Car modification is common practice in the automobile world, and drivers/car owners have done this to modernize their old vehicles. This car modification is what is generally termed “hot rodding.” So what is hot rodding?
Hot rodding explains the process involved in modifying the speed and acceleration of such vehicles. The process started in Southern California during the 1930s. The rise in hot rodding has to do with car enthusiasts modifying their cars to enable them to race their contemporaries across the dry lakes in the northern part of Los Angeles.
Hot rods refer to old American vehicles that have been modified or altered to enhance speed and acceleration. Here, modifications include appearance, interior, engine, and transmission. Also, the modification process isn’t limited to cars. Pickups and SUVs can also undergo hot rodding for optimized acceleration and performance.
Don’t get hot rods mixed with street rods, as both terms differ. Hot rods are modified in every aspect, including engine and appearance for racing. On the other hand, street rods maintain their original look but modify engines and suspension. Street rods are designed for the street and do come with custom wheels.
The first hot rods were old automobiles, mostly Ford, released between 1910 and 1934. Most owners would swap the Ford V8 engine, called the flathead, and fit it in a new car to reduce weight and enable their vehicle to run faster.
The period between 1960 and 1972 saw interest in hot rods decline because car manufacturers started improving performance and released what was called the muscle car (a two-door sports car with a robust engine). With this step, it was easy for car enthusiasts to buy a high-performance vehicle directly from the auto shop without modifying it.
Then the energy crisis in 1973 came around, which forced car manufacturers to shift focus toward efficiency over performance. The change in direction by manufacturers restored interest in hot rods. However, people no longer wanted to race with their cars.
The culture of hot rods remains vibrant globally, especially in Europe, the United States, and Canada. Some magazines feature hot rods and television shows that promote the culture in modern times.
Design, Modifications, and Specifications
Hot rods allow you to show creativity during their design. Regarding modifications and specs, you need more time to develop something worth your time and investments.
To build the hot rod at home, you will need at least two years to complete the task. On the other hand, hot rod cars built in a professional auto shop will take a year or so. The time it will take you to have your hot rod depends on the state of the car and the type of design and modifications you want.
Furthermore, the speed of hot rods depends on the engine used and body style. With a minimal body weight and a V8 engine, for example, they can run as fast as 150 km/h.
Some of the latest designs have a steeply-raked chrome that flows into the extended narrow hood alongside the chopped roof. Then, chrome headlights appear on either side of the sculpted fenders with running boards. The design is completed with deep, lustrous paint with excellent graphics.
Conversely, improvements are made based on the latest 4-Tec 3.0 chassis wheelbase, which extends to 300mm. Most enthusiasts outfit the wheelbase with ultra-low-profile suspension. This modification allows the car to have accurate deep-cut body lines.
With this rigid platform, you have the perfect steering precision with excellent turning potential that allows perfect handling.
Classic Hot Rods in Modern Culture
These cars are the most popular hot rod cars for sale in modern times:
1. Ford F100
Presently, pickups can share similarities with many luxury cars. In the past, pickups were stripped-down, so all you needed to turn them to hot rods was increased horsepower. Car enthusiasts only need a hotter cam, a bigger carburetor, and a blowtorch to compress the springs.
The Ford F100 appeared like the perfect hot rod, even without modifications. So, it was the preferred choice for hot rod enthusiasts till today. It is one of the cars that stand out among hot rodders.
2. Ford Model 78
During the golden era of hot rods, ford dominated the scene, and it is easy to see why! They produced cars that screamed hot rods without any improvements made to them. One such car is Ford’s 78. A little change in appearance turned the little car into the perfect hot rod.
Most hot rodders easily enclosed the headlights in fenders and extended the top grill towards the windshield a little. It was a classic example of small changes making a huge difference. With matching wheel color and crate 302 for power, the 1937/1938 Ford coupe was an instant hit among hot rod enthusiasts. People still see the car as an excellent choice for a hot rod.
Hot rods are becoming more popular due to the demand for classic cars with improved performance. The modification process has drastically improved over the years, thanks to modern technology. The culture of hot rods has remained till today, and will likely remain for another 100 years. If you dream of driving any of these classic modified vehicles, Dyler has several hot rod cars for sale for you to choose from.