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Today, when someone says “hot rod” we tend to think of a chopped down 1932 Ford, fitted with a worked V8 and stripped of much of its original bulky panel work to streamline the body, and then painted an eye-blasting bright colour.
In reality, the car we think of was built by Californian hot rodder Bob McGee 70 years ago in 1947, a car which became the iconic image of the hot rod movement, and a machine that has now been recognised by America’s Historic Vehicle Association and listed on the National Historic Vehicle Register as a culturally significant car.
One of three modified car legends to be recognised as a vehicle that changed car culture, the McGee roadster went through several owners and many updates over the previous 70 years. It was resprayed red, yellow and black over the years, set land speed records in classes it started, was one of the first hot rods to have a the then-brand-new Chevy small-block V8 swapped into it (started a trend that continues today), and so much more. This video details the history of hot rodding and notes the impact the McGee roadster has had, from icons of the sport and industry.