Hot Rod

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History

The first dry lakes races took place in the 1920s at Muroc and El Mirage. In the beginning it was only adventurous motorists taking their hopped up Model T's and beaters to take lake for some fast fun. The first speed trials were held at Muroc in 1927. Muroc was favored for its large area and hard surface. In 1931 time trials were organized by the newly formed Muroc Timing Association. In the beginning a pace car led the racers, about five at the time, to speeds of maybe 50 miles per hour, before everyone took off at the start line. The car that first reached the finish line first was the winner. Often, only the driver in the lead could see clearly where he was going. Those behind ran in the dust, making it hard to see anything at all. The runs became a quick hit, and the early dry lake trials could attract as many as 10 000 spectators. Most prewar lake racers were stripped to the chassis Ford Model As or Ts, or 1932 Ford Roadsters powered by a 200 cid Model A or B four bangers.[1]


According to Wally Parks, Glendale, Pasadena, Whittier and South Gate were the birthplaces of hot rodding. The term "Hot Rod" did not come into use until after WWII when it was picked up by journalists and used in a sensational manner. "Hot Rod" was propably an elision of "hot roadster". In the mid-1930s, before there were hot rods, there were "hot irons", "supe jobs" and "gow jobs".[2]


References



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