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Help us Build a Rat Rod! (not a barn find; it came out of a pasture)

Could this become a Rat Rod?

If you are a regular visitor to our site you have probably guessed that we are partial to Muscle Cars but really like everything with 4 wheels. We own and drive: a Corvette ZO6, the first production 1969 Ford Talladega ever built, a 1965 Thunderbird Convertible, a 1959 El Camino custom resto-mod, and even an AMX. We have others but you get the idea. One thing we don’t have that we absolutely love is a Rat Rod, at least not yet.

We just hauled home a couple of rusty bodies. We will sell one and build the other. One is way gone and missing a lot of body parts, the other is in much better shape but not what most people think of as a Rat Rod. Since we like to live outside the box and don’t do what most people do so that is the car we would like to build.

How about building this 1937 Chevy Panel Van?

We have included some photos of both cars but if you haven’t guessed by now we are going to do the 1946 Ford. For one thing we have never seen one done as a Rat Rod but if you have photos of one send them our way!

There is no floor or running gear but the body is good. Should we build it?

We want your help!

We want you to help give us ideas and advise us on how to build this car. I have a few mandatory guidelines and some others that are purely optional.

Let’s get started!

1. This thing has to be built cheap. All of our spare change is already spoken for by other projects and we want this on the road before Rat Rods go out of style.

2. The end result must be safe and stable to drive on the road. This will not be a Rat Rod trailered to all events.

3. We are giving serious consideration to putting the existing body on a S-10 Chevy truck frame. Simple and cheap but I bet there are better ideas out there. What do you recommend?

4. We have a spare Ford 390 and C6 transmission that we can use.

5. I love the old dirt track race car look if we can make it work.

All the big body parts are there but the little stuff has all been swiped off it.

What are your suggestions?

Send all your recommendations and photos or sketches to We will publish the one we like and make fun of the ones we don’t. Just kidding, we won’t hurt anyone’s feelings by printing their names if we make fun of them. We will publish photos and sketches and give full credit on any submissions.

I would absolutely love to build this body but it is far too much work for my time and abilities.

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I grew up and lived in Iowa for a good portion of my life before moving to Southern California. After 20+ years we now live outside Nashville Tennessee. 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 especially the 1969/1970 NASCAR Aero Cars. (Check out our other web site at site) As long as it has four wheels and an engine 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. We have a small collection that includes at least one car from each of the Big Three. It includes a Best of Show winner, a survivor, a driver with lots of patina and several others. Katrina prefers all original cars while I like to modify them so we have a few of each. When we aren't playing with cars we are out working with or showing our miniature donkeys. You can see more about that part of our lives at

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  1. I like it! Here’s my suggestion(s)

    1.) Get a tetanus shot
    2.) Don’t touch the body at all
    3.) Use the S-10 frame since kits and hardware to dump S-10s on the ground are easily available from and lots of other places
    4.) Run supremes or reverse steelies no larger than 15″
    5.) Avoid painting the wheels red
    6.) Use bamboo for the interior on the headliner/door panels/floors
    7.) Make sure you have a dancing hula girl on the dash and a shrunken head hanging from the mirror
    8.) Bag it.

  2. that old ford will make a bitchin rat rod. i believe th top should be ridiculously chopped, the body channeled..and smoothed,french the lights old school..try and use old, factory or era correct stuff…no billet. a rat rod is low dollar, hoodlum engineered, sinister, and from th heart…hot rodding at it’s finest. so, get cartoon silly on that cool old iron…steelies/whitewalls all hidden in th fender like th car was dropped from outter space and was flattened everywhere from the impact. HAVE FUN.

  3. PS..oh and the tetanus shot is definitely a great idea. but th s-10 frame? box frame, straight front axle (old school…) ,leafspring the frame so the rearend rides up inside the body..the tops of the tires..damn near even with the rear window sills…oooooh grindy! and any decent glassman should be able to cut the glass for the cartoon choptop..(2″ windows??…3?..). that old sedan has great lines..just a bit on the tall side.
    dont paint it…black, or dark grey primer…then wax it. scary.

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