Let me give you a visual representation of the Rat Rod world:
Rat Rods are very difficult to explain because they come in so many different kinds. I've found it helpful to think of them like this:
A wild race car!
If you were to take all of the parts you could lay your hands on and put them all together, while only buying new the things you absolutely had to have, you'd end up with a pretty good Rat Rod.
Above: (left) a Model A Ford Crown Victoria 2-door Sedan. (middle) close up of the Vicky's dash, from a '59 Chevy. (right) close up of the rear of the car.
Built to suit their owners tastes, Rat Rods are the ultimate dig to regular pampered and pristine cars.
An International truck.
Rat Rods are not limited to '30s coupes and roadsters. Above you see two examples of trucks that are far too gone to ever make a restoration a good idea. Who would spend $20,000 on body work alone, when a perfect original example would only be worth $25,000?
Above: (left) a 3/4 ton panel truck rat rod. From the Redneck Rumble 2014 (right) a artistic fender crack repair.
Rat Rods are really becoming more like rolling, rusty art.
Above: (left & right) a crazy rat rod T-bucket.
They are increasingly becoming a way for Artists/Builders to show off their own work.
One wild motorcycle.
Motorcycles are getting the touch.
Above: (left) a rocket ride turned motorcycle. (right) a Hillbilly teardrop camper.
Old carnival rides and campers are falling under the hands of Rat Rodders.
Even the old Velvet Jesus paintings are coming under the brushes of the Rat Rod Culture!
Rat Rods are truly wild creations and can force you to rethink your notions of what cars are or should be. They can be challenging to understand, even for the most opened minded of car enthusiasts!
Above: The video is from last years Redneck Rumble.
Rat Rods are definitely different. They are crazy to see and even crazier to try and figure out what you are looking at sometimes!
All pictures above are from different years of the Redneck Rumble.
Love them or hate them they are a force to be reckoned with! I will give Rat Rodders props for one thing. They definitely know how to Keep on Cruisin'!
Links to the rest of the Know Your Cars! Series:
Giving vintage cars a touch of 21st century performance and handling
Journey with me on a candy colored, metal flake dream!
Art by: Chris Breeden
About the Author:
"Chris Breeden is a Social Media content creator for Custom & Hot Rod Life on DRIVETRIBE, YouTube and Facebook. After spending 5 years in Southern California, a.k.a. Hot Rod Heaven, while serving as a jet engine mechanic in the United States Marine Corps, he moved back home to Tennessee with an even greater love for Hot Rodded Vintage Tin. Since then he has worked in retail sales and the transportation and logistics industry. In 2018, seeing a gap in Hot Rod and Custom Car coverage on DRIVETRIBE, Chris began advocating for their inclusion on the platform. During the summer months, he can be found all over the Tennessee region covering car shows, meets, and cruise-ins. During the winter months, he can be found in the garage working on his custom 1949 Ford two-door sedan and 1954 F100 truck."