Hot Rod (noun): a motor vehicle that has been specially modified to give it extra power and speed.
Hot Rodding (verb): the act of modifying a vehicle for enhanced driving performance, faster acceleration & top speed.

A Hot Rod is simply a car that’s been stripped down, souped up and made to go much faster. Hang on a second, that sounds like something an engine rebuilder would do…

“Hot Rodding” began as a cult movement in the 1920s – 1930s in Southern California. Car clubs formed in the 1930s, comprised of young men who shared knowledge, swapped parts, and raced each other over dry lake beds in the southern Californian desert.

In 1948, Robert Petersen launched Hot Rod Magazine. This led to more hot-rodding magazines entering circulation, helping to reshape the public’s opinion of Hot Rodding; transforming it from something considered lawless into a legitimate sport. Magazine ads associated hot rodders with performance parts manufacturers across the nation, and in turn these companies promoted Hot Rods worldwide.

Hot Rod Magazine Cover December 1951.

Today, Hot Rod devotees are a tribe inclusive of all genders and backgrounds, who attend races all over the world.

Classic and modern movies and TV shows alike take inspiration from the sport. Classic movies like American Graffiti (a famous portrayal of teen car culture in the 1960s and starring a 1932 Ford Coupe), and modern TV shows like Top Gear which televised versions in both Britain and the USA, continue to glamorize and celebrate this culture.

Just this year, The Women in Motorsports North America (WIMNA) organization officially launched, supporting women in professional motorsports roles.

At its core, Hot Rod culture is defined by the very people who whole-heartedly dedicate themselves to the scene. One such man is our very own Will Pollard, Enginetech engineer, Funny Car pit crew member, and unquenchable Hot Rod drag racing enthusiast.

Will represents Enginetech at National Hot Rod Association Champion Drag Racing events while he works on Jeff Diehl’s Nitro Funny Car pit crew. Will loves to tell us all about how the downforce of an accelerating Nitro Funny Car and the center of mass effect the launch, acceleration, and deceleration of the vehicles. The incredible energy produced by the dragsters sends motion into the ground, creating the sensation of an earthquake. Will lives for the feeling of being trackside at a race, like so many others who have caught the Hot-Rodding bug.

Jeff Diehl Racing Nitro Funny Car at NHRA Winternationals 2022

The National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) is the largest auto racing organization in the world.

NHRA was founded in 1951, and since then has grown into a global sports-entertainment business. Whether it’s a love of cars, family tradition, or a need for speed, NHRA has extremely loyal fans that love the sport of Drag Racing so much that it has become a lifestyle.

Not all Hot Rods are for drag racing, however.

A Hot Rod is any car (old, classic, or modern) that has been rebuilt or modified with optimized engines for speed and acceleration. Many engine rebuilders work on Hot Rods, and many Hot Rod enthusiasts are engine rebuilders.

Enginetech salutes Hot Rodders and high-performance engine rebuilders. Souped-up cars are a labor of love to many of our customers in the high-performance world. We are proud to supply high performance engine parts for all the high-performance engines you see coming into your shop today, from classic cars to modern muscle!


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