Hot Rod Magazine: 75 Years | Book Review

Photography Credit: Chevrolet (background)

Many of us here grew up with a constant companion: Hot Rod magazine. It’s where we learned about ported heads and 9-inch Fords, three-quarter-race cams and chopped Deuces. 

But where did the magazine come from? “Hot Rod Magazine: 75 Years” tracks its path from the first days of the scene–back when modified cars weren’t socially acceptable. As the opening reminds us, “The term ‘hot rod,’ in fact, was as pejorative at the time as ‘hoodlum’ and ‘delinquent.’”

But Robert Petersen had a vision: Create a magazine that would inform and entertain those who appreciated modified engines and upgraded bodies. And as Drew Hardin shows, that edict has carried to today’s Hollywood blockbusters and YouTube stars. Between then and now, Hot Rod has adapted to the times, covering land-speed racers and funny cars, imports and even vans. 

Hot Rod Magazine: 75 Years”
Drew Hardin
Published by Motorbooks
208 pages
$50

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