Hot Rod Magazine, All the Covers by Drew Hardin
256 pages, $35 (hardback)
It is hard looking at this to not remember those days, years ago, standing in a drugstore, reading car magazines for free. Fantasies of revved up cars are as close as most of us ever got to hot rods. Though I did know one guy who sold his Harley Davidson a few years ago to buy one—it never left his garage.
Skimming over the hot rod’s history, it all seemed to begin on those dry lake flats. Then it was the phantom-like Mercury and Lincoln customs, muscle cars, and finally…automobiles became too expensive to mess with. They were no longer every boy’s dream, but rather family vans.
Forget all the hot roadsters and hopped-up engines, the magazine cover from May 1952 embodied every young man’s ideal. It is a pointed breast co-ed crossing the street in front of two guys in a souped-up red, V8. This was sex appeal. If you were of those teen-age years then you might get a kick of this retrospective (there’s even a cover of Dragnet’s Jack Webb admiring the engine of a “big rod”). But times changed (even though they launched a swimsuit edition long before Sports Illustrated).
I dunno, maybe we grew up.
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