(From September of 2018)
Every September in Lebanon Tennessee the James Ward Ag center suffers a infestation of Rat Rods. The highest entry number I witnessed this weekend was over 1,200. At times the queue to get into the spectator gates had to be over 10 minutes long and the number of vendors and swap meet sellers had to be well into the triple digits. All of those people came to get a look at some hybrid vehicles (they burn petrol, oil and rubber). These cars are probably not that environmentally friendly, but their builders have recycled in a different way.
The People at the Rumble:
Young, old, short, tall, thin and wide all find something they can enjoy at a show this large and this interesting. Every person had a smile on their face and were super friendly. Considering the temperature was around 95F/35C and the humidity stood at 60 to 70 percent all weekend, friendly and smiles aren't what you would expect.
Vendors and Swap Meeters
The number of Vendors at this show is completely insane! Their is no designated area for them to set up, so they are spread throughout the grounds. Almost every person you'd see walking around would be carrying something they had found and purchased from a vendor. Prices were pretty average for the area, but you can still find a few sellers that know how to and like to dicker on prices.
Cars For Sale:
Rodders will tell you that everything is really for sale, because they really can't wait to build the next one. I've found that to be true and places like the Rumble are where you get rid of old projects and find new ones! There was something available for every budget and every level of build experience. Take the first two pictures above: First we have a really complete '32 Studebaker coupe that needed fairly extensive rust repair. Asking price after some negotiation was $2,500. The next picture is a '51 Willys wagon. This was a running and driving Jeep. The sign in the windshield said $2,500 FIRM! Two excellent starting points well within the average car budget.
Camping is allowed at the Redneck Rumble. As a result of that vintage campers have become a huge thing. It's really a natural thing, since who would want to tow a modern camper behind a vintage car?
How to get around:
If your regular ride is a Rat Rod, what do you use to get around in style at a Rumble? Simple you build your own single person transport. Pedal power, electric, petrol and diesel powered transport could be found all over the place. If you don't think you can build something on your own, then just pick up a old mini-bike! No steam powered contraptions, but there is always next year!
The One Shot sign paint was free flowing this weekend as well over 5 pinstripers created one of a kind art on Cars, panels and paper. These working artists are always at the center of this type of show and anyone that can create something this beautiful in the hot sun, while being watched, is a professional in my book!
Clubs have always had huge participation at this show. Rat Rodders tend to be very "TRIBE" like and they will stake out their own ground at these kind of shows.
The Cars and Trucks at the Rumble:
Cars and trucks at the show fit into four main types of builds: (First picture above) Totally original ideas. These are vehicles that have been built by making parts that you already have, fit the car you are trying to build. Those cars are commonly called Rat Rods. The second type are considered Customs (Second picture above). Third are cars that are built in the traditional way a Hot Rod is constructed. Correct parts are almost always used. These cars usually just lack a little refinement or they would be considered Street Rods (Third picture above). The last type are mostly stock cars that have had small alterations. Those minor alterations almost always include lowering the suspension (Last picture above).
Be sure and check out the Custom & Hot Rod Life
Top 10 Video at the end of the story!
What do you do with that extra helicopter fuselage you have laying around? Put it on a frame and power it with a rear mounted engine! This is one of the craziest builds that has ever been at the Rumble!
A couple of Chevys (left) and a Blue Oldsmobile 4-door sedan are shining in the sun.
Studebaker trucks are kinda rare. Even looking a little worn out, this one is a keeper!
This first series Ford Model A 2-door sedan had the clean Rat Rod look. In fact, I'd argue its a Traditional Hot Rod instead.
Volkswagens are popular everywhere. Tennessee is no exception!
Everywhere you would look, scenes like the one above are what you would see. That's a lot of luggage on top of the Station Wagon!
A hardtop 4-door Cadillac setting in the weeds is always a crowd pleaser!
This Flathead Ford V8 powered 2-door Model A Ford was looking great in the cool A/C!
(left to right) a Model A Ford, with a '32 grille shell and a sweet lookin' Caddy!
This early '60s Buick makes one great looking low rider!
Late '40s and early '50s Chevy trucks are as popular as ever!
That Dodge is haulin'!
Old work trucks are getting a new lease on life as slammed cool looking rides.
Station Wagons are cool!
When Dodge makes a good looking car, they really make a good looking car!
A diesel powered, dual rear wheeled Model A 2-door sedan!
This Suburban has had a faux wood paint job. I kinda dig it!
This stock looking Impala looks great with a altered stance.
A Chevy panel truck next to a Model A Ford. Check out the engine in that Model A!
This Bantam roadster is one wild looking cruiser.
Old gassers never die!
A beautiful blue on this Ford!
Old race cars make you see just how dangerous racing was back in the day.
That's one profane sedan delivery!
Even a old fire truck can make a cool Rat Rod!
What a great looking ride!
I kinda think all of the surf boards on Model A sedans are just there to provide shade while riding in them.
I'll take one crunchy and two fish tacos please!
Recycling old steel into mobile art!
This guy always has the best bikes!
This is just awesome!
One bad coupe!
Low down and dirty!
The most basic of basic transportation!
That would be a turbo diesel engine in that late '40s Ford truck. Not a bad looking Coupe next door!
A Rat Rod in one picture!
This is one super clean '32 Ford coupe, Street Rod. This guy drove around all weekend long. That's some good mechanics!
A great looking Chevy step side truck. Check out those lug nut covers!
COE (Cab Over Engine) trucks are pretty popular right now. This Dodge is a great example!
A '57 Renault with a 600CC Honda motorcycle engine. Have you seen anything stranger?
One sweet line up.
Chopped Top Chevy.
Ford and Chevy will never see eye to eye!
When everyone else was making subtle tail fins, Plymouth said go big or go home!
This roll back had a 'vette on its back!
The Custom & Hot Rod Life top 10 of the show!
A great time!
When this many creative people decide to get together and show off a fun time is almost guaranteed! No matter what show I'm attending or where I am in the area, people always talk about this show. It has become a tradition for almost every car lover in the area. It attracts cars from as far away as Illinois, Missouri and I even came across a car with Iowa license plates. It has numerous write ups in Custom Culture magazines. Also, it seems like I come across two or three cars featured in magazine articles that have had a photo shoot performed at this show. Unlike other Custom Culture shows in the country, this one is very specific to cars. Their is no Pinup model contests and not a lot of clothing or music related vendors in the swap meet area. This was a show put together with cars in mind. I like it that way! After 2 months of preparation, 2 weeks worth of promotion here on DRIVETRIBE I'm glad to say the show has been a success! Now that its over with its time to Keep on Cruisin'!
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Check out some video of the show below!
Check out the Short Daily Articles!
What do you guys think of this show? Do you have anything like it in your area?
If not, would you like one to start up? Tell us in the *COMMENTS* below!
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Art by: Chris Breeden