TACOMA, Wash. – America’s Car Museum (ACM) recently updated its “Route 66: Dream of the Mother Road” exhibit with an assortment of cool “hot rods” throughout American motoring history. To pay homage to the cars that cruised the iconic highway, ACM will now display 11 modified vehicles in the Summer Drive Series – Hot Rods display.
Constructed in 1926, Route 66 allowed countless Americans to set their headlights towards the Pacific in the years following the Great Depression. Those who arrived in Southern California were among the first witnesses to the development of early hot rod culture.
A hot rod is defined as a vehicle that’s been modified for extra power and speed. As demonstrated by the vehicles in ACM’s exhibit, hot rods come in all shapes and sizes.
For example, popular traditional rods – such as the 1915-1927 Ford Model T roadsters – were stripped of unnecessary weight for better performance: items such as hoods, bumpers and various body panels were removed and engines were either modified or replaced for more power by rodders, who designated these rides as “T-Buckets.”
Among the award-winning hot rods in the display is a 1932 Ford Sedan Delivery built by Dan’s Rod and Custom, which features a 1953 Mercury 286 cubic-inch flathead V-8 and a 1939 Ford 3-speed manual gearbox accented by new-old stock parts.
“The hot rod movement mirrors Route 66 in many ways,” said ACM CEO David Madeira. “Just like the ‘Mother Road’ laid the foundation for the interstate highway system, the hot rod movement paved the way for today’s automotive customizing craze. The vehicles on display are spectacular examples of the different types of hot rods that became synonymous with the legendary road.”
Art Morrison Enterprises added its tricked-out SEMA “Best of Show” 1960 Corvette to the display, which might be familiar to fans of the popular Gran Turismo video game series because anyone with a copy of the game can “test drive” the car – albeit digitally. This particular model year ’Vette was also featured in the pilot episode of the classic television show, Route 66.
All of the vehicles in the Summer Drive Series – Hot Rods display are shining examples of how hot rodding culture began and evolved throughout the years. The cars in the gallery include:
- 1923 Ford T-Bucket
- 1931 Ford Roadster
- 1932 Ford Roadster
- 1932 Ford Sedan Delivery
- 1932 Ford Jet Engine
- 1932 Ford Crown Victoria
- 1934 Ford Custom Coupe
- 1941 Ford Pickup
- 1948 Chevrolet Fleetwood
- 1960 Chevrolet Corvette
- 1965 Mercury Cyclone
For more information on the Summer Drive Series – Hot Rods display and other exhibits currently on view at ACM, visit americascarmuseum.org.
About LeMay – America’s Car Museum (americascarmuseum.org)
America’s Car Museum (ACM) – one of USA Today’s 10 Best Museums in Seattle and KING5’s 2015 Best Museum in Western Washington – is an international destination for families and auto enthusiasts to celebrate America’s love affair with the automobile and how it shaped our society. The stunning, four-level, 165,000-sq.-ft. Tacoma, Wash., facility features 12 rotating exhibits, five annual Signature Events and serves as an educational center, hosting students of all ages. For more information on ACM, visit americascarmuseum.org.