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Hot Rod Terms and Hot Rod Slang


Mag:  Short for a wheel made with a magnesium alloy. Can also mean Magneto, a self contained ignition system

Mill:  Engine

Molded:  Filling and reshaping body panels and seams

Mood Disks or Discs:  Flat aluminum wheel covers

Mouse Motor:  A small block Chevy engine manufactured from 1955 to present day.

NOS:  Nitrous Oxide System, for creating big horsepower

N.O.S:  “New Old Stock” -- parts that are the original parts supplied by the vehicles manufacturer for today’s older vehicles

Nail Head:  A 1950's Buick engine

Nerf Bars: Little bumperettes used to ward off tires in open wheel racing cars 

Newstalgia:  Refers to a rod style that mimics the 50's and 60's and employs modern power plants, components and body panels

OE:  Original Equipment

Overbore:  An engine block that has had its cylinder bore enlarged, due to wearing or  to increase power

Overwind:  To run an engine faster in RPM then its designed limits

Panel Delivery:  An early commercial vehicle with two doors in the front for people and two doors at the rear of the vehicle for cargo

Pearl Paint:  Sometimes called "pearl coat." Similar to metallic paint, but instead of minute metal particles it uses mica, a kind of semi transparent, crystalline mineral that absorbs and reflects light in prismatic fashion. This gives a dramatic, multi-dimensional effect to the paint , reflecting Mother of Pearl type iridescent colors.

Pie crust sidewall:  Sidewall scallops, as seen on many of the Firestone bias ply tires.

Pit Pins:  Quick release pins that hold body panels in place

Phaeton:  An open two or four door sedan manufactured in the late 20's to the late 30's, that had no roll up windows

Phone Booth:  A 28 or 29 Model 'A'  closed cab pickup

Pin Stripe:  Long, narrow painted stripes usually running the length of a hot rod.  Cheap version may be done with narrow plastic tape.

Ported:  Intake and exhaust ports that have been enlarged and polished to provide maximum flow through the heads

Power Parker: People that arrive as early as possible to events and shows to get prime parking spots, usually frowned on by hot rodders

Pro Street:  A hotrod made to look like a drag racing car. Some may be raced, but most are created to show.

Puffer:  A supercharger

Quick Change:  Rear end that allows for rapid changing of rear end gear ratios  

RPM:   'Revolutions Per Minute' or how many rotations an engines crankshaft completes in one minute

Rails:  Frame side rails on cars used before invention of the uni-body

Raked:  Rod that has been lowered in the front or raised in the back by dropping the suspension

Rat:  A Big Block Chevy V8 engine e.g.: 396, 400, 427, and 454 cid

Reacher:  A dependable street rod

Repro:  Reproduction parts to match or replace N.O.S. (New Old Stock) parts

Resto Rod:  A hot rod or street rod with a stock looking outer appearance, but with modern running gear
Running On Rails:  Used to describe a car that is handling perfectly

Roadster:  A two-seater (see “Phaeton”) with removable top, no roll up side windows, and the windshield could fold down

Rod:  A short for either “Hotrod” or “Connecting Rod”

Rod Run:  May mean an event open to pre ‘62 only or can refer to any pre-ordained driving route as in a rally

Roll Bar:  A special cage made of round tubular steel designed to protect occupants in case of roll over.

Roll Cage:  Same as Roll Bar

Roller:  A chassis that is completed enough to be rolled around on its own.  Can also refer to a type of camshaft that uses roller lifters.

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

Rubber Rake:  A rake angle achieved by the use of big tires in the back and little tires in the front

Sano:  A rod that is absolutely spotless (sanitary)

Saw:  See Chop

Scallops:  A graphic in the shape of a long narrow triangle, usually starting from the front of a hotrod

Scatter Shield:  An enclosure at the rear of the engine to protect the driver in case a clutch explodes, also used on the transmission

Scoop:  A device mounted on the hood to force air into the engine at higher speeds

Section:  To remove a band of metal from around the middle section of a vehicle to reduce its overall height

Sedan Delivery:  A truck with two opening doors up front and one huge door in the rear

Shoebox Nickname of a ‘49-‘51 Ford car

Slammed:  A vehicle or hotrod that is as close to the ground as possible without actually touching

Skins:  Tires

Skirts:  Short for Fender Skirts which cover wheel well openings in customs and hotrods

Smoothy:  A hotrod that has had all raised portions of the body removed, including moldings and chrome

Spots:  Short for a spot light, also refers to disk brakes

Stacks:  Short for Velocity Stacks, used on carbureted and fuel injected engines

Stance:  How the tires and wheels cause the car to sit on the road.

Steelies:  Wheels made of steel , such as Gennies, Smoothies or OE Ford/GM. Or, a marble made from knocking apart really big old ball bearings.

Step Plates:  Pads mounted on running boards or fenders to protect the paint or rubber matting

Stick Shift:  A floor mounted gear shift lever

Stone:  Very slow car

Stones:  Short for Firestone tires

Stove Bolt:  A rod powered by a Chevy inline six cylinder engine

Street Machine:  Usually refers to a hot rodded car built after 1949

Street Rod:  Hot rodded car built before 1949, may be a reproduction, or with modern parts

Stroker:  An engine equipped with a longer-than-stock crankshaft throw, with modified-length connecting rods

Stuffer:  Supercharger

Suede:  Primer

Supercharger:  A mechanical device designed to force air into an engine at higher then atmospheric pressure to pick up horsepower

T-Bucket:  A short, fenderless opened 'T' body hotrod

TPI:  Tuned Port Injection

Tach:  Short for Tachometer and a device to read engine RPM

Three On The Tree:  Column mounted three speed transmission shifter

Trad Rad:  A street rod built in the styles of the 50's and 60's rods

Tub:  A touring car or Phaeton.

Tubbed:  Fenders cut to increase wheel well size to house taller and wider tires. Rear end modified, usually at the rear axel. Sometimes rear seat is removed.

Tudor:  Ford name for a two door sedan

Uncorked:  Running without mufflers

Victoria:  A sporty two door sedan body that featured a different rear body panel style (also Vicky)

Wedge:  A type of Chrysler engine with wedge shaped combustion chambers in the heads

Whitewall:  Tires that have a concentric white line. Some are up to four inches wide and called "wide whitewall."

Wide Whites: Wide whitewall tires

Wide Weenies: Large rear tires

Wires:  Spoked Wire Wheels

X Member: The center portion of a frame where the frame rails meet or cross

Y Block:  A cylinder block with deep pan rails

Z'ed: Frame rails altered in a Z shape to lower the front of a hot rod

Zoomy:  A wild street rod with open exhaust pipes



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