The first hot rod clubs were formed in southern California back in the 1930s, when car enthusiasts began racing their modified cars on the dry lake beds found northeast of Los Angeles. In 1937, the competition sanctioning body Southern California Timing Association (SCTA) was formed by a handful of local hot rod clubs, an association that is still here today and nowadays contains roughly a dozen clubs.
After World War II was over, many airfields within the U.S. were abandoned and this helped fuel the interest in hot rodding in parts of the country that unlike southern California had no dry lake beds or similar to race on. Another contributing factor to the creation of many new hot rod clubs right after WWII was the fact that many returning soldiers had received technical training and acquired skills during the war that they could now put to use when tinkering with their own cars.
Today, the largest collection of hot rod clubs is found in the United States, Canada, Australia, the United Kingdom, and Sweden. For many hot rod club members, hot rodding is a lifestyle rather than “just a hobby”. There are many hot rod events available throughout the year, and television shows such as American Hot Rod, Chop Cut Rebuild and My Classic Car has helped increase interest in hot rod culture.
If you have trouble locating a hot rod club in your local area, the International Hot Rod Association (IHRA) can often provide help if you contact them by email. Within the United States, the National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) is another great resource.
National Hot Rod Association
The National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) is the largest drag racing sanctioning body. Headquartered in Glendora, California, USA, this association sets rules in drag racing and hosts event in both the United States and Canada. Over 40,000 drivers are currently included in the rosters of NHRA.
The top division of the NHRA is called NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series and consists of five professional classes: Top Fuel Dragster, Funny Car, Pro Stock, Pro Stock Motorcycle, and Pro Modified.
The NHRA was formed in California in 1951. It is headquartered in Glendora, Los Angeles county.
International Hot Rod Association
The International Hot Rod Association (IHRA) is the second largest drag racing sanctioning body, only the NHRA is bigger. Since 2013, IHRA – formally known as IHRA Motorsports – has been owned by the IGR Sports + Entertainment.
The IHRA operates tracks in 30 states within the continental USA, and oversees tracks in Hawaii, Alaska, Canada and Aruba. Following the split from ANDRA, the IHRA added three Australian tracks in 2015.
The INRA was formed in Norwalk, Ohio in 1970.