Early hot rods (Gow jobs, Hop ups)

Tom

  • Administrator
    • http://hotrodcraft.com
Early hot rods (Gow jobs, Hop ups)
« on: January 23, 2018, 02:05:11 PM »
Most everyone agrees that hot rodding started in the teens and early twenties.  The history of the terms is interesting as both refer to early slang for opium (Gow was derived from “yao-kao” – Cantonese for opium for example).  Nevertheless, the earliest hot rods were essentially stripped down Model Ts and a mix of early Essex, Ford, Chevrolet, and Dodges.

Here are a few early pics

jaded iconoclast

  • Hero Member
Re: Early hot rods (Gow jobs, Hop ups)
« Reply #1 on: January 23, 2018, 06:08:44 PM »
Ok ok, I know I shall loatheth myself cometh the dawn, but I have to ask...Why one headlight shell, with no guts? I mean, ok, ok, one light would save a couple pounds and still get you home after dark, IF it had guts in it, but why run ONE shell, with no guts?
Free your mind, think for yourself, keep the 1st amendment alive

DavyJ

  • Hero Member
Re: Early hot rods (Gow jobs, Hop ups)
« Reply #2 on: January 23, 2018, 06:12:31 PM »
probably depression era,  drive what you find and do the best you can.....
Living life at a 100 smiles per hour!

Thirty2ragtop

  • Hero Member
Re: Early hot rods (Gow jobs, Hop ups)
« Reply #3 on: January 23, 2018, 06:18:45 PM »
Probably the laws at the time said that you needed a headlight...didn't have to work...but had to be there???

Tom

  • Administrator
    • http://hotrodcraft.com
Re: Early hot rods (Gow jobs, Hop ups)
« Reply #4 on: January 23, 2018, 06:22:31 PM »
Well if you don’t have brakes, why bother with headlights !

jaded iconoclast

  • Hero Member
Re: Early hot rods (Gow jobs, Hop ups)
« Reply #5 on: January 23, 2018, 06:39:35 PM »
probably depression era,  drive what you find and do the best you can.....
Dave, I think you are missing the point. Theres no actual light in either of the cars with one headlight bucket. Why not just take it off? Why run ONE empty headlight bucket? Its plausible that thirty2 has the answer, but its still odd (pun) as hell.
Free your mind, think for yourself, keep the 1st amendment alive

jaded iconoclast

  • Hero Member
Re: Early hot rods (Gow jobs, Hop ups)
« Reply #6 on: January 23, 2018, 06:45:33 PM »
Ok, heres a thought, I notice theres a number on the car in the third photo, I wonder if at the time there were some rules for an entry level dirt track class for stripped down cars, but they had to retain one light? But I didn't notice any reference to that in Wilber Shaws book, which covered some of that stuff. He mentioned putting the lights back on and driving long distances (like hundreds of miles, losing cops from one jurisdiction and picking up new ones as they crossed state lines) home on public roads at night after races, but they definitely had guts in the lights, so???
Free your mind, think for yourself, keep the 1st amendment alive

29bowtie

  • Hero Member
Re: Early hot rods (Gow jobs, Hop ups)
« Reply #7 on: January 23, 2018, 07:01:25 PM »
Ok, heres a thought, I notice theres a number on the car in the third photo, I wonder if at the time there were some rules for an entry level dirt track class for stripped down cars, but they had to retain one light? But I didn't notice any reference to that in Wilber Shaws book, which covered some of that stuff. He mentioned putting the lights back on and driving long distances (like hundreds of miles, losing cops from one jurisdiction and picking up new ones as they crossed state lines) home on public roads at night after races, but they definitely had guts in the lights, so???
Back away from the keyboard George! I'm thinking it's a coincidence that both those cars had only one headlight left. after everything else had fallen off
Professionals built the Titanic, An Amateur built the Ark

DavyJ

  • Hero Member
Re: Early hot rods (Gow jobs, Hop ups)
« Reply #8 on: January 23, 2018, 07:41:23 PM »
hmmmm  how about the bulb is there, but the lens is broken?   so much speculation......we may never know :D
Living life at a 100 smiles per hour!

Tom

  • Administrator
    • http://hotrodcraft.com
Re: Early hot rods (Gow jobs, Hop ups)
« Reply #9 on: January 23, 2018, 08:26:36 PM »
Pics 1 and 2 - I don't see any sign of brakes, plus no firewall.  Even the driver is resting his feet on the block !  I think this one's a work in progress; at this point it's something to play with on the dirt roads.
Pic 3 - there's a number on the tank so this car may have had some track time.  Plus I see a brake handle.  Maybe the headlight bolt was stuck and he couldn't get it off ?   
Pic 4 - again maybe the headlight bolt is stuck ???

I agree; we'll probably never know.  These people in the pics are long gone.  But it's a really cool glimpse into an amazing era.

Chopped

  • Member
Re: Early hot rods (Gow jobs, Hop ups)
« Reply #10 on: January 28, 2018, 11:16:54 PM »
My take on this, is this was a photo when the guys just went for their maiden voyage. I  think there is too much assumption these photos are the final completion of the build.  I am just speculating, we will never know, I am just relating to my documentation photos of several of my car projects with no lights, mismatched wheels, etc.  When I am long gone there might be a forum where someone finds some of my old photos and start talking about why anyone would have a street car with no headlights too, then they would see the front engine dragster with headlights! That will really throw these guys off in the future! Sorry the photos are off topic to the title, I just thought it was funny.
Great thread by the way!


Tom

  • Administrator
    • http://hotrodcraft.com
Re: Early hot rods (Gow jobs, Hop ups)
« Reply #11 on: February 02, 2018, 11:04:44 AM »
Another cool pic