Going For Broke: 1,100 Kilometers In A Rat Rod

I’m going to start off by saying that sometimes things just fall right into place.

It just so happened that I’ve been in Toronto, Canada for the past three or so weeks. It also happened that I met up to shoot Kyle Scaife’s Mustang rat rod for an upcoming feature. And by chance, H20i Ocean City, Maryland was rapidly approaching.

Keiron Berndt - Mustang Kyle - Rat Rod Road Trip - h2oi 2018 - Speedhunters

If you follow Kyle on Instagram you’ll know about his balls-out approach to cars, something that bleeds into his day-to-day life.

Keiron Berndt - Mustang Kyle - Rat Rod Road Trip - h2oi 2018 - Speedhunters

When he told me he was making the 1,100 kilometer drive to H2Oi in Maryland in his Mustang, I laughed. It wasn’t out of ill intention, but of jealousy – an 11-hour road trip sounded extremely adventurous and right up my alley. After a few texts back and forth, it was decided that I’d tag along.

Keiron Berndt - Mustang Kyle - Rat Rod Road Trip - h2oi 2018 - Speedhunters

No A/C, no heat, no 12-volt power supply for accessories, no cruise control, no windows other than a windshield, no radio, a straight-piped LS1, fixed metal seats with minimal cushioning, and to top it all off extremely limited cargo space. What had I got myself in for?

Keiron Berndt - Mustang Kyle - Rat Rod Road Trip - h2oi 2018 - Speedhunters

Sunday morning rolled around and I could hardly contain the cocktail of excitement and anxiousness. After a short trip to the store for last-minute supplies and a quick double-check over my gear list, I was set.

Keiron Berndt - Mustang Kyle - Rat Rod Road Trip - h2oi 2018 - Speedhunters

I heard Kyle pulling into the suburban neighborhood from a mile away.

Keiron Berndt - Mustang Kyle - Rat Rod Road Trip - h2oi 2018 - Speedhunters

An original 1967 Mustang may have room for four and a trunk big enough for another, but Kyle’s creation is far from stock. Its pushrod rear suspension and cage means that a lot of interior space no longer exists.

Keiron Berndt - Mustang Kyle - Rat Rod Road Trip - h2oi 2018 - Speedhunters

We tried to fit my stuffed suitcase into almost every nook and cranny, but no to avail. The only option – repack everything in plastic garbage bags.

Keiron Berndt - Mustang Kyle - Rat Rod Road Trip - h2oi 2018 - Speedhunters

With my suitcase lightened and tucked into the trunk, next was my camera case.

Keiron Berndt - Mustang Kyle - Rat Rod Road Trip - h2oi 2018 - Speedhunters

With less than a hair to spare, we were able to slide it in behind the rear cage, just in front of the suspension.

Keiron Berndt - Mustang Kyle - Rat Rod Road Trip - h2oi 2018 - Speedhunters

After a quick top-up of our phone batteries (remember, no 12-volt supply for such), we clambered in, pulled up our maps and set off.

Keiron Berndt - Mustang Kyle - Rat Rod Road Trip - h2oi 2018 - Speedhunters-9361

I write this as we’re hurtling towards the US border via Buffalo, wind in our hair and bright smiles around. I don’t doubt the trusty LS1, Kyle’s workmanship, or the lack of creature comforts. It will be a miracle if I still have my hearing after this trip, though.

Keiron Berndt - Mustang Kyle - Rat Rod Road Trip - h2oi 2018 - Speedhunters

Stay tuned for the full road trip story as we mosey towards the coast, and then a whole lot of H20i coverage. Ocean City, here we come – bring the madness.

Keiron Berndt
Instagram: keiron_berndt



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Who needs all those creature comforts?! This looks like a bucket list adventure


Honestly, it was one hell of a time!


How does one get that registered on the road or insured in Ontario? That province (and insurance) make it difficult to have any vehicle that is modified. Can someone enlighten me as to how this is on the road? I am seriously curious about the argument.


Generally, you register and insure it in its stock form, it has a'67 Mustang so for all intents and purposes its a '67. For safety as long as you have the required items (or know someone who can safety it without) it can be plated and on the road.

Mileage may vary on how well this works from person to person.

Cops are way more lenient to classic cars out here than more modern ones.


Yeah, I was wondering the same thing.

I've heard the cops can be rather unreasonable about mods up in the Great White North.


Really, what I noticed about the car is a lack of windows and side markers. It's those items that caught my eye. The tires are fully covered and there are bumpers which are good. The 5-point harness may be a concern if it is not DOT approved but, I would rather have that than just a lap belt.
In New Brunswick, there are limits to lifted trucks based on certain components allowed or not allowed, maximum heights for lights, frames and bumpers and tires cannot throw debris (mudflaps and/or fender flares required). Modified cars cannot have excessive camber (reduced contact patch), tires cannot touch/interfere with the fenders, no removable steering wheels, Essentially, cars are to adhere to the CMVSS (Canadian Motor Vehicle Safety Standards).
Other rules in New Brunswick include no front side window tint and no straight through mufflers (though I would argue that a turbo is not straight through and significantly reduces exhaust gas pressure waves). There are other criteria within the annual motor vehicle inspection.
My understanding in the USA is that it varies from State to State. Some states wont let you do much in modifications where other states would allow you to daily drive the Munster mobile.


Not all of Canada. Depends where you are and how big of an idiot you are.

In Southern Alberta they seem to love to give tint tickets. They also like to hassle imports, particularly if they think you cut front crash bar for intercooler fitment. Lifted trucks can get hassled for no mud flaps, sometimes exhaust. Domestic cars/hot rods can get away with a lot. Generally though, if you behave and are respectful you get left alone.


It's registered as 1 67' stang but everything underneath is C5 Corvette. I'm not familiar with ON laws and such, but Dave Thomas will touch on all this in the full car feature!


That looks super comfortable, and warm :)


I really love this idea, I wonder what color is considered to have...


Oh stay tuned...


That shot of the Red Bulls reminds me of the scene in Cannonball Run where Terry Bradshaw is loading case after case of beer into the back seat of that stock car he and Mel Tillis were driving.


Ha! Bravo, I completely forgot about that scene.


Just opening this article I could hear my local TÜV-engineer shake his head.

Matthew Everingham

This is why we do what we do. Super keen on updates!


Cheers, Matt!


What's a kilometer in American?


One kilometre is about 0.133 reindeer pees. Hope that helps


Which variety are you taking about, the plastic ones I see staked into the grass in December, the dumb pal of the strapping young man in Frozen, or the kind that live in the north that eat lichen and trample through the snow? Either way, the answer is no, but the internet said 683.508 miles.


@Keiron haha followed your updates on Instagram looked like it was one rough but hell of a good time in the mustang...BTW the SA passport is a nice touch to see on here haha.


Oh, it was definitely a once in a lifetime story, cheers boet.


I thought your passport looked familiar. Awe from Cape Town :D


Is the car bagged? Or static? Couse if static then this front splitter won't make it anywhere near Ocean City;)


Static, and it's in ocean city right now.


Going for Broke Back.... :-o


From what i understand this car got pulled over as soon as it hit OCMD(i am from here). Ocean city, MD has gone out of there way to get this event run out of the town, and it has all but done so.


So more film shots will be on Speedhunters? Great!


At first I was thinking who travels all the way to Barrie from the states lmao but then I started reading. Excited to be seeing this around next year


No 12V outlet for accessories? man that IS extreme... he extended the roof to make it look like a station wagon now? I think I liked it better before.


He'll be the only guy that doesn't get a ticket from OCPD


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Am I the only person who sees a Thundersaloon Reliant Scimitar in the rear end?


That sheetmetal front splitter looks like a great way of chopping pedestrians feet off :S