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Art & Inspiration Where is the best hot rod town?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by wheeldog57, Apr 23, 2018.

  1. WhereEVER it is, I'm betting there aren't a lot of Mercedes & BMW's.

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  2. No_Respect
    Joined: Jul 27, 2005
    Posts: 1,172

    from So-Cal

    I think Oakland County Michigan is better than most of California. I was stationed in the early 2000s near Fresno drove around that region and was weak compared to home then went north to Sacramento not great either but better than central Valley then moved to Los Angeles where there are a lot of car people but most are either to busy or scared to come out. Proof is co workers were scared there car would be target of theft while others were nerveous of overheating in traffic. Plus when you live in a house with a $3000 payment a month and $1500 in utilities cars can hit a backburner real quick

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  3. conestogaman
    Joined: May 6, 2005
    Posts: 18


    Reno Nevada. Hot August Nights and The Summer Salute!

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  4. Bandit Billy
    Joined: Sep 16, 2014
    Posts: 8,703

    Bandit Billy

    From the pictures on the HAMB and the threads I have read, I think it is somewhere in New Zealand.
    Barrelnose pickup likes this.
  5. oldpl8s
    Joined: Apr 11, 2007
    Posts: 1,434


    L.A. Year round good weather several major shows (GNRS, LA Rodaster Show, MoonEyes drags, NHRA, etc. Many of the bigger car-and-coffee weekly events have a better variety and cars then many states do the entire year.
    exterminator and 32Stoker like this.
  6. Definitely *NOT* Washington DC or the northern VA suburbs.:rolleyes:
    sidevalve8ba and Scooterville like this.
  7. Gman0046
    Joined: Jul 24, 2005
    Posts: 6,259


    Just Gary X2. Lived in northern VA and couldn't wait to leave. Too many people, too expensive and definitely not a hot rod environment.
  8. The summer heat on Long Island is an issue with old cars. It gets up to 100 on the real hot days, better to take the cars out at night, this is why the cruise nights are well-attended. Show traffic is terrible, coming and going. There is a local show on Saturday, I will not be attending.
  9. Ned Ludd
    Joined: May 15, 2009
    Posts: 4,408

    Ned Ludd

    Speaking theoretically, I'd say there are four factors:
    1. The presence of hot rodding (or, theoretically, something like it) in the local culture;
    2. Enough widespread affluence that people can actually afford this stuff;
    3. Active small-scale industry; and
    4. A hot rod/diy-friendly legislative environment.
    Of course these influence one another e.g. a hot rod-friendly legislative environment, if thoroughgoing in its principles, will tend to favour distributed small-scale industry over centralized large-scale industry, and hence distributed moderate affluence – provided other structural factors are sound to begin with. But I don't see these factors converging in more than a very few places in the world.

    I'm much too picky, though. Add a climate tending to the colder side of cool and (for various reasons) a prevalent urban form closer to 14th-century Tübingen than 20th-century LA to my list of requirements and I'm well and truly f---ed. A pirate republic in the Brooklands infield c.1928 might have worked, if it could be had with the ethnic diversity of modern Britain.
    Joined: Dec 26, 2005
    Posts: 1,021


    Seattle / Tacoma.
    rust runner likes this.
  11. exterminator
    Joined: Apr 21, 2006
    Posts: 1,656


    Kona Hawaii, seen a cruise night there, seen some old cars crusin somewhere on a Sunday morning- what could be better. I'm talking Hawaii!!!:D
  12. denis4x4
    Joined: Apr 23, 2005
    Posts: 3,885

    from Colorado

    The best hot rod towns have good job opportunities, a real down town, reasonable housing costs and a meet up place.
    Atwater Mike likes this.
  13. elba
    Joined: Feb 9, 2013
    Posts: 628


    Not towns but Kentucky, Tennessee , N.C. and Georgia have lots of car activity .
  14. Ryan
    Joined: Jan 2, 1995
    Posts: 20,260

    Staff Member

    Southern California... and it's not arguable. The density of artifacts is just unmatchable by anyplace in the world.

    I'd say Austin is second... But it's a distant second as far as quantity and quality goes. However, the laid back atmosphere and the great people make it really hard to beat. I love my town.
    Nostrebor, bonesy, wheeldog57 and 3 others like this.
  15. jnaki
    Joined: Jan 1, 2015
    Posts: 6,832


    Hey Ryan,
    Agree, So Cal is the place for hot rod history and still has roots back to the early days. As tough as most see So Cal as far as earthquakes, odd ball people, fanatics, crazy freeways and drivers, and the home prices, it is a great place to live. The new generation still has ways to get into the real estate market at reasonable prices. We have been in the area for all of our lives and see it as good as any place for having fun and just plain living. The weather, coastal influences and days of sunshine all work in its favor. As my wife says about fanatics and naysayers, "Get over it."


    Yes, there are cool places to visit and hang out all over the USA. Austin, that is on our itinerary for our summer road trip as we see friends/relatives in OKC, St. Louis, and TN. So, see the USA in a Chevrolet? Maybe...

    But, if we are talking about pure cities or towns, So Cal is one big area...not necessarily a city/town... Just like Orange County is not a city, but a place. The OC... as some have described, it is so familiar as the term, So Cal.
    Last edited: May 2, 2018
  16. Indianapolis has everyone beat. The racing capital of the world.
    Plenty of car shops all over central Indiana. Hotrod shops, restoration shops, sprint car shops, Indy car shops, many independent car collections. Anybody who is anyone now days in NHRA has a shop close to Indianapolis.
    Tons of cruise ins every Friday and Saturday night. A few get togethers thru the week, Tuesday thru Thursday nights. Several outdoor car events to attend during the day time on Saturdays and Sundays.
    Go to this website to see a sample:
    If anyone has more, lets see em.
    Montana1 likes this.
  17. hudson48
    Joined: Oct 16, 2007
    Posts: 2,967


    In Australia it is Castlemaine Victoria known as the Hot Rod Capital of Australia.

  18. ok
    Just Gary likes this.
  19. crusty&rusty
    Joined: Oct 20, 2011
    Posts: 39


    Hope to make the drive across the border for some cruise nites this summer. See you there!
  20. Mr T body
    Joined: Nov 2, 2005
    Posts: 2,198

    Mr T body
    Alliance Vendor
    from BHC AZ

    I was born and raised in SoCal and can't imagine doing what I do anywhere else. Work for a car company, build old cars and boats and somehow manage to afford to live here. I'll be retiring soon, so you know where old SoCal natives go when they're put out to pasture? Yup, western Arizona (I think someone mentioned Havasu earlier..... that's the reason there's so many rods there).
  21. Stock Racer
    Joined: Feb 28, 2010
    Posts: 802

    Stock Racer

    There is a lot going on in Northern Ohio but the six months of winter we just experienced rules it out. I see a warmer climate in my future but Southern Cal is out for reasons I wont get into here.
  22. I think central Florida is really big with old cars. In the winter, you can go to a cruise-nite any night of the week within 50 mile radius, and swap meets every month. Several car shows every weekend and monthly.

    I don't know about summer months, because it does get hot there in July and August.
  23. Jimbo17
    Joined: Aug 19, 2008
    Posts: 3,863


    The Eastern Tenn. area around Knoxville always seems to be a hot bed area for Hot Rods and there are some Great Shows in that area.
    Just Saying!!!

  24. Bubba1955
    Joined: Jul 8, 2013
    Posts: 463


    Phoenix, Az. Multiple parking lot car shows/meet ups every Friday and Saturday nights. Parts swap meets every month. Several vintage wrecking yards. Dry, arid climate conducive to nearly rust free tin. I've lived in several cities/states and Phx. has been the best I've found.
  25. Vics stuff
    Joined: May 24, 2014
    Posts: 388

    Vics stuff

    I have to agree with Conastoga Man on Reno Nevada. I actually am moving there from Alaska . American Graffiti is live and well there year round and as mentioned Hot August Nights .
  26. The $3000 a month is pretty much is the norm here in MD but $1500 in utilities is a bunch. I'm guessing its the water part that is crazy.
  27. N. VA used to be a hot bed of activity and not all that long ago either.....but I'm guessing you already knew that.
    Just Gary likes this.
  28. 34Larry
    Joined: Apr 25, 2011
    Posts: 1,652


    Dennis Gage on his show said Lake Havasu City has the most hot rods, customs etc. per capata (sp?)
    in the nation. I have a car buddy who has spent a week or two there and said it is crawling with rods.
    robracer1 likes this.
  29. wheeldog57
    Joined: Dec 6, 2013
    Posts: 2,300


    I have purposely stayed away from this thread to see what (where) everyone would say.
    I mentioned L.A. in the O.P. for obvious reasons-
    Birth of our hobby, year round beautiful weather, abundance of cars and car people, etc. I visited there a couple times and it is a great place BUT. . .
    I could not get over the incredible traffic jams every day.

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    Atwater Mike likes this.
  30. RmK57
    Joined: Dec 31, 2008
    Posts: 2,128


    The SoCal car culture is probably the best in the world. The only problem I find when going to attend some of the shows is the traffic. A 40 minute drive often takes a couple hours, and you better have a well sorted out cooling system.
    bonesy and Atwater Mike like this.

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