The rat rod was no less than an automotive miracle, an answer to the prayers of the fast and fearless.
Not just your grandpa’s antiquated jalopy, the rat rod was born in Steve McQueen’s America of the 1970’s, and hasn’t looked back since.
For the uninitiated, a rat rod is a customized car inspired by the hot rod models of the 1940’s and 1950’s. Deliberately left unfinished, the souped up rat rod boasts little more than a basic primer paint job–and a whole lot of style and speed. Form and function are sidekicks where rat rodding is concerned, and for those who develop a taste for the hobby there’s no going back to your standard four-door sedan.
Make no mistake: cool and badass rat rods are a counter-response to the expensive vanity “custom” hot rod that spends more time in the garage than on the open road. Just as the earliest hot rods were designed with more than just bypasser admiration in mind, the modern rat rod is a nod to the era of men who weren’t afraid to get their hands–or wheels–dirty.
From Bonnie and Clyde to steampunk and metal designs, there’s no limit to the individual’s take on the rat rod. Like the driver himself, the rat rod is one of a kind, even while paying homage to a bygone America.