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Friday, August 12, 2016


This past Sunday 8/15/16 at noon EST CARHUNTER was on Motormouth radio to discuss Hot Rod or Street Rod which is an age old question which never seems to have a definitive answer or does it? 
CARHUNTER pondered this question before, but now with a 39 Plymouth in the stable Is it a Hot Rod or Street Rod?
Playing the role of a period correct modified Rod from back in the day!
Power disc brakes, lowered suspension,aftermarket wide wheels out back,12 volt conversion, offenhauser intake with 2 1 bbl carbs, phillips performance split exhaust manifold,dual exhaust exiting twin megaphone pipes, turn signals would slide this right into the classification Hot Rod. Can not be a stock classic anymore nor upgraded enough to be a Street Rod
A favorite of CARHUNTER from Tennessee  this 36 Plymouth is looking much like a companion to mine, but is sporting a modern driveline with a/c and all the fixings, it is a Street Rod

 Another recently spotted 39 Plymouth Street Rod seems like a 1939 body sitting on 1990's gear!  


Several theories come to mind as to how the name Hot Rod appeared;
It all started in Southern California, So Cal and some of that slang jargon could be the answer?
Roadsters being used - Hot Roadster= Hot Rod
Camshaft regrinds= Hot Cam, Hot Stick or Hot Rod- definition says a rod is a stick
Hop up- could it have slid into Hot Rod? 
Ray came prepared with reference material when Hot Rodders originally had a less than a shiny reputation!   

Milner's Coupe is probably the most famous Hot Rod
Hoodlums and Hot Rods seem to be the M O 

Leather jackets 
White undershirts
Lot's of smoking!
It was a culture for young folks, an expression of not being mainstream

Many times in this discussion younger car people don't understand the question nor the origins and it is important to clearly state forget about a car built after 1948 as any classification of ROD is no longer valid
All this speed equipment was new and in unchartered territory 

Tv Tommy Ivo, an original Mickey Mouse Mouseketeer in a Hot Rod! Oh my!  

At one pivotal point even Life Magazine realized maybe, much like Rock and Roll, the whole concept was not all evil!
Is that a flathead 4 with some Hop Up mods? It is a HOT ROD 
Actress Collen Townsend showing off the giveaway 32 Ford at the 1948 Hot Rod Exposition! 
There goes dad with his little boy going mainstream
Hot Rods showed up on TV! The red car became the "My Mother the Car" TV ride!
Bud Anderson in Father Knows Best brings this Jalopy home and declares it has a Milled Head and Hi-Lift cam!!  
Herman Munster is Hot Rodding!
Oh no Potsy, Ralph Mouth and Richie Cunningham, actually showing even good kids could be Hot Rodding! 
Jed Clampett even became a Hot Rodder 

Comic Book Hot Rods and even Bugs Bunny!

And Gumby too!

So have you agreed  yet?
Below are Street Rods
Are these Street Rods, what is different?
More Road (street) Worthy, ultra modern and high tech and ready for Family Fun and hitting the road earning respect

I know what I think of this one, what do you think?
Although pretty modern, it falls into  Hot Rod title, could you be comfortable with the family on a 400 mile trip?

And This?
Hi-Tech, old look= Hot Rod
What factor is so so different?
Trailer in tow let's hit the highway
Looks classic, but is a very hi-tech Street Rod
Looks like a very classy Packard and it is, but it is packing a very modern driveline!
A big block Chevy under the hood too!
 Not a classic, not a Hot Rod, it is a Street Rod

Tune in to MOTORMOUTH for the debate
Hot Rod or Street Rod?
Although some had some very odd answers like a Hot Rod goes up to 1975 I think we collectively agreed the words Street Rod just did not exist until possibly 1971 when Street Rodding magazine declared it was the fastest growing FAMILY activity!
No car outside of 1925 to 1948 falls into any "Rod" category!
Hot Rod= traditional appearance, more seat of the pants reminding us of that "reckless" era!
Street Rod= Hi-tech mods making the car safer and more roadworthy - more of a modern approach!

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