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What does Rat Rod mean?
February 8, 2008
"Rat Rod" is a term used to sometime describe a Hot Rod which appears to be pieced together with many different parts or pieced together in an "un-finished looking” manner.
The term Rat Rod started being used early 2000 to describe a sudden rejuvenation in nostalgic hot rodding and the design of the hot rods themselves.
Rat Rods in a sense have been around for a very long time, as far back as the early 40's hot rodders were customizing their cars and trucks. This is evident with milled flat-heads, chopped tops, channeled bodies, etc.
You can find some great Rat Rod candidates at the following link:
. Keep in mind the vehicles displayed are not for sale.
February 9, 2008
Depending on how it is used, "RAT" refers to a Big Block Chevy engine. I have heard "Rat Rod" used in this manner, but the former answer is probably correct
February 14, 2008
Back in late 50's when the young hot rod enthuiast were building there rods, money was very tight meaning that the paint job, being the last thing to do to finish on the car would wait. Black primer was socially accepted as the finish of day in the world of the hot rods if one could'nt afford a regular a paint job. That, wide whitewall tires red rims and no chrome was a poor boys idea of a boss dream machine.
March 2, 2008
What people see as a rat rod and what a rat rod is are two different things in my opinion. I believe a rat rod is a vehicle that appeals to the heart of what hot rodding is or at least used to be. The Jakelopy , which can be argued to be the first rat rod, was built in just under a month from spare parts, riven to a car show, and painted while being surrounded by high dollar cars. It is this concept that I believe make a true rat rod. A low budget rod built to go as fast as you can make it with what you have or can get a hold of. Many of the cars being billed at rat rods today can cost in tens of thousand dollars and even higher. are made to look old and worn which brings on even more cost. Now i do not believe that a rat has to be of a pre 40's era or look rusty and old at all, it can look very nice with a couple can of spray paint and some cleaning up. But again this is just my opinion.
July 27, 2015