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The Hot Rod Dictionary: A-bombs to Zoomies Paperback – 1 Jun 2004

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Every enthusiast field inevitably spawns its own lexicon, but few are as rich as that which has evolved around the world of hot rods and customs. Once a unique American sub-language, the gearhead vernacular has long since gone global. Containing some 1,700 entries, this first-ever dictionary of the colorful language and phraseology that has developed in the world of hot rodding and customizing features not just terms used to describe the technologies, designs, and the like, but also those pertaining to related cultural phenomena. In the end it's not just a dictionary with something for everyone, from newbies to vets, but a book that reveals how the customizers have, in fact, customized their lingo. Includes specially commissioned line - art illustrations and cross-references for related or like terms.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 10 reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Long Overdue 8 Jan 2005
By Charlie Campos - Published on
Format: Paperback
This book is long overdue. Over the past decades I have seen many feeble attempts made to document the broad and colorful language of the hot rodder. The Ultimate Hot Rod Dictionary puts all previous efforts to shame. With over 1,600 words, phrases and expressions represented - spanning nearly a full century of experience - this book should be considered the "ultimate authority" on the specialized language of a unique American subculture.

Author Bretenstein very clearly knows his material.What made this book so appealing to me is that it goes well beyond the curt, skeletal definitions found in most dictionaries and includes a wealth of history, etymologies (word origins) as well as plenty of fun trivia. There is a staggering amount of information crammed into the book's 243 pages , but I have yet to find any inaccuracies . The material is "dead-on." Bretenstein has clearly done his homework.

I have also found that the book has broad appeal. The Ultimate Hot Rod Dictionary is very enlightening and

it's ideal for beginners, but those readers who feel they already know the subject should prepare to be humbled ;nobody knows all of this stuff. What's more, the book's writing style is clear and fluent making for a most pleasurable read.

Conclusion: The Ultimate Hot Rod Dictionary is a "must have" for any rodding, drag, custom or musclecar enthusiast!
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
A must for every hot rod enthusiast of any level 25 Jan 2005
By Harley Carrara - Published on
Format: Paperback
Finally the answer in the hot rod world. This book covers many terms new and old over many generas in the sport of hot rodding. Easy dictionary form allows you took look up terms quickly and easily. Illustrations are great and give you a picture explanation of the terms. Wether your a veteran hot rodder, new comer or just looking for an explanation for a term used. This book is a must on your shelf.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
a wealth of information 7 Jan 2005
By popular culture lover - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This unpretentious little book is a gold mine of information. It was so thorough I couldn't believe it. I tried to think up every obscure name or subject, and it had them all. It had all the old, 40's and 50's jargon, but the latest ones too. The illustrations, though not lavish by any means, aid in explaining the definitions. Do yourself a favor - buy this book!
Buick, Buford, Bu 18 Dec 2006
By Virgil Christianson - Published on
Format: Paperback
Rod and custom fans will love this book but it's also a treasure for those of us who prefer our "iron" stock. I knew that Studebaker can easily become "Baker" - to give an example not cited in this volume - but I had to read Breitenstein to learn that a Buick is a "Buford". Or a super-cool "Bu". Tom Wolfe should discover this book if he hasn't already. It's full of candy-colored hip-and-sly humor and illuminates a lively decades-old subculture - you just have to love it. Whether or not you tool around in a hopped-up Chevy Biscayne ("Biscuit").
Very Pleased 29 Jun 2009
By Clint Kromhout - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This dictionary was recommended by HOT ROD magazine, and having been an avid reader for over 25 years I figured I give it a try. It's great to have a resource like this to explain some of the obscure terms I've heard over the many years. It is also great simply as a book that rests on the back of the pot for lazy, yet fun, afternoon reads. The author injects good historical context behind the terms as well, so you really get a feeling for how those terms came to be.
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