I have a pretty open mind as far as what can be considered to be a hot rod. To me a "hot rod" might really be any car that has been permanently altered for improved performance or custom appearance and its hot-roddyness is really in the eye of the owner.
But even in the wide world of hot rods, there's a category of cars that I've always thought of as "real" hot rods, and they're generally pre-World War II roadsters and coupes that have had a big ol' V8 engine dropped in them. AutoRama features a truly astonishing variety of cars, but it abounds in these old-school rods.
Here are a few of my favorites from the 2014 AutoRama:
The Speed 33: a custom all-steel Speed33 Convertible body by American Speed Company with a Ford 351 Windsor engine owned by Bob & Connie Gula of Saline, Michigan.
Medusa: a 1926 Ford T-Coupe designed, built, and owned by Dan Dennis.
The yellow paint on this 1933 Ford Vicky owned by Roger Gaynor of Owosso, Michigan, was unbelievably eye catching.
The In"Flame"ous HEMI Coupe: a 1934 Plymouth PF 5-Window Coupe owned by Roger Davis of Chelsea, Alabama.
I didn't catch the info on this lovely grey-green roadster, but I looooooooved this color. The hood badge said Ritzows 32, so I'm 99.9% sure this is the 1932 Ford Roadster shown here on HowStuffWorks as owned by a guy named Roger Ritzow of Franklin, Wisconsin, and built by Troy Trepanier of Rad Rods by Troy in Manteno, Illinois. If so, it was named Goodguys' Street Rod of the Year for 2004.
Did I mention that I looooooooved that color?
Here's another bright dose of yellow, courtesy of this 1928 Ford Model A Coupe with a 355 Chevy V-8.
And finally, let's finish with two beautiful burgundy Ford Roadsters:
1927 Ford Roadster owned by Bud Ransford of Flat Rock, Michigan.
1931 Ford Roadster owned by Roger Holl of Grosse Ile, Michigan.
And that's it for the hot-roddiest of the hot rods. You'll see a few more along these lines mixed in the other posts -- especially when we get to the rat rods -- but if you asked me what I'd expect to see on the cover of Hot Rod magazine, it'd probably be one of these.
Tomorrow? Bitchin' Camaros and Other Muscle Cars.