Muscle Cars

The Rat Rod Scene: Modern Art?

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By Mark Weisseg

The Rat Rods scene seems to polarise people in their tastes.
Not that this is the objective, just the fact that there are the purists and those that think anything goes when it comes to vintage classic cars. Neither is right or wrong, it’s just a point of view.

One take on the Rat Rod scene is that its better this than the car crusher. Another is you will see amazing art work, handy work and much thought and, oh by the way, it takes a lot of hard work to do this correctly to make a Rat Rod roadworthy and safe.

I have no desire to own this, but I sure understand not everyone wants a ’65 Malibu. When I do see one at a car show, I always stop and study them. I want to see what the guys did to build the car, how they did it and yes, sometimes why.

The “why” factor seems to have a theme.
Most have told me they did it to see if the could. Nearly all say they made so many changes along the way they lost count. This is obviously a niche car so do not expect to take two years to build it and two years of driving it, only to flip it fast.
This niche market is unique right now and it’s too soon to see where this will all go. Thirty years ago, when I went to car shows I would see fifteen Model A’s and maybe five to ten Model T’s. Today, it is nearly zero. The market changed and the age group changed. When I was in College I had a teacher who told us that if you grew up in the forties you would love that era of music forever. Hence, the same with each decade of course. If I hear music from the late fifties to the late seventies I feel good. If I hear the music of today, I think it’s garbage and yet the sixteen year old thinks it’s the best music ever.
It’s all generational and the same with cars. Some we may not love the rat rods, but at the least we should accept them and welcome them into the circle.
I always shake my head when I hear someone say the Corvette is the best car in the world and everything else is junk. The hobby is all-inclusive, the rest is minor bickering.

These Rat Rod use parts and other vehicles to make one out of many. They have there own following and enjoy the hobby as much as we do. What’s the difference if there is a Hemi in this or a Dodge Neon? Well, that maybe a bad example, but you get the point.

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