A customized car, typically with a 'cherry' paint job and a lot of chrome. Generally your hot rod isn't for casual driving around, unless you're cruising to show it off. Nowadays, what with the slow death of Kar Kulture, there aren't too many around&really, though people still customize cars for contests and stuff, mostly in Southern California. Surf music like the Beach Boys was pretty much hot rod music first.

Hot Rod is an Autobot warrior in the Transformers cartoon series. Like his namesake, Hot Rod transforms into a futuristic race car.

In Transformers The Movie, Hot Rod is somewhat responsible for the death of Autobot leader Optimus Prime. While Decepticon leader Megatron and Optimus are locked in a fierce one-on-one battle, Hot Rod tries to attack Megatron. Megatron grabs the young Autobot, using him as a shield so that Optimus cannot shoot back. Soon after, Optimus Prime dies, passing the Autobot Matrix of Leadership to Ultra Magnus.

But Ultra Magnus is not the true successor to Optimus Prime, because the Matrix will not unlock for him. Galvatron aquires the Matrix, but in the final battle Hot Rod takes the Matrix from him. The Matrix unlocks, revealing Hot Rod as the true Autobot leader.

Placing the Matrix inside his chest, Hot Rod evolves into Rodimus Prime, an older and more mature version of himself. He continued to lead the Autobots until Optimus Prime was ressurected several years later.

Transforms from race car to robot and back!

AUTOBOT: HOT ROD

FUNCTION: CAVALIER
"My actions speak louder than words."

Hot Rod is an all-American-boy Autobot. He's a typical adolescent who dreams of being heroic and important. He tends to follow rules too closely. Although he means well, Hot Rod's impulsive actions often get him into trouble. He carries two photon lasers that temporarily electromagnetize an enemy robot's microcircuts. Speed: 120 mph. Range: 4 miles. He can be hotheaded, but he's always a well meaning, admirable lad and a brave and honorable fighter.

  • Strength: 10
  • Intelligence: 10
  • Speed: 9
  • Endurance: 10
  • Rank: 10
  • Courage: 8
  • Firepower: 10
  • Skill: 10
Transformers Tech Specs


What a cheesy writeup for the guy, huh? Not to mention those stats, right up there with Optimus Prime's numbers -- I think the tech spec writers got a little carried away with themselves here. Note there's no mention on his card his eventual morph into Rodimus Prime, or vice versa.

It's interesting to note that Hot Rod always goes for many times more money than Rodimus Prime on eBay, despite the fact that Hot Rod only appeared in the movie and two separate multipart stories in the TV cartoon. Everyone who starred in the movie is over-demanded, and Hot Rod was technically the starring lead.



In 1987, Hot Rod was re-released as a Targetmaster with an updated tech spec:

He dreams of great heroics, but he acts like an immature adolescent. Impulsive, friendly, not to good at following orders. Often goes off on his own adventure with Firebolt, his electrostatic discharger rifle, who led a quiet scholarly life as Nebulan's top atomic physics scientist until he became the thrill-seeking Hot Rod's partner. Firebolt is excited, but nervous, about the prospect. In vehicle mode, maximum speed: 330 mph, range: 150 miles.

  • Strength: 6
  • Intelligence: 5
  • Speed: 6
  • Endurance: 8
  • Rank: 5
  • Courage: 10
  • Firepower: 7
  • Skill: 6
Transformers Tech Specs


In the cartoon, Rodimus Prime was reverted to Hot Rod in "The Return of Optimus Prime" after losing the Autobot Matrix of Leadership to the resurrected Optimus. His old personality was back, just in time for Targetmasterification in "Rebirth."

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