Share Review

Related Articles

Carchitecture book review cars house

Book Review: Carchitechture

quattro book group b rally car

Book Review: Quattro

Book Review - HOT ROD Magazine: 75 Years

image of the page spread of the start of chapter five of the Hot Rod book

A book by Drew Hardin.

HOT ROD Magazine: 75 Years is the officially-licensed celebration of the world’s longest continuously published and best-known automotive magazine. It’s a labor of love by author and HOT ROD alum Drew Hardin.

By Glenn Oyoung

Tue, Dec 20, 2022 11:42 AM PST

all images courtesy of the publisher of "HOT ROD Magazine: 75 Years"

There’s a sticker I love that I first saw at my Carcadia monthly meet a while back: “Respect your Elders.” If memory serves, I saw it on either a super clean, slammed 80’s Mercedes wagon or a super clean, slammed 70’s Toyota. Either way, it resonated. I believe that the tasteful drivers of both of these tuned imports should include in their elders the returning veterans of World War II who created the hot rod movement in the US and beyond. These men of the “greatest generation” came home with three things required to create said movement: mechanical experience, disposable income, and a need for speed (no doubt infused with an understandable #YOLO mentality forged under fire.)

Robert Petersen as seen within the book
Robert Petersen built a publishing empire, starting with HOT ROD

Luckily for us, an Army Air Corps veteran named Robert E. Petersen (yes, that Petersen, as in the Petersen Automotive Museum) was on hand to photograph and capture this nascent movement. In 1948, HOT ROD Magazine was born, capturing everything from the early days of hot rodding to the muscle car craze in the 70s and a peek at the future of hot rodding.

image of a bunch of hot rod racers at the Salt Flats
The early days of hot rodding: at the Bonneville Salt Flats

Along the way, author Drew Hardin masterfully chronicles the impact HOT ROD has had on the automotive industry and how this magazine that has evolved into a souped up multi-modal content machine has touched so many lives.

image of the cover of the book "Hot Rod Magazine - 75 Years"
Hot Rod Magazine - 75 Years book cover

Drew Hardin is the perfect choice to pilot this trip down memory lane. A former editor and editorial director for several Petersen Publications, including HOT ROD Deluxe and Muscle Car Review, Hardin highlights not only the coolest cars but also the icons who made them – legends like Alex Xydias, Vic Edelbrock, Boyd Coddington, Chip Foose, and fellow HOT ROD alum David Freiburger.

image of page spread within the book Hot Rod Magazine - 75 Years
Chip Foose and other icons are captured in the book

This book is not likely to sit on your coffee table collecting dust. Automotive enthusiasts of every demographic will enjoy learning about the hot rod craze that has thrived over 75 years and hopefully will persist for another 75.

For more information from the book's publisher, visit

About The Author

Glenn Oyoung's profile picture

Glenn Oyoung

Glenn Oyoung is a marketer based in Los Angeles. Glenn’s lifelong passion for cars is rooted in playing with Hot Wheels, and has continued into 1:1 scale. He’s the former marketing director of American Racing, author of ‘vehicular alphabet books’ “C is for Car” and "P is for Petersen" in collaboration with the Petersen Automotive Museum. His passion for cars extends to his role as the founder of the monthly car meet Carcadia at Route 66, the most diverse car meet in the San Gabriel Valley.

You Might Also Like These Articles:

cover of the book "Ken Miles - The Shelby American Years" by Dave Freidman

Ken Miles - The Shelby American Years

Profile photo of Ed Iskenderian, from the book "Ed Iskenderian and the History of Hot Rodding"

I Kissed Isky

cover of the book Porsche Unseen

Seeing the Unseen

Carroll Shelby driving Daisy at Irwindale Speedway, way back when..

Shelby Cobra Daisy Is Sold

very old green car standing outside a classic brick manor.

2021 Salon Privé