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About Hot Rod

Hot rods are typically American cars with large engines modified for linear speed. The origin of the term "hot rod" is unclear. One explanation is that the term is a contraction of "hot roadster," meaning a roadster that was modified for speed. Another possible origin includes modifications to or replacement of the camshaft, sometimes known as a "stick" or "rod".

A camshaft designed to produce more power is sometimes call a "hot stick" or, here, a "hot rod". Roadsters were the cars of choice because they were light. The term became commonplace in the 1930s or 1940s as the name of a car that had been "hopped up" by modifying the engine in various ways to achieve higher performance.

The term can also apply to other items that are "souped up" for a particular purpose, such as "hot-rodded amplifier".
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