So you’ve finally decided to build your Rat Rod car and feel like you know what to do, but if you’re smart you’ll always be open to suggestions. Knowing the basics will help you get off to a good start.
For those of you who are new to this, keep it simple. Nobody wants their project to remain a project and not a driver. Beginners should save a little more money and try to get something that works and drives. Bodywork and modifications can be done at your leisure, as long as your Rat Rod does not have large holes. Spend more time customizing your Rat Rod than fixing it. Playing with a car when you don’t have the experience is very difficult, and while you may have a few friends to help you, they may not always be there to help you. Don’t get a Rat Rod that has electrical problems or motor problems. Chances are, someone has “patched up” it so it can be sold and now you’re stuck with someone else’s headache. Don’t fall in love with a piece of trash. Let your brain choose your new Rat Rod, not your emotions.
For those of you who have been doing this for a while, here are some tips for you. Keeping the cool factor with Flathead Fords and 392 Chrysler Hemi is great. Nothing shows a rat bar better than with the right parts of the era elegantly arranged and selected. Try not to find anything old and rusty and just weld it to the car or bolt it to the engine. However, having a car with a single engine is great. There’s nothing wrong with Chevy’s trusty old little block, and with all the aftermarket parts you can make it look just right for that era. Oversized engines are not necessary as Rat Rods are not made to be driven on the track but if you have the means you can do it but as we always say keep the period right. Find a blower from the early ’40s or’ 50s. Big, sleek drum brakes from old Buicks are popular. Use your imagination and keep it fresh.
Whether you’re new to this or just looking for other ideas for a new build, make a plan and go with it and build the Rat Rod of your dreams.