There is no question that the Rat Rod craze is strong and well. The idea of pulling out an old car, purchasing some old parts at a swap meet and building a unique street rod is very appealing. The idea is to express yourself, build a cool car for little money and make people smile over your creation. The down side is that like most old cars and old parts they are not necessarily safe or dependable. Heck, some of them aren’t even licensed and show up at car shows on trailers! Gives an entirely different meaning to trailer queen.
Jalopnik is a popular car site that is always pushing the envelope. A recent post shows us an entirely new possibility in the Rat Rod world. What if you could have a Rat Rod that was safe, totally dependable with all the creature comforts; even air bags? How much would you pay, $50,000 maybe $100,000? How about $150,000?
That is what car (Rat Rod) builders Dave Sherer and Anthony Musilli claim to have invested in their 2010 Chevrolet Camaro SS. They started with a new car and artificially aged it. They added dents, sanded down parts and rubbed salt onto bare metal to get the rusty look just right!
I am not sure I have the nerve or bank account to take a brand new car and age it to where it looks like it needs to be restored but to each their own. A more realistic approach is one like we are taking with our 1967 Mustang fastback Project Car. It is an approach that many of us can use on vintage cars that are good running vehicles but not show quality. These are usually cars that would cost twice what they are worth to restore. Rather than ignore these cars and not restore them or be ashamed to take them to a show why not give them the Rat Rod look?
To be fair these muscle cars really aren’t Rat Rods, that term should be saved for pre-war hot rod style cars. So what should we call these new approaches to car customization? Street Fighter has been suggested but usually means lots of horse power and a modern suspension.
The cars certainly aren’t Customs in the original sense of the word nor can they be considered Originals. Most of these are old Muscle Cars redone in the Rat Rod theme; how about “Muscle Rat”?
What do you think?
About the Author: I grew up and lived in Iowa for nearly 40 years before moving to Southern California. The time there was very rewarding but the urge for a slower pace moved us to Tennessee a few years ago and we love it. I have been into cars since I was old enough to remember. I don't have a brand loyalty although I do prefer American Muscle. As long as it has four wheels on it I get excited. Few men are lucky enough to be able to share their passion for cars with the woman they love. Fortunately, my wife Katriana is also a gear head and many of our activities revolve around the cars. When they don't we are usually out with our miniature donkeys. You can see more about that part of our lives at http://www.LegendaryFarms.com.