Nothing reflects the qualities of America quite as well as the Hot rod: resourcefulness, innovation, diversity, freedom, and maybe even a bit of rebelliousness. Although a commonly used term today, it has become broader over the last decade to encompass vehicles of many faces, purposes and owner’s desires. The “Hot rod” title typically refers to older classic American cars that are hopped up with large engines and modified for weight reduction. Born out of the Hot rod culture are the Kustom cars that take on many forms, from the heavy-bodied Mercury lead sled to the low-and-mean classy Buick, or a souped-up and chopped Ford Model A. Stemming from there are traditional hot rods; cars meant to replicate what would have been built prior to 1965, down to the build style and age of parts used. And then in comes the Street rods and Resto mods: exceptionally gussied-up versions of Hot rods that feature more modern creature comforts. Some are built to drive, others are built just to drool over — assuming your drool is made of ingredients that match those of premium car wax.
This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://www.hagerty.com/articles-videos/Articles/2015/10/27/Cars-gone-Hot-Rod