While cold and flu season is still several weeks away, an epidemic of "Hot Rod Fever" is preparing to strike the Charlotte region.

The 17th annual Goodguys Southeastern Nationals on Oct. 29-31 will bring more than 2,000 pre-1972 hot rods, street rods, customs, classics, muscle cars and trucks to Charlotte Motor Speedway. Unique vehicles from 30 states will be on display.

Other activities scheduled for the three-day automotive spectacular include manufacturer and vendor exhibits, swap meet, car corral area with vehicles for sale, hot rod seminars, model and pedal car show, street challenge autocross, poker run to NASCAR shops, Richard Petty Driving Experience rides and the popular Cruise Under the Lights, where hundreds of hot rods and customs take to the 1.5-mile
superspeedway for several laps.

To casual automotive enthusiasts, it often sounds as if hot rodders speak a different language. To help those attending the Southeastern Nationals better understand what a rat rod is or how to identify a trailer queen, the Goodguys organization offers the following glossary of terms:

Beater: A well-used street rod or one that was purposely built to be a low-buck project; may be shown and driven in primer.

Big-Block: Generally describes the large-displacement Chevrolet V-8 engines popular as street rod powerplants; can be used for Ford and Chrysler engines as well.

Cabriolet: Soft-topped car, similar to a roadster with integral windshield frame and roll-up side windows.

Convert: Term generally reserved for a 1937 or later two-door vehicle with a folding cloth top, integral windshield frame and roll-up windows.

Coupe: A hardtop vehicle with a single bench seat.

Custom Rod: A recent term that describes post-1948 customized vehicles that incorporate current high-performance engines and often display a highly modified look.

Deuce: A revered description for the 1932 Ford or important components of a
'32 Ford. It is the classic American hot rod.

Hemi: A unique type of high-performance Chrysler engine introduced in 1951 that is still available in that company's modern products.

Hi-Boy: A fenderless, but full-bodied car (normally roadster or coupe) vintage 1926 to 1934; implies the stripped-down car body is sitting on top of the chassis frame rails.

Power Parking: Getting a choice, high-visibility parking space for your car and then gloating about it.

Pro Street: A current hot rod building style that features huge rear wheels and tires tucked deeply into the rear fender area.

Rat Rod: A beater with an outlaw attitude. With primer and low-buck components, it is the antithesis of the big-dollar, pro-built street rod.

Resto Rod: Correctly restored or original looking car with a highly modified chassis and high- performance engine; sometimes called a "sleeper."

Roadster: Open-top car with single bench or two-bucket seats and no roll-up windows.

Sectioning: Cutting horizontal sections from panels of the car's body to give it a sleeker, longer, lower and stretched look.

Sedan: A multi-passenger, closed-top car.

Shoebox: 1949 through 1951 Ford and 1955 through 1957 Chevy.

Small-block: A family of V-8 engines distinguished from big-blocks by virtue of external dimensions as well as smaller cubic inch displacement. Generically applies to any American-made V-8 engine in which the company also produces a big-block alternative.

T-Bucket: Usually fenderless Model T Ford (1908 to 1927) with a flashy, plated and polished engine and exposed exhaust system.

Three-Window: Favorite rodding term describes the number of windows in the car body, not counting the windshield.

Trailer Queen: Uncomplimentary term for vehicles that were designed to be looked at and displayed rather than driven.

1-800 Hot Rod: Uncomplimentary term for vehicles built by purchasing all parts mail order and then simply bolting them together. Conventional thinking is that such rods tend to look very much alike.

Tickets for the Oct. 29-31 Goodguys Southeastern Nationals will be available at the gate or can be purchased online at www.good-guys.com. Adult tickets are $18 per day with children ages 7-12 admitted for $6 while kids 6 and under are free. Parking for the event is $5.

Event hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday and Saturday and 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sunday. For information, contact the Charlotte Motor Speedway events department at (704) 455-3205 or visit www.good-guys.com or www.charlottemotorspeedway.com.