Hot Rod - Language

Language

Certain linguistic conventions are followed among rodders and customizers:

  • The model year is rarely given in full, except when it might be confused, so a 1934 model is a '34, while a 2005 might be an '05 or not.
    • A '32 is usually a Deuce and most often a roadster, unless coupé is specified, and almost always a Ford.
  • A 3- or 5-window is usually a Ford, unless specified.
  • A flatty is a flathead V8 (always Ford, unless specified); a late (or late model) flatty is probably a Merc.
  • A hemi ("hem ee") is always a 426, unless displacement (331, 354, or 392) is specified; a 426 is a hemi, unless Wedge is specified.
  • A 392 is an early hemi.
    • A 331 or 354 is known to be an (early) hemi, but rarely referred to as such
  • Units are routinely dropped, unless they are unclear, so a 426 cubic inch (in³) engine is simply referred to as a 426, a 5 liter engine is a 5.0 ("five point oh"), and a 600 cubic feet per minute (cfm) carburetor is a 600. Engine displacement can be described in cubic inches or liters (for example, a 5.7 liter engine is also known as a 350 {"three fifty"}); this frequently depends on which units the user is most comfortable or familiar with.

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    Donald Davidson (b. 1917)

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    “What may this mean? Language of Man pronounced
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    To beasts, whom God on their creation-day
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    John Milton (1608–1674)