614 E. Auto Center Dr.
Conventional wisdom states that rat rods are supposed to be basic, crude, and even kind of nasty. Most of them are the result of thrown-together extra parts laying around the shop, slapped atop a Pre-War chassis with enough rust you need a Tetanus shot between every oil change. However, this incredible 1931 Ford Model A Supercharged Rat Rod changes the game in a big way. Professionally built by Dirty Dingo Motorsports, it definitely nails the rat rod look but adds a healthy heap of modern power via the built-and-blown Supercharged 6.0L LS V8 in the exposed engine bay, an upgraded TH400 automatic transmission that's capable of handling all that added muscle, and a custom frame that really shows off the top-notch build quality. But rat rod purists (if any actually exist) need not worry, this unique creation still has plenty of patina and comes loaded with the bespoke picadilloes that make these cars so incredibly cool.
Yes, we know the rat rod movement was born from guys getting tired of high-dollar pro-built rods dominating the scene, but it would be a mistake to criticize the price tag of this beautifully crafted Ford before it's fully examined. It's packed with performance goodies, and the countless labor hours spent getting that 90-year old sheetmetal to cooperate easily filled several ledgers. The 5-window body is actually in fairly good shape, much nicer than you'd expect for a rat rod, thanks in large part to the preservation of the baking Arizona sun that's also kissed it with a uniformed patina (a bit of an oxymoron, I know) that just looks awesome in person. It's got that old-school look in spades, including the ultra-low chopped roof and windshield visor, the faded and bare metal bodywork, and the glistening exposed motor. All those bumps-and-bruises have added wonderful character to the overall presentation, and every time we stare and admire it, this rat rod seems to reveal something new and interesting to look at. Not many rat rods can make that claim. Up front, there's a cut-down antique Ford grille shell and a set of King Bee-style headlights, plus a radiator reservoir tank that's really kind of cool. The bumpers and fenders were deleted for a streamlined look that's more in keeping with the classic style of hi-boy streetrods, there's some custom air-brush work on the back of the roof, and round LED taillights were added out back. Yeah, this car nails the look.
Simple and performance-oriented, the interior hammers home this build's industrial theme. There's lots of exposed sheetmetal and aluminum inside, but it comes tempered with low-back buckets covered in black pleated vinyl hides, matching inserts in the doors, and a sporty 3-spoke steering wheel mounted atop a billet column. The buckets are all-day comfortable and still provide plenty of room in the chopped hot rod, and the slick-looking B&M billet shifter was mounted atop a custom aluminum transmission/driveshaft tunnel. The dashboard retains a relatively stock look and includes two center-mounted Steward Warner gauges, but those aren't enough to keep track of the beast in the engine bay, so a trio of AutoMeter auxiliary dials was mounted in a custom billet panel to the left of the cockpit. There are no creature comforts unless you count racing seatbelts, a chrome extinguisher, and billet pedals as such, which in a rat rod you probably could. And prepare to travel light, as the trunk is now stuffed with custom chassis and suspension components, along with a stainless steel fuel tank.
As you've probably already guessed, the engine isn't some garden-variety small block Chevy, but rather a line-bored, balanced, and square-decked 6.0L LS V8 that's been built to the 9's. The list of performance goodies is extensive enough that we don't have the space to list them all here (so call us when you have 15 minutes to spare), but the highlights include ARP main studs and bolts, diamond-forged pistons, titanium seats and retainers, Molinar rods and crank, upgraded roller rockers, and a grind blower cam and that's just a small portion of the internals. The feisty V8 is fed through dual Holley 4-barrel carbs, a BDS billet aluminum blower intake, and a giant 6-71 Littlefield supercharger that transforms it into a bonafide monster on the street. Polished components, billet pulleys, and a thick 8mm belt are both flashy and intimidating, as is the custom blower snout up top. A fresh Hughes TH400 automatic with a 2800 stall convertor and Derale remote cooler handle the huge power with ease, spinning a Chromoly driveshaft into a custom 9" rear end filled with 3.08 POSI gears. The front suspension is a straight axle set-up with upgraded chrome shocks, all-new hardware, and a Flaming River 'Reverse Corvair' steering box, Wilwood 4-wheel disc brakes are at the corners, while out back there's a 4-link system and a set of coilovers, all of which work in harmony to set the stan
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