The ‘rat rod’ has risen to prominence in recent years, gaining its own devoted following. For some, it allows that seemingly never finished project to be proudly displayed. For others, the rat rod is a rejection of the high-dollar, professionally built hot rods that always run away with the top prizes at shows. And for others, rat rods represent a more grass roots movement, a return to the early days of hot rodding.
Early hot rodding often consisted of finding a decent but inexpensive car – often one of the many old cars that by the 1950s had been retired from regular duty. While any car could be a hot rod, Fords were especially popular. Model Ts were built from 1908 through 1927, and Model As from 1927 through 1931 and in huge numbers. Many parts, even updated equipment, could be fit to virtually any year car. Furthermore, parts that could be scrounged or acquired cheaply could be made to fit, especially engines. The old Ford 4-banger was often tossed in favour of a later Ford flathead, Cadillac V8 or Chevrolet small block. Rat rods return to that aesthetic – battered or rusty parts, sourced from wherever they can be found, employed to turn a withering hulk of a car in to something resembling ‘useful (but fun) transportation’.
This rat rod would appear to be a 1931 Ford, though I’m 100% sure. The license plate gives us the year, but the radiator shell would be from the 1932 Ford Model B, and the headlight buckets are more likely to come from a car built after 1936. The engine is definitely a transplant from a much later car.
I do not have a lot of information on the car itself, I did not note anything down. But I can say that I managed to grab the picture in July 2015 at the Tottenham (Ontario) Classic Car and Truck Show. It was shot using my Nikon D3200 at ƒ6.3, shutter speed 1/160s, ISO 100. I did some minor cropping and adjustments in Photoshop. I used the finished file as the cover of a calendar I designed and produced in 2018. The original photo appears below.
As always, this is available as a 20″x16″ poster by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org