More than 40 years ago, an automotive phenomenon began and came to be known as rat rodding. Lots of rusty jalopies called rat rods have become very popular and a major point of interest. Thanks to the people who build and enjoy them, these rusty vehicles have adopted the derisive term of “rat rods” in a positive light.
This amazing vehicle style refers to custom cars that imitate and even exaggerate the hot rods of the 40s, 50s and early 60s. They say that greaser, punk, rockabilly, biker and punk cultures have significantly influenced and shaped rat rodding.
Most of these cars look unfinished or are left like that on purpose because the whole idea behind this is the one of function over form. They come with just the bare essentials to be driven. Since they are meant to be driven and not shown off, most of the cars feature spare parts or even parts of another car.
When it comes to the chassis, rat rods make use of frames from light trunks or older cars as these provide a sturdy base for future alterations. Sometimes, older cars in a bad condition become the perfect candidates for rat rod conversions. Most of the times, the owner is the one who builds and designs the rat rod.
In some cases, a small pick-up chassis and the body of an older car are combined in order to get the reliability of a modern car in a classic looking vehicle. In matters of paint and finish, rat rods come with primer-only paint jobs at most. Most of them are available in flat colors, matte black or satin. Many owners prefer their rat rods to feature the so-called “natural patina” which is the original paint with blemishes or rust. Other vehicles of this kind include a bare metal with no finish at all in oiled or rusty varieties.
As for the interior, it all depends on the owner’s taste. It might be home to bumper seats and Mexican blankets. Still, some of them are not only functional but quite comfortable. It’s all about what the owner wants when it comes to interiors but most of them go for the classic.
When it comes to engines, rat roads make extensive use of flathead V8’s being rear wheel drive with an open driveline. Diesel engines, V6s, straight-4s, straight-6s and straight-8s are also used. Even if any solid axle is acceptable, most rods come up with a 1928-1948 Ford I-beam axle due to the availability of the spare parts.
If rat rods sound and look appealing to you, then here’s a collection of the most amazing rat rods ever. Check the pictures below and let us know what you think about them in the comments section below.