Share This Day

Share to your favorite social media page


When will this Day be celebrated?  June 11th of each calendar year.

What is National Hot Rod Day?  

National Hot Rod Day is a day to celebrate the car culture and the hobby of cars. Robert E. Petersen had a love for all things automotive from an early age. Petersen turned that love into a career, publishing some of the most successful automotive periodicals in history, including, but not limited to Hot Rod, Rod & Customs, Car Craft, Guns & Ammo, and Tiger Beat.

Petersen eventually moved on from the publishing world to establish one of the largest and most diverse automotive museums in the world. Petersen and his wife, Margie, spent years building a collection of automobiles that includes some of the rarest vehicles in the world.  None of that would have been possible without hot rods. Petersen’s love of cars stemmed from the growing hot rod movement.

National Hot Rod Day is a day for people to come together to celebrate everything that makes the car culture so special.

Why is this day being created?   

The Petersen Automotive Museum asks that National Hot Rod Day be recognized in celebration of the Petersen family and the legacy they left behind.

Robert E. Petersen is best remembered as a publishing tycoon and the mind behind some of the most popular automotive magazines, including Hot Rod, Rod & Customs, Car Craft, Guns & Ammo, and Tiger Beat. Born in Barstow, CA, Petersen spent most of his early years helping his father in the garage. After a brief stint in the armed forces, Petersen began work as a “low grade publicity writer” at MGM.

Always enamored with cars and especially fascinated with the rising hot rod movement, Petersen founded Hot Rod magazine. The periodical was a huge success and prompted Petersen to start Petersen Publishing.

Robert E Petersen and his wife, Margie Petersen, continued to build their publishing empire. Never losing his love for cars, Petersen began the process of fulfilling his lifelong dream of opening an automotive museum after visiting the old Seibu Department Store in the early 1990s.

The Petersen Automotive Museum opened its doors on June 11, 1994.

Today, the Petersen Automotive Museum, located in Los Angeles, California, houses over 250 vehicles and welcomes 400,000+ visitors every year from all around the world. The museum strives to become the center of automotive thought, bringing together all aspects of automotive culture, design, and performance.

National Hot Rod Day would celebrate Mr. and Mrs. Petersen and their contributions to automotive culture and history through their creation of the Petersen Automotive Museum.

How should this day be observed?   

National Hot Rod Day should be observed by celebrating the car culture. At the heart of the Petersen Automotive Museum’s mission is connecting people through their love of the automobile.

The Petersen believes that cars connect people. Everyone has a story of their first car or their worst car, and through sharing these stories, we can connect to each other, no matter your age or background.

The Petersen would like to encourage people to get out and drive on National Hot Rod Day. Visit a museum, spend time with family and friends, and share your love of the automobile and car culture.

Who created this day?  This day was created by the Petersen Automotive Museum in 2022.