Tips, Tricks & Trends

Disproving That a Rat Rod Has To Be Dull

A rat rod is a type of hot rod. Hot rods are put together for speed, handling, exhaust notes, and looks. A rat rod, however, is a little different animal. It is also put together for speed and exhaust notes. But, the handling and the looks aren’t so much a priority. The driving thought, well… is driving. The idea is to put together something that functions and does it quickly. That is also why most of them do not have shiny paint jobs. A gray or black primer is sufficient to call the project done. Sometimes, there isn’t even a primer. The owner goes for a more patina or stressed look. But, the rat rod world took notice of a very different rig recently, and it has shiny paint, not a dull primer. So, it a rat rod, or a hot rod?

Rat rods are a little different

The front quarter of a black custom rat rod sits on copper finished, one-off wheels.
The Durty 30 custom rat rod | Barrett-Jackson

Rat rods have built a reputation of not worrying about being period-correct or using matching replacement parts to patch things up. Instead, the rat rod world is pretty innovative at repurposing parts from other cars or even planes and boats to suit their purpose. For example, many of the vehicles have bomber seats or cockpit gauges from aircraft.

Having said all that about rat rods, every once in a while, one of them comes along to challenges convention. “Durty 30” is its nickname. The car is a homologation of several cars into a cohesive and beautiful machine. It is two parts Ford, one part Chevrolet, and another part Hudson Terraplane. It is a jaw-dropping car. And… it is at the Barrett-Jackson auction waiting for its next owner.

Started as a rat rod, but blurred the lines with hot rods

The rear of a black custom rat rod sits on copper finished, one-off wheels.
The Durty 30 custom rat rod | Barrett-Jackson

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The project started out as a rat rod. But, somewhere along the way, it became beautiful artwork akin to a hot rod. That artwork was laid over a 1932 Ford chassis that was customized to make the car’s low appearance. According to the listing, over the 1932 chassis, the,

“Durty 30’s original steel 1930 Ford Model A body was widened 8 inches and stretched 6 inches, the door handles smoothed, actuated suicide doors installed, and an altered 1940 Chevy hood and modified 1938 Terraplane grille were installed.”

The beauty needs a top. So, to cover the car up, a custom roof was fabricated and covered in ostrich leather. Also, along the way to completion, a Chevrolet Corvette 6.0-liter V8 was installed and mated to a supercharger. One-off wheels are at all four corners. The final touch was the paint. The listing continues, “This Ford is finished in a custom-blended Glasurit black paint with copper/gold flake, and Orange Candy topped with eight coats of clear.”

Respected by those considered authorities of the custom and hot rod world

The front end of a black custom rat rod sits on copper finished, one-off wheels.
The Durty 30 custom rat rod | Barrett-Jackson

If there are any doubts about the beauty of the craftsmanship that went into the Durty 30 build inside or out, they should be put to bed. The car has won numerous prestigious awards from the hot rod and custom automotive industry. Durty 30 has even been incorporated into a video game. Indeed, this car has blurred the lines of rat rod and hot rod and won the industry’s respect.

The custom car is listed for sale for the March 20-27th auction at Barrett-Jackson in Scottsdale, Arizona. Stunningly, it is a “No Reserve” listing. So, somebody will definitely be getting the keys to hot rat rod… or, is it a rat hot rod? Whatever it is, it has blurred the lines. The car does not have a dull primer or patina look. Instead, it has shiny paint and an attention-grabbing presence.