Car Culture: Gassers, street rods and hot rods

Back in the 1950's, drag racing was relatively young. Hot Rodders were trying to get faster and faster. Racers took drastic measures to make the cars get traction off the line. One method was the Gasser-style. In characteristic Gasser style, the front suspension was  converted to a Beam axle, which was mounted further down and forward than the original. The gasser style also involves removing any non-vital components. So, no bumpers, no carpets, no creature comforts, and no chrome trim.  Another common thing to see on gassers is a big engine under the hood.

Street rods are another common thing among classic car guys. Street Rods essentially embody the idea that it doesn't matter what you do, just make it your own. Engine swaps, suspension swaps, body panel alterations, and, sometimes, complete chassis swaps.


The more traditional Hot Rods, many of which are based on early 1930's cars like this 1932 Ford.


Often, Hot Rods have had their fenders removed, hood panels removed, and their roof and belt lines lowered a bit.


It's also a very common thing to see the common Chevrolet 350 cubic inch V8 engine in place of the original flathead V8, or inline 4, on earlier cars. Super short exhausts are also common.

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