Car Spotlight>> Hardcore Rat Rod @ Sema 2008

 A lot of people in the Hot Rod world don’t like the term “Rat Rod”….. to them this usually means a car of poor build quality which is unsafe for any sort of road use.  It can also mean a car that only half pretends to be a return to traditional purist rodding styles… or perhaps a counter-reaction to blinged out “cheque-book Rods”

Another term coming into use is “Suicide Rod”. These are Hot Rods that have taken the look and feel of old school Jalopies, added a bit of gothic, zombie style  and hypertrophied them into a totally new direction. Let’s face it, Hot Rods did NOT look like this in the 40s and 50s.

Let's have a look at a RatRodoristhatSuicideRod that was on display outside the SEMA show buildings.

This is as Anti-Bling as it gets no? If any style of car says f*** y** then this is it. A bit like Punk Rock car building if you will…

You’ll notice that the welds where the roof has been chopped have been left exposed. The body is still pitted and imperfect. The reality of the age of the old shell is part of the look and feel Rat Rods….

I might have preferred if the wheels were a little tighter to the body… to me they are sticking out a bit too much.

The1950s Cadillac tail-lights are a nice touch.

Insane place to put a fuel filler cap!

Looking inside the car you can see just how spartan it is. Driving this car must be a very extreme and raw experience!

You can see by looking at the combination of parts that this car isn’t as integrated as it could be…. I’m not that hot on the choice of the steering wheel… but at the same time, it is totally beside the point to nitpick.

Texture… Must smell like Oxide.

One more shot of the dash…

I assume the driver wants to be able to smell the engine fumes a bit better….

I am looking forward to the day that I get to see one of these cars on the road… just to see the shifter moving around above the roof line of the car!

Continuing the anti-social theme, just imagine the sound from the open headers. I assume this is street legal to have a car that will shatter windows and set off car alarms?

The engine is all business. There is a sense of perfection here which is contrasting the unfinished qualities of the rest of the car.

A lot of newer “traditional” rods go for the tall and skinny tire look. This car is somewhere in between this and…

… a “big and little” look.

Ok the laptop battery is about to die here so I’d better sign off… (yes I’m on another plane erg)





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This here suicide looks like one of the four horsemen's rides haha.


I can't believe this pice op junk is road legal!


i love it, i would fix up the body and interior then spray it matte/satan black but i love the thing & this is coming from a JDM drift boy


tetanus shots, anybody? LOL


I love this look, JDM, everything. This site is so GREAT because it covers all of the stuff, and it's the top of the notch things. Keep up the work!

On the other hand I'd love to see alittle more clean body but keep the bare metal with some pinstriping, that'd be awesome!


i love it! i really like the wheels too.


can anyone tell what this used to be? like make/model-wise.


God damn I love the billetproof style Rat/Suicide rods. Excellent article!


once i saw a "car" like that one

but with drag rear tires and no supension in the back, the drag soft tires would do this work

do you get that?



This car is gorgeous !

Although ONLY two people can drive this car.

#1 is James Hetfield.

#2 is Robert Cummings.


This is awesome, no satin black man. Just leave it like this! Satin is so playyyeedd

I think the wheels should look dark guntmetal or even black to finish it off.


#3 Max Cavalera

#4 Rob Zombie

#5 Al Jourgensen


I love it! I probably would clean the interior panels up a bit but I love the exterior.


#6 Mike Ness


@ Rob ekstrak, I already mentioned Rob Zombie (his real name is Robert Cummings)....



Amazing! Thought you speedhunters wouldn't appreciate this. Found it just surfing.


What a great selection of rat rod pictures, man I didn't realize the amount of rat rods at the sema shows. Maybe I need to show up to the next one. Great looking rods indeed.


this is my car the concept is by larry woods of hot wheels fame built by bandit customs steve zeiber of crager wheels displayed it at sema it was quite a wild ride up and down las vegas blvd this 34 sedan resides in redondo beach california thank you for the coverage and comments bob duncan


Rod Chong, who is the photographer did an AMAZING job with this pictorial. Wow I love the angles of the shots and the car itself looks MEAN.