Keeping It Ratty

I must be developing an appreciating eye for cars that are totally different from what I’m used to. I say this, because the first custom creation I decided to spotlight on entering the Pacifico Yokohama exhibition hall for the 2015 Mooneyes Hot Rod & Custom Show was this 1929 Ford Model A Sedan based rod.


Despite being lined up alongside some of the best builds in the country, it instantly stood out to me. Aired out, it looked vicious and full of little character-adding touches that gave it so much presence.


Little did I know at the time, but the following day it took home the coveted Best Rat Rod award.


This chopped, notched-frame Ford was built by respected custom shop ‘Arts Body’ in Nagoya, who decided to do something a little different with this project.


I especially like the use of massive Firestone cheater slicks mounted on deep dish rims at the rear.


And how about this for a cool detail; the fabric roof cover that latches onto the main wooden frame has a vintage US license plate pattern on the underside to create a really interesting headliner.


In staying true to the rat nature, inside is minimalistic to say the least; everything is exposed and there’s a big hole for you to get nicely acquainted with the transmission.


This shot is taken through the open door, but it’s pretty much the same angle the driver has looking out of the windscreen at the three stacks atop the engine.


And to finish off a creation like this, there’s nothing like a few period correct touches to give it some authenticity. Congrats to the Arts Body guys!

Dino Dalle Carbonare
Instagram: speedhunters_dino



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I love it! It would look way better with this inside IMO. The contrast of the engine/body would be outstanding.


Love the rear wheels. Looks like magnesium? Probably rare, old, expensive, light, hard to maintain... and totally awesome!


bluestreaksti pretty sure theyre just new rocket racing wheels. The multispoke front wheels the rocket wheels are based off were usually center lock mounted, unlike the ones on this.


Tetanus required...


Reminds me of the welder up crew rat rod with the 1000hp turbo diesel


Please, tel me that you covered that yellow Beetle from the last moonyes show article!


I'm pretty sure that I actually saw this car like two or three weeks ago in Sakae, I also thought I had already seen it somewhere ...


the metal bit behind the rear tire that resembles fire (IMHO) - that touch is absolutely on point


Wheel chock.


Rocket brand wheels. Not magnesium. Not rare either. Can buy new for fairly cheep.


I thought this fad was getting phased out. There are countless chopped, rusty model a's on bags everywhere you look. I wish someone would build one of these cars with these wild proportions but with nice bodywork and a full interior- THAT would be different. The whole "rat rod' thing is just an excuse to build trendy junk.


rats are still a thing?


To those griping about the rat rod trend... Rat rods have been around since the 50s. They were originally not so much a design statement as they they were just guys bolting go fast parts on junker cars. It has survived because it continues to evolve.


BrandonCurry There's a big difference in hopping up an old car and deliberately building a car to be junk. Don't bother cleaning up the engine, it's the look. Don't bother making complete floors and firewall, or putting in windows, it's the look. It's a shame to see these cars being built like this, when they would rather spend time making fancy wheel chocks and decorative spiders.


I think you misunderstand where my comment was coming from. It was more directed at people griping about when will rat rods die. The simple answer is they won't. I agree that taking perfectly good cars and building them to look like junk to fit a certain aesthetic is stupid. I don't like this modern version of rat any more than I like -10 camber on stanced cars. Both take lots of work but in my opinion ruin a perfectly decent car. The modern "rat rods" are by far the worst though. Purposely rusting a late model car to try to gain a look is garbage.
Having said that I love ratty old cars that earned their knocks and are built to enjoy. I'd never create fake rust on a car but I'll also probably never paint my project either. It's earned every scratch, knock, and imperfection. To me that tells a story. That's what rat should always be about.


Man I'd love to build a rat rod with my friends one day


Love those chocks!