Games Learning Resources Visit the Museum
America on the Move
Collection Exhibition Themes
Hot Rod by Henry Gregor Felson
Currently on display
Not a part of the official Smithsonian Collection
Movies, songs, magazines, and books about the hotrodding phenomenon became part of post-war American popular culture. Hot rodding was seen as a dangerous form of youth rebellion. In Felson's book, the lurid cover belies the contents: although teens die because of their recklessness in the novel, the book is a morality tale wrapped in a pulp fiction cover. The young male protagonist of the book comes to realise that speed does not mean skill-and that dangerous driving has serious consequences-and he reforms his ways.
Physical Description
Date Made:
Hot rods were usually built by young white men who tinkered with cars to get more speed out of them. Hot rods were often raced by their owners, and they became associated with dangerous behavior in many public officials' minds.

National Museum of American History About This Site | Sponsors | Buy the Book | E-mail Signup | Credits