Regular readers of The Garage know that I have a love of sports cars and a long history with cars that turn left and right. The hot rod scene has never really been on my radar until I visited a local car show a couple of years ago and discovered Rat Rods. The new twist on old skool hot rodding really caught my interest. For me, it’s all about the killer style, coupled with a big engine with open pipes. Over the past couple of years, I’ve been quietly watching the rodding scene from a distance and the style is becoming addictive to me.
Earlier this year, I discovered Aaron at Savage Speed. The style that this design guy imparts into his projects captivated me. Then, a few weeks ago there was this post here in The Garage about a few daily drivers that were beyond cool. A quote that stuck out from the original Hot Rod article was it still does a burnout a day. I want a toy that will do a burnout a day. Then, the other day, the unthinkable happened…I brought home the March 07 issue of Ol’Skool Rodz. Grungy hot rods with pinup girls. Once again, it was the style that grabbed me. These monsters are incredibly cool. I want to build one.
Now I’ve been wanting a new toy for a while now, and my eclectic tastes have seen me scouring e-bay for a wide assortment of vehicles. Will it be a Datsun 510, a Volvo 142 (or maybe a 242 gt) or maybe even a dune buggy? Cool is a hard thing to measure, but I don’t think there are many cars cooler than a Meyers Manx. The common thread here is that I’m cheap and cool has to fit into a non existent budget. Enter the Rat Rod.
Ol’ Skool Rodz has brought me a revelation of sorts. There is an unbelievably cool, Canadian built, 37 Ford Pickup. Builder Laurie Peterson picked up the rolling chassis for only $150 and the cab for another $270!!! Now that is my kind of project! The ingenuity and sweat that turns a rusty hulk into a smokin’ cool rod goes without saying, but the price of entry is definately appealing. Where to start?
Firstly, I’ve always been a bolt on sort of guy. I’ve never gotten into the fabrication side of things. If I’m going to embark on a project like this, there is going to be a lot to learn. A big part of the look I’m after is a result of a chopped roof, so I’m going to have to find some how to’s. Internet here I come! While I’m learning, I’ll need to find a base for the project. I suspect that finding a rolling chassis of some sort might be the best place to start, so I’ll be keeping my eyes peeled for a roller. A body will come later. What kind of engine? An old flathead maybe? Something big, noisy and powerful. Can I somehow make an old skool rod find it’s way around an autocross course and then run it down the strip?
Any help that readers can offer will be appreciated, from instruction & planning to sourcing parts, I’m going to need lots of help.