for a Hot Dog or is it Hotdog?
    volvobrynk and Special Ed like this.
  11. DDDenny
    Joined: Feb 6, 2015
    Posts: 12,052

    from oregon

    Louisiana Red Hots, makes flames come out of the tailpipe.
  12. jcmarz
    Joined: Jan 10, 2010
    Posts: 4,636

    from Chino, Ca

  13. jimcolwell
    Joined: Oct 4, 2009
    Posts: 474

    from Amarillo

    Is mine a hotrod? 1433726200518.jpg
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  14. mike bowling
    Joined: Jan 1, 2013
    Posts: 3,422

    mike bowling

    Did I miss something here??
  15. Dick Stevens
    Joined: Aug 7, 2012
    Posts: 2,566

    Dick Stevens

    volvobrynk likes this.
  16. Websters:
    noun, Slang.
    an automobile specially built or altered for fast acceleration and increased speed.
  17. flux capacitor
    Joined: Sep 18, 2014
    Posts: 657

    flux capacitor

    I agree with you & by pre WW2 i think of the years as pre 1941 since 10 years before it would be 1931 ish ...The beginning years ? through 1941. So any car before 1941 is a hot rod? Since we didn't get officially involved till that year. Before the beginning of. I guess if I thought of 1939 as the beginning then that'd be 2 years closer. So pre 39 as a hot rod? I use post WW2 as 1947 up. I really never thought of the 42-46 as car years , just the war effort. But should the question be what year is the last acceptable as a hot rod ? I seen a silent movie few weeks back with a stripped down model T speedster filmed in 1927. Either way I still love hot rods, this could go on forever, Lol :rolleyes:. Flux
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2015
    volvobrynk likes this.
  18. JimSibley
    Joined: Jan 21, 2004
    Posts: 3,104


    I think
    My opinion of what a hot rod is is changing as I see the examples on this post. I like the pre war thing, and because of the 35-41 cars that
    Means fenders must be allowed. Although I personally like a manual transmission, that is just my flavor. I guess what I am saying is prewar cars built to go fast. That's a pretty good rule of thumb.
    kiwijeff, young'n'poor and volvobrynk like this.
  19. colinsmithson
    Joined: Jan 27, 2013
    Posts: 383


    Pre 49 with a separate chassis and beam front axle and improved performance IMO
    509garyd likes this.
  20. Lytles Garage
    Joined: May 6, 2011
    Posts: 613

    Lytles Garage

    All MY Cars !!! Chris
  21. Bigchuck
    Joined: Oct 23, 2007
    Posts: 1,127

    from Austin, TX

    John Force refers to his funny cars as "hot rods"!
  22. Drew,as the old song goes "That was yesterday and yesterdays gone!".:D HRP
    2002p51 and volvobrynk like this.
  23. Zandoz
    Joined: Jan 23, 2012
    Posts: 307


    JMHO, to me a hot rod is a pre serious fins car that has been modified and is driven regularly. If it's a serious fins or later modified car, it's a street rod...and there's nothing wrong with that. If it's not driven regularly it's a show car...and there's nothing wrong with that.

    Of course all of this depends on the position of Neptune and the price of kumquats on the second Tuesday of next week.
  24. steinauge
    Joined: Feb 28, 2014
    Posts: 1,507

    from 1960

    I reckon at the end of the day a hot rod is what you think it is----I always think of my 55 Ford with a modified Y block and 3 pedals as more of a warm stick than a hot rod.
    young'n'poor and volvobrynk like this.
  25. steve_0
    Joined: Feb 24, 2015
    Posts: 12


    A hot rod is kind of like porn. Don't know how to describe it but I know it when I see it.
    volvobrynk and Maverick Daddy like this.
  26. First thing I thought of!
  27. whtbaron
    Joined: Sep 12, 2012
    Posts: 541

    from manitoba

    In order for it to be a "real" hot rod, you have to be able to touch it. All that crap goin on in your head is just make believe...
  28. lucky ink
    Joined: Feb 18, 2011
    Posts: 316

    lucky ink

  29. 117harv
    Joined: Nov 12, 2009
    Posts: 6,590


    That video could have been good but he talked so much trash.
  30. Zerk
    Joined: May 26, 2005
    Posts: 1,419


    That's a good generic definition of hotrod. I'm too lazy to need anything more specific.
    Just to stir the stuff a little, does anyone feel like the definition of "hotrod" has changed from a daily driver that gets raced (pretty much what it meant in the '50s) to a carport queen/cruiser? Does what you use it for change the meaning?

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