As a kid I used to save cards with pictures of famous “Hot Rods” with huge shiny chrome engines, large rear wheels, normally small front ones and a classic looking shell. But as I got older, I appreciated cars back from my childhood, but alas hot rods did not figure. It interests me, because there are many American Classic Car Clubs throughout Britain, but only a limited amount of supped up Hot Rods can be seen.
History Back Then
Maybe we don’t like changing history as much here in the UK. If its old, it should look like it did back when it was manufactured the exception of safety devices like upgraded brakes and steering and maybe a few extras. But to take a classic vehicle, chop it up, add a huge engine, and affectively take its history away from it, does not seem to be a popular here as in the states.
It is not that it doesn’t happen, it’ is more when it does happen it tends to be with vehicles with less of a historical background and where there are still many other versions on the road.
The BBC did an article on the subject, reminding us that Hot Rods tended to be created back in the day, because many couldn’t afford to buy something already with the power. So they upgraded their normal daily driver, to make it fast and raced them on the roads, normally drag. It not so true with modern day cars.
There is no doubt they look great and the postal service of the USA are celebrating this by having some of them appear on their stamps. Famous for having incredible power in a straight line, but not that good at going around corners and stopping. Many that are ordered to be built, stand in garages with next to no miles on. It’s the thrill of owning, rather than the thrill of driving.
Maybe that is another reason why their popularity is only held by a minority in the UK. Great for drag strips, but using one to get from A to B, not so convenient.
The more I read about them, my mind doesn’t change. I firmly believe that never should a good vehicle be adapted, especially from millionaires who commission them to be built just to be looked at, once a month. Fair enough, if the base vehicle heading for the scrap yard and a second life can be made by making it into a racing machine, then so be it.
Be prepared to get a mortgage for petrol also. With MPG being as low a 4PMG, it isn’t going to be cheap driving these 8 cylinder block machines around.