VIP Sponsors


Hot Rod Gallery

Hot Rod Gallery


Book Review By Jim Clark (The Hot Rod MD)

This book is titled “Hot Rod Gallery” because it is a photographic history of hot rodding in the era from the 1930s to the beginning of the 1960s.  Most works like this consist of a lot of copy about the times coupled with some often published photos, but “Hot Rod Gallery” is unique in that it was created with images carefully selected from the authors massive collection; 30,000 to 40,000 prints, negatives and color transparencies.

These photos are all old, previously unpublished images, with a few exceptions, collected over the years from the individuals that lived this history.  The generous photo captions include historical information about the subjects, plus insight into how they are significant to the history of hot rodding.

I have some history with the publishing of old photos in hot rod history books at “Tex Smith’s Hot Rod Library” and know how difficult it is to reproduce old photos in print and achieve any kind of quality.  This book, “Hot Rod Gallery”, has surpassed the quality seen in most works of this type with large photos having exceptional clarity while retaining the look of historic images.

The story begins, chapter-by chapter, with the earliest hop-ups, gow jobs and modifieds, early street activities, the first car shows, first drag races, early customs, early hot rod shops and speed parts, angel hair and tiki heads car shows, and concludes with two chapters of rare 1950s hot rods in color and 1950s customs in color.  There is just enough copy to set the stage for the photo gallery that follows.

I have to disclose my long-time professional and personal association with the author dating back to our years working together on “Street Rodder Magazine” in the 1970s.  In the years following he has been the Editor of other publications, including “Rod & Custom” and “Hot Rod” magazines.  Authored numerous books on hot rod how-to subjects and historical works on custom cars, famous figures like Ed “Big-Daddy” Roth and the soon to be released profile on “Von Dutch”.  He is also a regular contributor to “The Rodder’s Journal” and other automotive related publications.

This photo (not in the book) of Pat and I was taken while we were shooting drag race coverage for the magazines in the 1970s.  I am the short one (6-ft) on the left.

Here are sample pages showing the variety of images in the “Hot Rod Gallery”.

This is one book that hot rod enthusiasts should add to their hot rod library.  And if you act fast you can obtain one of the limited edition leather-bound signed copies to go on the main bookshelf with your other valued works.

CarTech is offering an exclusive version of the book, beautifully presented, bound in leather with gold lettering and signed by the author. This is the version which will go to the author of our favorite tale of "The One That Got Away."

To enter, send your stories with your name and a photo (if you've got one) to [email protected].  The contest will run until July 1, 2014.

To purchase the book, go to

Use Promo Code: HRHL to get 20% off the entire order. This offer is valid until 8/31/14. It is a one-time use code only!