Rat Rides

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If you were to visit my home, you’d find that the only rat-ride is my 2007 Toyota FJ Cruiser (The Scorpion), which has been designed to escape the banal existence of suburban America where I presently live. There are still Toyota parts there and a Toyota frame, but I think that more is aftermarket and homemade than OEM. Having said that, the 2014 Raptor is almost stock and the 2015 Ducati Diavel is OEM, if not stock.
BUT I do love rat-rods and rat-bikes. Since I’m not going to even attempt to psychoanalyze myself here on this blog, I can’t tell you what the wellsprings of that attraction are. 
I’m clearly not the ONLY guy who loves rat-rods. And if you ask why I want to build one up, I couldn’t give you a straight answer. It won’t get me laid, it won’t make me money, I wouldn’t take one cross-country on a marathon run down Route 66. (Think of the feature film, “Vanishing Point”) Maybe narcissism has something to do with it?
The rat-bike, above, is a tractor, turned into a motorcycle, with the “best of both worlds” in mind.
The CBR rat-bike above, looks a lot like my OEM Diavel (below)
Which may be in part why I decided on the Diavel for my daily road cruising. The CBR above looks very good, but will it exceed the 170 mph that the Diavel will do under red-line? Doubtful. But it’s not only about muscle. It’s also about love.

16 thoughts on “Rat Rides

  1. I like exploring airplane crash sites. There's nothing but morbid curiosity to it, but it is something to do when you're driving around in the desert.

  2. As weird as it sounds, the problem is getting an older vehicle that will serve as the framework for a Mad Max rat-ride. They are in high demand. A friend just bought a 1956 Chevrolet pick-up (lorry/truck). I tried to get him to sell it to me. No joy. He is going to do the same thing that I would have done to it.

    I've been saving my pennies to build up a rat-bike based on a Harley Davidson Knucklehead (old Harley Davidson) and the money will go to the bike or a 4-wheel rig like the '56 Chevrolet my friend bought. It's all a matter of timing.

  3. I don't like the rat rod concept.

    Call me a purist, or a moralistic prig. These old cars are a piece of our history. Take for example the middle photo of the 1956 Chevy Nomad that somebody cut to pieces. And ruined. And desecrated. This car should have been restored to its original former glory, instead of turned into a rolling eye sore.

    I am of the opinion that if you want to make rat rods, make them out of cars that were originally pieces of crap to start with: Chrysler K-cars, Ford Fiestas, Chevrolet Vegas, those rolling eye sores. Then it wouldn't be such a sin.

    But what somebody did to that Nomad should be a crime against history.

  4. There are clearly different schools of thought on that. Is turning a Model A Ford into a bucket roadster a sin? Maybe. Maybe not. That Nomad looked like it had seen better days before being turned into something that belongs "Beyond Thunderdome".

    Having said all that, I was out at a local junkyard yesterday looking at two wrecked Ford Excursions. I'd need to buy both to make one rat rod. Is it wrong not to turn them back to stock? I think not. However the junkyard is going to have to drop it's price to make that project realistic. And I'm going to have to find a place other than my front yard to make it happen.

  5. Yes, clearly there are two schools, and I am the old school type. Yes, hot rodding a Model A or T Ford into a bucket roadster should be punished by huge fines, imprisonment, and solitary confinement with hard labor to boot. Don't ask me if capital punishment should be involved here, LL. Good thing I am not calling the shots, huh?

    Yes, wrecked Ford Excursions are fine for rat rodding. They were obscure and nothing even close to collectible from the beginning. Feel free to proceed, these Excursions are lumped into the Ford Escort/Chrysler K-car category with me. Feel free to screw them up even more than they were in the first place, no beef with me.

    Now that Nomad, sure, seen better days but a little body work, a little paint with some clear coat, and voila: just as good as new. Cutting them into "Mad Max: The Road Warrior" death machines, something that the Lord Humongous, The Ayatollah of Rock and Rolla would consider a fine ride, is just flat out wrong.

    And should be punished harshly.


    The Restoration and Not Bastardization Pope

  6. The tractor bike frame is made up of regular water pipe, screwed together. Likely scrap pipe — which completes the vibe.

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