- Hero image and all other images, text & errors by: Chris Breeden

From the garage: series introduction

For those that have not been around Hot Rods very much they can seem a little difficult to understand. The jargon used by Rodders can sometimes be impossible to decipher if you don't know someone that can translate for you. Well, as it turns out, you do have someone that can help you step into the Hot Rodding light. Me...

Beginning next Tuesday, and continuing every Tuesday in November, the Custom & Hot Rod Life tribe will publish a technical article, that's designed to help you better understand the construction of a Hot Rod. This is because the best way to understand anything, is to roll your sleeves up and poke around the greasy bits!

It all starts with a frame. A '33/'34 Ford frame. Photo by: Chris Breeden


When beginning the construction of anything you need a solid starting point. In the construction of a Hot Rod that is the frame. On 9 October, next week, we will start out talking about the different types of frames used in the Hot Rod world. We'll go over the different types of front and rear suspension and the benefits and problems inherent in each one.

Positioning the engine/transmission into the frame rails, while being mindful of steering, exhaust and ground clearance is a difficult task. A Vortec LS1 (4.8L) in a '38 Buick Special with a Nova front suspension. Photo by: Chris Breeden


The placement of an engine into the frame can have major consequences on how well the car acts while driving. On 16 October, we will go over engine placement in relation to steering clearance / geometry, ground clearance, exhaust routing and heat build up. This is one of the most critical steps in the construction of a Hot Rod!

A "rats nest" of wires can be avoided! Photo by: Chris Breeden


One of the things that scares a new Hot Rodder the most, is the thought of wiring an entire car! Would you believe that I've found the secret to doing it all, and safely, in one weekend? Be sure and drop by on the 23rd of October for the reveal of that little secret.

Photo by: Chris Breeden

Awesome November!

So be sure and check back in with the Custom & Hot Rod Life tribe, every Tuesday where we will pass along a little bit of Hot Rod knowledge! These articles will not be super technical, but they will familiarize you with the basics in each area. Sometimes, having even a vague idea of what's going on will help you on your way towards a better understanding. Knowing how a Hot Rods frame is constructed might not help you in understanding how a hybrid gas-electric engine works, but it will give you a basis to build on. Knowing the basic, fundamental parts on the most basic cars constructed in the world, will help you better understand what you are looking at even on the most modern of cars. Knowledge is cool!

Keep on Cruisin'!

Art by: Chris Breeden

About the Author:

"Chris Breeden is a Social Media content creator for Custom & Hot Rod Life on DRIVETRIBE, YouTube and Facebook. After spending 5 years in Southern California, a.k.a. Hot Rod Heaven, while serving as a jet engine mechanic in the United States Marine Corps, he moved back home to Tennessee with an even greater love for Hot Rodded Vintage Tin. Since then he has worked in retail sales and the transportation and logistics industry. In 2018, seeing a gap in Hot Rod and Custom Car coverage on DRIVETRIBE, Chris began advocating for their inclusion on the platform. During the summer months, he can be found all over the Tennessee region covering car shows, meets, and cruise-ins. During the winter months, he can be found in the garage working on his custom 1949 Ford two-door sedan and 1954 F100 truck."


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Comments (5)
  • If there's anything I'm afraid of when looking at an older car, it's rust and electrical wiring that looks like spaghetti! This series will be useful!

    9 days ago
    2 Bumps
    • Those two things give me nightmares at night!

      9 days ago
      1 Bump
    • You'll be amazed to see how much of all that garbage the bank repos on that you don't mean. After completely gutting stripping 56 Ford pickup truck I put a 390 Thunderbird engine...

      Read more
      9 days ago
  • I was in the middle of drawing this when I read this article

    9 days ago
    1 Bump