Hot Rods And Custom Cars

For those looking to build a car that's unique, with more style and power than a standard production model, there is the wide-open field of hot rods and custom cars.

hot rods and custom cars

Hot Rods are time machines. Built right, they never go out of style.

Chevy small-block

Custom cars and trucks bring out the individuality of the builder.

hot rods and custom cars

Building Skills

If you have the time and are mechanically inclined, skills to build a custom car can usually be obtained. You may not have the skills today, but once you learn them you'll always have them.

1935 chevy sedan street rod

Swapping An Engine For Performance

Some might say that physical size is the only obstacle when engine swapping, but that's only true if you need to contain the motor under a hood. In the world of hot rods, the sky is your only limit.

1935 Chevy Sedan street rod

Read: Engine Swap Basics

Best Engine For Hot Rod Build ?

For the last 75 years, the two most common motors for custom and hot rod builds are the flathead Ford and the small-block Chevy. No other motors have the history, racing heritage and aftermarket parts availability of these two engines.

Flathead Ford

Produced from 1932 until 1953, the Ford Flathead V8 was placed in over 25 million cars and trucks. The engine's 21-year production is on "Ward's List of the Ten Best engines of the 20th century".

hot rod performance

Read: Ford Flathead V8 Identification and Specs

Although offered in several displacements, the block remained the pretty much the same throughout it's production. Any parts needed, including replacement blocks, are still available!

Flathead Ford performance manifold

Read: Flathead Ford Performance Upgrades

Chevy Small-Block

Debuting in 1955, the small-block Chevy V8 immediately starting beating Ford flatheads on the street and on the track. It's capacity for displacement increases helped keep it the engine to beat.

small block Chevy for hot rod build

Read: Old School Small-Block Chevy Build

Since the 1970s, the small-block Chevy V8 has been a common sight between many a hot rod's frame rails. If you're thinking of building a small-block Chevy for your hot rod, there's a lot out there to choose from.

best heads for gen one SBC

Read: Best Heads For Gen-1 Small-Block Chevy


Go Fast Cheap

There are plenty of other motors out there for the street rod project you're brewing up. Any first-gen Chrysler Hemi, or a small-block Ford come to mind. Buick Nailheads were once a popular choice as well. But--they don't have the "go fast cheap" that the flatties used to have and small-block Chevy's still have.


The one-wire alternators you see for sale today are clones of the original GM unit. So for you die-hard Ford and Mopar guys, there's no GM parts in these aftermarket units!

small block Chevy in street rod

Read: Install A One-Wire Alternator


Build A T-Bucket

To build a T-bucket fifty years ago, you'd have to have been a mechanic, welder, and painter, and also know how to lay fiberglass and do upholstery. Today, it's a whole lot easier.

Build A T-Bucket

Read: Build A T-Bucket


Registering A Hot Rod/Custom Car

One of the hardest parts of building a hot rod or custom car is getting it registered. Here is a link to Crankshaft Coalition's Wiki page that goes through various state's and country's different procedures:

Read: How To Title A Hot Rod


Buick Nailhead powered hot rod

"If You Can Think It You Can Build It"

- Steve Scott, builder of the Uncertain T


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