Building a Rat Rod
So you want to build a rat rod, but don't know exactly where to start? Let's start at the beginning, with the definition of a rat rod.
Rat rods are somewhat of an anti-traditional version of the so-called hot rods of the 40's, 50's, and 60's. Rat rod purists believe a true rat rod should be built not as a show car, but as a daily driver with emphasis on function rather than show quality. This doesn't mean that all rat rods are unpainted bare bones cars with no fenders or flashy paint jobs.
Building a rat rodis purely a matter of personal tastes and preferences. There is no "typical" rat rod blueprint. Sometimes a rat rod is built solely on what is available to the builder. Know of an old Jeep pickup in someone's barn wasting away? A perfect candidate for a rat rod project.
Many rat rods are built on a relatively small budget. Small block Ford and Chevrolet engines are plentiful and won't cost a small fortune to bring back to running condition. There are also many V-6 engines available that are just as serviceable and easily available. Auto salvage yards are full of engines and transmissions available to get your rat rod project off to a fast start.
If you're building a rat rod with the intention of having no fenders, early Ford pickups with an I beam front axle are ideal for this. Using this front axle will not only make for a clean look, but parts for these set-ups are easy to find.
The body of your rat rod is probably the most important decision you'll make. If you have your heart set on a rat rod built from a 1930's coupe, you will need a much larger budget and probably a lot of patience. It will be extremely time consuming and expensive to find models from this era. Even 1940's coupes are difficult to find in this day and age.
There is a much broader selection and availability of other cars and trucks that will make a great rat rod project. Old Ford, Chevrolet, Dodge, and International pickups will all make outstanding rat rods. Try to stay with the half ton models so the frame can be used to build your dream machine.
Building a rat rod is a great way to have fun and in the process end up with a great ride. Your project will reflect your personality and will definitely be like no other on the road. Now that you have a basic knowledge of how to build a rat rod, what are you waiting for? Get to work!
Building a rat rod? Learn more about rat rods at http://www.howtobuildaratrod.com
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