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Wickedly cool rat rods

The rat rod craze is in full swing and it isn't going anywhere, anytime soon.

Gotta dig the spirit of rat rods, with their "anything goes" mentality.
Gotta dig the spirit of rat rods, with their "anything goes" mentality.
Aaron Ahlstrom

The newest evolution in hot rodding, rat rods are drivers. The ironic thing is these rusty hulks are inspiring a new legion of fans of all age groups, even when parked next to high-buck classics at your local car show.

It’s hard not to want to tinker and clap something useful together out of leftover parts. With an edge and wicked sense of humor, rat rods encourage others to get their hands dirty and have fun while at it. The end result doesn't have to measure up to any predetermined level. After all, this isn't a full-blown restoration. If anything, it’s just fun on four wheels, by whatever means necessary.

So, no need for new rims or tires. Those mismatched, dented fenders will do.That chassis can squeak and that power steering pump, if so equipped, can occasionally drip fluid if need be. It’s your toy, like it or not.

Purpose-built to be flawed and crude-looking, the vintage look is what makes them so intriguing. For rat rods, the more rust the better. Forget tidy and clean or shiny new paint. Rat rods would rather have the clouds above decide whether or not to add another coat of patina.

A rat rod’s ultimate goal is just to get on the road, one way or another. Once drivable, the fun begins for a rat rod is never truly done. It just keeps getting crustier and cooler with age.

No doubt about it, rat rods are a conversation starter. Like the hodgepodge of parts that make up its core, every rat rod has a story.

In that vein, here’s a collection of rat rods seen at the 41st Annual MSRA (Minnesota Street Rod Association) Back to the ‘50s Weekend.

We think you’ll be inspired to get out the wrenches and start building a rat rod.

For more information on the Back to the ‘50s Weekend and its related sponsors, click here:

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