In a world where shiny and new is predominant in our culture I always find personal joy in exploring things that are far from that. Car shows are quite typically full of highly polished examples of hot rods and restorations, yet a new trend has been emerging the past few years that I really enjoy… that is what is commonly known as the Rat Rod.
These creations are designed to look unfinished, a culmination of assembling various mismatched parts with the goal of creating a pure driving machine. Make no mistake, most of these creations are highly personalized and stylized versions of a particular vision the creator has been working towards, in many cases for years.
As Mrs. Toad and I were making our way through our local car show, the “Beverly Corners Show and Shine 2015“, we encountered many cars, trucks and bikes that caught our eyes and imagination. One of my very favorites was this one here, a car that was obviously inspired by the old radial engine powered warplanes of the early 20th century. What might appear at first to be a varied bunch of parts in truth is a carefully planned and executed build that takes most of its cues from the old planes. One of the best things about this genre of car is in finding all the details that the builder has added. Each item and feature looks to be carefully selected, and in many cases modified, to fit both the car itself and the overall aesthetic design.
The next one we encountered appeared to be inspired from old planes as well, but it was very distinct from the first one. Again, details are to be found everywhere here, each of them adding to the overall visual story the car is telling. On this particular car, I was personally drawn to the steering wheel and gear shift lever that are obvious throwbacks to the muzzles of the old war plane’s guns. Small touches like this can add so much to the overall feel and experience you have while exploring the car.
Further on down the line at the show we encountered this terrific creation. You’ll note the front grill states this was originally a Fargo truck, but if you look closely at the side profile shot of the hood you will see a clear Cadillac moniker subtly applied. This only adds to the overall car, once again giving the viewer a feeling that so many disparate parts were used to build this car. The truth is that this is likely far from accidental, the builder had this in mind pretty much from the start, and once again it really adds to the complete package.
Our last discovery of the day was this car. It is very difficult to identify the car that started this build as so many varied parts are used here. But once again, time spent checking out all the wonderful details reveals a patchwork quilt of various features that add to the look and feel of the car. On this one, I really loved the rat that stands tall in front of the grill holding a can of Budweiser Beer.
I’ve seen some of these cars over the recent years that really do look difficult to get in and out of, and in some cases they don’t always look like a Rolls-Royce in terms of traveling comfort. These are all secondary factors to the primary one; that is designing and building a totally unique car that speaks to the personality of the owner. I am not sure you’d get a glimpse into the complexion of an individual as well as you do when checking out a Rat Rod they’ve created.
Make no mistake, these designs aren’t just for observation. Almost all of them are VERY fast cars, in many cases being machines that are capable of doing donuts in a parking lot for quite the time. I can smell the tire smoke and see the thick acrid atmosphere from here as I type this feature blog post today… it’s a sight and sound I crave, and one I am looking forward to as spring is just around the corner for us, and this usually means the Rat Rods are about to hit the streets again.
Thanks for visiting us here at The Hollow today, we really appreciate it. As always, we love to hear from all our visitors so please feel free to leave us any comments or thoughts you may have below. Happy Hot Rodding!