by Jason M.
It’s not easy to imagine what the American car scene would have been like had hot rods and muscle cars not been around. While many people can tell you all about the iconic muscle cars of the 1960’s and 1970’s including the ever-popular Pontiac GTO from 1965 or the Ford Mustang Boss of 1969, it’s nice to dig a little deeper to check out the 1950’s hot rods that helped shape hot rod racing today by winning competitions, being fast and sleek and having an overall smooth design.
Early hot rods were souped up to go faster than ever before and the hot rod movement that got its beginnings in Los Angeles with illegal street racing in the 1920’s had been legalized, in part by the National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) by the 1950’s. While cars today can go at a much faster speed than those beautiful hot rods of yesteryear, there is still nothing that can compare to the rugged appearance, the roar of the engine, the soft leather interior and the vibrant colors that often adorned many of the rods from those days.
If you own a hot rod and have been considering taking it cross-country to enter a show, A-1 Auto Transport recommends that you have it professionally transported to avoid excess wear and tear and unnecessary expenses that you may have to pay if you choose to drive it long distance. While these cars are great to see and can often still leave others in the dust, it’s probably best to keep their driving hours down to avoid the need for parts replacement.
Cars today just don’t seem to have the same gusto that they had back in the day. Let’s take a moment to step back in time and check out the hot rods that still possess that vibrant energy sand lure that every enthusiast still drools over today.
1950 Mercury Model M74 Eight Sedan
The 1950 Mercury Model M74 Eight Sedan was complete with a “3 on the tree” manual transmission, suicide doors and a smooth ride at any speed. While these were often a preferred car for street racing, they were also perfect for a family outing or heading to town to catch a movie on the weekend.
1951 Hudson Pacemaker
Photo Credit: John Lloyd/Flickr
This beautiful step-down convertible was not only a rarity, but it was also decked out with a 308 cubic inch Twin H engine with dual carbs and from the Hornet which allowed it to be a highly competitive speed demon, the 1951 Hudson Pacemaker was a car to be reckoned with. As a matter of fact, the Pacemaker was fast enough to race with the big guys at the NASCAR tracks. This car would turn heads as it rolled down the street and could be found in many bright colors including red, cream and bright green.
1955 Chevrolet Bel Air
Photo Credit: GPW 56/Flickr
The 1955 Chevy Belair remains one of the more popular hot rods of the 50’s and you can often find them featured in local car shows and cruise-ins across America. The 1955 model had a powerful V8 engine and came with an option to have either a manual or a Power glide automatic transmission. The car would go from zero to sixty in just 12 seconds and in 1955, that was outstanding!
1956 Porsche 550 Spyder
Photo Source: Wikipedia
The 1956 Porsche 550 Spyder was a fantastic speed machine and it has long been thought of as one of the best sports cars ever built. This car drove like a dream whether it was on a busy city street or battling another for a win on the race track.
1958 C1 Corvette
Photo Credit: Sicnag/Flickr
There is just something about a Corvette that seems to turn people’s heads when they see one racing down the road. The Corvette C1 was available with a powerful V8 engine and a 3-speed or four-speed transmission. Corvette was a car that dominated on the race track, and even today those older models are still fierce to compete with when they are up and running. For others, the race days may be over, but the 1958 C1 Corvette will always remain a collector’s dream car.
Speed and custom design have long been popular trends in cars and even today hot rods are still very popular with enthusiasts. Rod runs, and shows are held across the globe and often you can find one that lasts an entire weekend where you can not only see some of the coolest cars ever built but if you own one yourself, you can shine it up and show it off to the crowds.