Some of the industry's hot rod leaders gathered during the recent HRIA virtual panel discussion to share their unique perspectives on how a "hot rod" is defined, the emergence of EVs and where other similar communities fit in.

Moderated by Amy Fitzgerald, Cool Hand Customs, the panel features Jesse Henke, JH Restorations Ltd; Pete Filippo, Filippo Speed Shop Inc.; and Tim Strange, Strange Motion Rod & Custom.

Watch On Demand: What's a Hot Rod? The Answer May Surprise You!

Viewers will hear the panel's insight on the current state of hot rods and what the future might hold, including:

"When we first opened, I would get the old timers that would come in that just retired. They got their retirement package, and they always want a '32 Ford, so we do that. Then there was a 350 swap – so a 'traditional' hot rod. But then I started getting the guys coming in that wanted the BMW Hellcat swap with a sequential gearbox – big brakes of course […] Our C10 project, the LT4 swap; it's fun. We're trying for like 900 horsepower. I think all of them are still hot rods though. I still think the BMW is a hot rod as well because it's light weight and it's fast." – Pete Filippo

"A lot of people want bigger horsepower stuff. Of course, all of us guys, we've built the trailer queen cars and go to the indoor shows, but it seems to be less and less of that, and people actually want to get out and do all the cool road trip tours. So, drivability is most of people's function. If you put a fuel injection on you have to be able to service it on the road and not have some crazy something that you can't get a sensor anywhere in the country. We try to keep that and make the car serviceable." – Tim Strange

"I think that we as an industry have to think about pushing it (electric) ourselves. Not pushing it to make everybody happy or to follow suit with what the big auto industry is doing, but I think to show people what can be done. I think that's what a lot of us are doing when we're stepping out of our own norms […] As far as (customers) coming in with electric vehicles saying I want one, I don't think we're there quite yet. But it's up to us to know that technology in the background so when they do come knocking on the door, we can." – Jesse Henske