It’s the new millenium –– computers the size of fingernails, phone calls through your car’s satellite radio –– and hotrodding has been a cultural movement for more than 75 years now. We’re also 15 years into the Rat Rod…a scene within a scene that came about as a backlash against street rods that had become so perfect, so expensive, so flawless that they had just about nothing to do with what a real hot rod was always supposed to be.
What started out as a pure and emotional response in the mid-Nineties to those tropical-colored six-figure machines that dominated the main-stay magazines through the Eighties had become its own worst enemy by the mid-2000s. The cobbled-together primered mess widely considered a “rat rod” these days is an embarrassment to the founders of the subculture, so we thought a chronological primer of the milestone cars and builders who created the Rat Rod in the first place was long overdue. As Hemmings Motor News said, “it’s an idea whose time has come,” and we’re proud to bring you the original History Of The Rat Rod.