WHAT IS A STREET ROD?

From the National Street Rod Association

At no time in history have Americans been as interested in specialty automobiles as they are today. Be it a rebuilt old car or a newly constructed, limited production, special interest vehicle, this is the era of the unique to anyone interested in automobiles.

One of the fastest growing groups of enthusiasts interested in the older cars are street rodders; the owners and builders of street rods. A street rod is the most practical type of old car. By definition a street rod is: An automobile of 1948 or earlier manufacture which has undergone some type of modernization, to include any of the following; engine, transmission, interior refinements, and any other modifications the builder desires. A street rod is to be driven to events under its own power and is to be used as a safe, non-racing vehicle for total family enjoyment.

In addition, a street rod is a means of self expression for the creator. The builder of a street rod is not confined to guidelines set down by someone else ... he can be his own man, and the street rod can be whatever he wants it to be, as long as the basic vehicle was manufactured prior to 1949.

The street rod builder has the option of adding a late model engine and drive train from any make of car, he can modify the suspension to give better ride and handling characteristics, and he can incorporate whatever creature comforts he wants. Air conditioning, cruise control, AM-FM stereo radios and CD players, power steering and brakes, and automatic transmissions are common.

The end result is an automobile tailored to the owner’s wants, and yet it is a car that has the looks and charm of a vehicle 50, 60 or even 70 years old. And, as the builder has options when it comes to adding the type of equipment he wants, he can also use as mild or as wild a paint theme as he cares to, or he can modify the lines of the body to suit his own design. The sky is the limit, and he can do whatever he wants without worrying about standards set down by someone else.

One of the best parts of owning a street rod, however, is not in the creating of a unique vehicle, but in its enjoyment after it is completed. With the modernization comes the ability to enjoy the vehicle in ways other resurrected old cars can not be. The vehicle can be driven for long distances in comfort, with safety to the passengers and others on the highway. In addition to making the car more comfortable, improvements in steering, lighting and brakes are nearly always included in the building of a street rod.

A street rod is a nostalgia trip, and while it retains most of the appeal of an old car, it still permits self expression by allowing the creator to incorporate his own ideas in paint, body work and the mechanics that make it go. In this era of special interest automobiles, the street rod is one of the truest forms of personalized vehicles.