Hot Rods Were Meant for Performance … all Kinds
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