For Starters

Hot Rods Were Meant for Per­for­mance … all Kinds

Street Rodder - - Contents - Brian Bren­nan

Hot rods, or street rods if you wish, were meant for per­for­mance. All kinds of per­for­mance, whether it be in a drag race, land speed, au­tocross, the Texas Star

(I’m show­ing off my his­tor­i­cal knowl­edge), or the Go ’n’ Whoa. Whether it’s a straight line or a wig­gly line, hot rods are meant to be driven to and from events re­gard­less of whether it’s lo­cal or long dis­tance.

For starters, hot rod­ding ex­hil­a­rat­ing is but one be­gan at its ear­li­est as a as­pect of per­for­mance. means of pumping up an Per­for­mance isn’t just ol’ Model T, a Model A, about retina-de­tach­ing or a Deuce per­for­mance ac­cel­er­a­tion, spine bend­ing lev­els. Sto­ries abound of lat­eral g-forces, or seat­belt past races on the streets, tight­en­ing brak­ing. It then grav­i­tat­ing to the is, more of­ten than not, dry lakes, then to the about driv­ing to and

Salt, and along the way from events in a re­li­able as­phalt quar­ter-mile … and com­fort­able hot rod. the drags. Per­for­mance at (There’s that age thing.) its very core is about what Oh, how times have we do with our cars. But changed. Did you it’s not lim­ited to all-out know there was an era per­for­mance. There was a when the likes of air time where we wan­dered con­di­tion­ing, power away from our roots but win­dows, power disc it ap­pears we are get­ting brakes, power steer­ing, back to where we be­long. and other ameni­ties,

To me or­ga­nized drag such as cruise con­trol rac­ing as shown on the and cup hold­ers, weren’t weekly tele­vi­sion sports in the hot rod lex­i­con? shows is mun­dane (same The Ford 9-inch was a cars, same driv­ers, and lux­ury, the Vega cross­same re­sults). The drag steer was a tech­no­log­i­cal rac­ing that’s oc­cur­ring at break­through, and the lo­cal drags in the form the four-bar was mind of hotly con­tested door numb­ing. The first of slam­mer events is back at the re­pro­duc­tion frames un­be­liev­able lev­els. fol­lowed by com­pli­ant leaf

It should be noted that springs, such as the Posies per­for­mance doesn’t Su­per Slide, were still to al­ways have to be the be “in­vented.”

“WOT” va­ri­ety. Pedal The ad­vent of the to the metal while fun, mod­ern over­drive trans­mis­sion re­ally opened the doors to high­way cruis­ing and made longer drives much more doable not only be­cause of the ex­panded gas mileage but also through less wear and tear on the mo­tor and one’s eardrums. (Frankly it doesn’t mat­ter whether my hot rod can go 200 or 400 miles be­tween gas stops … I can’t!) Ac­com­pa­ny­ing the mod­ern over­drive throw in elec­tronic fuel in­jec­tion, in-tank elec­tric fuel pumps, and the com­put­er­con­trolled engine and trans and the re­li­a­bil­ity and drive­abil­ity is as­tound­ing.

The mod­ern hot rod mo­tor is a thing of beauty. I must ad­mit it took some time be­fore I could find the beauty in to­day’s mod­u­lar mo­tors. There’s some­thing in­her­ently beau­ti­ful about an old-time V-8 with sin­gle, dual, or even triple car­bu­re­tors. Throw in a 6-71 or maybe an 8-71 and now you are talk­ing power and beauty. To me the ul­ti­mate will al­ways be stack in­jec­tion … the good ol’ En­derle or Hil­born me­chan­i­cal in­jec­tion. Not much on drive­abil­ity but it sure came alive on the top end.

To­day elec­tron­ics have taken over every­thing from engine and trans­mis­sion man­age­ment to mon­i­tor­ing the crea­ture com­forts re­sid­ing within. But as we con­tinue to ex­plore new ways of do­ing things we con­tinue to en­hance the aes­thetic beauty of our hot rods to go along with the un­ques­tion­able per­for­mance. Whether you are the first one across the in­ter­sec­tion or the first to ar­rive five hours later per­fectly rested af­ter en­joy­ing A/C, stereo, power-as­sisted all man­ner of con­trivances, to­day’s hot rods were meant to be driven in all man­ners of per­for­mance.

Oh, one last note … get rid of the engine cover. If you can’t get the bodyand paint­work cor­rect, ad­di­tional prac­tice on an engine cover isn’t go­ing to help. I want to see the throb­bing pow­er­plant that rests be­tween the ’rails and be­neath the hood of your hot rod. I want to see the engine. Spend some time on your bent eight of choice and de­tail it to per­fec­tion and show us that you can make power a thing of beauty.

Brian Bren­nanNet­work Direc­tor/Ed­i­tor

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