Is hot rodding dead? Not that I can see.
I try to attend as many car shows & cruise-ins I can every season. I see plenty of cars being build or just built b the owner. I think hot rodding is diffeent now then it used to be but a lot of this is due to so much being produced not only in the aftermarket but also by the larger auto makers. Look at crate engines. You can buy one from several sourses.
There does seem to be a lot of cookie-cutterness going on that was frowned on by true hot rod builders in years past. To build a hot rod ment you put your own ideas in to the build. Now you buy a crate engine to power the rod, slap on name brand wheels, have the body painted by a shop that charges more you paid for your house, and another shop do the interior which you make payments on for the next few years to pay for the work.
When I was younger a decent hot rod that got respect out on the streets wasn't always painted with a decent paint job. You build the engine to the specs only you knew, installed a home made interior (if that) and maybe painted it. And NO ONE called them "Rat Rods."
Things that were popular when I was teenager were air shocks, Cragar S/S wheels, traction bars (sometimes called slapper bars), headers, and a Hurst shifter.