The history of “modern day” rat rodding really began back in the late 1980s. At the time, many Pro Street cars were trailered to shows, never driven on the street, had insanely oversized rear tyres and lots of chrome and blowers hanging out of their bonnets. People were spending 5 and 6 figures to turn their old Chevelles and Camaros into chromed out, trailer queen show cars with zero functionality.
A bloke called Jim “Jake” Jacobs from Pete & Jakes Hot Rods had an idea. He took a Model A sedan body, removed the roof, chopped the windshield, added a '32 Ford grille, fitted a small-block Chevy that was hooked up to a 1939 Ford 3-speed transmission, threw in an old bench front seat and drove the tub unpainted to the 1987 Goodguys West Coast Nationals.
When he arrived at Goodguys, everyone at the show was starring in amazement with their jaws to the floor! They couldn’t believe that this unfinished hot rod had just driven up and entered a show full of chromed up high-dollar pro street cars.
The Rat Rod cause was further inspired by pop artist Robert Williams known for his major contributions to Pop art and Low Brow art including the the Guns ‘N Roses album cover. He also created pieces of famous art featuring hot rods and the kustom culture.
Williams’ decided that he wanted to build a Ford hot rod similar to the hot rods that he remembered seeing around his neighborhood when he was young. He remembered that most of the cars had a simple color primer, proper stance (not lowered or channeled too much), clean body lines, and a motor that had minor modifications that was loud and would make enough noise to terrorize all of the houses on the block. Williams built his rod on a 1932 Ford roadster body, with full fenders and painted it with red primer and added the famous “Dead Man’s Hand” graphics on the front panel that said “Eights & Aces” which is what he nicknamed the car.
When Williams took the car to show off at the car shows in Southern California, Hot Rod editor Gray Baskerville referred to the car as a “rat rod” when he first saw it at one of the shows. And the name stuck.
Soon Rat Rodding took off and magazines such as Car Kulture Deluxe, Ol Skool Rodz, Hot Rod Deluxe, and a few others started featuring rat rods and they became a large part of those publications. Soon car shows for Rat Rods began with shows such as Kill Billet, Rat Rod Rumble and car shows such as Viva Las Vegas, Rockabilly Rumble and a few others started to become full of rat rods.
For sale is a 1942 Dodge Fargo Utility Rat Rod running a late model FORD LTD 5 Litre V8 fuel injected motor and LTD 4 speed automatic gearbox. Professionally rebuilt in 2017 by a father and son hot rod building team from Batemans Bay, NSW, the Rat Rod has great patina but drives like a modern car. Fully engineered with full NSW registration, this all steel Rat Rod is ADR complied and is engineered with a Holden HT front end with LTD collapsible steering column, power steering, HQ Holden front disc brakes and LTD rear axle and disc brakes. The car is engineered for all componentry and is compliant for emissions and exhaust noise levels. The car has an 80 litre fuel cell, 2 speed heater demister with the air delivered to the windscreen through the bullet shells fitted to the top of the dash, an upgraded electrical system, sealed beam headlights and LED tail lights with front and rear indicators, a stereo system and WELD alloy wheels with 225 x 45 front and 275 x 40 rear rubber.
Internally, the Rat Rod is fitted with two Mazda RX7 seats and APV inertia reel seat belts with loads of character including a spanner door release, bullets mounted to the dash top a Timber Boss steering wheel and even a bottle opener and stubby holder attached to the dashboard.
The Dodge retains loads of originality including all the original Dodge Fargo badging plus a few Redneck badges thrown in plus an airbrushed reminder of the original use of the truck with the name S. Sorley & Son, Tarcutta, NSW on the side. There are airbrushed Rat Rod signs, metal spider webs welded to the body and a nice dual side exit exhaust. This Truck looks cool with tons of patina and drives like a modern LTD. And with full NSW registration and Engineers certification, this is a great way to cruise into summer and wow the crowds at car shows or just enjoy as a fun weekend cruiser.
In our Mortdale, Sydney showroom for your inspection. (AMCS Ref: 5772)
If you wish, AMCS will gladly arrange any inspection using WhatsApp and of course there is no issue with door to door freight delivery anywhere in Australia or New Zealand. Also please note if you have a quality Muscle or Classic car you wish to list or have valued please give us a call at AMCS, we will be happy to assist you.