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-   -   How much for a beat up little ratrod like this? (

Gabriel 12-29-2006 08:35 PM

How much for a beat up little ratrod like this?

I'm a real newbie and I want to get in to hot-rodding to have a little
hobby on the side, and I was wondering how much I should expect to
shell out for a beat up old hot rod like the one of these:

It doesn't have to have a really great engine or be in good shape or
fast as long as it runs and drives under its own power.

Centerline 12-29-2006 09:01 PM

People are spending 10's of thousands for piles of crap like that. The best and least expensive way to have a rat rod is build one yourself. If you want to buy one you'll pay 10 or 20 times what it cost to owner to build.

1ownerT 12-29-2006 09:44 PM

IMO, they are only good for salvaging the few good parts on them.

Good Frosty 12-30-2006 01:17 AM looks like the one on top might have front brakes.

And yeah, the "Rat-Market" is somehow over priced...even though most of them are built out of scrap/unused parts that are not really worth anything anyway, and the work that goes into building most of these "Rats" that sell on ebay isn't really decent.

poncho62 12-30-2006 06:08 AM


Originally Posted by Gabriel

as long as it runs and drives under its own power.

I think this is the operative word here.........I have my doubts about the one in the 1st picture. I wouldn't give squat for it.........#2 is a little better. I figure that neither is roadworthy.

steve t 12-30-2006 06:49 AM

i think rat rods are owners to lazy to finish the project, :evil:

cboy 12-30-2006 08:01 AM

As the responses above have pointed out, the rat rod craze has inflated the prices on these sorts of cars well beyond their replacement value. Also, many are not road worthy (read safe) at all. They are brought to car shows on a trailer, unloaded on some back lot, and then driven a couple of blocks to the show site. In many cases they are simply "pretend" cars that were never meant to be driven on a regular basis under normal conditions.

As to a price tag...if I were to guess I'd say that the owner of car #1 would be asking 15-20K and the owner of #2 would be asking 20-30K. From my limited experience, I'd say buying a rat rod like those pictured is the least best way to get into hot rodding. Too much money for too little value.

If you want to get into the hobby on the cheap and you don't have the skills or experience to build your own at this point, I'd say your best bet is to bide you time and dig around for a "fire sale". This is a rodder who has started on a project but can't quite bring it to completion. Or they have a completed car but for one reason or another they have grown tired of their project and they want to move on or they have run into some financial difficulty and they need to part with their car in a hurry. Prices on these sorts of rods can vary from a couple grand or less on up to 14-15K.

Unlike some, I'm a big fan of the rat rod craze. Just like I was a big fan of Ed Roth cars and the Barris cars, and the TV Tommy Ivo cars when I grew up. I knew and understood these cars were "show" cars..."caricatures" of what hot rodding was about. But they weren't themselves actual hot rods. Actual hot rods were built to be driven...and driven hard. By true historical definition, this is very heart and soul of hot rodding. Guys who modified existing cars for speed, power, and looks for the purpose of getting themselves from point a to point b in something that was unique, individualized, and fun.

So it depends a bit on what your desires are. If you want to simply do the car show circuit and have a lot of people ooooh and aaaaah over your vehicle then buy one of these undrivable rats and tow it around. But if you want the real thrill of hot or buy a totally street worthy rod and drive it every day of the week. I guarantee, YOU'LL be the one doing the oooohs and aaaahs.

tm454 12-30-2006 10:46 AM

It"s all in the eye of the owner!!
It really depends on who ownes a rat and whats done with it. Don't rain on anyones elses parade..It really isn't any body's business how the cars or built as long as they are safe to drive. You CAN'T say all rats are unsafe because you would be wrong. So I say to each his own! Have fun driving your rat Dude. You guy's with your nose stuck up in the air know where you can stick it!!


Rat Rods Rule!!

lakota 12-30-2006 03:03 PM

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Building a Rat-Rod is not all that difficult or expensive. The expense is in the safety, not the body mods and paint.

My 52 Ford pick up came in pieces with cab, fenders, hood, bed, and a rotted out frame. I paid $500 and that included towing to the house. The guy was glad to get rid of it.

Then get a decent frame for it. This is where you put most of your money. Brakes and steering are the important places. Replace it even if it looks ok.

Finally, get a good engine for it. It doesn't have to be a big cubed, all chromed racing engine. Once the engine is in, mount the body. Now you've got a Rat-Rod and it cost you less than $2000. The only differences between a Rat-Rod and a Show Rod is the detailed body work, flashy interior, and the $600 a gallon paint job.

Centerline 12-30-2006 04:20 PM


Originally Posted by tm454
.......It really isn't any body's business how the cars or built as long as they are safe to drive. You CAN'T say all rats are unsafe because you would be wrong........

I agree. Most "Rat Rods" are safe but there definitely are some that are death traps... of course there are some nice looking street rods that are death traps too.

Gabriel 12-31-2006 01:19 AM


Sure, its all very simple in theory. Just buy this and that and stick it on, but
in practice, isn't it completely different? Isn't there always a tiny part that
you will need and won't have, or some minor detail that prevents you from
building it. For instance, when you have any good engine, how are you
gonna hook it up to the existing drive train? I have an old 40s international
pickup in my back yard, and its all in pieces and been sitting there for so
many years that only the bare metal is left. Its all rusty but its only surface
rust, so its still usable. I really don't want anything fancy, I have an
unexplainable attraction to cars that look like and are pieces of junk ;)

By the way, 2 k is too much for me, I'm just a poor highschool kid. I was
thinking in the range of a few hundred :P Or am I getting my hopes up?
I saw a picture of a junky ratrod in Rodder's Journal and underneath it
said that someone had built it for $999.

luckyfasteddie 12-31-2006 05:35 AM

5 Attachment(s)
Son let me tel you a little story. I knew a man who retired and moved to Fla. He loved to fish but could not afford a boat .So whenever he wanted to fish he went to the local marina with his tackle box his lunch and a 6 pack on ice in his cooler. Never took more than an hour before some one was inviting him to go out on their boat . After a short time he had guys calling him up and inviting him fishing. More than one way to skin a cat. Go to nearest rod shop and ask if you can be the unpaid janitor tool cleaner gofer etc. Go to car shows and talk to the older guys yes many will be A holes but keep trying .If you lived near me you would be welcome in my garage any time Dont be in a rush take your time read books about hotroding so you dont sound like a dunce when you talk to guys.Here is an opening line for you . At car show pick a vehicle that loojs good to you walk up to owner and ask permission to look it over and take a few pics when you are done tell him how much you like it and say wish my dad was interested in cars. You will make new friends and learn a lot.Here are pics of my 2 rods .PS I take my 11 year old grandson to shows and by the time we leave he knows at least 10 new people

1957plymouthhemi 12-31-2006 05:36 AM

".... I was thinking in the range of a few hundred Or am I getting my hopes up?....."

To put it bluntly your hopes are entirely unrealistic (sorry). One of the points almost everyone has stressed has been safety and it's something that that can't be overstressed. At best a "few" hundred bucks would harly cover brake parts and a decent set of USED tires.

As a high school kid you have a lot of time, a good place to start is researching and reading everything you can lay your hands on dealing with building a car, then start collecting parts.

Good luck

Kevin45 12-31-2006 08:18 AM

Hell, with the kids nowadays, anything they can paint flat black they call a rat rod. You should be able to pick up a running Neon or something along those lines for a few hundred, get a few rattlecans of flat black, and in an afternoon have a rat rod. Add a few pinstripes to really set it off. You can get the fancy scrolled pinstriping that the older rodders have on a decal sheet now at any AutoZone, Advanced, etc. Either that or go to your local paint store, get a striping brush, some model paint and stripe it yourself. After that sand it partially off so it looks old and worn. That will really give it the retro look. Throw a Mexican blanket across the seat, and add an 8-ball to the shifter. Don't worry about the rust because that is what makes it look cool. If it is a more-door, have the back doors welded shut. Don't worry about grinding the welds though because that is what makes it look cool. You may want to put a metal flake roof on it though. If money is tight, just get a few rattlecans of model paint. That's the beauty of a modern ratrod. You can save that Neon from ever making it to the junkyard. Those are the rods of the future to todays youth. :cool:

poncho62 12-31-2006 08:54 AM

SCULLS, Kevin................Don't forget the SCULLS................ :D

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