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Brandan
Hagerty Employee

6 hot rod body styles you need to know

In many ways, the terms used to describe the myriad body styles of hot rods read like scientific names for chemical compounds. However, when you're equipped with the nuts and bolts of hot-rodding vocabulary, you can easily decipher the plethora of terms used to denote different styles. Today we’re going to break down the terms used to describe the exact molecular chain of automotive features that comprise some of our favorite custom rides.

 

Read the full article on Hagerty.com:https://www.hagerty.com/media/lists/6-hot-rod-body-styles-you-need-to-know/

50 REPLIES 50
Pepperalls
Detailer

I get a kick out of some of the Euro shows that use terms like "shooting brake" and "cooo pay" (pronouncing coupe with a French accent).

 

Body style... phaeton has hot rod history and has always been cool to me.

 

There used to be a lot of bodystyles. I get that dual-cowl limo things aren't traditionally in the hot rod realm, but just Ford in 1932 offered a lot, 14 according to a poster shown at

 

http://justacarguy.blogspot.com

 

as I can't seem to upload an image.

 

 

 

 

DJT
New Driver

I like European too, like the 1937 Aston Martin 15/98 lwb. https://www.bonhams.com/auctions/22723/lot/339/

Lynnwood
Navigator

And that poster just shows the cars available for 1932. I wonder how many truck bodies were available.

JamesWazeny
New Driver

Like that ,what about bonet,torch,windscreen, you hear them?

renchero63
Pit Crew

Not to be picky, but Humphry Bogart would say coopay about various cars. Such as in The Big Sleep or The Maltese Falcon. This would indicate that coopay was part of the vernacular in the 30s and 40s and not some weenie foreign expression. Though, it was a French word.

Grace
Hagerty Employee

Fascinating stuff! Thanks for demystifying some of this. Also, had no idea hot rodding went back so far in history. 

5-W-CPE
Passenger

My "holy grail" of a ride: '35 Ford with a license plate .... 5-W-CPE

DJT
New Driver

bblhed
Advanced Driver

I can't recall the exact place where I learned the reference but years ago I recall reading or hearing on a TV show that a Highboy was fenderless and a Lowboy still had the fenders. I also recall that either could be chopped and or Channeled. No mater, aside from the safety issue of no fenders, I like teh no fender, no sides on the hood look, extra points if every inch of wiring that can be hidden has been.

SpruceBruce
Passenger

My favorite hot rod style wasn't specifically mentioned by name here but referred to one that has been channeled. 
The "Low Boy" was and is still my favorite. 

59Skyliner
Passenger

I've always heard "channeled" referred to the act of removing a horizontal strip of metal out of the main body, similar to the removal of metal (or "chopped") from the roof of the car.

merlebalke
Detailer

What you describe is sectioning.

DaveE
New Driver

Removing a section from the body is "Sectioned".

Spotter
New Driver

Vicky

Spotter
New Driver

Favorite style would be a Vicky with a mild chop.

RVHarvey
New Driver

T-Bone Roadster, Lead Sled Mercury, Rag Top, Hopped- or Souped Up, Deuce Coupe,

GJS
New Driver

 

nice, compact educational article with excellent pictures depicting the different "hot rods".

Thank you, GJS

RVHarvey
New Driver

Channeled means dropping the body down over the frame as opposed to on top the frame.

johnmgendelman
Passenger

Very interesting. Cleared up a few gray areas of knowledge for me. 

JohnZiraldo
Intermediate Driver

I'll take one of each please!

RBusey70
Passenger

Your best feature yet.  Just the kind of stuff we like to look at.

Jpdelpozo
Pit Crew

Well now this is interesting.  There are several types of coupes as there are several types of sedans in the hot rod world.  I.E., Coupes:  3 window, 5 window, cabriolets, sport, delux, tc.  A club coupe was a coupe with a back seat and the business coupe didn't.  Those evolved later in the years, like the late 1930's and 1940's.  The sedans were 4 door, 2 door and the Victoria.  Roadsters were the standard, deluxe and the options were varied.  One option for coupes and roadsters was the rumble seat or as some called them, the Mother-In-law seat.  Then after being hot rodded, they were full fendered, channeled and highboys.  Highboys could be seen with chopped tops like mine or chopped/ or not and channeled as they were in the East Coast.  The West Coast mostly were high-boys sitting on the frames but they could be had with a chopped top or not.  Of course we had the "Touring Car", an open top sedan of sorts.  Most were had with canvas tops.  The Euros had dual cowl bodies like our own Duesenbergs. We had "Woodies" or open sided station wagons as these were intended for use at train stations.  Then we had the multiple versions of racers and those were extensive.  This is what I have learned over the last 74 years.  I know there are probably lots of old guys that were more involved than I.  At any rate, it was a pretty good article.  

Vanman
Pit Crew

I like the roadsters and sport coupes my self. I also like the body on the top of the frame as apposed to channeling over. Also like the stock steel wheels on much like your blue Model A roadster. That is the perfect look.

Spirtster
Passenger

Business Coupes weren't all low cost autos. Both Lincoln and Cadillac built business coupes in the 1930s.

coastr
Pit Crew

Interesting how high-boy got applied to 70s Ford F250 4x4s, because Ford had to lift the suspension to get ground clearance - because the transfer case had to be mounted lower in the narrow frame.   Didn't know it was a hot rod term.

2Carguy
Passenger

Thanks, In my 72 yrs. think I would of miss a few like that there Gow Rod and believe me I've had a few Rods in my day. Today My Wife & I have what we call our Mom & Pop 64 4dr. Fairlane .

Pappabob
Passenger

Like them all (fortunately/un-fortunately) but prefer the "full fendered" look (where the fenders remain included). BTW, the "Tudor" is known as a "Sedan" not a coupe. Or simply, "A Tudor". "Four Door Sedans" traditionally have been almost completely "overlooked" as Hot Rod material but recently have been showing up as very nicely done examples. Likely speaks to the aging population of the enthusiasts and their ever growing number of family members. ;o)

marten
New Driver

Actually my favorite "hot rod" style was the Ford Phaeton.

Vetteman
New Driver

I know they are not not rods but please explain "Cabriolet"&" Phaeton".

RPeters
Passenger

Cabriolet is a fixed windshield convertible with side windows... Phaeton is a sedan or tudor body style (usually 4 door) but with convertible top.

Motorvation30
Passenger

You missed the Fordor and "fendered" vs "no fenders" style. Oops, forgot the RPU, and pickups. C-cabs? There's more.

JayChicago
Passenger

Nice article. I enjoyed all the historical info. But (you knew that was coming), I would disagree with this statement: "Club coupes, also known as Tudors". They are not the same, are totally different. A club coupe is a coupe body with a back seat. A two-door (or Tudor as Ford called it) is a different body style, longer roof, totally different than a coupe. 

EastBayJay
Pit Crew

I'd only argue with your '36 Ford 5W image for a quintessential 'Business Coupe', which traditionally didn't have quarter windows, resulting in a smaller cabin and a longer trunk area. Businessmen could travel from town to town selling their wares from the back, which is how that particular body style was originally marketed.  The 1936 Ford 3W (trunk) coupe would be better example...

RonG
New Driver

Some of these guys are just nit picking, you have the basic styles used in Hot Rods.

The coupe or lovingly called the coo-pay is and will always be my favorite.

Mine back in 1961 had a 53 merc flathead three stromberg 97's or 94's with offenhauser aluminum heads and I think an isky cam and moon caps,  baby moons and full moons were the in thing then,  I got most of my stuff from JC Whitney.

My memory is a little off, it's been almost 60 years.....Ha!Ha!

Kenwarren
Pit Crew

Things you don't forget.

About thirty five years ago I was in the middle of finishing a '57 Nomad. A friend of mine who has since passed told me he had sold his '53 Chev custom to a guy in Pennsylvania and asked if I wanted to join him for a road trip to deliver it from Canada. We told the buyer we would come down the same week as the fall Hershey swap meet so I could pick up odds and ends for the Nomad. Long story short, we dropped the '53 off and went to the swap meet. I went to the classic chevy section, got a few things, and then wandered around the fairgrounds. As I walked along I saw a '32 three window sitting on a trailer. It was fly yellow and perfect. It was everything you could ask for in 1985. Three inch chop, blown 454, four speed, jag rear end, black interior.  Asking  price...… $7500.  I didn't buy it but I will tell you , I'm 61 now and I never forgot it.  

KenM
Passenger

Business coupe. My Dad still has a few pics of his '51 Ford business coupe he had when in his late teens, funded by 3 part-time jobs, called 'Runnin' Bear', after a popular song of that era. Behind each front wheel it had a painted on Yogi-Bear holding his hat on and.....running. It was done just right. I have often wished that if I had the bucks I would find a '51 ford business coupe and have it done just like he had it and surprise him with it. 

Choptop
Passenger

Odd list, kinda smattering of terms all together. Coupe, roadster, business coupe are "body styles", but "gow" and "highboy" are not really body styles but terms that could incorporate any one of the others mentioned. Good history on the names though 

JamesWazeny
New Driver

What about wagons?2dr,4dr,2dr delivery,safari,handy man etc.?

mpzz
Detailer

What kinds of hot rods are those?

JamesWazeny
New Driver

What about wagons,2dr,4dr,2dr delivery,handyman,safari etc.?

JamesWazeny
New Driver

just paid $1.99 for gallon of gas got 50 gallons yahoo thought to never see them prices again

27stutz
New Driver

Geez, disappointed by you guys once again. If your plan is to give the "nuts and bolts of hot-rodding vocabulary", the least you could do is consult with someone who knows what they're talking about. A non-hotrod pre or early postwar auto would usually (but not always) be called one of the following: touring car, roadster, phaeton, standard coupe, victoria coupe, business coupe, convertible coupe, convertible victoria, convertible sedan, 2 or 4 door sedan, station wagon, limousine or town car. And a little later, 2 and 4 door hardtop. I don't really know much about rods but t-bucket, hiboy, lowboy, deuce coupe, lead sled, and more recently rat rod come to mind as distinct types of rods, and I'm sure there are many more. I'm obviously not an expert but a lot of readers are just starting out and looking for real facts here - Hagerty should show more respect for that. C'mon, guys!

Oldstreetracer
Passenger

The link shown above of the bonhams auctions . https://www.bonhams.com/auctions/22723/lot/339/ has some really interesting cars of all ages, it's definitely worth a look.

Use the next lot button at the top of page to see more!

Oldstreetracer
Passenger

Oh, and it is not too obvious,but if you click on original Bonhams auction picture of each car, you will get a bunch more pics of it in color!

Johnsfolly
New Driver

Pretty lame article! Tudor is a Ford marketing moniker. And a club coupe is not the same thing as a 2-door sedan. It is much closer to what was called a victoria.Not to be confused with the Crown Victoria, another example of Ford marketing bs.

warrene
Intermediate Driver

A tudor sedan is exactly that, not a 'coupe'.   A tudor sedan is same size as a fordor sedan, only the doors make the difference, they are (or were) the cheaper way to have a full size car, fordors were far more expensive.  A coupe is a ONE seat car, no back seat at all in early days, later came the Victoria with small back seat, then later the club coupe and also business coupe with no back seat.

I get a kick out of guys now calling a tudor sedan a 'coupe'.

Warren

fbwilliams69
New Driver

Tudor is also an English Royal House - best known one was Henry VIII.

 

Deaconhp
Passenger

Never heard GOW before but my Dad's machine shop business car (1948-early 50's) was a GOW... merc frame, possibly engine, multi carbs sticking out, hand formed body, and bare sheet metal  painted with shop name and phone number. Photos are priceless.... so a GOW.....

nkmprdstr
Passenger

You missed an important one: the "track Nosed or simply Track  Roadster. These first attempts of streamlining created their own genre, ie, the **bleep** Flint or the first AMBR winner, the NieKamp (Bill) Roadster. What thinkest thou?    **bleep** NieKamp