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  #136 (permalink)  
Old 01-17-2007, 07:47 AM
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Back in 1950 a 28 roadster was lying around in a junk pile, pop Johnson had a 32 that he took off the road only six months ago and although it was maintained well the local car dealer would not give him a trade in so it too went to a junk yard.
Along comes Joe Rodder and puts the 28 body on to the 32 chassis adds a set of near new 48 juice brakes and an Edelbrock super dual with headers and his buddy pinstripes the car after an enamel paint job ( it may have been in primer for a week or so but primer is porous so would soon be covered). He drives his hot rod to work and races it on the weekend.
In 2006 the same body is almost rusted away, the chassis and the running gear is 60 years older, but its real, this car is an antithesis of current cars, made with sweat and human labour, no ECU SRS ABS or modern embellishments - not even a radio! A harkening to the good old days, the simple life. Lets go further and channel the relic eight inches over the chassis so it looks like a salt flat car and make a distorted version of the old days, don't paint it cause it will look like a glass car - am I close? Both these guys are Rodders but the original idea of daily transport has been lost to a fantasy of a "what it was like back then" over exaggeration.
Perhaps the idea is that the final moments of an old car are better spent in the company of equally antiquated components than to disintegrate into iron oxide dust in a field.

Just my thoughts on the whole Rat Rod thing

Rob

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  #137 (permalink)  
Old 01-17-2007, 10:43 AM
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It's funny, some of the guys who build "rat rods" are the same guys who want to get the fellow with a low paying job driving a questionable, rusted out 80s car off the street because the car's unsafe!

The guy with the POS rust bucket is really a bit more like the early rodder than the purpose built rats to me -- using what he can afford to get around with. Not doing it with any semblance of style, which the old rodders at least attempted, but using available cheap iron to get around with. That's how a lot of the old rods started, just "dolled up" a bit and modified for better performance. More started life that way than for speed -- that took money, which usually came over time, one little mod at a time. There was no going out and getting anything on the credit card, you had to save to pay for it first!
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  #138 (permalink)  
Old 01-17-2007, 07:02 PM
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Where did it all start? Who was the guy who woke up, walked behind a barn and said, "Hey! I'll get this thing running and I'll skip the body work and paint! Yea, that's the ticket! While I'm at it, I'll make it low and chopped like a saltflats car, but I'll drive it on the street! Yea! If someone asks me what the hell it is, I'll say it's the way it was!". Just who was that guy? Was he alone? Did he have friends who happened to be behind the same barn?

Or was it a group of English guys who got together to emulate a chapter from American history and got it all wrong. I heard this is where it started. Like a sick joke on American hot rodding that a few American hot rodders took serious not knowing it was a joke. Because, I'm sorry, most of the rat rods I have seen are a joke gone real bad.

I think everyone has seen a Rat Fink cartoon. They are funny with the big monster guy driving a car that is too small for him. With a big, cool, ****** engine sticking out. It's a cartoon. Who in their right mind would actually build a car like that to drive around in? Now we know.

I've often wondered why rat rodders praise early original steel, yet they worship Ed Roth. A guy who made his most popular cars out of chrome and fiberglass. Did I mention the only time they were driven was around the block and then into a trailer to go to a show? I don't remember reading how they went on a cruise night or rod run. Maybe I missed that issue.

To me, rat rods are like the Rat Fink cars. They were made as an attraction for kids at the car show. They weren't meant to be taken serious. Somewhere, someone forgot what they were. Maybe they looked at an early AutoRama Carshow book and didn't read the fine print.

So, in my opinion, rat rods.... it's all fun and games until someone actually builds one to drive around in. I think the next time I see one, I'll do what I do when I start to hear a joke I've heard before. Walk away and hope no one gets hurt.

A lot of fads got stopped because they turned out to be unsafe. 1' lift kits in the rear and 6" of rubber sticking out the rear wheelwells, to name a few. Oh crap! Weren't those Rat Fink cars like that too? Hmmmmmm.
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  #139 (permalink)  
Old 01-17-2007, 07:24 PM
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I didn't grow up in the 50's so I can't speak to that time but growing up in the late 70's I can say we had 'rat muscle' cars running around back then. Same thing likely as the early days... The guys just wanted to go fast and didn't have much money so safety and beauty was last on the list.

We ended up with late 60's Cudas with missing floor boards and exhaust flowing in, Pintos hacked up so bad to put a 302 in that it didn't have front brakes, 55's without sway bars and stipped so bad they would have rolled over taking the freeway exit and many more death trap situations.

Of course we were 'dumb kids' then... now we have adults building the same situations over again. Thinking back maybe these are the same guys from back then.. lol

-Stephen
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  #140 (permalink)  
Old 01-17-2007, 07:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Protowrxs
I didn't grow up in the 50's so I can't speak to that time but growing up in the late 70's I can say we had 'rat muscle' cars running around back then. Same thing likely as the early days... The guys just wanted to go fast and didn't have much money so safety and beauty was last on the list.

We ended up with late 60's Cudas with missing floor boards and exhaust flowing in, Pintos hacked up so bad to put a 302 in that it didn't have front brakes, 55's without sway bars and stipped so bad they would have rolled over taking the freeway exit and many more death trap situations.

Of course we were 'dumb kids' then... now we have adults building the same situations over again. Thinking back maybe these are the same guys from back then.. lol

-Stephen
LOL I remember those guys too! I was 18 in '77. I had a buddy who owned a '70 cuda. He used to think it was cool that it was jacked up so high in the rear that you could see his driveshaft if you were behind him! Man.... I need to find his phone number. You may be on to something!
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  #141 (permalink)  
Old 01-17-2007, 07:49 PM
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Why does someone always have to **** on someone else's idea. So you don't like rat rods, I don't f**king like billet and 50K ***** boxes that that a**hole Boyd, or foose, or any of those other guys makes, however, i don't feel the need to bash the rods, or anybody that likes 'em. Granted, there are some rat rods out there that aren't safe, but there's also the same number high dollar rods that are just as bad. I work in in a autoparts store, and see first hand how people jury rig something because it costs a few extra bucks to buy the right part, and some of those parts go on hot rods. If a guy wants to build a rat rod, then why not just say, ok, it's not my thing, but whatever! Oh well, I guess as long as somebody's doing something with the old cars and not letting them waste away, that'll keep places like this, where people can discuss what they like or dislike going. That's my .02 for whatever it's worth.
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  #142 (permalink)  
Old 01-17-2007, 07:55 PM
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I think the ratio of unsafe builds is leaning towards the rat rods. I don't like ANY homebuilt or pro built car that is unsafe.
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  #143 (permalink)  
Old 01-18-2007, 10:34 AM
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re: How much for a beat up little ratrod like this?

New cars are still not perfect. People still die in car accidents every day. Just because you build an $80,000.00 streetrod does not make it any safer than other cars out there. No one can build a safe car, its impossible. All we can do is say build it as safe as you can. Its ok to try and help someone build the kind of car they want, but lets not cut it down because someone calls it a RatRod. Give them the best advice you can and they will have a better car, but still have what they want.
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  #144 (permalink)  
Old 01-18-2007, 02:01 PM
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Back to the ? asked. For a donor car? The motor and the grill,is worth a few dollars,I would offer him 500 dollars for motor and grill.
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  #145 (permalink)  
Old 01-18-2007, 03:55 PM
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Bashing other peoples cars

When I first came to this site I was pleased to see people helping each other with there questions being so freindly etc... and so I replied how nice it was to finally be part of something so cool. But now I'm not sure 'cause all I can see is people swearing and carrying on when we should be inviting Gabriel (the young guy who originally started this thread) into the Hotrodding comunity with open arms and try to help him out with positive attitude and good info. Not to scare him away from hotrodding alltogether because people can't contain themselve while trying to express themselves about whether they like or dislike something someone else is doing. C'mon after all how old are we, not how old are we acting. I beleive that all cars should be safe but I also like Ratrods as well I think they are cool and so do many other people and like alot of other people said some have money for looks and not safety and some have money for meachanics and not safety which ever way you look at it SAFETY takes a back seat when you run out of money building a car.
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  #146 (permalink)  
Old 01-18-2007, 04:03 PM
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Face it, the "rat rod" trend has only contributed to getting young people invovled in hot rodding again, compared to before where the sheer amount of money needed to build a rod was enough to scare of anyone under 25.


Mike
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  #147 (permalink)  
Old 01-18-2007, 04:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nightfire
Face it, the "rat rod" trend has only contributed to getting young people invovled in hot rodding again, compared to before where the sheer amount of money needed to build a rod was enough to scare of anyone under 25.


Mike
That's true........But, I have never had much money to spend in my cars. Houses, kids, kids education, etc, etc kind of dictated that fact.........I have built a few cars over the years, none were rustbuckets (after they were done)..........and ALL were safe.

Like has been said before, this "Rat Rod" thing is just another band wagon. Some, I like, some, I think shouldn't be on the road.
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  #148 (permalink)  
Old 01-18-2007, 05:16 PM
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Umm...unfortunatly I was looking to build something like a rat well before any of this started. Pretty much inspired by American Graffiti's deuce coupe and all the crap we had laying around.

The first time I heard anything about a "Rat Rod" was when Hot Rod had that one issue out about it. Like a year ago.
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  #149 (permalink)  
Old 01-18-2007, 06:51 PM
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Frosty, the movement started in the late 90's already I believe and thats when rat-rod started to appear, however not in mass media. The nostalgic (or primer movement) movement has always been around, and people have been buildling cheap hot rods since the 40's, however mass media was never as interested in "rat rods" as it is now.


Mike
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  #150 (permalink)  
Old 01-18-2007, 07:18 PM
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Anyway, I just wanted to build a fenderless car, cheap. I'm sure alot of people do, without wanting attention or to jump on the band wagon.
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