52 Custom Chevy. The body modifications that were done include chopped, nosed, decked, skirted and pancaked.
A custom car is a personal "styling" statement, making the car look unlike any car as delivered from the factory.
The first hot rods were pre-World War II cars, with running boards and simple fenders over the wheels. Early model cars (1929 to 1934) were modified by removing the running boards and either removing the fenders entirely or replacing them with very light cycle fenders. Later models usually had fender skirts installed.
Many cars were "hopped up" with engine modifications such as adding additional carburetors, high compression heads and dual exhausts. Engine swaps were done, the object of which was to put the most powerful engine in the lightest possible frame and body combination.
The suspension was usually altered. Initially this involved lowering the rear end as much as possible with the use of lowering blocks on the rear springs. Later cars were given a rake job either adding a dropped front axle or heating front coil springs to make the front end of the car much lower than the rear.
The original hot rods were plainly painted like the Model A Fords from which they had been built up, and only slowly begun to take on colors, and eventually fancy orange-yellow flamed hoods or "candy-like" deep acrylic finishes in the various colors.
With the change in automobile design to encase the wheels in fenders and to extend the hood to the full width of the car, the former practices were no longer possible. In addition, there was tremendous automotive advertising and subsequent public interest in the new models in the 1950s. Hence custom cars came into existence, swapping headlamp rings, grilles, bumpers, chrome side strips, and tail lights, as well as frenching and tunnelling head- and taillights. The bodies of the cars were changed by cutting through the sheet metal, removing bits to make the car lower, welding it back together, and adding a lot of lead to make the resulting form smooth (hence the term lead sled; lead has since been replaced by Bondo). By this means, chopping made the roof lower; sectioning made the body thinner from top to bottom. Channeling was cutting notches in the floorpan where the body touches the frame to lower the whole body. Fins were often added from other cars, or made up from sheet steel. In the custom car culture, someone who merely changed the appearance without also substantially improving the performance was looked down upon.
Rat rod: imitates (or exaggerates) the "unfinished" and amateur-built appearance of hot rods of the '30s, '40s, and '50s.
Street rod: Typically American cars with large-displacement engines modified for speed. They often consist largely of period specific vehicles and components, or emmulate visual characteristics of hot rods of the '30s, '40s, and '50s. There is a great deal of overlap here with hot rods.
Modern: The style of contemporary cars. Most often contemporary components and paint finishes of modern cars are used.
Customizers also continued the habit of adding decorative paint after the main coat was finished, of flames extending rearward from the front wheels, scallops, and hand-painted pinstripes of a contrasting color. The base color, most often a single coat, would be expected to be of a simpler paint. Flame jobs later spread to the hood, encompassing the entire front end, and have progressed from traditional reds and yellows to blues and greens and body-color "ghost" flames. One particular style of flames, called "crab claw flames", which is still prevalent today, is attributed to Dean Jeffries.