SEMA Preview Day #7 of 7: All-New ’33 Hot Rod

We launched our ’33 Hot Rod at the SEMA Show 10 years ago! The car was unveiled in the Ford booth, and promptly earned Best Engineered Product Runner-Up and the Global Media Award for Best New Product.

Now, 10 years later, we have gone back to the drawing board, and re-designed our best-selling Hot Rod. A year ago, I asked the engineering team to make the car better, faster, stronger… and that’s what they did. From big changes to small, we made the car better looking, easier to build, increased interior space, and added more options to make it easier to build your custom Hot Rod your way. Let’s go through some of the major changes and give you a look at what we’ve accomplished.

More Interior Space:

The new ’33 is a lot bigger inside. One of the biggest requests from customers was for more interior space and leg room. In order to accomplish this, we made some significant changes to the chassis. We moved the rear frame bulkhead backwards 1 inch, and we moved the footbox forward, and added more lateral space. We dropped the chassis side wall to make it easier to get in and out of the car. All of the changes combined gives a tremendous amount of interior space, both front to back, and especially side-to-side in the footbox.

We moved the seats back, and dropped the entry way opening as well as adding almost 2 inches of lateral space in the footbox. The result is a much bigger and comfortable car, especially when combined with the available tilt steering wheel.

Chassis Upgrades:

The Gen 2 Hot Rod frame incorporates an all-new composite and aluminum sandwich floor construction. This cool new chassis feature adds more space underneath the car to make exhaust routing super easy (this was quite a challenge before), and can use larger 3-1/2″ exhaust. The flooring material also increases torsional rigidity of the chassis. Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, the ride is quieter and with better heat insulation.

In the rear suspension, we moved the mounts for the 4-link and 3-link solid axles suspensions to center the rear wheels in the body rear wheel well arch. The IRS was already centered perfectly, and now the solid axle matches. We integrated some of the suspension geometry improvements from the Hot Rod Truck as well. The rear solid axles now have multiple control arm mount points for increased ride height adjustability. In the 3-link suspension, there is an all-new panhard bar frame mount which is welded to the chassis making it much easier to assemble.

Optional ’32 Deluxe Nose/Radiator Surround and Vented Side Covers:

The new Gen 2 Hot Rod is no longer exclusively a ’33 Ford replica. With the new optional ’32 Deluxe nose (also available on the Hot Rod Truck), you can build the car with even more custom options. The SEMA car is debuting with this new nose. The ’32 Deluxe option comes with a shorter hood to accommodate the larger radiator surround. We developed vented side covers to improve cooling and add a cool vintage style.

The new nose gives a dramatic look to the classic Hot Rod. Vented side covers make the interior much cooler, and make interior climate control easier.

All-New Composite Body with Improved Shape:

We’ve built a new body for the revised Gen 2 Hot Rod. There are several really great new features to this new composite body. The most significant change is a dramatic reduction in body work. It’s real simple, the new body requires half as much body work. The dash is separate now, and looks fantastic. The waterfall behind the seats has been revised, and looks great, but is also easier to install. The doors are radiused 1 inch more which gives them a much more rounded front-to-back appearance. Underneath the engine side covers, we’ve changed to separate with a leading edge scallop from the cockpit forward.

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Gen 1 Hot Rod door (left). Gen 2 Hot Rod door (right). More curvature by a full inch.

Above: Gen 1 Hot Rod door is 4″ wide. Below: Gen 2 Hot Rod door is 4.8″ wide.

Gen 1 Hot Rod door (above) shows a nice shape, but when we added more curvature to the body with an inch further push-out on the mid-point of the door, it makes the Hot Rod look prettier and allows a better door hinge construction and window access during assembly.

Available Bench Seats:

One of the changes we moved over from the Truck project was the bench seats. You can now build the Gen 2 Hot Rod with available bench seats.

The Truck bench seat is now available in the Gen 2 Hot Rod.

All of these changes combined make the car better looking and better driving. We are still working on the launch date, but have begun integrating some of the changes already. We will give everyone a close-up look at the car at SEMA, and have production dates and pricing information for you shortly after the show.

Click here to view a gallery of photos of the new Gen 2 Hot Rod.