A Rat Rod is an American term that was born in the 1970s and 1980s and is a subculture of the 1940s and 1950s Hot Rods and custom cars. A Hot Rod is an American automobile that is home built, tough and built with more attention to performance than to style and comfort. A Rat Rod on the other hand is an “undead” American automobile, also home built and built with old parts on a budget. Their chopped bodies have missing hoods, fenders or bumpers and usually are vintage cars or trucks too rusty and dented to economically restore. A Rat Rod is deceased yet behaves as if alive. They are “Un-Dead” and look like the body was pulled right out of a junk yard or field.
Originally, rat rods were a counter reaction to the high priced Street Rods. Many of which were seldom driven and served only a decorative purpose. Rat Rods are without doubt in the eye of the beholder and intentionally left unfinished by the builder. They are not made to look pretty just a little rough and mean. Like them or not Rat Rods caught on quickly and show no signs of disappearing.
Rat Rod Cars
For those of you demanding a definition of a Rat Rod take a look at the one below. It started out life in 1932 as a Model B four door four passenger sedan. The Model B sold for $540.00 and only 4,000 were produced. They were equipped with a 200.5 cubic inch 50 horsepower L-head inline four cylinder engine.
This automobile is an excellent example of a Rat Rod. The paint – what paint – just rust is typical. Features include a 1955 Chevy dash, 1953 Ford steering column, custom seats, 16 inch B. F. Goodrich white walls, Koni coil overs and front disc brakes. It’s small block Chevy looks dirty and tired but will smoke the tires. Other features include a Turbo 400 transmission, Ford 9 inch rear end with 3:50 gears, headers and a custom air cleaner. Rat Rod Cars
Rat Rods – Rat Rod Trucks
Late 1940s and early 1950s Chevrolet trucks were radically different from the pre World War II light duty trucks. The American people were looking forward to new forms of transportation in the Post World War II era. The 1947-1955 Advance-Design series pickup trucks were bigger, stronger and sleeker when compared to the early AK series.
This 1950 Chevrolet 3100 Rat Rod is sitting on a S-10 frame with full air ride suspension front and rear. It is equipped with a popular 350 Chevrolet small block engine, 700 R4 transmission, 1961 Chevy rear end and a Lokar shiftier. Other features include Stewart Warner gauges, power steering, disc brakes, custom center console, bucket seats, raised bed floor. This Rat Rod truck has the ultimate patina and it is real. Rat Rod Trucks
Rat Rods – Diesel Rat Rods
What happens when you take a 1928 Dodge Brothers four door sedan and install a turbo diesel out of a 1998 Dodge Ram 2500? Well lots of smoke of course. Climate change – Hell yes.
The 12 valve 5.9 Cummings turbo diesel engine develops 850 horsepower on diesel fuel and 1200 horsepower on nitrous. This rat can make the quarter mile in less than 11 seconds at speeds up to 125 miles per hour. Behind the diesel engine is a Turbo 400 transmission and a custom built 9 inch rear end. The 28 Dodge has been chopped and channeled on a handmade frame, the dash and rear bumper was created from old farm equipment. Love it or Hate it – this is a one of a kind Diesel Rat Rod. Diesel Rat Rods
To Invent, You Need A Good Imagination And A Pile of Junk. Thomas A. Edison
Rat Rods have changed the way rodders think. But another world view holds that the Rat Rod has brought freedom and opportunity to un-dead automobiles that would otherwise only make it to the crusher. Rust is not a crime. Come “get-u-one” here!