Hot Rods

A fad that began shortly after WWII, Hot Rods were cool, low and modified for speed. See photos and learn more about the Elvis Car, the California Kid, the Silver Bullet and others.


Vroom vroom! Hot rods went from a California fad in the 1930s and 1940s to a nationwide trend in the 1950s. Cruise through these hot rod photos and check out some rat rods along the way.

Muroc Roadster buyers get steel-bodied rollers with independent suspensions and the customer chooses his own engine paint and upholstery. The steel bodies aren't just stock reproductions but custom designs. Learn about the popular Muroc hot rods.

The Ritzow Deuce is equipped with a 1949 Mercury 260-cid flathead V-8 engine. The interior boasts custom green-dyed buffalo leather. The car blends a '40s look with modern build and technology. Learn more about this "high-tech traditional" hot rod.

The "Rod"riguez hot rod is a fine example of Japanese design, blending hot rod custom and lowrider styling in a completely original way. The engine uses a 303-cid Rocket V-8 and Hydra-Matic transmission from a '49 Oldsmobile. Read about "Rod"riguez.

As Hot Rod Magazine's 50th anniversary approached, the editorial staff considered building a Deuce roadster as its anniversary car. Illustrator Chip Foose had a better idea: Build a modern version of the tracknose '27 T that appeared on the first cover.

The engine in the So-Cal Roadster is a Chevy 355 with a Holley 420 MegaBlower supercharger. You can see one in person at your local So-Cal Speed Shop. Or if you have the means you can order one of your own. Learn about the custom So-Cal Roadster.

Jimmy Shine's '34 pickup shows that today's rodders have a reverence for the past, the ability to build great cars, and an eye for unique and inspiring design. The true beauty of this pickup is in the raw metalwork. Check out this unfinished hot rod.

In 1968 the Bud Bryan '29 Roadster was one of the first nostalgia-styled hot rods built on vintage components. The Roadster featured a a 276-cid 1948 Mercury flathead V-8 engine with two carburetors. Learn more about this hot rod.

The California Kid hot rod was featured in a movie of the same name in 1973. It features a Ford 302-cid V-8 engine and a custom flaming paint job that is a sure head turner. See some photos of this unique hot rod and learn more about its creation.

Because of its great style and craftsmanship, Jake's Coupe is considered one of the best hot rods ever built. It is totally original and features authentic Ford steel. The Coupe is loud and fast and known for drawing attention. Learn more about this 1973 hot rod.

The McMullen Deuce had several different manifestations, always baring red flames as a symbol of hot rod cool. The car was a unique combination of power and style that became famous for the bright flames painted on the side. Learn about the Deuce in this article.

The Instant T was the first complete hot rod Ted McMullen's U.S. Speed Sport built in the early 1960s. The car featured a powerful Corvette 283-cid V-8 with three two-barrel carburetors and an Offenhauser intake manifold. Learn the rod's history in this article.

The Booth '27 T hot rod was built by Bill Booth in the late 1960s. The car originally featured a Chevy 283-cid V-8 engine that was later replaced with a Chevy 350. Learn more about the modifications he made and see photos of this classic hot rod.

The Eclipse straddled the line between a custom car and a hot rod. This was done as a sort of promotion so that Ray Farhner could demonstrate what his custom shop could do. Learn more about this marvelous award-winning hot rod and builder Ray Farhner.

The Aluma Coupe debuted at the New York Auto Show to extensive press coverage. The car established Boyd Coddington as the premier builder of his time and inspired further auto company involvement in hot rods. Read about this revolutionary hot rod.

In the 1990s, several corporate automakers recognized that hot rod-inspired show cars could draw attention to their brands. The phenomenon began with the Boyd Coddington-built/Mitsubishi-backed Aluma Coupe, and spread among a number of automakers.

The Avenger hot rod is the ultimate show car a custom marvel. This particular car features a unique set of engine headers that bend under the frame of the car. See photos and learn more about this custom 1932 Ford coupe built by Don Tognotti.

The Burk Roadster hot rod illustrates one of the most impressive traits shared by hot rodders: the ability to build their own cars. The Burk Roadster is proof that the self-sufficient rodder is alive and well. Read about this 275-horsepower hot rod.

Little Deuce Coupe is a custom 1932 Ford coupe first owned by a teen from Detroit. The car got its name and popularity when the car was featured on the cover of a Beach Boys album. Learn details about the hot rod behind the famous Beach Boys song.

Hot rods are built for looks and speed. Hot rod popularity started shortly after World War II and continues to thrive today. Hot rods are customized to fit the personality of the owner. Learn about the history and evolution of these innovative automobiles.

The Grabowski T hot rod set the standard for T-bucket rods and flashy imitable style. The car featured a 1952 Cadillac V-8 engine with a GMC 3-71 supercharger. It was also featured in Life magazine. Learn more about the real star of TV's 77 Sunset Strip.

Billy F. Gibbons had a 1933 Ford restored into what became known as the Eliminator coupe. It was made famous from its appearance in several ZZ Top's music videos. Learn more about the ZZ Top Eliminator and other hot rods.

Simple, yet tasteful and aggressive in stance and performance, Kolmos' phantom Phaeton still looks great today more than 50000 miles later. The Phaeton boasts a Chevy 350-cid V-8 hooked to a Turbo 350 automatic transmission. Check out the Phaeton.

The Roubal Drag Roadster is a custom 1932 Ford roadster first assembled by Bob Roubal. The small-block Chevy engine set a record of 130 mph at the first Winter­nationals in Pomona California in 1961. Learn more about this speedy drag racing hot rod.

The Kolmos Sedan features a chopped channeled and fenderless 1932 Ford Tudor body. The Chevy 350-cid V-8 motor has custom valve covers and 300 horsepower running through a smooth-shifting Turbo 350 automatic. Check out the custom Kolmos sedan.

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