The Future of Hot Rodding is Safe

Often while talking to people in the industry the topic of the future of hot rodding will come up. Many think that as the “old timers” die off that the life style will eventually fade away and something else will show up to fill the void. Many think that like any activity that hot rodding will run it’s course and will come to some sort of end. Well I’m here to say that hot rodding is alive and well and it’s future is safe.

Every year Pete & Jake’s Hot Rod Parts hosts an annual Open House at our home base in Peculiar, MO. Each year we are amazed at the out pouring of interest, the thankfulness expressed, and the increasing participation by car owners. It’s not just about seeing more cars each year, it’s about who is showing up. We are seeing more and more families with small kids showing up. Dad is bringing his car loaded with the kids. More and more younger owners are showing their projects. That is why we at Pete & Jake’s try our best to make our event family friendly. It’s the families that will secure hot rodding’s future. The more kid’s that are exposed to hot rodding at an early age the more future hot rodder’s we’ll have.

Here’s my thoughts on how to secure hot roddings future.

Diversity We all have our favorite type/kind of hot rod. Some like the traditional. Others like the custom. There is a whole spectrum of categories to chose from and they’re all fun and exciting so why should one group look down on any other? We’re all care guys. We all take our wrenches out of the tool box the same way, with awe and anticipation. So why shouldn’t we be excepting of all types of rodding? Promote diversity, support fellow rodders, and get excited about the creativity.

Keep it Safe Sadly there’s been some bad accidents involving hot rods in the news lately. Many early rodders fought and fought for standards and safety measures to make the hobby safe and to help local governments to accept us. Let’s not jeopardize all that we’ve gained by using inferior or unsafe parts, drive carelessly or take unnecessary risks, and/or fail to stick up for our rights when undue government regulations try to put an end to our passion. By showing the world we are all responsible citizens who love what we do we can make sure hot rodding will continue for generations to come.

Spread the Word You can help the industry immensely by spreading the word. With FaceBook, Instagram, SnapChat, etc. available to all of us now we can keep everyone up to date on car shows, club events, open houses, cruise nights, and any other events both local and national that are out there to attend. Attendance equates to interest. The more interest the more vendors and manufacturers will invest in sponsoring the events. It’s up to us, the car owners/builders, to support and make our interest known.

Just take a look around. Nationally and locally, there are more events available to hot rodders than ever before. Whether you want to drive your build across the country to attend a big national event or just cruise over to a local event there is more and more available each year. Participation is the key. The more we participate as a hot rod family the more we secure the future of hot rodding. It’s up to us. Let’s not let a good thing slip through our fingers.

Parts are Parts, Right?

You hear that a lot in our business. Guys who are building a Rod or restoring grandpappy’s old car and are looking for parts just want to get it done. They are usually more concerned about cost than they are about quality and that will cost them in the long run. I’ll explain later.

We are running out of original parts. It’s just a matter of time. As time goes on our junk yards and barns are being emptied of those 70 and 80 year old parts. Won’t be long and there won’t be any to buy. What will be left will not be worth restoring. So what’s a fellow to do?

Buy New Parts

Pete Chapouris and Jake Jacobs realized this was happening back in 1974. While building their coupes, The California Kid and Jake’s Coupe, they needed reliable new parts but few were available. Most back then were using junkyard parts to build rods. Pete and Jake hit on the idea of designing and manufacturing new parts for the Hot Rod industry and Pete and Jake’s Hot Rod Parts was born. Now fast forward 40 plus years and the new part industry has exploded. Thanks to Pete and Jake’s leading the way.
Not just Parts But Bodies Too. Not only can a builder buy a complete rolling chassis with a new drive train you can now buy complete bodies in steel and fiberglass. The technology has improved so much over the years that Ford has actually licensed many of these reproduction parts. Henry would be proud. Now the builder has the option of building a completely new car that is still a true hot rod.

Quality Over Price

From our original Super Bell axle to our Four Bar™ suspension system developed by Pete and Jake, all of our products are road and strip proven and of the highest quality. Yes they may cost a little more initially but in the long run they save you money. The quality lasts and lasts and we guarantee your satisfaction. The California Kid and Jake’s Coupe were rolling laboratories in developing our products and have over 150,000 proven miles on them. Buying cheap reproductions from Asia made of inferior steel and cheap chrome plating will end up costing you in the end. Quality parts are bought once while cheap parts continue to cost you over the years.

So no, parts aren’t just parts. The quality, the fit, the finish of a part, and the price all go to make up the right part. Spending hours to make that cheap/old part fit isn’t saving you money. Breaking down in the middle of a trip because a cheap/old part failed isn’t any fun. Having an accident because a cheap/old part failed can be a nightmare so remember, quality is the key. Give Jason or Jerry a call before you buy your parts, you’ll be glad you did.

A College Degree Isn’t For Everyone

When did it become necessary to have a college degree to succeed? I understand that if you want to be a doctor or an engineer you need a diploma. I get it that if you want to be a computer whiz a degree in Computer Technology will benefit you. However only so many of us can be in these fields. Same goes for any field. Yet some fields lack enough people to fill them. We can’t all be brain surgeons.

We at Pete & Jake’s respect and honor those who have or are going after a higher education. We understand the need in society to have a highly educated populace. Education, though, comes in many, many forms. Many of the founders of this great country were self-educated. Others were skilled tradesmen like Paul Revere. There is a need today in our country for a balance of a highly educated and vocationally skilled workforce. Again, we can’t all be brain surgeon’s.

There will always be a need for auto mechanics, paintless dent repair technicians, plumbers, electricians, machinists, etc. For some unknown reason these careers have become something to look down upon. Well when you need your drain unclogged it’s nice to be able to call somebody who knows just how that’s done. You don’t look down on them then do you?

That doesn’t mean that plumbers, electricians, carpet cleaners, and the like can’t still be highly educated. In fact in today’s world many of these professions require some very technical skills. The use of computers has infiltrated so many blue collar as well as white collar professions. However education goes beyond just knowing how to do your job. It’s also learning and knowing how to live a fulfilling life. That requires one to be widely read and to experience all that life has to offer beyond a big screen TV.

Hot Rodder’s are a unique group

They are a mix of every conceivable profession. From physicists to carpenters, from business owners and artists to yes even the clergy they have an interest, a desire, a passion, to build something with their own hands. Hot rodding appeals to a very broad spectrum of personalities and educational levels. Yet it takes a special desire to work with your hands and a mind that can figure things out to build a good ride. Skills needed to build a car are passed down from one person to another or are learned in vocational colleges and schools.

We need to stop thinking of vocational skills as being second rate and realize that not all of us are cut out to sit behind a desk or in a cubicle somewhere. There is no shame in working with your hands and being able to create things out of raw materials, parts, and pieces. In fact there is a great satisfaction that is felt when one finishes a job well executed. Problem solving is a skill and talent to be celebrated.

If you are a parent, here are three points to help guide your child down the right educational path.


Observing your child as they are maturing will give you great insight into what track they may be leaning towards. That said, aptitude testing will confirm your thoughts and help you guide your child down the right road. Do they possess good math and science skills? Great. But will they want to be a mathematician or scientist? Maybe they would enjoy putting those talents to work as a machinist or other profession that uses their hands as well as their minds.

Talk to Them

Getting to know your child’s dreams, fears, concerns, and interests will help you give them tailored guidance in choosing their educational future. Through dialogue you will get to see the great individual that’s emerging. By keeping the communication channel open you will be able to monitor their progress as they are exposed to new and exciting things. They will change their minds many, many times before deciding on their final path. Be there to guide and help them. It will be time well spent.
Expose Them to the World. Turn the big screen off and expose them to the world. Encourage your children to explore different career fields and vocations. Let them spend a day with a friend and see what he does for a living. Take them to the library and let them read about all the things that are available to them. You might be surprised what they may find. You might have the next Henry Ford or Thomas Edison sitting at the dinner table. Open the world to him.

As you can see. Our country needs a wide variety of skilled, educated, thinking, individuals who can design, fix, and solve the problems of our world and the things we need to prosper. Helping our children get prepared for those careers is not only our privilege but our duty as responsible parents. Are you up for the challenge?

Got Questions? Call Us Today!