up—Having a racing cam in a motor.
Custom Car—A factory-made American automobile that
has been modified for appearance. In Southwest Virginia the custom
car’s golden era spanned the 1950s and early 1960s, and the
custom car has been the most artistic facet of Southwest Virginia’s
1939 Ford Deluxe convertible custom car combines a Mustang
suspension, a Chevrolet engine, and Desoto bumpers.
deuce street rod is outfitted with many of the comfort features
of modern automobiles.
vehicle specially built for drag racing. Often the dragster frame
is constructed from the ground up rather than being adapted from a
the years dragster designs have led to longer frames and massive
cam—A technique in which the driver pulls out the choke
so that the motor sounds as if it has a racing cam
rod—A pre-1948 car modified in the 1950s or later with
a big motor, often for drag racing. Ford and Chevrolet coupes have
been the favorites among Southwest Virginia hot rod builders, and
hot rods nationwide typically have a similar look.
many hot rod owners kept their cars street legal so they could
drive them daily, other rods were built specifically for the
car—A stock-looking car used for transporting illegal
whiskey. Also referred to as a “hauler.”
Offy engine—A regional term referring to a 1932-51
Ford or Mercury flathead engine with a multi-carb mounted on an aluminum
Offenhauser intake manifold and a set of finned aluminum Offenhauser
Pipes—Exhaust pipes, especially the chrome
portion at the rear of the car. Hot rods and customs have dual pipes
Rake—An automobile stance with the front end lower
than the back. “Rake” is often achieved by putting small
tires (and/or a dropped axle) in the front and large tires in back.
rod—A hot rod which maintains an essentially stock
body despite having typical rod modifications such as a rake, a late-model
engine, and a late-model running gear.
performance modifications are hidden beneath the stock body
of this 1939 Ford resto rod.
Burner—Typically a small Japanese automobile with a
high-performance engine and minor body modifications. Rice burners
are popular among young males today.
the rice burner is the car of choice for speed fans in their
teens and twenties.
person who builds hot rods and street rods.
Runner—A person who transports illegal whiskey in a
car modified to carry moonshine and liquor-making supplies through
the woods to and from a still site. The car body is cut away so that
the rear of the “skidder” is open like a truck body.
Spinners—Hubcaps with a bar (or bars) that appear to
be spinning when the car is moving. Also called “flippers.”
Squirrel—A person who shows off an automobile by doing
a “burn out” at a stop light or other attention-grabbing
Car—A mid-size open-wheel vehicle for racing on oval
sprint cars, such as this one driven by L. S. Jamison at the
Starkey Speedway (Roanoke County), circa 1954, competed at
oval tracks across Southwest Virginia for decades.
Car—The most commonly raced automobile on oval tracks
today. The modern stock car is engineered for safety and endurance
at high speeds.
earlier times stock car racers adapted an everyday vehicle
to the track rather than build a car from the ground up.
Rod—A pre-1948 car modified to have the same performance
qualities as a hot rod but with the comforts of later vehicles. Street
rods are built for cruising.
Three on the tree—A three-speed standard transmission
with the gear shift attached to the steering column.