A Great Hot Rod Delivers An Indescribable Driving Experience

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America has an incredible car history. One of the centerpieces of it is the auto industry. America has historically created some of the most exciting cars and trucks on the road. What’s more, the creativity of Americans ensured that even those cars were going to get a large amount of customization. That’s where the hot rod comes in. 

American hot rods are exciting. They are fast and they are fun! I think most gearheads will admit that perhaps the “fun” is missing from too many modern cars. They’re efficient and they are technological marvels, but driving one can sometimes lack any sort of personality. This article will look at several aspects of the hot rod, including building your own or finding one to purchase. 

Definition of a Hot Rod

While there’s technically no definition for a Hot Rod, you know one when you see one. A hot rod is a customized car or truck that’s been stripped down in some fashion and built back up. Hot rods feature flamboyant and exciting features. In some cases, this comes from the engine. Hot rods tend to feature large engines from the past that have been tinkered with to maximize their power. 

Most hot rods come from older vehicles. However, it’ important to note that tehse are definitely not “classics”. The whole point of a hot rod is customization. Many people who love classic cars want them exactly as they were produced with the exact parts. A great hot rod tends to pick and choose which aspects it wants and “Frankenstein” them together into something more than the sum of its parts! 

Building Your Own Hot Rod

Building a hot rod is a really rewarding experience and the prefect hobby for someone who loves to work with cars and make something special. The first step is in determining where you want to start. This means picking a chassis and frame of a vehicle that you want to work from. Perhaps you want to keep it relatively close to stock, but probably you’ll want to look ahead at customizations. 

The second step is determining your powertrain. There’s two methods. You can build something purely from parts, but buying a ready made engine is often a better choice. While hot rods of the past loved a nice big or small block V8, it does seem like more people in modern hot rods are taking advantage of modern technology. There’s far more turbochargers and superchargers in recent hot rods than in the past. Obviously, you’ll need to work out the rest of the drivetrain as well. However, let's be honest, the engine is the heart of a hot rod. 

Finally, once everything mechanical is worked out, then it’s time to think about the visual details. Paint jobs often include flames or other graphics. Colors are often bright and exciting. Interiors either counter this with soft creams and pastels, or are just as flamboyant. Basically, if you can imagine it, then you can build it into your own hot rod. 

Buying the Perfect Hot Rod

If you’re looking to get the perfect hot rod, you should know that there are as many different definitions of perfect for Hot Rods as there are people looking at them. Your first step in the purchase process will likely be online, but not for long. You’ll want to find yourself at a hot rod auction. It’s these auctions where the nicest hot rods come together to be shown off and sold. There’s auctions throughout the nation. 

One thing you need to do is determine your own mechanical efficiency. If you’ve got the skills to make mods, tinker and test, then you can buy something that’s been heavily customized. If however, you’re less able to repair an engine, you might want to pick a hot rod that’s running some form of stock engine, even if it’s not from the vehicle that it started with. 

Finally, budget can be a concern. Owning a hot rod is rarely a great investment. People will put more money into their own hot rods than they might get when selling later. However, that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Hot rods are made and enjoyed for the love of them, not to make a big profit. That being said, try to be semi-practical. It’s entirely possible for life circumstances to change, and if you have to sell your hot rod, you want to make as much as possible.