I remembered seeing this as a kid, maybe 9-10 years old and loved it. I tried and tried to find it over the years but I never did until a few years ago. I watched it again and was ....disappointed. This movie is really nothing more that an after school special intended for children with a few cool cars in it. This is VERY apparent in the tone of the movie, the dialogue, terms used - watered down verbage. Its a kids movie.
Is lacks the cool factor that Two lane blacktop or even American Graffiti holds and its getting tiresome seeing it compared to those two films, that are on a completely different level than Hot Rod 1979.
Fact is, nobody has re-issued it because its bad and putting up with the kiddy dialogue just to see a primered Willys get shifted 47 times in the 1/4 with off-balance audio engine noises isn't worth it at all.