What is a rat rod?

What is a rat rod?Many people have asked me, what is a rat rod? A rat rod is simply a custom hot rod that is made for driving and hanging out with friends. Rat rods aren't ultra glossy show cars. Instead a rat rod is a "unfinished" street rod that is intentionally left a bit rough around the edges. You might be able to recognize most rat rods by their flat black or gray paint but there are no set rules as to what makes a rat rod what it is. Today's rat rods come in all shapes, sizes and colors. I can't exactly define a rat rod, but I know one when I see it.


The most important thing about a rat rod is they aren't for wimps. You aren't going to see very many tree huggin' wimps driving these babies. Some of the rat rods that I have owned have been down right hard to drive, no power steering, doors that do not open, brakes that just barely function (you get the picture).

Back in the 50's just about all street rods would be considered rat rods in modern times, but nowadays the street rod has become a bit "stuffy". Street Rods and Hot Rods are more of a "garage dweller" too afraid to come out at night because the expensive paint job might get scratched. Hence.... the rat rod! A rat rod isn't afraid of a few scratches, heck scratches only add more character. These buckets of bolts are loud, smokey, and ready to burn up the streets. So roll up your sleeves, toss on your shades (yes even at night) and lets go for a ride.

- Fat Tony

What is a rat rod?