To lighten the weight of their cars, in order to improve their performance on the tracks, hot rodders would strip away the fenders, bumpers and step plates. They installed wider rear tires and lowered the windshield for greater aerodynamic effect. All of these “enhancements”, combined with a responsive and powerful engine, enabled these cars to reach top speeds of around 200 km/h (124 mph).
Kits featuring individual high-performance auto parts were soon marketed. Many hot rod fans were unable to afford them, so they turned either attention to their car’s appearance: lower roofs, rear fenders skirts, special wheel caps, chrome trim and accents, customized body work. After all, the hot rod movement was first and foremost about flashing your know-how and ingenuity, and about feeling young and free behind the wheel.
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