We're sure you've noticed the recent move toward the vehicles folks are calling "Rat Rods." Some of these crusty cars and trucks look as though they were cobbled together from cast-off junk parts, while others demonstrate some very interesting engineering and construction techniques. We admit to leaning toward the more "completed vehicles" when evaluating a modified vehicle of any scale. However, the Rat Rod movement won't be ignored. We suspect this vehicle style is here to stay.
Model manufacturers have not been ignorant of (nor have they ignored) this counter-culture movement. Revell has recently produced a series of Rat Rods based on some of its excellent older kits, with contemporary updates, such as Indian blanket seat covers and other funky items.
You may feel that referring to Indian blankets as contemporary sounds funny, but our last real Rat Rod experience was in a '40 Ford coupe that had orange crates for seats. And no, they were not secured to the floor. To make matters worse, the beast ran a 427ci Ford V-8.
Truck-loving types haven't been asleep either-as several trucks built in the last year echo this somewhat recent style. (We're not sure if it's new. Some guys drove Rat Rods in high school-but didn't know it at the time.)
At model contests we've attended recently, Rat Rod trucks have made their presence known. Several more talented builders in our hobby have taken on the Rat Rod style with a powerful passion. It's interesting to consider the amount of work involved. More time and effort is required to create a 1:25-scale version of a Rat Rod than to create the 1:1 thing. In addition to major modifications to the chassis and body, one must deal with the necessary weathering to achieve an appropriate Rat Rod patina. As this style grows, we expect to see the aftermarket manufacturers cater to it and offer parts unique to Rat Rods.
At the recent Greater Salt Lake International Model Car Championship there were several very well-done Rat Rods on display. We had to share them with our readers as an illustration of this recent trend in both the 1:1 and the scale-model world.
Check out these fine examples of Rat Rods and imagine the work that went into each one. Hope you enjoy them!