Hot Rods Apparel and Accessories by Legend Lines
The predecessors to the hotrod were the modified cars used in the Prohibition era by bootleggers to evade revenue agents and other law enforcement. Hot rods first appeared in the late 1930s in southern California, where people raced modified cars on dry lake beds northeast of Los Angeles. This gained popularity after World War II, particularly in California, because many returning soldiers had received technical training. The first hot rods were old cars modified to reduce weight. Engine swaps, removal of convertible tops, hoods, bumpers, windshields, and/or fenders; channeling the body; and modifying the engine by tuning and/or replacing with a more powerful type. Wheels and tires were changed for improved traction and handling. Many small military airports throughout the country were either abandoned or rarely used, allowing hot rodders across the country to race on marked courses. Originally, drag racing had tracks as long as 1 mi (1.6 km) or more, and included up to four lanes of racing simultaneously. As some hot rodders also raced on the street, a need arose for an organization to promote safety, and to provide venues for safe racing. The National Hot Rod Association was founded in 1951, to take drag racing off the streets and into controlled environments. A typical mid-1950s to early 1960s custom Deuce was fenderless and steeply chopped, powered by modified V8 engines. As hot rodding became more popular, magazines and associations catering to hot rodders were started, such as the magazine Hot Rod. As automobiles offered by the major automakers began increasing performance, the lure of hot rods began to wane. With the advent of the muscle car, it was now possible to purchase a high-performance car straight from the showroom. However the 1973 Oil Crisis caused car manufacturers to focus on fuel efficiency over performance, which led to a resurgence of interest in hot rodding. As the focus shifted away from racing, the modified cars became known as "street rods". The National Street Rod Association (NSRA) was formed and began hosting events.