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Shock Rod – Recharging the Hot Rod Concept

Though they didn’t start off as such, hot rods have become definitive style statements. Yet it’s crazy to think that you spend all that money and all you get is a ’32 Ford – an 80-year-old car. Adrian Clarke decided it was time to bring it up to date.

“Hot Rods are now high-end leisure vehicles, but you pay a lot of money for a car that in design terms is 80 years old, no matter how cool it makes you look,” says Clarke. “The Shock Rod is an attempt to bring more modern forms and surfacing to the hot rod form, while still portraying the aura of speed and menace that makes hot rods so popular.”

Intended primarily for the California market, the Shock Rod retains the exposed ‘wheel at each corner’ look while lowering the body closer to the ground for a more contemporary stance. The front lights are more organic in form to provide visual contrast against the hard industrial surfacing of the body, while the faceted form of the roof is removable to provide an open air driving experience when required.


The Shock Rod moves away from chrome, flames and pinstripes towards more modern graphical treatments that are simple and bold. The car features no windows, instead small cameras mounted on fins just inside the front wheels feed images back to a screen in front of the driver. “It’s like flying a warbird on the ground,” Clarke enthuses.

As a vehicle designed for 2025, the Shock Rod is a pure EV. In true hot rod fashion, it reuses an existing powertrain, in this case from a Tesla Model S. “The thinking was that, as we have more EVs, what could we do with the batteries?” says Clarke. “This is a potential answer to how we can reuse those powertrains in a body with a little more style and a lot more attitude.”

In addition to the main battery pack inside the car, there are externally mounted batteries behind the front wheels that can be charged away from the vehicle and put back on the car for high performance driving when required. These can be easily swapped out.

For the interior, the monochrome theme continues with large bandage wraps on the doors and white ‘zombie stitching’ on black leather seats.

Clarke intended to provide an alternative take on the pure electric vehicle and a future vision of the traditional hot rod. His Shock Rod concept was the ideal blend of old and new, showcasing how future electric cars can have the attitude and desirability of existing collector cars.

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Founded in 2012, Form Trends tirelessly covers the automotive design industry in all corners of the globe to bring you exclusive content about cars, design, and the people behind the products.

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