Book ReviewFeaturedRat Rods

Rat Rods; the book

Our Rat Rod Feature Posts and Pages are some of the most popular on the site. Although we have never built or owned one they do fascinate us and someday there will likely be one in the collection. Until then we will continue to admire the imagination and building skills of the owners who construct these Hot Rod stepchildren.

Author Scotty Gosson and Car Tech press have just put out a new book on these strange contraptions that fall outside of the definition for the typical “Hot Rod”. This is Soctty’s second book, his first being Coolest Station Wagons by Car Tech. His newest book is simply called Rat Rods; Rodding’s Imperfect Stepchildren.

This Radical Rat Rod first featured on this site is also featured in the book.

Although Scotty and I have never met in person we have talked by phone and email on many occasions and he is a true died in the wool car guy. I did contribute some research and photos for his newest book but don’t let that stop you from buying a copy, the rest of it is pretty good!

The wealth of Rat Rod photos included in the book make it work the $29.95 cover price (cheaper on Amazon and some other locations). Some of the machines in the book may be a stretch to call them Rat Rods but the definition of these cars is so wide and differing depending on the source almost any non-billet non-glossy paint car is eligible.

Within the book are several chapters dealing with different types or classes of Rat Rods. Here is a listing of them:

Chapter 1: Rat Embryos

Chapter 2: The Resurgence of Unfinished Cars

Chapter 3: The Trend Catches Fire

Chapter 4: A New Breed of Extreme Rods

Chapter 5: Shock Value with a Grin

Chapter 6: Hightailing It into the Future


Here is an excerpt to give you an idea of what you will find:

“Born in the backlash of mega-dollar show rods that spent their pampered lives in trailers, rat rods burst on to the scene in the 1990s. They were rough and ready to have some fun, just like their owners. These cars are a flashback to the early days of hot rodding, when cars were modified for improved performance using whatever was available to the builder. In the 1940s and 1950s, hot rods were born on low budgets and the desire for speed. It’s this premise and philosophy that brings Rat Rods to the streets, where real hot rods belong.”

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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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