Gunning it! Hot Rods Rule!

Posted by on August 22, 2010

In today’s world of airbags, government regulations and technology, driving has seemingly faded into the background, dismissed by the electronic culture of cell phones, social media and the Internet.  However, it wasn’t always this way.  In post-war America of the late 1940’s and 1950’s, it  was the heyday of the automotive culture, the rise of the mechanical, the rapid transformation of American society that had started in World War II and was moving us towards a mobile culture.

While many of us now consider these years as “tame” and only remember the nostalgia of  American Grafitti, Happy Days and trips to the burger stand, the truth is somewhat different.  The growth of the teenage culture as evidenced by the rise of  the mechanical and automotive can easily be seen.  Hot rods ruled as youth took to the roads, becoming the Baby Boom generation that we all know about today.

By taking everyday cars and mechanical bits and pieces to speed them up, lower them down, and make them faster, this generation proved itself and broke away from the generation that preceded them.

However, the “establishment” as it was to become known in the Sixties, didn’t take to well to this “rebellion” as evidenced by a plethora of films, warnings in literature and more.  However, the “genie was out of the bottle” and this emergence of youth could not be stopped–and ultimately set the precendent for the later, more rapid transformation of American culture that was to come.

While we’ve had a chance to explain, at least in our thoughts, the youth culture of the fifties, the best methods of seeing this can be found by your own examination!  Take a look at the following links and see for yourself what we have found to be true….besides, there’s some pretty neat things to be found there!

Have a great day!


Tomorrow’s Drivers (Narrated by Jimmy Stewart)

The Golden Years (Popular Culture as seen by the Handy Jam organization)

Death of the Sunday Drive

Popular Mechanics:  Sidewalk Hot Rod

LIFE:  The Drag Racing Rage!

LIFE: Hot Rod Black Sunday (Daytona)


Images courtesy Internet Archive, keyword=”hot rod”  (try it, there are many more good examples!)

“Hot Rod Problem” courtesy LIFE magazine via Google Books

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