Overview

At West Texas Plasma we specialize in hotrod components, frames, suspension, chassis, and custom parts. Metal forming is a centuries-old tradition that plays a vital role in building custom hot rods. For some projects, cookie-cutter replacement panels are just too ordinary. For other projects, off-the-shelf replacement panels simply aren’t available. Long before English wheels, bead rollers and metal brakes were invented, early man learned to shape metal using the primitive tools at their disposal. At West Texas Plasma, we’re not concerned with building cars in high volume. Our goal is custom fabricating panels that not only enhance the factory body lines, but also withstand the test of time. This often requires building panels from a single piece of metal instead of sectioning smaller pieces together, thereby eliminating unnecessary welds, planishing work, and body filler. The result is metal work that’s both visually striking and resistant to wear and tear.

History of Hotrods

The origin of the term “hot rod” is unclear. Some automotive historians say the term originated with stolen vehicles being refitted with another engine and repainted. In the early days of automobile manufacturing there was no identical matching transmission, body frame, and engine numbers. It was possible to change engines and repaint the car or truck and in effect turn it into a different vehicle and thus it became near impossible to prove that the vehicle was stolen. The term “hot” was equivalent to being stolen. The term “rod” was equivalent to any motorized vehicle. The term seems first to have appeared in the late 1930s in southern California, where people raced modified cars on dry lake beds northeast of Los Angeles. After World War II there were many small military airports throughout the country that were either abandoned or rarely used that allowed hot rodders across the country to race on marked courses. Originally drag racing had tracks as long as one mile or more, and included up to four lanes of racing simultaneously. As hot rodding became more popular in the 1950s, magazines and associations catering to hot rodders were started.

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