Building a Rat Rod

Building a Rat Rod

1964 Chevy BiscayneIn the aftermarket car world, building a hot rod is a seen as an art form. But, to learn how to build a hot rod, it is a good idea to practice on a rat rod. If you did not already know, a rat rod is a custom car that can easily be built in a one-stall garage or in a backyard. Where a hot rod and a rat rod differ is in the completeness of the job. A hot rod is designed to impress with a specially tuned engine with a perfectly finished exterior that makes the car look like it belongs in a museum. On the flipside, a rat rod looks like could be parked in a junkyard and no one would know if it ran or not.

1949 Chevrolet StylelineRat rods are like hot rods, but instead of being made in a museum-quality style, they are pieced together with scraps from other cars and found pieces. Most rat rods are made from frames of early twentieth century cars like the Ford Model-T to the Chevy Styleline. Regardless of the frame you choose, know that your rat rod will not look anything like the car that once contained it.

Since Model-T’s are getting harder to find, you will have an easier time finding a Chevy Styleline frame or other car frame from the 1940s to 1970s. Then, you will need to choose an engine. Most rat rod builders pick a fast engine and leave the hood of the car wide open to show off the powerful engine and the basic work that was done on it. The best engine choice is a cheap one that you can work on. It does not matter if your engine is the same make or model as the frame. You will then need to pick the remaining parts and put the car together yourself with a family member or friend.

1962 Chevy PickupSteps to build rat rods are all over the Internet. It is very easy to find free instructions with videos, graphics, and easy-to-follow text. When you find the instructions that meet your needs the best, know that you need to have welding skills, creativity, and common sense.



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