10 Of The Coolest Custom Rat Rods Ever Made

Does the vehicle look old, rugged, noisy and rusty, with odd body parts? Then it’s most likely a rat rod.

Does the vehicle look old, rugged, noisy and rusty, with odd body parts? Then it’s most likely a rat rod. Rat rodding as an idea has been in existence since the invention of cars as people are known to have converted and modded their older cars into some sort of farm vehicle or for other kinds of unconventional use without the usual premium care, but not until the 1900s did it become a proper movement.

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The increase in clubs and followership of rat rods has been highly noticeable of recent. Enthusiasts have taken the game to another level through crazy inventions and some cool body part combinations, leading us to check out 10 of the coolest custom rat rods ever made.

10 Gentlemen, Upgrade Your Engines

This jaw-dropping transformation was done on a 1980 Mercedes-Benz 300SD. The 300SD came fitted with an 119 horsepower engine making it highly unsuitable for drag racing or loud revving that are characteristic of rat rods.

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To address that, this rat rodder dropped a massive – probably a V8 – engine into this 300SD and also made a huge hole in the middle of the hood to create space for the exhaust pipe. The huge tires seen on this rat rod were also improvised to accommodate the kind of rough tasks it’s about to be put through.

9 Mad-Max Mobile

Obviously a Volkswagen, but this rat rodder must be plotting a move to the war front with all these “weapons” fitted to the car. Coming across this rat rod on the road must terrifying at first, but then exciting on realizing those aren’t even functional weapons.

To cope with the harsh off-road terrain, stronger and bigger tires were fitted by this enthusiast in place of the smaller and narrower Volkswagen tires. These bigger tires are also needed for balance when speeding. Volkswagen’s fuel tank isn’t that big, therefore this car came fitted with a gallon for extra fuel.

8 It Still Has The Original Paint Job

It was a 1958 Chevrolet Apache 4WD pickup truck, and now it’s a rat rod. It’s so good when you see a job well done and this is an example of such. You can tell it still has the paint it came with in 1958. The engine compartment is wearing a new look with a proper V6 engine installed to power this truck to any desired speed.

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The driver’s side has a makeshift mirror and door that must have been improvised by a blacksmith and slapped right in till it fits – so cool.

7 Nothing Beats A Mustang

Really has to be one of the 1920s Ford Mustang Machs. The Ford Mustang was a beauty in its era and still retains that aura and beauty even now through the magic of car collectors. This rat rodder must have been quite lucky to have met this car almost intact structurally while retaining the old and rugged look typical of rat rods.

Although this Mustang is almost intact structurally, the rat rodder still has a bit of work to do in replacing the old engine with a more recent powerful one, thereby creating a pathway for the exhaust through the hood.

6 A Rat Rodder's Dream

Metals hanging, mirrors dangling, rusty old body and a disjointed hoodless engine compartment – a rat rodder’s dream possession. A wild guess might make us conclude that this vehicle is a Ford truck built around the year 1940, but it’s a wild guess so you shouldn’t take it literally.

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The attention to detail on this truck is captivating. From the door handle – or knob in this case – to the uniquely improvised trafficators and exhaust pipe facing downward – thereby effectively protecting the driver from inhaling toxic fumes. You could tell that some cool thoughts were put into creating this.

5 The Franken-Car

Just from its base dragging the floor, you could tell that this rat rod generates all the noise a rat rod should. It looks weirdly beautiful too – the old faded paint mixing with rusted body and dark body parts perfectly creates an eye-catching collage of vintage artwork that is now made luxuriously gothic by the darkness of the tires.

Completing the total coolness of this build is the creatively impressive interior. Although it is low on ergonomic standards, rat rod heads and enthusiasts would pay a fortune to ride shotgun in this.

4 Herbie Reloaded

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Not only is the Volkswagen an ideal car to build a hot rod because of its old age and the relative ease of acquiring one, but this was put into full use. This build is fitted with huge rear tires for speed when necessary and a vintage pair of smaller front tires for direction. Trailer horns, massive exhaust, and a big front-mounted engine were also fitted.

For some aesthetic reasons instead of aerodynamics, this hot rod is fitted with a rear spoiler. This is an iconic car converted into a rat rod – an iconic rat rod.

3 Pick Me Up Before You Go-Go

A 1930 Ford Model A Pickup in almost all its glory. The Ford Model A when it was released was probably the best-selling vehicle of its time – it was recorded to have hit a whopping three million sales in just the 3rd year of its release. This rat rodder is lucky to have acquired a well-preserved truck needing only to deal with the unavoidable rusts.

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Here we see a cool rat rod with a new engine and a stylishly improvised exhaust pipe, rocking a fabricated door while been adorned with brand new tires.

2 "Gonna Buy Me A Mercury And Cruise It Up And Down The Road"

Carefully sculpted with smooth curves and beautifully crafted edges, this is the 1949 Mercury Eight Coupe. Built by Mercury – a defunct division of the Ford Motor Company – through the ingenuity of Edsel Ford, the Eight has made a mark in the motor sphere while also featuring in several movies and games.

This Mercury Eight is so well preserved that a single spray of paint could make it brand new. With not much work to do except for an improvised mirror and exhaust pipe from a newly fitted engine, this rat rod remains one of the coolest around.

1 A Re-Made Chevelle

Another Ford – a 1966 Mustang Fastback – has taken a spot in this showcase of rat rod “cool cats” and it’s lovely to see. Mustangs right now are much more expensive than they were when it debuted and that’s because of the love collectors have for it and the crazy demand for it by the wealthy after restoration.

Typical of rat rods, this car still has the same paint it was manufactured with even though it’s faded. It also got a new powerful engine that is characteristic of rat rods and a huge exhaust facing the ground from underneath the car.

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