Hot Rodding: The British Way

Cars Culture

Americana and British hot rodding heritage come together on the sands of Pendine

The hot rod story. So it goes. Dry lake beds. Endless deserts. Hopped up Southern California jalopies. Timing associations. Engineer boots, pocket tees, chinos and heavy selvedge. A miasma of Americana.

All those GIs returned from the war with a few dollars in their pockets, a whole bunch of hard-won mechanical nous and a penchant for thrill seeking accelerated it all of course.

In the shortage of material from the economic sponge that was the armaments industry of the 1940s, kids were grabbing bits and pieces from scrap yards and in their back yards were strapping it all together, building it all up on a ladder-framed chassis and bolting a flathead V8 onto the whole issue.

Pretty soon a teen scene was developing, pre-dating Bill Hayley by a decade, shadowing the growing surf cult on the coast. A greasy fingered, slick back haired coterie of unruly young folk, looking louche in their service-issue schmutter was shutting down highways and dragging between the lights.

The Dry Deserts of Southern California were the perfect context