No Tangerine Flake, Baby: Hot Rods Go Back to Basic Black

Phil Patton of The New York Times recently examined the hot rod culture and its unique transformation throughout the years. “Like many of those who created it in 1950’s and ’60’s garages, the postwar hot rod culture has grown mature, rich and rather respectable. In place of personalized jalopies cobbled together with cannibalized parts, many modern hot rods flaunt the latest electronic toys, custom fiberglass bodywork and nearly fluorescent paint. High-end customizers like Boyd Coddington are television celebrities, building costly cars on camera for wealthy collectors.” The article later explained some of the societal influences associated with the hot rod culture. “Hot rodding was burned into pop culture by the music of the Beach Boys and the 1973 film ‘American Graffiti.’ The quintessential hot rod platform is probably the 1932 Ford coupe, the ‘little deuce coupe’ of the Beach Boys’ song. Hot rod culture was also recognized as early as 1968 as an American folk art, at least on the West Coast, in several museum shows curated by Phil Linares of the Oakland Museum of California. For younger drivers, hot rodding is history waiting to be rediscovered and revived.”