I Like Street Rods Better Than Hot Rods

 After I win the Mega Millions lottery, I am going to buy a new car. It won’t be an Obama-de-ville, but rather a custom built street rod. I will begin with an older U.S.built car from the 1934 through 1959 period.  I will have it designed and built to my specs. It will be as stylish as anything from today’s car makers. The reliability will rival cars from Japan. The design will include all the modern technology that makes a 2010 car what it is: Electronic ignition, fuel injection, four wheel power disc brakes, automatic transmission with overdrive, power steering, and more. The cabin amenities will include air conditioning, power windows, keyless ignition, heated leather power seats,and more. In other words, it will be a 2010 car with a slightly used and reconditioned body.

Today’s street rods are an offshoot of the  hot rods that are made for speed, and drag racing.  Street rods are  totally drivable.  I am amazed at the design ingenuity of hot rodders that build their own cars. I recently met a man who has customized a 1939 Buick (shown below). He’s been building, and re-designing car for twenty years.  

Why does it take so long? Well, one reason is money. The builders usually have a day job with limited money to spend. A second reason is time. Most of these guys are family men and spend time on their cars after family and work obligations are met. Some of them run body shops, so they can work on their cars when business is slow.

The hobby of custom hot rod building is a huge business in America. There are many organizations dedicated to supporting  the builders. The  National Hot Rod Association, Good Guys, National Street Rod Association are a few of them. One of my most popular weblogs is  I Prefer Hot Rods With Fenders. This simple report keeps my BLOG alive with viewers.  Hopefully this post will be enjoyed as well. I photographed the cars in this collection at the Tinley Park, Illinois Cruise Night on a Friday in August, 2009.

All of these cars were saved from the junk yard. They all look pretty and go like hell! ENJOY.

After this post, I may even buy a lottery ticket.

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I Prefer Hot Rods with Fenders

1932 Ford DueceThe yellow thirty-two duece hot rod in American Graffiti is the icon of hot rodders across the states. It is mine too. I love hotrods, especially street rods.  The car that drives me wild is a thirty-four Ford three window coupe that has been channeled, chopped and modernized with a hot fuel injected engine, power disk brakes, and air.  I prefer my hot rods with fenders. 

Every summer the Frankfort Car Club sponsors “Cruise Night,” in the historic area. Cars come from all around the south suburubs and fill the streets. Owners sit by their vehicle and answer questions. The evening brings out the locals to gawk. Most of the hotrods elicit  memories of our father’s car, or the first car we owned.

 I grew up watching a kid who was just a few years older than me build a hot rod. It was my habit, to ride my bike to the alley where he rented a garage. Dick lived in the house next to the alley. He could see the garage from the kitchen window of the second floor apartment where he and his mother rented. I watched the garage door, if  it was open,  Dick was working.  The thirty-four coupe he built was his second hot rod, and it is the one I fell in love with. Someday, if I win the lotto, I’ll buy a thirty-four Ford.

Each time I visit cruise night, I find another car to love. I can’t make up my mind as to what I really want anymore. Is it the thirty-four, or should it be a thirty-nine roadster, or a fifty Mercury? Confusion, confusion, confusion. I”ll have to win a big lotto, so I can buy one of each, and afford a place to keep them.

The beauty of a street rod lies in the builder’s vision to take an antique car, and re-style it into a sleek modern vehicle. They have all the features of a two thousand nine Chevy.  Each is a unique work of art designed by the builder who  is  usually the owner too. They are craftsmen with a pocket book, often spending over fifty thousand dollars to complete a project. Many owners limit the use of the car by driving them only to cruise nights or to other shows.

There is nothing quiet about a street rod. Not the rumble coming from the powerful engine, or it’s squeeling tires, or from it’s paint. Some of the most eye appealing colors are applied on hot rods. Some have very ornate flames and pinstripping. Other’s have multi-colors with silver and gold sprinkled in.

1934 Ford Sedan Street Rod1959 Mercury Sedan1950 Mercury Coupe with Sculpted Hood and Fenders1934 Chevy Three Window Coupe1937 Ford Coupe1934 Ford Tudor Sedan

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