The Birth of Hot Rodding
The Birth of Hot Rodding was selected by the American Auto Racing Writers & Broadcasters Assoc. as its choice for the best book on auto racing for 2003. Subtitled: The Story of the Dry Lakes Era."The nearest thing to it, as I thought then, would be like landing on the moon!"--Wally Parks, describing the dry lakesIn the garages, shops, and fertile minds of 1920s car buffs in search of more power and speed, the hot rodding movement was born. A hot bed of this early quest for speed sprang up when the first Southern California hot rod builder hauled his creation over the ridge of mountains and opened up the throttle on the Mojave Desert's dry lakes.The dry lake beds of the desert provided the common denominator, the measuring stick against which all hot rod builders would judge their modified machines. These dry lakes were in secluded spots where this creative breed of car folk could come together to share ideas, learn from the masters, and compete to be the fastest for the weekend.These wide open havens for speed and freedom nestled within the mountains north of Los Angeles provided nature's perfect racing surface: perfectly flat, free of obstacles, with miles to go in any direction. Places like Muroc, El Mirage, and Harper were transformed from ancient prehistoric no-man's-land to the weekend testing grounds of speed. Author Robert Genat brings together stories of the golden age of hot rodding from the men and women who pioneered the sport in The Birth of Hot Rodding. Profiles of the most influential racers, cars, and events accompany original photography to create a definitive history of hot rod racing on the dry lakes. With a foreword by Wally Parks, NHRA founder and chairman of the NHRA Motorsports Museum, The Birth of Hot Rodding encapsulates a unique piece of racing history.