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Hot Rod Terms and Hot Rod Slang


EFI:  Electronic Fuel Injection (replaces the carburetor)

E.T:  Elapsed time - the time it takes to run a quarter mile drag

Elephant:  A 1964 or later Chrysler with a V8 and  Hemispherical cylinder heads - a.k.a. 'Hemi'

Fat:  A over rich fuel mixture denote by excessive black smoke

Fat Fendered: Cars built after 1935, and before 1949, which have larger, bulbous fenders

Fill:  Filling body seams with lead or body filler to lend a smoother appearance to the car

Five Window:  A coup body that has 5 windows, not counting the windshield

Fat Fendered Ford

Flathead: A engine that has the valves in the body of the engine rather then the head - also refers to 1932 to 1953 Ford flathead motors

Flamed:  Painted image of flames, usually starting at the front and working towards the back of a hot rod

Flame Throwers:  A device to ignite unburned gases leaving the exhaust system

Flat Head:  V8 engine that Ford used from 1932 – 1955, which had the valves located in the engine block.

Floor Pan:  Metal part of the floor of a vehicle

Fat Fender Ford

Fordor:  Ford name for a four door sedan

Four Banger:  A four cylinder engine

Four Barrel:  A four cylinder engine or a type of carburetor

Four on the Floor:  Floor mounted shifter coupled to a four speed transmission

Free Breather: An engine where all the air to the cylinders is not forced in, as it is with turbo chargers or super chargers

French:  Recessing - usually the headlights and removing the seam of the headlight trim ring

Fuel Injected:  A mechanical device that 'injects' or introduces fuel into an engine

Gasser:  A modified closed car, like a sedan, that competes at drag races

Gear Box:  Transmission

Ghost Flames:  See Flames, only these flames are usually the same color as the body only a few shades lighter or darker

Glass:  Short for fiberglass

Grab Rails:  Handles mounted on the body to help passengers enter the vehicle, usually a rumble seat

Grill Shell:  A decorative trim that goes around the radiator usually on cars built in the early 1930's

Grocery Getter:  A mild street rod that is used for everyday driving

Gutted:  A rod with its interior removed

Hammer:  Same as Chop

Handeler:  A rod that is easy to drive

Haze the Hides:  To spin and smoke the rear tires

Header:  Specialized exhaust manifolds that help reduce exhaust back pressure to increase power

Hemi:  A high performance engine produced by Chrysler where the combustion chamber area in the head is shaped like half a sphere (hemispherical). Also "Hemmy"

Hides:  Tires

Highboy:  A rod with no fenders or running boards and the body place high on the frame rails

High Tech:  Rods that combine customized bodies with billeted or steel dress up parts

Hot Licks:  Flames painted on the side of a car.

Hot Rod:  A production vehicle that has been modified to improve its appearance, increase its performance, or both

Huffer:  Supercharger

Hydro:  Automatic transmission -- derived from the name Hydromatic, a GM transmission used in the 1950s

In the Weeds:  A really low vehicle

Igniter:  The engines ignition system

Jimmy:  Blower or Supercharger (also acronym for a Genral Motors car)

Jug:  A carburetor

Juice:  Fuel, electricity or hydraulic fluid

Kemp:   Rod with a customized body

Knock Offs:  A special wheel system that is held in place with one large, quickly removed nut

Kustom Kulture:  Recently coined term describing the many fashions and styles developed from the early days of hotrodding through today. Kustom Kulture is usually identified with the greasers of the 1950s, drag racers of the 1960s, lowriders of the 1970s, along with several other subcultures such as the 1970s punk rockers, 1980s heavy metal music, and psychobilly of the 1990s

Lakes:  The dry lakes in and around Southern California where hot rodders raced their cars

Lakes Modified:  A radically modified racer designed for racing at the dry lakes

Leadsled:  1950's style custom car which has had major body modifications. Filling was originally done with hot lead, now with plastic fillers

Lean it Out:  To alter the fuel mixture to improve engine performance and use less fuel (will fry the engine if done to extreme)

Locker:  A type of differential that helps prevent tire spin and distributes the engines torque evenly to the rear wheels

Loud Petal:  The accelerator pedal

Louvers:  Vents or slots cut in and raised in various body panels especially the hood and trunk areas

Louie: A left hand turn (Roscoe – right hand turn)

Lowboy:  A rod that has no fenders or running boards that is lowered over the frame (channeled)


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